:: 08/25/2014 - 8:34am :: Read more...

A movie star thanks God as she accepts an award, and the Christian community shouts, “Yes, another point for Team Christian.” An atheist wins a political office, and it’s “No, we can’t let THEM win.” Contact with nonbelievers is perceived as “us” versus “them,” and we have to win.

In the book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism, Carl Medearis explains that we are not battling nonbelievers. We are not on opposite sides. We do not “win” by scoring more points than the non-Christians. Many believers have confused their religion with their Savior.

The world needs to know Jesus and His love, mercy, and grace. Medearis tells how to share Jesus without being sidetracked by all the traditions and history of Christianity. This is a book I want to give to everyone I know. I can’t say I agree 100% with everything the writer says, but this book changed the way I introduce people to Jesus. After all, He is the message.

Donna Maust lives in a small fishing village on Ecuador’s northwest coast.

:: 08/18/2014 - 8:01am :: Read more...

I live in the land of sunshine and ocean waves and jungle rivers. The area is called Esmeraldas (emeralds), named by the Spanish conquistadores for the lush green countryside. Sunshine, the beach, an abundance of seafood, never-ending summer, people who are friendly and warm—many would say we live in a paradise.

But this land of sunshine is full of darkness. Families are not only broken but marriage is not even a part of this culture. Sexual deviations, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, witchcraft, and incest are just a few of the issues we have encountered as we share Jesus. You and I live in a fallen world. Sin reigns and as people exercise their freedom of choice to sin, people are hurt.

Only God can heal the pain. We ask Him every day to help us know how to communicate His grace to the people here. I don’t know where you live, but the people around you face the same struggles. They need Jesus, and most don’t even know it.

Donna Maust lives in a small fishing village on the northwest coast of Ecuador.

:: 08/11/2014 - 7:35am :: Read more...

What does a missionary wife do? In the past, my time was focused on our 3 children, not only as mom but also as homeschool teacher. They are all mature young adults in the United States now.

Two days ago, a young woman visited us. Her young teen daughter had been raped by an extended family member. I spent time counseling her and listening to her. Another young woman recently had a severe stroke during the birth of her first baby. We visited her and encouraged her and her husband. We also do marriage counseling, help people through crises, and, above all, look for opportunities to share Jesus and make disciples.

One of my main outreaches is through cooking classes. What better way to get to know women than working together in the kitchen? The biggest hits have been pizza, apple pie, cookies, and chocolate cake. The women in my class have taught me how to make some of the local seafood dishes. We have a lot of fun together building friendships.

Like you, I spend time cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and doing other household chores. But, here, everything takes longer. I don’t have convenience foods or super-duper cleaning products. And the nearest supermarket is 45 minutes away.

I do the same thing any Christian woman should be doing, following God’s call in my life. I just do it in a remote fishing village in Ecuador. 

Donna Maust lives in a small fishing village on Ecuador’s northwest coast.

:: 08/04/2014 - 7:50am :: Read more...

The sun is sparkling on the Pacific Ocean, and it’s 93° at 11 a.m. A young girl passes by my gate and calls out to me, “Do you want shrimp today?” She is selling today’s catch. Other days, I am offered crab, calamari, fish, and even lobster.

After 13 years high in the beautiful Andes Mountains of Ecuador, God called us to an unreached people group, the Afro-Ecuadorians. These people are descendants of shipwrecked and escaped slaves from 500 years ago. We live in a remote fishing village, which allows us to easily travel to less accessible areas in the province of Esmeraldas.

It’s a beautiful area, but it has challenges. The water comes in sporadically, so we rely on storage tanks and water rationing. I have no neighborhood supermarket, gym, shopping center, or food court. We have frequent power and Internet outages. We don’t have air-conditioning, just electric fans.

All the inconveniences are nothing compared to the joy of making friends and sharing Jesus with them. What inconveniences in your life are keeping you from sharing Jesus?

Donna Maust lives in a small fishing village on Ecuador’s northwest coast.

:: 07/28/2014 - 8:57am :: Read more...

To amplify something is to magnify, expand, deepen, increase, or strengthen it. Amplify is often used as a verb. In our case, Amplify is a noun—the name of our small church group in Yakima, Washington.

My husband, a pastor, and I felt led by the Holy Spirit to use what we had learned about church planting and small groups to begin a work in our town. It all began 1 summer with just 6 adults and 1 baby sitting on blankets in the grass in a park.

The Amplify family has grown slowly, but the work of the Holy Spirit has been great. The Spirit has not only healed and guided us but also built in the lives of those who come together at Amplify. Strength and growth are evident in the lives of many of our members.

The Holy Spirit has been beside us each step of the way, from providing a funeral home willing to let us use its facilities to bringing in new friends. Following His lead, we keep it simple and focus on the Bible. With our 7 preschoolers and roughly 25 adults, we just keep on amplifying the Lord. 

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 07/21/2014 - 7:45am :: Read more...

I recently received a newsletter from friends who work in Asia. My husband and I met S and C at the International Learning Center in Virginia. At that time, they had a daughter and were expecting child number 2.

Fast-forward. S and C have 5 children. As I read their newsletter, I couldn’t help but be thankful for their service to the Lord.

S and C use daily events like meals and walks to engage people. Their blond, blue-eyed and dark-skinned, dark-eyed children draw crowds and provide opportunities to speak about Jesus. S and C just live life and wait for the Holy Spirit to show who has ears and a heart open to the good news. They make contact with spiritually receptive individuals and arrange to meet again. They invite new friends home.

I love how S and C use hospitality, family life, and guidance from the Holy Spirit to share the gospel in Asia.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 07/14/2014 - 7:50am :: Read more...

I never would have willingly taught at that little school on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

My husband and I pursued serving through the International Mission Board. We felt led to serve in France. But after a very short time on the field, we were back home. Living with relatives and searching for a job, I tried to make sense of my life. I had dreamed of serving overseas as I had learned about the lives of missionaries while teaching Mission Friends®. We sold our belongings, settled our adult children, and headed out. Why had it all fallen apart?

I still don’t understand. But I know God uses all things. Through 2 separate incidents, the Holy Spirit connected me with the principal from that little Christian school (where I did not want to teach). The Lord specifically gave me a teaching position—1 week before school began.

The Holy Spirit took us around the world and led me right into my own backyard to serve in a school that focuses on evangelizing and discipling young believers. In the midst of hop fields, farms, orchards, and cattle yards, I love His beautiful children with the Holy Spirit as my Companion.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 07/07/2014 - 8:28am :: Read more...

“What can we do with all of these preschoolers?” I asked my pastor.

That was more than 20 years ago. And this woman on mission has never looked back. My husband and I had 2 young preschoolers with nothing to do on Wednesday nights while others at our church were in Bible study or youth group. I decided I would rather be doing something with my babies at church than not participating in Wednesday night activities.

Enter Mission Friends®. That was the curriculum and missions organization suggested by my pastor. He didn’t force it but said, “Why don’t you check this out?”

It was love at first read! I adored the Mission Friends materials, activities, and missionary stories, placing the whole world at my fingertips. That was the year my preschoolers and their friends became Mission Friends. We learned together and journeyed together around the world through missions.

Though I came to missions as an adult, the Lord has led me on blessed paths of participation. The Holy Spirit, my Companion, has consistently guided me to become involved on a deeper and more committed level.

But it all began through the hearts of my children.

Angie Quantrell is delighted to live, love, teach, and write in Washington, where the Holy Spirit is her constant Companion.

:: 06/30/2014 - 4:19pm :: Read more...

Some months ago I began to think about how I wanted to spend my 60th birthday. I had read and heard of people doing an amount of acts of kindness equal to their birth year. Well, that’s a lot of acts of kindness when you’re turning 60. So I decided on 60 minutes of service as a way to celebrate.

I shared this idea one day at lunch that maybe I would invite six friends to enter into 60 minutes of service with me on that day. However, my birthday falls in the middle of the work week so when it got right down to it, I didn’t really act on planning that one out. But one co-worker didn’t forget. Today, as my team surprised me with an indoor birthday picnic, I was given a basket of pledge cards for 60 minutes of service that some of my work friends had signed and identified ways they planned to serve in honor of my birthday. No gift can ever compare to this.

Tomorrow, I will serve more than 60 minutes weeding and trimming in the community garden of M-Power, a Christian Women’s and Men’s Job Corps site in Birmingham. In the past I have worked with the participants of these ministries but on this day, I’ll get to participate in the behind-the-scenes work that assists this ministry. I’m ready to get started.

I’d like to invite you to join me. What 60 minutes of service has God equipped you to do? Will you do it? Share your story with us.

 

 

Team Blog
:: 06/30/2014 - 7:47am :: Read more...

I’d like to share this experience I just had with an old WMU® book for preschoolers, My Mom and Dad Are Missionaries by Gayle Lintz.

I am a longtime Southern Baptist preacher’s kid (PK)/missionary kid (MK) (when the North American Mission Board was still the Home Mission Board), and so I had a strong missions-minded childhood! And so it is really no surprise that eventually God called my husband (also a PK) and me to the mission field—in our middle age no less—as short-term teacher and IT specialist with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Papua, Indonesia. Because of our backgrounds, we have always had a love for and a desire to support MKs. With MAF, we were able to provide the behind-the-scenes educational and technology support to missionary families so they could be out there doing what God called them to do as pilots, doctors, translators, etc. We love how MAF supports more than 600 organizations all over the world, including Southern Baptist missionaries, with aviation and other technologies.

Well we are back in the United States now working at MAF headquarters. I was recently asked to organize and lead a 2-week MK orientation session for grade-school children who are getting ready to leave for the field with their parents. MAF does not have a specific curriculum but relies on resources from many different organizations to help prepare children for their transition to life overseas. I was shown a shelf of resources from which to pull as I planned for this orientation, and you can imagine my surprise and delight to find the book and teaching guide telling a bit of the story of the Land family and its ministry in Ivory Coast. Stamped on the front of the book are the words “LIBRARY Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC” (with a red “DISCARD” stamp over that)!

I used this story, told from son Andrew’s perspective, during my MK orientation. And although the book and teacher’s guide were intended for preschool teaching, the story lent itself to the timeless themes of an MK’s experiences with new sights, smells, and sounds in a foreign country and was so appropriate for the elementary children in my class. The MKs loved hearing this story and seeing some of the photographs included in the teacher’s guide of the people of Ivory Coast . . . even though none of them were headed there. We even enjoyed the recipe for foutou included in the teaching guide.

I was just so thankful that someone saved this book from the discard pile and it ended up at MAF headquarters in Idaho! It was only a small part of our 2-week class, but it sure brought a smile to my face as once again, I saw how God loves bringing organizations together to further His kingdom work. I loved that I knew what it meant when I saw the WMU stamp on this book and was able to remember my girlhood learning about missions through GA and Acteens®. And I love how God is still using the Land family’s story today!

Carole Flegal lives in Nampa, Idaho.

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