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  • TREK and Narnia in Paris | MB Mission
    two groups of young men began to meet together in a basement classroom on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and as all of them were new to the city the bonds of friendship formed quickly They were hungry for relationship Jonathan said In a city that can sometimes be depressing these guys were very lighthearted and fun Jonathan found it very easy to talk with his new friends and to share about his faith in Jesus But he also found that his friends were eager to talk about their Muslim faith After the first session of classes an idea was birthed Along with one of the long term workers Jonathan asked their new friends if they would be interested in a book study The North Africans eagerly agreed to read from The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis They met weekly to read together discuss vocabulary grammar and features of the story but also to consider the spiritual themes in Lewis writing The club enabled the North Africans to continue learning English while also building relationships with their new friends Despite differing views on matters of faith both groups of young men quickly acknowledged the common ground of believing in a God that created the world As they read they searched together for the fingerprints of God within the story The weekly meetings weren t about preaching or arguing but about sharing and trying to see the world through one another s perspective We definitely had differences of opinion said the long term worker who worked closely with Jonathan Our own faith was questioned and tested but those differences pushed us to work out our own convictions Through the book club Jonathan began to feel God s heart of love and compassion for his Muslim friends although he also realized

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/fall-2015/trek-and-narnia-in-paris (2016-02-16)
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  • Editorial | MB Mission
    strategies human rights advocacy or violence The next day Bashir called his two new friends and met with them He told them about his dream and that he had decided to follow Jesus He also told the men about his plan to share this message with everyone in his tribe The brothers asked him Do you know what this will cost you And they told him stories about how they themselves had suffered while serving Jesus in their country It doesn t matter Bashir replied I ve met the One who sets slaves free I am not afraid The brothers affirmed Bashir s sense of calling from God but cautioned him to move slowly and promised to help prepare him Recently we hosted an equipping event for house church leaders in Bashir s region He was an active participant During the teaching times from the Book of Romans Bashir showed special attentiveness and eagerness to learn from the Word of God and always got especially excited whenever the word freedom was mentioned Yes he would add Freedom for the slaves Bashir has already led fifteen people from his hometown to Christ and he s passing on the principles of freedom that he is learning as the leader of this new house church Please pray for Bashir as he serves faithfully and encounters tests and opposition Life transformation occurs when we move from hearing the story of salvation to entering that story ourselves by faith Bashir identified himself in God s freedom story was set free and then was compelled to share that story with others For many years our family has hosted a Passover seder meal in our home each Easter The re telling of the story of Israel s freedom from slavery in Egypt includes many symbols and stages We enter the story of freedom through eating the bitter herbs and we are reminded of God s judgment of sin through the litany of plagues and the protection of blood over the doorposts As a symbol of the haste with which Israel left Egypt three pieces of unleavened bread are used One of the pieces is broken wrapped in a linen cloth and hidden for the children to find This is a prophetic symbol of the body of Christ the bread of life Christ s fulfillment of the Passover through his death and resurrection is the ultimate freedom story As we consider ways to both tell this story and invite each generation into the story we are living on mission in our homes This salvation story is meant to be shared with peoples around the world who are still searching for freedom from the slavery of sin and addictions As we do this new chapters are being added to Christ s mission story Where are we in this story The Gospel is meant to be lived in not just shared Today Christ invites us to be free from bitterness bondages and addictions Christ invites us to share our stories

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/entering-god-s-freedom-story (2016-02-16)
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  • Pascal's Freedom in Chains | MB Mission
    reading books praying and preparing teachings for the prison church and for the training he s doing with the inmates He s making the most of his time Pascal has led a number of his fellow inmates to the Lord already One was a former politician a powerful man before he was imprisoned and the other was a prominent Muslim leader who since coming to faith in Jesus has a significant bounty on his head Pascal is now discipling both of these men A few things that Pascal said really hit me He said I have peace a peace that transcends all understanding Incredible In the midst of hardship and injustice the Father had granted him this peace And joy as well Pascal did confide in me about the pain of being separated from his wife and children and being worried about their welfare But he testified to the fact that they were being held in the same Father s hands Pascal also said I want to be open to the forging that God has for me Wow How do I pray for someone like Pascal Do I ask that he be released from prison and taken out of this crucible of learning away from this ministry opportunity I think about Paul and Silas in Acts 16 two disciples of Jesus who freed a young girl from demon possession and as a result were beaten and imprisoned What was their response Though they were treated unjustly for an act of kindness they did not cry out nor did they demand justice In prison Paul and Silas rejoiced in the Lord giving him praise and thanks And their faithful witness impacted the jailer whose entire household eventually came to faith in Christ Paul and Silas could have complained about the injustice

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/pascal-s-freedom-in-chains (2016-02-16)
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  • More Than Clean Water in Sinai | MB Mission
    Peña their friend translator and brother in Christ When they rounded the last bend in the river and finally arrived into Sinai the team found a community in need The water was polluted Sickness was rampant The government had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into development there resulting only in disappointment and distrust Alan spoke to the people through his translator Giovany who grew up in Sinai and spoke the local language We love you and God loves you He wants you to be healthy and to take care of what he has created If you want clean water in your homes we will work with you We give ourselves to you because God gave his son for us After words and gestures of acceptance and appreciation were shared Alan asked the community leaders a tough question What do you have We have nothing the people of Sinai responded immediately It was an honest response but not completely true Alan is familiar with this knee jerk reaction from those who suffer from a poverty mentality The lack of money is only a symptom of something deeper something more profound a lack of self worth This is a stumbling block to growth on all levels Alan is also familiar with a story in the Bible that beautifully describes how a poverty mentality can be transformed by faith and empowerment The story in 2 Kings 4 tells of the encounter between the prophet Elisha and a needy widow After hearing about her desperate situation Elisha asks the widow What do you have The widow replies Nothing except some oil So Elisha tells her to collect jars from her neighbors and start filling them with oil Miraculously numerous containers are filled that the widow sells to pay off her debt and to

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/more-than-clean-water-in-sinai (2016-02-16)
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  • Guy Enters the Story of Jesus | MB Mission
    confined to a wheelchair and yet she was always happy As a child she had found Jesus and his changing power had become evident in her life At schools when the two girls met May welcomed Guy into her life She offered friendship to her in a very genuine way even when things didn t go just right In fact when other kids pressured Guy not to hang out with May she would be the first to give her permission to go hang out with the other kids and not worry about her Eventually May s offer of true friendship and acceptance won Guy over and she decided that she wanted to be friends with May despite the peer pressure At that point May invited Guy along to the Hope Center Although she was hesitant to trust she came Eventually God s love began to flood her heart and she began to trust again and to build deep friendships with others at the Hope Center Guy began to believe that not everyone was out to use her and that no matter what God loved her too In preparation for family camp Guy and I were studying the story in the Gospels when people brought children to Jesus and the disciples discouraged it Jesus was angry with his disciples and said Let the children come to me do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these Mark 10 14 As we talked it was clear that Guy was touched by how Jesus accepted the children and she was quick to draw parallels between the story and her own story As she thought about teaching the story she carefully wove the two stories together in a way that the children would see themselves in the Gospel story

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/guy-enters-the-story-of-jesus (2016-02-16)
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  • Art's Adventure | MB Mission
    is a gleam in his eyes as he tells stories about squishing into crowded jeepneys with his teammates crossing rivers on swinging bridges and navigating narrow roads on the backs of motorcycles with some of the young Filipino leaders Yet Art s love for Jesus and his passion for life is even more evident as he recounts a near death experience from a couple of years ago Well I died in August of 2012 he says very matter of factly I was helping out at a camp in the interior of BC when I was bitten by a tick in the forest I had major blood poisoning and ended up in an ambulance on my way to the hospital when my heart stopped Art was in a coma on life support when the doctors told his wife to gather their family together Instead of preparing for her husband s death she started asking people to pray Quickly there were people all over the world praying including Art s friends in the Philippines Even friends who had no belief in God were praying The Lord answered those prayers and he gave me my life back Art pauses and nods his head before he continues I was told that I d have major heart damage from the incident but the doctors did a cardiogram and my heart was perfectly normal It was a miracle The Lord healed me completely Now I just thank him every day for the love he has demonstrated in my life Art s deep gratitude to God for life is seen in his eagerness to serve others DMI has been one of the main outlets for this commitment After being involved in several short term trips to the Philippines Art began to think more about long term investment When I got back from the Philippines after one trip I went into the MB Mission office in Abbotsford and told them If you want to plant churches in the Philippines I want to be involved with that through DMI In their simple evangelistic campaigns the DMI teams had always worked closely with a number of existing churches but Art started to catch a vision for using these short term teams to plant new churches We were building strong relationships with young church leaders and I became more involved in discussions about long term church planting strategy In 2004 MB Mission got behind a dynamic Filipino leader named Sam Arcano In a city called Baguio Sam started a ministry among university students which grew quickly and led to the planting of a new church In addition to hosting teams from DMI TREK and ACTION Sam was mentoring young leaders who became church planters Eventually they were pastoring churches in other parts of Baguio and elsewhere in the Philippines The work multiplied Working with leaders like Sam has been one of my favorite parts of the ministry in the Philippines Working with leaders like Sam has been one of my favorite

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/art-s-adventure (2016-02-16)
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  • Miracles in Another World | MB Mission
    and sign language which Bin translated into Karen In the evening we stood outside in the dark and looked up into the night sky There were so many stars that we couldn t even recognize constellations We sat in the stillness until a dog s bark broke the silence There was no noise of traffic I was overcome with gratitude for the opportunity to be in such a place That night I slept in the church under a few layers of blankets not under a fan like in Chonburi I woke up at 6am to the sound of someone coughing It was the pastor praying in the dark preparing for the morning worship at 7am when other villagers would join him to sing I was learning a lot about prayer I remember when it felt weird for me to pray I felt alone unsure that God was listening to me or what he thought about my prayers But during our training I had begun to see pictures in my mind when I prayed for others On one occasion when I shared a picture with one of my leaders he burst into tears because the picture spoke to him so clearly about his life and how God had led him through a very tough time I also started to pray more specifically for people and to write down their prayer requests In the village an old man came up to me and pointed to his knees I understood that he wanted me to pray for his pain This experience was new to me I felt transported back to the New Testament and I realized that the healing power of Jesus was just as relevant as two thousand years ago Just that morning I had read Psalm 107 20 He sent his

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/summer-2015/miracles-in-another-world (2016-02-16)
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  • Gods Story, Our Story | MB Mission
    the man that God had sent him to pray for him and bless him The giant of a man immediately fell to his knees and began weeping He had just been contemplating suicide and was crying out to God for an answer It became clear to Dameer that God had saved him so he could in turn help others and learn to join Jesus on his mission These kinds of stories inspire me They help me remember how Jesus has worked in my own life and how he wants to use me to reach others The Bible is full of stories about man s rebellion God s redemption and the transforming power of hope As we hear God s story we understand our story Last year I was challenged in a fresh way to consider the power of storytelling when I attended a one day conference at Tabor College in Kansas Leonard Sweet spoke about the importance of the table in passing on our faith to the next generation He talked about how Amish and Jewish communities retain their faith traditions through sharing stories at family meals The next generation learned the story of faith at the table Sweet called us to bring back the table as a place where relationships are strengthened and faith is nurtured What role does storytelling and the table have in God s mission How many of us sensed the stirring of God s call in our lives as we sat at the dinner table with missionaries and listened to their stories of faith As we ve prayed for a theme for this year of Witness we ve sensed the Lord asking us to make God s Story our focus We d like to join you at your dinner table and give you something to talk about We believe there s something powerful and redemptive about sharing the stories of faith in mission with the next generation Another powerful story comes to us from the country of Burundi I was recently visiting our team there that is involved in serving the Batwa pygmies Burundi is the third poorest country in the world and the Batwa are the poorest of the poor They have been enslaved for centuries by other tribes and therefore many still live in fear in the forests with poor shelter no education and a high mortality rate For a number of years Doug and Deanna Hiebert and their home church of Cornerstone in Niagara Ontario have been assisting a local Burundian ministry in building an elementary school medical clinic church and mission training center among the Batwa As I visited the elementary school on my trip I stopped and talked to a Batwa woman who was walking by She proudly stated that all three of her children were studying in that school My children live like kings she said explaining that the school not only taught her children to read but also provided one nutritious meal a day They re healthy she

    Original URL path: http://www.mbmission.org/witness/spring-2015/gods-story-our-story (2016-02-16)
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