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The Voice That Says "Gentle"

When our grandson was 18 months old, I called him a member
of the Lewis and Clark Junior Cadets. In other words, he loved
to explore! He moved faster than you can blink. He was into
everything and, of course, he had one basic maneuver - grab!
Now, that's a little guy's way of exploring something new. The
problem is some things are fragile; a concept, of course, beyond
the comprehension of a toddler. But Mom did a great job of pro -
tecting what was breakable while not discouraging that explorer
spirit. She taught him one word - "gentle." So when she saw the
junior explorer closing in on something fragile, she simply said
that important word, "Gentle. Gentle." And suddenly he slowed
down and he touched his target carefully and softly - "gentle."



Arabs Take Epic Sahara Camel Trek to Spread Gospel

NORTHERN AFRICA -- How’s this for a mission trip: Three months on camels in the scorching Sahara. No contact with family members. Beaten with metal rods. Kidnapped by renegade soldiers.

All to bring Jesus to isolated oasis camps inhabited by nomads - hostile strangers who might not give you water during your journey, much less listen to your message.

That’s what some new Arab believers did earlier this year. They intend to do it again next year - and the year after that. Why? Because they read the New Testament.

“It was the Holy Spirit,” says Luke*, the Southern Baptist worker who introduced the Arabs to stories from God’s Word.

“From the beginning, we told them, ‘As soon as you know the stories, you need to be sharing them.’ That was on their heart, and the Book of Acts had just come out in their dialect of Arabic. They began going through it and wanted to be like [the Apostle] Paul. They saw that Paul went out to other places.”

It all started about six years ago, when Luke and his wife went to a part of northern Africa to serve an Arab Muslim people group of about 1.5 million people. When they arrived, there were fewer than 10 known followers of Christ among the entire group. As he shared his life and the love of Christ in villages and nomad camps, Luke began making friends and showing the “JESUS” film. Some local men saw it and asked if Luke had something else to watch.

“At the time the only other thing I had on video was The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston, in French,” Luke recalls with a laugh. “But they watched it, and at the end 10 guys came up and said, ‘We like this. We didn’t really understand it because it’s in French, but can we study the books of Moses?’ We started with Moses, went back to Genesis and up to Jesus. From that group, just one guy believed, but he has become the main evangelist.”

That young Arab believer and evangelist, Shama*, began telling Bible stories and gathering other new believers into groups. Later, they came to Luke and said, “We need our wives and our sisters to know about this. Can your wife come out and story with the women?”

Over the next several years Shama’s original handful of believers expanded to nine worship groups. As they listened to Luke’s teaching about church planting - and read in Scripture about God’s work in the early church - they conceived a grand plan to take the Gospel far into the desert.

“We didn’t tell them specifically how to do it, but about a year ago, they said, ‘We really feel like God wants us to go to another people group,’” Luke recounts. “They prayed and prayed about where they should go, and they felt led to go to a people out in the Sahara.”

The nomadic Muslim people group they selected was non-Arab, from a different tribe, notoriously fierce - and not especially friendly to outsiders. Even the women of the group were said to carry knives and guns.

The Arab believers found the few known Christians among the nomadic people and asked for tips on places to go and places to avoid. The worship groups contributed to the upcoming trip as they were able: eight camels, horses, tea, grain, cooking oil. They gathered stacks of Gospel cassettes and “JESUS” videos dubbed into the recently translated language of the nomadic people. Team members memorized key Bible stories to tell and compiled calendars with specific prayer requests for each day of their anticipated 90-day desert trek.

Ready at last, the mission team, led by Shama, departed on a grueling 17-day journey to their first destination - an oasis camp deep in the Sahara.

No one at home heard from them for the next three months.

Political chaos was roiling the region, increasing the worries of family members. They also knew their loved ones in the desert were traveling through hostile areas without enough food and water for the journey. Arab tradition commands hospitality to strangers, but the nomads the team members were seeking weren’t Arabs.

“It was hard not knowing,” Luke says of the long silence. “One of the down sides of the trip was that most of those who went were the major leaders among the believers. While they were gone, their wives and families had some really tough times. That was the hardest thing for us, to go and minister to some of the wives and kids that were left behind, because the church had stretched so much to send them on the trip that they really didn’t have much left to help the families that were behind.”

But they made do, and God provided. The wife of one of the volunteers gave birth while he was gone. Relatives gathered around her until his return.

On the camel trek, meanwhile, the mission team encountered a rude welcome in some of the nomad camps. In one location, Shama had hardly begun teaching when he was accused by local Muslim teachers of being in league with those who defame the Prophet Muhammad. Shama insisted he was proclaiming Jesus only, but they beat him with metal rods and stabbed him in the leg. Fellow team members rescued him and sewed his knife wound closed with horse hair.

At another point on the journey, three of the believers were riding to a nomad camp when they were “drafted” by renegade troops, who forced them at gunpoint to don military uniforms. The troops killed their camel for food, but the believers escaped that night and made it back to their team’s camp.

They also found “persons of peace” along the way who helped and fed them. And in at least 10 nomad camps, they found people with open hearts and ears. They gave away all their Gospel cassettes and videos. In the days and months since their return, some of their nomadic listeners in the deep Sahara have believed in Jesus and been baptized.

“The trip was very difficult, as we expected it would be,” Luke says. “But they testify that God cared for them along the way and that their faith has grown.”

They even gave each other Bible names on the journey - names like Peter and Paul. And like Paul, they’re already planning their next missionary journey - just like in the Book of Acts.

* Name changed for security reasons.
  .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Dear Howdy & Friends,

October 8 marked one year since the devastating 7.6 earthquake in the mountainous regions of North India and Pakistan left more than 3 million people homeless. Yet recent news reports reveal that only 20 percent of survivors have permanent shelters for the coming winter.

Gospel for Asia Compassion Services relief teams have been ministering in the disaster areas since the earthquake, following up with people whose hearts have been opened by the love they saw. Read about one villager whose life was changed. Click the following link:

I hope that as you read this update on our work in the earthquake region, the Lord will touch your heart and remind you to pray for the more than 3 million people whose lives were affected by the tragedy.

Thank you for your heart for the lost. God bless you.

Yours for the unreached,

K.P. Yohannan
Founder & President
  .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Student sex columnists are the latest trend in campus journalism.
Too bad they don't have a clue what sex is really all about.


You've heard about the latest corporate scandals. But when it comes
to giving, some corporate executives could give Christians lessons.


Anyone can raise questions. But as Os Guinness says in his new book,
you have to look for real answers.
  .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
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Verse of the Day

* * * Four Important Things To KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

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But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

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