Saturday, September 28, 2013

Prestonwood Team September 2013

How can we explain the inexplicable? How can we describe the indescribable?
How can we make you believe the unbelievable? As I sat down to write this
summary, it seemed like a daunting task. When you saw what we saw, and
experienced what we did, it can appear impossible to put it into words.
However, as I reflected on it, the task became rather simple. As a matter
of fact, I can summarize what we saw in one word...JESUS.

Most people that read this summary had a hand in what we experienced.
Either your donation helped send us here, or your prayers helped prepare
both our team and the villages we visited to hear the gospel.

I think our mission can be summarized in three themes. The first is prayer.
The committment to prayer by the team and everyone who supported the trip
had a bigger impact than you can imagine. Our collective obedience to
prayer paid huge dividends on the number of lives that are now part of the
Kingdom. It was amazing to see how prepared most people were to hear the
gospel. We know our prayers brought the Holy Spirit here long before our
boat arrived. Our first morning in the villages we did a prayer walk
throughout. Our goal was to find a 'Person of Peace'. This person would be
open to the gospel, well known in the village and would have influence over
the people. Thanks to prayer, we were able to find that person in each

I saw the second theme of this trip as Truth. Jesus said, 'I am the Way,
the Truth, and the Life'. Our role was simply to speak the Truth. With our
prayer, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we were able to speak boldly
the Truth of God's word. Whether it was in VBS with the kids, or
individually with the people of the village, we never wavered from the Truth
of the Gospel.

The final theme, you may have guessed, was God. More specifically it was
the Holy Spirit. As I mentioned earlier, the villages were ready to hear
the Gospel. I have never seen the Holy Spirit so apparent as I did this
trip. Some people we encountered had backgrounds that took them to depths
we have probably never seen. We saw the Holy Spirit transform them into new
people. We also saw the Holy Spirit transform our words into what the
villages needed to hear. Our team learned from the Spirit as much as those
we talked to. Some of us were humbled when we tried to use our own words to
reach the people on the first day. We fumbled through what we wanted to
say. Hopefully it is an inspiration to you to know when we listened to the
Holy Spirit, we were given the words they needed to hear.

Our team went into three villages, one a little larger than the others. Our
team encountered villagers that were in one of three stages in life: not
ready to hear the Gospel, ready to learn more and research more, and ready
to commit their life to Jesus. The majority of people were in the latter
stages and it was awesome to see. Again we were humbled when we encountered
people that were not ready to accept Jesus, or to even listen to the Good
News. We've learned that it is merely our job to say the Truth, the Holy
Spirit will do the rest.

When we left, the villages had been transformed. Our prayer should be that
the Holy Spirit will continue to work there. There were people who
confessed they had never slept better than the night after they accepted
Christ. There was a woman that wanted to hear the Gospel after hearing
other women in the village talk about what they learned, and seeing they had
a new joy. We had children that accepted Christ and afterwards had such a
heart for service that they didn't let us carry another bag back to our boat
because they wanted to. There were stories of certain family members being
saved, and later finding out that one of their relatives had been saved the
same day. The school principal was saved along with many teachers, leaving
the kids with good influences. One young lady had been abused, hated men,
and had decided to become a lesbian. She was completely broken. After
being saved she confessed of her sins and immediately knew she wanted to
change her life. The transformation on her face was noticable immediately.
Even when we thought God was done, we were able to share the Gospel to a few
people in the city on our way back. One person was saved simply by
overhearing a conversation with another person and deciding to join the
discussion. We never know what God has in store. Our plans are so futile.
We should always remember that if we're in God's will He can accomplish
miracles for His Kingdom and His Glory. There are so many more examples of
God's grace that we can't wait to share. He was even with our team when an
alligator was dropped twice while on the boat!

You will notice that no names were mentioned in this summary. That is
because we are all merely vessels for God. The only name worth mentioning