(Assemblies Of God)

Shared With You By
Kraig Josiah Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)

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A Humorous Answer To Prayer By Gerald Robeson
The Whys and Hows Of Itineration by Dewey Huston
Missionaries Are Called Upon To Be His Change-Agents
Harnessed To God's Plow by L. E. Maxwell
Life Messengers Sent Literature, Not Missionaries
Publish or Perish

A Humorous Answer To Prayer
By Gerald Robeson

"It was 9 p.m., and my family and I were driving in the rain on the outskirts of the largest city in the world� Mexico City, Mexico. Traffic was heavy on the six-lane freeway.

We were tired and nervous after traveling 2 weeks from Oregon and became still more tense as we tried to follow a strange freeway that made no sense on our map. I then realized we were lost.

I began to pray silently that the Lord would somehow guide us to our destination. My wife Carol later told me she had done the same.

Our van was loaded to its ceiling and I couldn't see clearly through the outside mirror. Suddenly, as I changed lanes, our van struck another vehicle.

Now if there's anything we didn't need in Mexico City, it was an accident; we had just arrived 45 minutes earlier to our latest mission field! As traffic whizzed by, I carefully pulled over to the freeway's shoulder.

I got out of the van to see what I had hit and saw a huge dump truck parked behind me. I couldn't have damaged that if I had tried! I thought. But I had hit the truck's front bumper and made a harmless dent in the side of our new van.

The People's Church in Salem, Oregon, had donated the van to us for our new work. Before I left Oregon, the thought briefly crossed my mind that it might be nice to have a few dents on the van to give it a less prosperous appearance, thus discouraging vandalism.

"That's a great way to drive," sneered the operator of the dump truck.

In an attempt to gain his mercy, I pleaded, "I'm sorry, but this is our first time driving in Mexico City, and we are lost."

Immediately the man's attitude changed, and he asked where we were going. I told him, and he told us to follow him and he would take us to our destination. We probably had the biggest dump-truck escort ever!

The Lord undoubtedly has a sense of humor. He answered two of our needs in one instant, providing both directions to our destination and a nice dent in our new van."

This article quoted from
Mountain Movers Magazine, Gospel Publishing House, February 1987, page 6

There is no wrong place
To share the Gospel

The Whys and Hows Of Itineration
by Dewey Huston

"Itineration is a busy time for a missionary. It is his one chance in 5 years to share his ministry with the churches who have faithfully supported and prayed for him during his previous term of missionary service.

When my family and I arrived in the United States in August 1977 for our second missionary furlough, we had only one month to do all of our errands before our itineration began.

Some of the things we had to do during that month were purchase a car for use in itineration travel; buy car license; find a house, furniture, and household supplies; enroll the children in school; have stationery and prayer cards printed; have photographs made; prepare and mail newsletters to supporters; notify all concerned with change of address; open a local bank account; prepare missionary slides and film presentation for itinerary; plan a year's itinerary; and begin contacting churches, districts, and pastors to schedule services.

Needless to say, getting these things done and our family settled into a home filled every minute of that month.

Itineration is not without its trials, but there are also times of blessing. At one church, the pastor couldn't have been kinder to me and my family. He paid for my meals, lodging, turnpike tolls; filled the car with gasoline; did my laundry; increased the church's pledge to counter inflation; and gave me candy and kites for the kids.

Women's Ministries groups at many of the churches presented our family with gifts during our itineration.

But as Connie and I visited our supporting churches we became concerned. This time of itineration is a necessary prerequisite for a 4-year term of missionary service, and many of the people we met did not understand the whys and hows of itineration. So we began to record all their questions and later we sat down and tried to thoughtfully answer these questions.

We want our supporters to understand what our needs are so they will know better how to pray with us about them, and rejoice with us when God meets them.

What is a furlough?

Furlough for an Assemblies of God missionary is the time when he returns to the United States for approximately 1 year of deputational ministry. He visits his supporting churches and raises the increased support for his missionary budget for his next 4-year term. With the present rate of inflation, the average budget increase is approximately 10 percent.

When are you going back to the field?

The Division of Foreign Missions clears missionaries to return to their field of service only after the missionary has raised the required amount of support in faith promise pledges and cash to meet his budget for the coming term. The missionary usually has from 12 to 15 months to reach this goal.

What is a budget?

Before beginning itineration, a proposed budget for the missionary's next 4-year term is prepared by the Division of Foreign Missions. This budget is an estimate of future operational expenses for 4 years of ministry overseas.

Some people misunderstand and conclude that the budget is the missionary's salary. While the total amount to be raised in monthly pledges includes the missionary's personal allowance, that is only a small part of the total. All expenses for living and ministering abroad are added into the budget. These include children's schooling expenses, field missionary work, transportation expenses, general emergency funds, and contingency for future inflation.

A second part of the budget is the cash he must raise to cover the cost of equipment, freight and duty, and return fare to the field.

Why do you have to raise your own support?

In its foreign missions program the Assemblies of God is a faith mission. A missionary itinerates among the churches to raise his financial support in monthly pledges and then goes to the field in faith that these pledges will continue over the 4 years of his term.

This personalized support method is used because local churches want to designate their own foreign missions offerings and maintain personal contact with those missionaries whom they support.

What is your greatest problem of missionary itineration?

Scheduling services. It is difficult to schedule meetings for any time other than Sundays and Wednesdays. Churches that will invite a missionary to come for a service on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night are greatly appreciated. Of course, this may mean that the church changes its schedule or adds a special service, but such invitations help the missionary make better use of his time at home.

Another scheduling problem is our difficulty of arranging any itinerary prior to our arrival in the States. By the time we return from the field, many pastors we contact already have set up their church calendars for months ahead with no openings for another missionary service.

Do you receive a pledge from every church you visit?

No. In a recent tour of three months, with services in about 50 churches, I received pledges from only 6 churches. Sometimes the pastor feels his church cannot give more to missions. Other churches feel their own programs must have priority. Then many new people in congregations are not informed about the financial needs of our missions program and must yet be convinced of the importance of foreign missions. The ministry of the itinerating missionary is a valuable contribution to the local church in educating and informing its people about missions.

Can I contribute towards your support as an individual?

Yes, and this is desirable for it involves your family personally in missions. Personal pledges are handled in the same way as church pledges. You first decide what amount you wish to pledge each month. Then fill out and sign a pledge form and return it to the Division of Foreign Missions. Your monthly commitment can be contributed through your church or sent directly.

What should I do if I want to give you a special offering for Christmas, a birthday, or otherwise?

Offerings that are intended by the donor to be gifts to the missionary on special occasions or for personal emergencies should be sent to the Division of Foreign Missions and designated for the missionary's account as "special offering."

All "special offerings" received in excess of the maximum amount allowed are automatically credited to the missionary's work-support account. Tax deductible receipts for all missionary offerings are sent to the donor if the contributions are sent directly to the Division of Foreign Missions. Also, an individual who sends in a personal offering can request that his church receive World Ministries credit.

Where do you get money for building projects on your field?

Funds for building churches or church-related facilities on the foreign field come from individuals and congregations in America who want to be directly involved in this kind of investment for God.

The Kenya Field Fellowship (made up of the Assemblies of God missionaries on the field) asked us to raise $15,000 in cash during this furlough for the construction of the Kitale Christian Centre. The municipality of Kitale has given our mission two acres of choice land on the main road in the town with the restriction that a church must be built within 2 years. Construction has been started, but additional funds are needed to complete the project.

Where will your children go to school next term?

Since there are no free public schools overseas, the high cost of educating our children is a large part of our monthly budget.

If space is available, our children will attend Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi as day students. This is a Mennonite mission school with grades 1-9 and an American curriculum. After grade 9 they must become boarding students at the Rift Valley Academy 27 miles northwest of Nairobi, operated by the African Inland Mission.

Some missionary families use correspondence courses if other schools are not available, especially in the elementary grades.

Will you live in the same house when you go back to Africa?

No. Another missionary family now lives in the house we occupied in Kisumu. We must look for a house in Nairobi where housing is scarce and expensive.

In a recent letter our East Africa Representative Delmar Kingsriter wrote, "Please, please raise extra money for housing."

ALTHOUGH the itinerating missionary faces problems from time to time, his contacts with the people who support him often help to alleviate some of the humdrum of daily itineration.

A family at one church sent a Christmas poinsettia to Connie, and a woman at another church said, "Brother Huston, call your wife and charge it to my bill."

We like this personal relationship with the churches. Not only does God help us to raise the increased support we need, but we meet people who are our friends for life and many of them become faithful intercessory prayer partners with us in our ministries."

This article quoted from
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JANUARY 13, 1980, pages 20-21
Adapted from information submitted by DEWEY HUSTON, who was a Missionary to Kenya, East Africa, at that time.

The way to destroy an enemy
to make him your friend

Missionaries Are Called Upon To Be His Change-Agents
by unknown author

"Missionaries are called upon to be His change-agents in the world, with both the benefits and liabilities of that role. The missionary's primary task is to effect change in the inner man of each individual through the application of the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not the purpose of the missionary to "Christianize" societies, but to bring societies to Christ. Changed people will change their societies. As such, missionaries do not expect to be understood by the world and its systems. They are prepared for opposition and distress."

This article quoted from
Mountain Movers Magazine, Gospel Publishing House, February 1987, page 7

Money makes a good servant
But a poor master

Harnessed To God's Plow
by L. E. Maxwell

"In Korea one day an American tourist saw in a field by the side of the road a boy pulling a crude plow, while an old man held the plow handles and directed it.

"What a curious picture! I suppose they are very poor," said the tourist to the missionary who was his interpreter and guide.

"Yes," was the reply. "That is the family of Chi Noui. When the church was built they were eager to help but they had no money so they sold their only ox and gave the money to the church. This spring they are pulling the plow themselves."

"That was a real sacrifice," said the tourist.

"They did not call it that," said the missionary. "They counted themselves fortunate that they had an ox to sell for God."

When the tourist returned home he said to his minister, "Give me some plow work to do. I have never made a real sacrifice for Christ. I have never yet given anything to God that really cost me something."

Have you? Have you ever sold your best ox and then harnessed yourself to God's plow? Or, instead, have you offered Christ only a lame lip-service? a sick sacrifice? a sentimental testimony? Has your whole Christian service been as good as dead? And will you continue to offer that to God?

Oh, let us cease all this sham and humbug. Let us cease to insult our king. Let us cry out with David, when he was about to erect an altar of sacrifice unto the Lord, "Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing"
(2 Samuel 24:24).

This article quoted from the
Mission To Children Newsletter, Glendale, Calif., appx. date 1987
L. E. Maxwell was founder of Prairie Bible Institute� Three Hills, Alberta

"I view the massive body of believers in America as the greatest
potential for World Evangelism since the great commission was
first given by our Lord two thousand years ago."
-Rev. Bill Quisenberry of Christians In Action, March 1983

Life Messengers Sent Literature, Not Missionaries

"Do you send missionaries?
No. We don't sponsor missionaries for three main reasons.
First, there is no way we can reach "every creature" by word-of-mouth preaching alone. Missionaries are an important part of world evangelism, but they are not the only force.

Second, it's very expensive to send missionaries. A rough comparison will give an idea. It costs about $30,000 a year to maintain a missionary family from this country to work, say, in Brazil. But a national (Brazilian) worker would cost no more to support than $11,000 a year.

Third, missionary organizations (since the days of William Carey and Hudson Taylor, to name just two) have left behind well trained national pastors and leaders who are able to carry on the job. Also you must keep in mind that more and more countries are refusing to give visas to missionaries. It's illegal to work as a missionary in Arab/Moslem nations, and of course, Communist countries do not allow missionary work."
Quoted from the Life Messengers Newsletter, 1983

An ad for St. Joseph's Episcopal Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed
and a headline that reads,
For fast, fast, fast relief relief, take two tablets

Publish or Perish!
by Unknown Author (printed circa 1980)

The street meeting had just ended. The missionary felt a warm glow of satisfaction as he watched the attentive crowd begin to disperse. Once again the "Message" had been preached.

John Mendow, missionary to China, silently offered thanks to God for the privilege of preaching the Gospel to these Oriental people. He noted that his fellow workers were efficiently stowing the P.A. system and the musical instruments into the mission station wagon. His satisfaction was complete. He thanked God also for his faithful co-workers.

As the missionary surveyed the scene he noticed a Chinese army officer striding forward through the dispersing throng.

"...probably wants to know a little bit more about the message," he thought as the man approached.

The officer stopped a bare step away. Hostility plainly showed in his eyes. His voice equally betrayed his attitude.

"You American missionaries are fools!"

"Is that so?" John Mendow used his politest manner. "What makes you think that?"

"Because of your methods. That's why I think that."

"What's wrong with our methods?"

"Well, take this open air meeting you just concluded. You had a wonderful chance to gain a victory for your religion. But you lost it. Now it's gone forever."

"I don't follow you, sir. What are you driving at?"

An Opportunity Lost

The critical army officer coldly, firmly, fully expressed his opinions. He called the missionary's attention to the fact that he would never again have the chance to speak to the now dispersed crowd. The message preached, although probably crystal clear to the missionary, was completely new and different from anything these listeners had ever heard. It had told of a strange God, and of a way of life utterly foreign to the thinking of the listeners. How could the missionary expect his audience to grasp a philosophy so strange, a religion so new, and do so the first time they heard it?

"Why didn't you give them some literature?" the officer demanded. "Some pamphlet, easy to understand! Then, with their curiosity aroused, they could have studied further what they had heard. Then your message would have had effect for perhaps months, or even years, instead of just for the moment!"

The missionary couldn't answer. A wave of resentment swept through his mind. However, it was not directed against his critic. John bitterly recalled the futile attempts he had made to obtain the sort of literature just mentioned.

He started to answer the officer but the biting criticism continued.

"You missionaries have been in China for over 100 years but you have not won China for your Christ. You lament the fact that there are still uncounted millions that have never heard the name of your God. Nor do they know anything about your Christianity."

The Chinese paused to let his argument sink in. His eyes glowed with satisfaction as he noted the effect it was making on the missionary. His tone was full of mockery as he continued.

"We Communists have been in China less than ten years, but there is no such thing as a Chinese who has not heard the name of Stalin or who knows nothing of Communism. What you missionaries have failed to do in 100 years, we Communists have done in ten. We have filled China with OUR doctrine."

John struggled for an answer. Words failed him. He knew the truth of the charges. Again he started to answer but was interrupted.

Preaching Not Enough

"Now let me tell you why you have failed and why we have succeeded. You have tried to reach China by preaching, by talking. You have tried to win the attention of the masses by building churches, mission stations, schools and what not. But we Communists have printed our message and spread our literature over all China. Some day we will drive you missionaries out of our country. We will do it "by means of the printed page."

Frustrated and hurt by the truth contained in the Communist's statements, the missionary was silently praying for an answer. A tangled mass of thoughts raced through his mind. He knew that everywhere one turned the Communist literature was in evidence. Billboards, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and tracts united to call China's attention to the "big lie." Much of that literature attacked the American way of life. It branded Christianity as a "white man's religion." It often accused the missionary of being a Capitalist spy. It sometimes ridiculed Jesus Christ, calling Him the invention of the Capitalist. China was being brainwashed by "red ink."

John Mendow again recalled the unanswered pleas he had sent to the homeland requesting literature. If he could have gotten enough scripture portions, if he could have gotten booklets, tracts and pamphlets that explained the Gospel message, then it might have been different.

John just looked at his tormentor, who bowed stiffly, turned abruptly, and walked away.

The missionary groaned with regret. His feelings of satisfaction had fled. He weakly murmured a prayer. "Oh God, it's true we are losing China. We are failing. Why, oh why couldn't we have had the literature? Who failed us, Lord? Who?"

The heavy-hearted missionary represents hundreds of others around the missionary world. With a few details changed this story could have happened on many other fields.

And So It Turned Out

Today John Mendow is out of China. So are all the others who went there as missionaries. Only a few in Hong Kong remain. The national Christian leaders have been imprisoned, murdered, or otherwise silenced. The mighty voice of the Gospel has been reduced to a whisper. But the voice of the enemy echoes throughout the land. What missions failed to do in 100 years, the Communists did in ten.

One great Christian leader said that if the Church had spent on literature as much as it spent on hospitals, orphanages, schools and rest homes (needful though those were), the Bamboo Curtain could not exist today.

Tragically we sent the missionary to his field but we failed to give him adequate tools to do his job. We failed to understand the difficulties he faced. We thought if he preached the message it would be enough. We failed to realize that he was competing with a flood of anti-Christian literature. The inevitable happened.

What occurred in China is happening in other sections of the world. India, Indonesia, Africa and other places are being flooded with literature that is antagonistic to the Gospel. The rising fires of nationalism are being fed with literally tons of printed propaganda. The red man, the yellow man, the black man, the brown man are being taught to hate the white man and all that he represents. The missionary's task is becoming more difficult by the hour.

The missionary desperately needs literature. He needs scripture portions. He needs booklets, tracts and periodicals geared io the nationals who will read them. The missionary needs a flood of dollars with which to publish. That is the one thing that will most help him do his job today.

The need can be ignored, but the tragic results of such neglect cannot be avoided. It is publish or perish.

If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

In some way I hope that God has been able to challenge you through these articles.
shared with you by Kraig Josiah Rice

An article on the Great Commission

A "reading article" in Africa

Encouragement when you are hurting

The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

How to overcome discouragement

Keep looking to God for deliverance

A Bible Study About Miracles
     Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles.
     Maybe He has one for you...

     Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.

You are the apple of God's eye

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As of February 27, 2007