S and D are in East Asia leading a very young team of four on a very young campus ministry, only in its third year of existence, with young leaders leading young believers. D writes, "It has been frustrating to see many of our key students who we hoped would be leaders this year fall away and become distracted by worldly things in the first semester, but we are praying that we will not lose sight of God’s Spirit as the driving force in our lives as a team and in the lives of the students who are truly committed to following Jesus in community."
One particular student, Jolly, though has been a huge encouragement to D and the team. Jolly was a very inconsistent believer until about December 1st. (Perhaps because of his moniker he realized the Christmas season was a good time to shine.) He decided to end a bad relationship with his girlfriend and attended a city-wide conference for student leaders. Seeing the vision of these older and more mature students inspired him to want to go sharing every week with D and convince others to join them. During the week of Christmas he was baptized. D writes, "He was more excited than any believer I had ever seen after (baptism). It had really meant something deep to him. He came to a Christmas day lunch party for all the believers in our ministry wearing a shirt that said in big letters ‘I BELONG TO JESUS!!’ Normally we would’ve pulled him aside and reminded him of the dangers that go along with wearing that in a closed country, but there was no way we could coax him for such joy in a public announcement of his faith! He went sharing consistently since then, seeing 6 new brothers indicate a decision to follow Jesus and followed up with 4 of them the next several weeks. Not only this, but after talking to him today he told me that he had gone home and decided to share at the university in his home town, where he and another brother were promptly taken and arrested, having to call his dad to bail him out of jail. The only thing he said about this was 'My heart was happy to go and share with the boys.' "
D and S and their team just returned from six weeks out of country and are in the midst of following up contacts from a period when they did five evangelistic parties per week for six weeks and shared the gospel with over 200 students. D asks us to pray with them for wide spread growth and maturity. They desire to see deep discipleship happen and more students like Jolly who are committed to seeing the vision of the Lord’s movement on our campus become a reality.
This past week all of us in WSN Leadership were together in South Carolina. One morning Tim Dougherty gave the devotion. Those of you who were at the training in Korea last summer might remember Tim as one of the ones who packed all the snacks for us in his bag. He is a servant of the Most High God.
Tim shared with us on Friday morning from Isaiah 40 about the Goodness and Greatness of God. This chapter is about our Creator God – who is all-knowing, all powerful, of whom nothing can compare – that tends us like a shepherd gently carrying us close to His heart. Our Mighty God wants to comfort us letting us know that our sin has been paid for. We know this… but we struggle to believe this.
Isaiah ends chapter 40 with… “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
May, this week, we know that our way is not hidden from Him. Our cause is not disregarded. May we hope in Him today and He will renew our strength.... Then we all will be Jolly, too.... hopefully without the jailed part.