Sunday, February 9, 2020

DMM: An Image of Redemption


 DMM: An Image of Redemption  

“And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?’ For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."- Acts 17


Pak Halim
Pak Halim
My husband noted the intensity of the Muslim man who now sat across from him. The man had chased down our colleague who had been fishing for hearts a few days prior. Our colleague had invited Sp into the relationship to help model the Discovery Bible Storying processes. We are involved in the training and coaching of nationals as well as western missionaries. And yet, more recently we asked the Lord, in those still times before Him, to provide newer streams of seekers (Persons of Peace) to pursue for us personally. 

Pak Halim shared how he had been feeling empty of soul and longing to know the source of the ache which caused this desire. Sp and our colleague began a stream of interaction with these stories from the Word of God which we have crafted to speak into the worldview of Muslims. It is the image of the Beautiful One displayed in snapshots before a man who is seeking. They meet twice weekly, beholding the image of the splendor of the One, Jesus Christ.  Pray for Pak Halim to share these stories with his   household as well as his network of relationships. Why wouldn’t the Father be bringing this man to saving faith along with his household? By His sovereign hand, we trust. 

As you desire to practice next steps in DMM implementation, what would you do to offer the DBS story set to this man and his household?   Make clear the simple invite to take a look at the Taurat, Zabur, and Injil.

Reflections to Ponder

·      Ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of the many Pak Halims to share these stories with their households as well as their networks of relationships.
·      Pray for the SaSumBi Muslims to experience a profound level of discontent with where they are in relation to a Holy God. 
·      Ask God to give 4 solid Muslim fanatic households to our Disciple Making Movement teams. 
·      Ask God to multiply these new followers into 4 generations of reproducing house fellowships among the SaSumBi by the end of 2020. 


O Lord God, May the hearts and minds of the SaSumBi long for your presence alone. At even the mention of the name of Isa Al Masih, I ask that they would be given pause to come near and listen. To then trust Christ alone for their salvation is my heart cry, O God. Cause the SaSumBi to be deeply disturbed at the vacuity in their hearts which they will realize, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in relation to a Holy God. For there is no other name in heaven or earth, given among men, by which they must be saved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 




Tuesday, December 31, 2019

DMM: Perseverance in the midst of Muscular Darkness

 
Ephesians 2
Perseverance in the midst of Muscular Darkness
                  
As foreigners in a land covered by the veil of Islam, how does one interact with the daily customs and spiritual practices in a God-honoring way? In the desire to see the End Vision of the launch of cascading movements to Christ, to personally embrace what it is to choose to persevere in Christ, is a key essential element. 

One of the pillars of Islam is the practice of sholat, the recitation of the Shahada. This ceremonial obligation to alignment with the international body of Muslims is embraced five times daily.  The Call to Prayer announces that invite to the heart of a Muslim.

Take a few moments and write down emotions you experience in times of hearing the blanket of the Call to Prayer wafting over your neighborhood. Be sure to acknowledge both positive and negative emotions related in the space below.

Read and discuss your own observations related to the Call to Prayer.

                                                      
      Muscular Darkness

And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint we hear the whisper of His mighty works, who then can understand the thunder of His power? - Job 26:14  

Biawaks (monitor lizards). Muscular darkness. Call to Muslim prayer. Early morning. Sun rising declares itself in the backdrop, while a breath-taking view of Mount Rinjani crests above an all too common thick cloud covering. Tropical birds swarm in droves amidst the lush flora announcing the day. Poisonous snakes, feral cats, village chickens, wild dogs, all combine in a virtual kaleidoscope of life in daily rhythm. Two seasons of weather are the norm: a dry hot season, a wet hotter season. The first of five daily Muslim worship calls resoundingly and uniformly rises from Mosque to Mosque on this island of over seven thousand such gathering points.  As commonly as the golden rays of sunrise crest above the mountainous foreground, the expected call beckons the hearts of this 99.9% Muslim ethnic people numbering 2.6 million. 
              
Consider the Call to Prayer as seen from God’s heart. Now consider God’s heart for these Muslim peoples in light of …

their lostness before a Holy God. Let this be fuel for the intercessory fire which needs to burn deeply within our hearts till as many as possible have access to the transforming power of the glory of God. 
                                    
…our desperate need, as glory bearers, to persevere in Christ. Let this be fuel to ask God for the increase of an ACHE of a heart to walk in the humility of Christ in greater measure. 

Read the following excerpt and discuss your own thoughts related.

What is it to persevere in Christ?  

Twenty-eight years of seeing God’s sufficiency in our time thus far on the mission field causes my heart to pause at this question. 
               
From our backyard, my husband and I sit overlooking the place of the Lord’s calling for us amongst these Muslim Unreached People Groups. This day, like any other day on the mission field, we are surrounded by the definitive and yet tangible evidences of how the Father has strengthened our hearts. Jesus continuously invites us into that place where His Holy Spirit teaches and empowers us to persevere. From our 2nd story balcony overlooking freshly planted rice fields configured into Muslim neighborhoods, I gaze. I am astonished by the beauty and worthiness of Christ alone as the unchangeable plumbline.

Precious memories greet me declaring his praise around every corner of life here. Memories of bringing a 3-year-old daughter and a 1- year- old son to this land flood my mind. Now, as we are in the season of having seen the Lord provide for our two precious children to be walking out the Lord’s unique plan for their lives, as we are officially “empty nesters”, I marvel. The Lord gives us the power to persevere apart from our most precious “entrustments”. Somehow the memories of having raised our children in this very place bring forth sweet gifts from the Lord’s hand. It is a portrait of the Father’s masterful artistry. On this canvas is displayed the strong colors of the Sovereign Hand of the Lord splashed through every nuance of tones and hues displayed through the leading of His ways. The lingering sound of the Call to Prayer continues. 

Through physical attacks and threats, 
through life and death medical evacuations, 
through deaths of colleagues on the field, 
through shepherding others who experience emotional crisis, 
through conflicts among the missionary teams, 
through loving one another, 
through absence of grace demonstrated, 
through intense levels of grace apportioned, 
through fiery trials, 
through spiritual warfare, 
through brokenness, 
through seasons of grieving, along with seasons of great celebration…
…somehow the Father delights in having us remain. He alone gets the glory.            
Perseverance.  Amazement at His ways shall produce a weight of perseverance impenetrable. Does my heart yearn with the love of Christ for these Muslim peoples, who rise five times daily to respond to that which shall give no answer? They possess not the starting point, which leads to the glorious end of the fullness of Christ. There is no knowledge of life in abundance for the lost, therefore, for the lost to persevere is an exercise in futility. Do I truly understand this? Is this reality reflected in how I view the veneer, called Islam, which shall crumble at the Name of Jesus? 

our heart cry which leads us, as glory bearers, to the place of humility and brokenness. Brokenness is a strong and yet necessary flavor-enhancing essential ingredient in order to embrace His higher ways. Necessary. For it is through brokenness of the heart of a follower of Christ that we gain a greater glimpse of the glory of God. That is, if there is yieldedness born forth in the heart of the follower. Only then can Christ’ redemptive power gain full range. Beyond all else, it is necessary that we each decrease of self-life and move into that for which we have been destined to embrace, Christlikeness.  

our heart response of love and compassion for these Muslim peoples as empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Call to Prayer is a challenge to remind us of the Spiritual Warfare involved in this process of the demonstration and declaration of the love of Christ. 
                                                                                          
Calvary Love

What’s love got to do with it? Everything. No, seriously. What is the connection of perseverance with Calvary’s cross and Christ’s resurrection?

I can’t say that I really understood Calvary Love before recent events compared to what glimpse I understand now. In this, I am truly grateful to the Lord for having broken my heart. Is it then possible that the greater work of the Father is found in the midst of the process? Can we truly proof text moving into His presence in such a way that we do actually experience His perfect love in the midst of even the seemingly most Perfect Storms of our lives? Is then the process of what the Father has allowed into our lives not the end in His economy?  Honestly, is it only when I see my own desperate need for His touch along with my cavernous inability to transform unwanted circumstance that I see the power of His sufficiency alone? How many times will He keep us, as believers, from falling headlong?  Countless times. How many times will my heart not grasp that He truly wired us for delighting in His ways alone? Though I could never imagine the journey of your own heart I know that if many of you are continuing to stand in an infectious faith, then, you have chosen the greater portion; perseverance born forth from a growing hunger to know and embrace His loving touch in all ways is one of many delights from the Father’s heart. This incredibly paradoxical life is only made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit moving us to embrace Calvary Love in greater measure, no matter the cost and come what may the perceived personal loss.  Calvary Love.

…our deep need to intercede and interact with the passion of Christ for Muslim peoples
As one considers the Call to Prayer for Muslims, may this be seen as an opportunity to anticipate the transformation of how we view those very ones who know not His love, His forgiveness, nor His grace and mercy. As I consider the reality that we have been invited to be co-heirs, through Christ alone, with the God of the universe, I find my own commitment to prayer pales in comparison. Though Muslim peoples pray in futility and repetitions, I stand in awe of the weapons of our warfare which we, as a Body of the Living God, so lamely appropriate. 

Spend time interceding over these reminders together as a group.
              
ABBA Father, clothe me this day in humility. Remind me that there is nothing more precious and nothing more worthy than pressing onward to know You and to adore You. Bring my heart to the onward and upward processes of clinging to Your worthiness alone in all areas of my life. At every Call to Prayer which goes forth among the lost, cause my heart to pause at the reality of Your risen presence and the nearness of the Your lavish touch. Quicken me to intercede for the work of Your mighty hand in the revelation of Your truth and righteousness as the one and only Jalan yang Lurus dan Benar (the straight and true way of Allah). May I be one who understands at heart levels that I am coming before You, My King. May I give you all that is due Your Holy Name in my thought, action, and inclination of heart.  In Jesus’ matchless Name, Amen.

Monday, August 26, 2019

DMM: A Common Bush

DMM: A Common Bush


Image result for burning bush cartoon image

"There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up."-Exodus 3:2

How common? The bush. The man. How uncommon? The God. The Almighty One. God and His plan. The man. 

Rio stood tall. A rather unusual sight among his S*sa*k peers. Being 19 years old meant he needed to search for his way to provide for the family needs. 

Almost a year ago to the day, Rio felt the ground rage with jolt after jolt of quaking, groaning. While the ground still shook, he did what most would do in the same circumstance…he headed home. Being an hour’s drive from his family meant he had no way of knowing if they survived the horrific quakes. Would the feared subsequent tsunami come?, he fretted. 

The subsequent power outage meant that every kilometer of road he willed his motorbike to traverse held a potential life-ending gap. 

The first boulder which knocked him clear of his motorbike, gave way for the second and larger one to land squarely on both legs. Crushed bones, just below the knee cap.

In the ensuing chaos of earthquake conditions, Rio was one of hundreds in need of immediate medical attention. But from where? From whom? At just that moment a passerby threw him into their flatbed truck, then proceeded to haul him to the nearest medical facility. 

“Amputation is the only option here,” instructed the doctor on duty. In the world of triage conditions, easy yet unnecessary solutions can occasionally be considered the most convenient.

Rio’s family discovered his location. Far from his home village, it was a miracle that they secured transport to the clinic. Every home in their village, including their own, had been transformed into a vast sea of rubble. 

Rio’s father arrived to the hospital, just in time. He promptly carried Rio out the side door before the hospital staff was able to enact the planned procedure. 

Ten months later, with a grateful heart to the Lord, Rio surveys the faces of his family gathered together. After many months of prayer for healing in Isa’s name, after walking through a Discovery Bible Study story set, his entire family has come to believe and be baptized. Rio is the main facilitator of this house fellowship of newest followers of Isa Al Masih. Our national DMM team continues to coach Rio.

Nowadays, as a common man of his S*s*k people, Rio stands tall. He knows what it is to experience the healing touch of Isa Al Masih. But more importantly, he is also beginning to understand God’s purposes for himself and for his S*s*k people group. 

Pray for these newer house fellowships among the S*s*k to multiply rapidly. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

Note: Among the SaSumBi Muslim UPGs, there are now 70 Discovery Groups from 1st-3rdgeneration. There are 14 house fellowships from 1stto 3rdgeneration being led by new followers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DMM: Emotional Healthiness

DMM: Emotional Healthiness

Amina never knew the love of a present parent, she reflected. 

SaSumBi (5 million Muslims)
As is the process when an oikos (household) comes to faith, our local partners and us take new followers through an intensive 2 DBSs on baptism, 7 DBSs on foundations in their faith,  a DBS version of Steps to Freedom in Christ, a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) format for emotional healing, then form them immediately into house fellowships who are DNA-ed to reproduce.




As Amina considered how she has believed lies on her value, her worth, and her concept of self, she saw God’s heart and His purposes for her. In short, she and her household saw from the DBS on Genesis 2:11-3:18, how God intended each of us to enjoy Him, to walk with Him, and to walk in freedom from bondage areas. Resultantly, they are beginning to understand how to walk in the Spirit’s power to practice new life in Christ in greater measure in their lives.

“I realize now how the lies I once thought were just the norm for me to walk in, are actually the thought patterns which keep me from trusting in God’s heart for me and for others. I now know that I can choose forgiveness, no matter the injury I have experienced in life,” furthered Mrs. Muharis. (one of the women in a household of new followers).

Pray for the newly formed house fellowships in our SaSumBi effort. Ask God to multiply out these households to fourth generation by the end of 2019.

Monday, April 15, 2019

DMM: Eternal Longings

Eternal Longings



Ecclesiastes 3:11 
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”







Ina lay calmly perched on her wooden house front porch. Stubborn as a mule, cantankerous as a goat, were the first thoughts which brushed over my mind in this encounter. 

A dark presence seemed to be quite content in this particular Sk village. Folk Islam strongly embraces the animistic spirits of a given territory. 

“There is a strong Jin (spirit) in our area. That spirit is the one whom we trust to guide us in our Islamic devotion,” confided a relative of the elderly woman. 

In our initial time in their village, there seemed to be this blanket-like covering over their hearts and minds. In subsequent visits, the elderly woman, though most likely a revered shaman (witch doctor), actually was not to be the one whom God was stirring with Holy Spirit drawing power. 

As is sometimes the case, the actual Person of Peace (Luke 10, Matthew 10), is the one on the edge of the group. In this case, though the elderly woman resisted any and every effort to share Shema statements, listen to her process, care for her physical needs, offer to pray for healing from the trauma, it was to be a bystander whom God was preparing.

One of her adult sons and his family are the ones whom we are pursuing. They are now discovering the reality of God and His Word as they continue to meet as a family and be coached by one of our national partners in a Discovery Group using 8 simple Discovery Bible Study questions. Profoundly simple is how Jesus desires our hearts to trust His leading, yet to be highly dependent upon listening to the Holy Spirit to lead us to whom he is stoking with the fires of need.

At present, after 3,000 initial contacts post-earthquake, we have 90 potential persons of peace and their households who are moving into DBS on OT prophets and Jesus stories. There are presently 30 formed and consistently meeting DGs thus far which meet about every two to three days.  Several from these Discovery Groups have made decisions to follow Jesus. 

Ask the Lord for 4 solid streams of reproducing Discovery Groups (DGs) who come to follow Jesus as they multiply out to 4thgeneration among the SaSumBi.  

Monday, March 11, 2019

DMM: Sign! Or Suffer Consequences

Sign! Or Suffer Consequences

For the Beauty of the Lord
Anis could feel the beaded sweat in a steady trickle upon her brow. In concert, her pulse felt unusually strong. Suddenly, in a moment pregnant with emotion, the control of her motorbike nearly failed her. Promptly she pulled to the roadside, threw off her perspiration-soaked helmet and sobbed. 

As Anis and our local Ssk focus team continue to implement DMM, we are seeing major advancement of those who are being discipled into followership of Jesus. This particular day, Anis went alone to coach the Discovery Group facilitators in one area of her Persons of Peace household contacts. 

Seven male Muslim community leaders interrupted her coaching time. They interrogated her as the true purpose of these frequent visits. The Discovery Group facilitators were shocked by this frontal accusatory attack. These disciple makers in the making clung closely by her side. Though they advocated for Anis, the throng of Islamic leaders strong-armed her.

The Islamic leaders escorted to the area police for further interrogation. Anis was forced to sign a document whereupon she agreed that she had been “blaspheming” Islam. (Though this was not the case, in the moment there existed no seeming options). The police cautioned her that if she were to return to that community then they have no control over what the community could do to her. 

Veiled threat? Not so much. Direct intimidation? You bet.

Immediately afterwards, we gathered our local Ssk focus DMM team, and listened to her story. We affirmed how the Lord strengthened her at every point, while highlighting that it is not our strength but the Father’s upon which we rely. For the ten of us gathered in the room that morning, we asked each person to indicate whether they had experienced similar threats. Half of us raised our hands. 


In order to establish that persecution for the sake of the name of Jesus is the norm as followers, we facilitated a Discovery Bible Study in Acts 4. Time was also spent in listening prayer, in asking God “what needs to be done?”

In this time together, the team walked through a trauma debrief, as each one realized they could be next. Sometimes the distance between words of intimidation and physical attack is ever so slight.

God’s heart for each of us, in the privilege of the implementation of the launch of cascading movements to Christ, is to press into His sufficiency, no matter the cost.






Monday, November 12, 2018

DMM: Suffering in the lives of the lost

Eternal Longings




Ecclesiastes 3:11 
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”




Ina lay calmly perched on her wooden house front porch. Stubborn as a mule, cantankerous as a goat, were the first thoughts which brushed over my mind in this encounter. 

A dark presence seemed to be quite content in this particular Sk village. Folk Islam strongly embraces the animistic spirits of a given territory. 

“There is a strong Jin (spirit) in our area. That spirit is the one whom we trust to guide us in our Islamic devotion,” confided a relative of the elderly woman. 

In our initial time in their village, there seemed to be this blanket-like covering over their hearts and minds. In subsequent visits, the elderly woman, though most likely a revered shaman (witch doctor), actually was not to be the one whom God was stirring with Holy Spirit drawing power. 

As is sometimes the case, the actual Person of Peace (Luke 10, Matthew 10), is the one on the edge of the group. In this case, though the elderly woman resisted any and every effort to share Shema statements, listen to her process, care for her physical needs, offer to pray for healing from the trauma, it was to be a bystander whom God was preparing.

One of her adult sons and his family are the ones whom we are pursuing. They are now discovering the reality of God and His Word as they continue to meet as a family and be coached by one of our national partners in a Discovery Group using 8 simple Discovery Bible Study questions. Profoundly simple is how Jesus desires our hearts to trust His leading, yet to be highly dependent upon listening to the Holy Spirit to lead us to whom he is stoking with the fires of need.

At present, after 3,000 initial contacts post-earthquake, we have 90 potential persons of peace and their households who are moving into DBS on OT prophets and Jesus stories. There are presently 30 formed and consistently meeting DGs thus far which meet about every two to three days.  Several from these Discovery Groups have made decisions to follow Jesus. 

Ask the Lord for 4 solid streams of reproducing Discovery Groups (DGs) who come to follow Jesus as they multiply out to 4thgeneration among the SaSumBi.