Month: July 2011


30 days of Prayer for Muslims

We took this picture when we were in Malaysia a few years ago. One of the things that stood out to us immediately was the “call to prayer” that sounded throughout the city five times a day. It reminded us to pray for these people.

Last Sunday a friend at church passed out these booklets to encourage Christians to pray for Muslims–especially during Ramadan (this month). Ramadan is the time when Muslims fast and try to focus on seeking God.

Let’s join the thousands of Christians all over the world who are also taking this month to pray for Muslims. See testimonies page of Muslims coming to Jesus.

I recommend that you either sign up to receive their daily emails for the month of August, or that you order the booklet (priority shipping :)) or download the booklet off their website.

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

Answers to Prayer

Psalm 105:1 tells us to “make known His deeds among the people,” so I wanted to share a few of the ways we saw the Lord work at the recent Bright Lights Conferences in Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Small Group Combination
Rachel Wissmann (right) reported that while she got acquainted with one of the girls on her small group team in the sanctuary before the conference started, the girl shared how she had been through a traumatic accident, but how through it the Lord showed His goodness and faithfulness in her life. Later that evening, during the first small group time, a different girl in Rachel’s group explained how she had trouble trusting God’s goodness. So, Rachel asked the first girl she had met (who had the traumatic accident) to share her testimony with the whole group. This was just the perfect thing for the other girl to hear, and it was also a catalyst for some great conversation for the whole team. We were reminded how God answered prayer in putting the right girls on the right teams!

Changed Hearts
“When I first arrived I didn’t think I was going to fit in here, but I’m so glad I came!” one girl told Sarah. She continued, “And I’m the type of person who, when I like something, I bring all my friends too!”
We knew that some of the girls didn’t want to come, and Sarah had actually asked me to send an e-mail to our church’s e-mail loop back home to ask for prayer regarding those girls. We saw many answers to that prayer.

One girl, just by her body language, made it obvious she didn’t want to be there. One of our leaders, Abby, noticed this right away and began praying. Later we learned this girl had a big turnaround and by the end of the night she was enthusiastically interacting with the group.

Another girl at the Purity Conference was goofing off with her friends, but in her response form she wrote something about how she wanted to “talk to her parents about crushes and things and save her first kiss for her wedding.”

Lessons that “Stuck”
One of the most encouraging reports I heard about was from Kara, who had attended a Radiant Purity Conference in Omaha two years ago. She shared how the Lord worked in her life at that conference and gave her a new perspective and desire to live for Him.
Sarah told her it was really encouraging to see the lessons that were taught stick with girls.
“Oh it stuck,” she and her mom said in unison and laughed.
Praise God!

But that’s only part of the story. You see, two months after the conference two years ago, Kara had a brain aneurism and a very serious surgery. Kara shared a testimony at this conference (picture above) about how she can now see the Lord’s hand of preparation. She strongly testified with joy how the Lord is faithful.

Kara’s mom and Kara

Lost Contact Lens
Right before the final session at the WI Purity Conference, I lost one of my contacts while leading my small group discussion outside. I looked for a few minutes and found nothing. I wear the tiny hard kind so finding it in the grass would be very unlikely. “A needle in a haystack,” my dad said. But they are expensive and inconvenient to reorder. I had to go in for the next session but prayed that my Dad and John (another guy helping Stephen) would find it. They decided to take a 6 inch square of grass and thoroughly search, and amazingly they found it in about 10 seconds!

Small Group Distraction Fixed
One of the younger girls was very disruptive in her small group, so Sarah was going to remove her from the group for a little while by doing some one-on-one time with her. But she was resistant to both Sarah and her small group leader and would not come out of the room. So a handful of girls outside the door prayed and asked the Lord to calm this girl down so that the small group could continue without distraction. But before they had even finished praying, the girl stood up and walked right out of the room on her own initiative. They considered this a little miracle, and the small group leader (inside the room) was so surprised, not knowing about the prayer.

Smooth Equipment and Health
As we list answers to prayer, one thing that we are so grateful for is all the things that didn’t go wrong. Thankfully, the technical side of things ran pretty smooth the whole time–thanks to Stephen who does a great job keeping that all under control. We are also grateful that no one on our team got sick. When you are living with 15-20 other girls for two weeks sickness can travel quickly!

Healing Hurts
Danielle (above), one of our leaders, told us about an 18-yr-old girl in her group at the Radiant Purity conference who had been hurt and humiliated by people she trusted. Danielle was praying for a chance to talk one-on-one with her, and before the last main session it worked out for them to stay back and talk privately. Tears streamed down this girl’s cheeks as Danielle shared that she can be pure in Christ’s eyes, no matter what has happened to her, and that He will place a robe of righteousness on her which will make her so beautiful to God. She also wept as Danielle assured her that as she allows God to mold her inner character, some day a godly young man will love her and cherish and protect her, and won’t judge her as other people in her past have—or view her as damaged. Danielle shared the gospel with her and sent her away with the Scripture verses written on a paper and she repeatedly thanked Danielle.

Though the conferences in Oshkosh and Omaha are over, the Lord’s work is far from finished. And, as Lindsay (Bright Lights leader in Omaha) reminded us in an e-mail, Ecclesiastes 3:14 says “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”

Praise God that nothing can stop His work.

We would really appreciate it if you would join us in prayer for the upcoming conferences in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin Conferences

Here are a few pictures from the Strong in the Lord Conference and Radiant Purity Conference which took place this past week in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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We are grateful for the hospitality of Wyldewood Baptist Church and for the wonderful group of people who hosted the conference. Thank you to any who were praying. It is definitely a highlight to see girls and parents respond with enthusiasm to the messages being taught.

You can go over to Emily’s blog if you’d like to see more pictures from the conferences.

We are now setting up at Emmanuel Fellowship Church in Omaha Nebraska and would appreciate prayer for the two upcoming conferences here. The Strong in the Lord conference starts tomorrow night and the Radiant Purity Conference starts Friday night.

Creation Museum/Miscellaneous/Witnessing Stories

Interesting Times at the NEA Convention!

Last weekend, Nickie, my dad and I helped Answers in Genesis pass out free material at the National Educator’s Association in Chicago, like I did last year in New Orleans. (See here or here)

The enviroment was very liberal, of course, but praise God the AIG (Answers in Genesis) booth got a lot of attention.

A donor enabled AIG to be able to give away thousands of DVDs and books. Many Christian teachers were very grateful and many non-Christians also picked up materials, intrigued by the massive giveaway. Some science teachers were interested, some were hostile. And some had some pretty strange ideas.

“So what do you think about origins? How did we get here?” I asked one man.
“Oh, aliens,” he said.
“Ah…so what evidence do you have to backup your position?” I asked.
“Oh, I saw it on Youtube,” he replied with confidence. “And they’re comin’,” he said (in a warning tone of voice.)
“The aliens?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’ve been trashing this planet and it’s comin’…” he said.
“Well, we believe it’s coming alright,” Frank replied (he was standing next to me)
“But we believe it’s the Lord Jesus Christ who is coming…” he said.
The guy didn’t want to stay much longer after that.

Dan Breeding
(also known as “Dan the animal man”) helped at the Answers in Genesis booth and brought some of his exotic animals. Here’s the porcupine, affectionately named “Barb.”

It was entertaining to see how surprised some people were by the live alligator. Hundreds of people had their picture taken with Dan and the alligator with our banner in the background. What a great message to now be on hundreds of cameras, iphones, and blogs around the country as people show the picture to their friends. 🙂

We had many conversations about how we take Genesis literally and how it is consistent with science and what we see in the world around us.
“Do you really believe God created the world in six literal days?” One science teacher asked me in a very condescending tone of voice. (I like to mention how the question isn’t “how God did it in six days”, but “why did He take so long?!”)
The issue of six literal days is such an important area in which we as believers need to be taking a stand. It’s really a question of the reliability of Scripture. If we can’t read Genesis literally, how can we read Matthew or John literally? And if millions of years of evolution existed before God created Adam, that means that there were millions of years of death, decay and suffering before the curse of Genesis 3. That means that God essentially created pain and suffering (i.e. it didn’t come as a result of man’s sin.) This belief undermines both God’s character and the message of the gospel. Notice that Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the BEGINNING made them male and female,” (Matthew 19:4) Jesus did NOT say, “After millions of years of evolution God made them male and female…”

Here was our team. One of the best parts of the trip was all the good fellowship we had during meals and at the hotel about witnessing, apologetics, theology, eschatology, spiritual gifts, and other biblical topics.

While people came by to see the animals we would give them free DVDs. Most people loved the owl, but not everyone loved what we stood for.
“Hey would you like a free DVD?” I asked one young guy in the crowd looking at the owl.
“I don’t want your DVD or any of your #@$&# &#$&&# teaching,” he said, (or something like that) in a very irritated tone of voice.
“Oh, what’s your view?” I asked him.
That was all it took. He blew up. He angrily told Dan how stupid he thought our views were, using lots of profanity. As he kept talking about how offensive our booth was to him Dan told him, “Well you are offending me by telling me you think I came from a monkey!” but he wasn’t really open to reasoning or responding to Dan’s comments. He was just mad.
The interesting thing was how many in the crowd began to defend us—even NEA delegates who didn’t otherwise agree with us.
“Just because I don’t agree with their booth doesn’t mean I have a problem with them being here,” another man kept saying.
“Yeah, why can’t he just walk by?” one lady asked.
One of the delegates even began to cry and mentioned contacting the police. I guess they were suprised because they didn’t understand how the gospel and message of a Creator is very offensive to some who don’t want to acknowlege the possibility of a God to whom they would be accountable for their actions or lifestyle.

We at the AIG booth were just grateful for the extra exposure! The angry guy drew an even bigger crowd than the alligator did! 🙂
Dan took advantage of the opportunity by preaching to everyone about how Jesus is coming back one day and we need to be looking to Him.

Nickie wanted to hold the snake. I didn’t know she liked snakes that much. Haha.

At the beginning of the day Dan told us he knew there was going to be spiritual warfare and it was likely they would try to think of a way to stop him from bringing his animals. He was right. First the Navaho Indian booth across the aisle kept complaining to the authorities saying they were offended by the animals. Somehow linked to their superstitious beliefs. But thankfully all we had to do was move the alligator to the other side of the booth and then we were okay.
Next NEA called the city animal official to inspect, but the whole inspection turned out in our favor. Satan cannot thwart what God has planned.