The Power of the Word
by Jonathan A. McCormick, Jr.
One of the greatest privileges I have enjoyed is working at summer camp. The natural beauty, music, activities, and spiritual lessons all point to a Source of vitality and hope whom I can trust to get me through the challenges of life. You know who I am talking about: Jesus Christ.
Through His power, I was able to minister to one of His children who was illiterate—unable to read or write anything except an unpolished attempt at his own name. This young man shared with me his struggles back home, including an unhealthy romantic relationship, no parental value on education, and an unquenched thirst for knowing God. Even though this young man had access to the Scriptures, it did him no good since he could not understand a single word!
I pitied his situation and shared with him my own spiritual struggles which God helped me to overcome, encouraging him that God can also work in his life. All God needed from this young man was a heart thirsting for Him and a spirit ready to follow His will. I also shared with him the basics of salvation: believe in Jesus (John 3:16, 17), confess your sins to God (1 John 1:9), and be baptized (Mark 16:16).
When he heard this, I could tell that the Holy Spirit had been working on his heart. After our conversation, he told me he was ready to follow in God’s ways, which included breaking-up with his manipulative girlfriend. Then he told me that he wanted to be baptized, so he was connected with the camp pastor, who talked about it more with him in preparation for the Sabbath evening baptismal service. The camp tried calling his parents over and over again to get their approval, but no one would answer.
Finally, the day came when the baptismal service was being held. The camp leaders called one last time...no answer. The young man was heartbroken! He was not allowed to be baptized because his parents could not be contacted. Since we could not abandon him in times like this, camp staff gathered around, prayed for, and exhorted him. It was a moment of tears—both of grief and joy. But even though he could not be baptized that summer, we made sure he knew that Jesus was still with him and was joyful at his decision to follow Him. Praise God that He loves us and gives us hope like He did for that young man!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
Go to the Missionaries!
by Sulad Teng Khammueanlook, Student Missionary at Huai Fai Village, Nan Province
The people of Huai Fai, a village in Nan Province, Thailand, are known for worshipping their ancestors. A 56 year old mother named Maechun, the wife of the village spirit priest, was continuously sick for weeks. We visited her four times each week to massage her and offer positive encouragement.
Many times, we had asked if we could pray for her, but she always said no. After a while, we stopped asking if we could pray for her, but we continued our visits. She told us that in the past, whenever she prays to the Christian God, problems happen to her family. She believed that prayers had caused conflict, never-ending chaos, and beatings from her husband.
We patiently continued to visit her. One day, we were about to leave her when she said, “Please don’t go yet. Please pray for me because I feel very sick and can't sleep.” Hearing this, I quietly thanked God! We prayed for her and for her family.
On our visit the following day, she was so happy to share her testimony. Because of our prayers, she was able to sleep well. The family experienced calm and peace and her husband even helped cook their food.
When her friend Meiyjiang came to see how she was doing, Maechun told her she was getting better. Meiyjiang was happy to hear it. Meiyjiang was experiencing severe arm pain and told Maechun she was going to buy a chicken to offer to the spirits to help with healing. Mother Maechun said, “You don’t need to buy a chicken to offer to the spirits! Go to the missionaries at the center because yesterday they prayed for me and I feel better now.” Meiyjiang went to the center and talked with one of our members, Sister Meihin. Sister Meihin took her to us.
We could see she was in pain. We prayed for her. She stayed with us for about an hour and we gave her a massage. As we were massaging, we asked her if she believes in prayer. I told her if she believes, she will get better. Then I shared a story about a sick person that Jesus healed. That person believed and he was healed. She said she believed.
A little while later, she exclaimed that she felt better and would go back to her farm to work! I thanked God for His miracle. On Sabbath afternoon, while we were gathering for a Bible study under the trees, Sister Meiyjiang passed by, saw us, and joined our group. After the Bible study, she shared her healing testimony. Praise God for His miracles and goodness!
by Nancy Crosby, Director of Native Ministries
The last couple of months have been challenging and disheartening. There have been tears. As I sit reading the Psalms, my eyes fall on the verse: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalms 126:5). A cloud seems to drop from my eyes as my mind and heart embrace this promise. This promise must be just for me, just for us here in Navajo land seeking to touch people for Jesus. My mind remembers another text: “I have your tears in a bottle” (Psalms 56:8). I feel tears coming again, but this time they are tears of happiness. I realize that all the tears shed here represent a work being done in my heart and in the hearts of those we are reaching to save. God remembers our tears and there will be a day of reaping in joy!
I remember driving home, tears falling. I can barely see to drive. I cannot stop the tears. They are tears of anger, disappointment, pity, and frustration. Once again, Elizabeth showed up at our door drunk, asking me to drive her to her home on the reservation. Elizabeth is an alcoholic. More times than I can count, she has come to our door asking for a ride home. Each time I pray; sometimes with my arms around her willing her to stop, believing this will be the last time and that God will help her choose not to drink again. My heart breaks with a feeling of my helplessness.
I remember my daughter’s tears as we find Elizabeth incoherent in a parking lot just over a week ago. We drag her into our van and rush her to the hospital, wondering if she will live.
I shed more tears when I think of the four little children who come faithfully to church week after week, but who are passed thoughtlessly from relative to relative. Children who need a bath, love, clothes, and bedding. We cry as we wonder what more we can do to help them.
I shed tears with the mother who just lost her son.
I shed tears because we are so limited in our resources and in our strength, yet the needs are so great!
I shed tears because sometimes it is hard here.
But today I realize that tears are a language God understands. He watched as “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) and He watches when I weep. I want to believe that He is weeping with me. The abuse, the hurt, and the addictions that I see around me every day are only a fraction of what our heavenly Father sees. Will you please consider helping our mission to bring Jesus’ love to the Navajo Nation? We need your prayers and support.
Psalms 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.” I am looking forward to that heavenly morning when “God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes” (Revelation 7:17). But for today, I will remember that though I sow in tears now, there will be a time of reaping in joy!