A Word From Steve Jones
January 15th, 2018
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Christmas is one month away! A busy time for sure. Also a great time to share Christ with family, friends and strangers. Let’s not get too busy that we miss opportunities to introduce the Christ of Christmas.
I recently noted an excellent top ten list in SEMBEQ’s magazine (The Fellowship French seminary in Montreal, QC.) The list comes from Doug Pollock’s book, “God Space.” I believe these probing questions are helpful to do some self-evaluation. Are we in relationship with spiritually lost people? What will it take for us to get uncomfortable and reach out?
Are we generally involved in a monologue, or dialogue when it comes to relating to non-Christians?
Please read each question and quietly evaluate:
1. In your efforts to connect with others, can you overlook attitudes and lifestyles that don’t reflect biblical values?
2. Are you willing to suspend your judgement for as long as God asks you to do so?
3. Do you consistently seek to understand the not-yet-Christians you know before seeking to be understood by them?
4. Do you patiently wait for the not-yet-Christians in your life to ask for your life to ask for your opinion before you give it?
5. Be honest: Do you like people who are far from God?
6. Do people who are far from God like you? For example, are you invited to “party” parties?
7. Does your body language communicate a warm, open-hearted acceptance of the not-yet-Christians in your life?
8. Are you comfortable communicating acceptance to others without endorsing all their life decisions?
9. Do you think it’s more important to be kind, rather than right, in your dealings with not-yet-Christians?
10. Is your heart consistently broken and filled with compassion for the not-yet Christians in your life?
Trust you have at least one amazing conversation with a non-Christian this Christmas. Start asking the Lord for this opportunity. The Lord loves to answer this prayer.
Have a blessed week,
Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… I love to hear stories of God’s transforming love changing a life. I know you do too. Attached you’ll find a story from one of our Fellowship Chaplains who recently met a believer at the airport. I will let our chaplain speak for himself:
“Proverbially, every life has a story. Very often, however, life’s stories are characterized by losses, heartaches and even despair. Yet whenever a life is touched by the hand of God and it is exposed to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, even the saddest story becomes a glorious testimony, which inspires and encourages so many members of the Body of Christ, just as it is written:
‘For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28 NIV)
The following is one of those life stories, which can be entitled, “Adopted twice.” It is S’s personal testimony and, it is written upon her request and with her expressed permission.
S was born in northern India to Sikh parents. Her father was a pilot with the Indian Air Force. A colleague asked S’s father for a shift substitution on one of his off duty days. S’s father granted the request to his friend, but during a flight training exercise that day, he was involved in a fatal crash.
A few years later, his young widow decided to remarry, but S was not to be a part of the nuptial arrangement. Consequently, six year old S was adopted by her uncle, and she moved with his family to Western Canada.
In the process of time, S began dabbling with the occult (witchcraft). When it came to the attention of her adopted parents, S was told to leave their home at once. Sadly, at the age of eighteen, S was once again without a home, without parents, and without hope in the world.
S was taken in as a boarder into a Pastor’s home. During her stay S noticed that the Pastor and his wife loved her and cared for her as their own daughter. For example, when S did her laundry, the Pastor’s wife would iron her clothes and place them neatly on her bed. When the boarding fees were due, the Pastor and his wife would tell S to keep the money for rainy days.
S was very perplexed. So she asked her landlady as to why she and her husband treated her with such a kindness. Calmly, the woman replied: “Dear child, God loved us and gave His son for us while we were yet sinners. And now, the Lord Jesus loves us personally. That’s why we can love others unconditionally.” Amazed by that answer S said, “I want that love too!” So a few moments later, S accepted Christ as her personal Savior and Lord.”
After a few years, S relocated in the province of Ontario, and she is presently working at Pearson Airport. When I met this young Christian at the airport chapel, she exclaimed: “I was adopted twice…I am also adopted in the Beloved and my Father is the King of kings. So I am a princess!” It is always a great joy to meet with S, for her humble spirit and gift of prayer truly encourage me personally, and all those who come in contact with her.
When I heard S’s testimony, my soul rejoiced greatly in the Spirit not only for her touching story, but also for the Pastor and his wife who have modeled a practical Christianity for this young woman. First, they practiced biblical hospitality. Second, they undoubtedly prayed for the girl’s conversion. Third, the Pastor’s wife humbly gave S an account for the hope that was in her. And fourth, they knew that agape-love never fails!”
Chaplain Pat Di-Fonzo’s story is representative of so much of the work our Fellowship chaplains are doing in airports, hospitals, nursing homes, truck stops and many other places. Where people live and work. Would you commit with me to pray for our Fellowship chaplains?
Our Fellowship Chaplaincy family has grown from 28 to 44 chaplains in the last 18 months. If you would like to be recognized and appointed as a Fellowship chaplain, or are looking for more information our Fellowship Chaplains, click HERE.
Have a blessed week,
Please see below the prayer requests shown in the Fellowship National DAY OF PRAYER Bulletin. You may print the bulletin by clicking the button at the bottom.
Steve here… So many of us have been deeply moved by the pictures of the Syrian refugee crisis. Refugees and migrants are flooding the streets of Europe with a variety of differing responses. What is the appropriate response for the church and God’s people?
We can expect greater migrations of people seeking safety, stability and opportunity for years to come in the West.
How are we to respond to this new reality theologically and practically?
Let’s all remember the Bible is full of refugees who migrated to other nations and regions. Moses and the children of Israel migrated from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. God has advanced His mission throughout history by moving people around the globe. God is sending Muslims to Canada to be reached for Christ. We have been praying for the 10/40 window for decades. God is moving Muslims to us. Many of whom are disillusioned with Islam as a result of their migration. What are Christians and Canadian churches doing to reach these new arrivals to our shores?
Our Fellowship FAIR ministry sent our churches (early September) a short-term and long-term response. Click HERE to get the details. I am praying some churches or a group of churches will gather together to host and care for a Syrian refugee family for one year upon arrival. Please go online and discover how your church can get involved.
While we must be concerned of security issues with any influx of refugees, this does not mean we should close our doors to true refugees because of our fear of the cost or our comfort. By closing our doors we run the risk of closing our doors to Jesus Himself. Remember Matthew 25:35: “I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Our FAIR department recently signed a partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM.) This partnership will be featured at our recent National Conference in Gatineau, QC. This new association will help support Fellowship churches and people to be more involved in justice issues throughout our world. IJM recently prepared a new initiative that I would like to bring to your attention. Sex trafficking is happening in our world, even in Canada.
Click HERE to view IJM’s new “Travel Brave Kit.” It will give you safe pointers on what you do if you see something suspicious while you are enjoying a vacation overseas. I encourage you to check it out.