How would you describe missions?
We have missions in several countries, so it can be a location. People go on mission trips, so it describes something that we do. There are a growing number of missionaries, so it describes people and their occupation.
Recently, I have been reminded that mission is a description of surrender and a position of dependence. The missionary surrenders goals, dreams or desires to follow the Lord and His plan for their life. Missionaries seem like strong people, yet they are dependent on the Lord to work in lives of people.
In Psalm 62:7-8, David describes his dependence: My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
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One hundred people attended a disciple-making convention in Chirala, India in August. The goal of that training was to create disciples who plant churches, the Ambassador Institute teaches pastors and leaders within churches so they understand God’s Word fully; both are needed to build God’s kingdom.
Pastor Del and Karen Palmer, John and Heidi Nelson, Glenn and Marge Espe and Pastor Kent Sperry have been in India recently. One facet of their trip was to prepare for the Ambassador Institute work this fall.
There are some aspects of ministry that do not happen in short 1-2 week mission trips. A lasting deep impact requires time. The next three months, Pastor Kevin and Pam will be dependent on the Lord during their time in India. Pastor Kevin will be teaching the teachers, setting up a structure for the Ambassador Institute, adding classes and working along side of those in India to apply God’s Word to the biblical role of pastors.
Pam will be working with the Bible Women, sharing her testimony with them, and helping with St. Paul’s School as a teaching assistant.
They will also depend on the Lord to use them and on others for translation and transportation.
Pastors Anil, Puneeth and Devasahayam
Pastors Devasahayam Dunna, Puneeth Kumar, Santhi Babu, Katti Anil Kumar and T Emmanuel continue to teach at Chirala, Karlapalem and Chituroo. These men are now completing the two-year curriculum with these three classes who hope to be finished by November. Some of the classes have fallen behind and there is a need to ensure that the classes meet regularly.
Devasahayam has been leading the training from the beginning. Anil recently joined the AFLC India. He comes with Bible School training and is strong in his English. Puneeth graduated at the top of the first class to be taught in India. Emmanuel is a short animated young man that has a heart for evangelism and speaks English well, and Santi Babu is a quite man whose father is also an AFLC pastor.
The work in Uganda continues to expand with new classes starting as other classes finish. Three classes of the third generation have completed their two-year study. The students depend on the Lord to keep up with the rigorous memorization and the passing of the tests. The Ambassador Institute is dependent on faithful students who in turn are willing to train future classes.
One of the new classes started near Kenya because of a student that returned to his home area and invited his community to learn the Word of God. There were 40 students at the first meeting! Pray that the Lord will continue to give these students strength as they invest in the Word of God.
With the expanding work, we are dependent on the ministry team to work with the teachers and to keep the classes learning together. The ministry team needs faithful teachers who will disciple the classes they have been given.
Micah Berger and Katelyn Gudim are both dependent on receiving support so that they can return to Uganda and continue developing the training. They are missed because all the short-term assistants have returned to the U.S.
Nate and Rhoda are also dependent on prayer for their work permits to be approved. The ministry in Uganda is difficult enough without these extra disturbances.
Pray for the ongoing work with the third year Romans curriculum. The seven students that are taking this class are about half way through the book and have memorized seven chapters. After the first fourteen lessons, we gave tests to these students who are also teachers for other oral classes. Two of them did quite well, but five of them struggled.
In the past, these seven were all at the top of their class, so that means that we need to consider how this training is being done or if changes need to be made to the process. There is not another oral study on the book of Romans, so this is new territory for those preparing the lessons as well as those taking the classes.
A NEW HOUSE
Musasizi Wilson and his wife have been living in a mud and stick house. He is a humble man and has often traveled to teach classes when his help may have been needed at home as well.
This past spring, the leadership team decided that they wanted to see him move into a cement block home. A church in the U.S. donated $2000 to purchase the supplies and the team worked together to construct the building for his family.
This was a large statement to the community. Sometimes the spiritual work needs to have a tangible aspect associated with it. Praise the Lord with them for this new home.
Prayer starts with God. It is made possible because God sent His Son to atone for our sin. The sin-obstacle has been removed. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace.”
He has also given us His Holy Spirit who enables us to pray. We are helpless in terms of spiritual strength and we are ignorant in terms of spiritual insight. We desperately need the Holy Spirit’s help as we pray.
Prayer centers in God. More than merely seeking things from God, true prayer seeks God Himself, for when we have Him we have all that we need. Prayer at its best reveals a soul made thirsty for God, just God alone. We need a realization of God’s glory and then of God’s grace.
Prayer asks of God. Our Lord used the word ask when encouraging His disciples to pray. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the son. Do you and I really ask God for things when we pray? Too many of us are perhaps only window shopping when we pray. May God enable us to ask in prayer.
Prayer is work for God. Perhaps we are prone to consider prayer somewhat incidental in our Christian life. We know that we should pray but we have not come to value prayer as a highly effective means of advancing Christ’s kingdom. The interest and attention so often is placed upon those “up front” who are really doing something.
May God help us to see that without Him we can do nothing. But with Him, abiding in Him in prayerful dependence, He promises to bring forth fruit, even much fruit.
This excerpt was taken from Dr. Monseth’s writing on prayer for the Lutheran Ambassador.
LIFE OF DEPENDENCE
The ministry of the Ambassador Institute is a dependent ministry. It is dependent on the Father to open doors, for Jesus to transform lives and the Holy Spirit to teach people God’s Word. It is dependent on your prayers, your support, and international partners who join us in this same vision.
Being dependent on the Lord is good, it is the best place to be, but it can be uncomfortable. It means surrendering control and trusting in God. That is how we feel as Pam and I go to India. He gets to determine when things move and what defines success. It is easy to trust God for the things that we understand, however, growing in trust happens when the only possible solution is in the Lord.
Within this state of dependence, we have seen the Lord open the door for the AI curriculum in seven languages in 7 years. He has provided translators and leaders in each country that we have worked in. He has multiplied the number of classes and the number of students. We have also seen doors for countries close, thriving classes drop in attendance and teachers that needed to be removed from leadership.
This ministry, in a position of dependence, has not always gone forward in a way that makes sense from a human perspective, but looking back it is obvious that the Lord is the One that has made it possible.
We cannot control what the Lord will do, but we can have confidence that He is in control and that He has good things in store for those that wait and depend on Him.
Serving Our Savior, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Kevin Olson www.ambassadorinstitute.org
The Prayer Requests and Inquiry Newsletter should be online next week. The website is under some changes.
3110 E. Medicine Lake Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55441
Ambassador Institute Department Head 763-412-2029