Saturday, March 12, 2011

3/13/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Gina Carroll

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 22-24; Galatians 4

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. --Deut. 22:1

Do not ignore the lost. Person, place or thing, if it is lost, provide a way to restore it back to its rightful place. The proper place for a lost person is at the foot of the cross, before the Lord Jesus himself. That is all we are called to be, the light to the path toward Him.

Do I take the time to help the lost? Do I sometimes leave them for someone else to pick up and guide along the way? We are all called to be the best example of God’s love for others. We are all strategically placed to be the best examples of God's love we can be. Many times we are the closest thing to the inside of a church most people will ever know. How does it feel to be operating within His will? You are there, obediently walking as he has commanded you, to follow Him out into the world. To find the lost, never ignoring them, guiding them to their rightful place, home with Him.

Father, I humbly pray for your guidance and the courage to follow your gentle prodding. You are stirring us today as we are on this journey called life. Allow us to be willing to follow you, to yield to the Holy Spirit and to simply say, Yes Lord. I thank you, Lord, for the Word that is given to be our guide when we ourselves are lost and for the brothers and sisters in my life that are there to guide me when I go astray. I thank you Lord that you have made us.

Mahalo

Friday, March 11, 2011

3/12/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Arden Matro

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3

Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. --Galatians 3:21-22

The one and only way we can receive God’s promise of freedom is through our own belief. We cannot—and will not, be able to receive this promise through the actions of our family or by being associated with the right people. It is through personal belief and our application of faith that we will be able to see God’s promise of freedom come to pass.

Apply personal faith and seek his face in all that you do. Faith is made complete when it is matched with actions.

Dear Lord, Thank you for your promise of freedom. Thank you for calling us by name to carry out your mighty work. Please help us to remember that you are the only way for us to receive God’s promises. We serve to expand and strengthen your kingdom. Please equip the traveling team with the physical, mental, and most of all spiritual strength they need to carry out your plans you have already made. Bless them with safety and peace Lord, wherever they might go, and wherever they stay. Thank you again Lord for calling each of the team members by name for this specific mission trip. Love you and praise you for who you are. In your name we pray, Amen.

Woodstock Retreat BEGINS!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our God

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other.
Our God is healer, awesome in power,
Our God, our God.

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

Wow... where to begin.... India is amazing! God's hand and love is so evident in this place! He is so BIG and my eyes and heart have been completely transformed by how people of different ages, color, and languages can come together as one family in such a short amount of time. It is only by His blood that we are brought together as brothers and sisters and He loves His children with an extravagant love. Watching these kids worship with such a pure heart brings me to tears as I fall to my knees in awe of the Lord's power and greatness.

I can't believe how fast time is flying... I. Love. It. Here.

"Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession." Deuteronomy 14:2

Something that I've been continually learning and reflecting on is that the Creator of this world, even in His power and greatness, has chosen each one of us as His treasured possessions. He calls us His sons and daughters and loves us each in His own ways. There is nothing that can separate His love from us!  I have been struck by His unconditional love and seeing His heart for me, but even more so, these boys and girls, and this place has opened my eyes to so much more. He LOVES them and is 110% for them and because of that, nothing can stop us or stand against us. I believe in the deepest part of my heart that He is going to use these children to bring glory to His name and to further the gospel in whatever way He calls them -- I am proof of their impact and encouragement!

Sandeep and I 




3/11/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Scotty Mearig

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 16-18; Psalm 38; Galatians 2

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” --Galatians 2:16

When I was in elementary school I believed what most children believe about Heaven and Hell. I thought that good people (like my Mom and Dad, all my school friends, and the nice cafeteria lady who always gave me extra French fries) would go to Heaven, and all bad people (such as murderers, people who smoke cigarettes, and my 3rd grade teacher and principal) would all end up in Hell. I, of course, was always with the group going to Heaven. Why? Because I was good.
Sure, I missed a few homework assignments, and I occasionally threw food at girls during lunchtime, but besides that, I was a good kid. I would never do anything really horrible, like kill someone, destroy my own lungs, or give a poor 3rd grader detention. I was a good kid. I did mostly good things and only a few bad things. And as a child I believed that my behavior was what made me good enough to go to Heaven. I believed that the things I did made me good enough for God.

There is an incredible Weight carried by most of the people on the earth. Everyone feels the burden of it at some point, even the people in the Church, maybe even especially the people in the Church. It is the Weight that is much too heavy for anyone to carry, yet we all find ourselves under its crushing pressure.

The Weight is this:
We believe that what we do makes us good.
It is an unspoken belief for each one of us on one level or another. We feel that doing good things will make us good people, and doing bad things will make us bad people. We are convinced that in order to be acceptable and esteemed in the eyes of other people we need to work hard in order to meet the “standard,” to fulfill the “status quo,” when we will finally get to wear the badge that says, “HI MY NAME IS _________ AND I AM A GOOD PERSON.” But the worst part of the Weight is this:
We, even as Christians, feel that we have to work in order to be good, not only in the eyes of men, but also in the eyes of God.
At this point the Weight becomes unbearable. Just as I believed as a child, we now believe that if we do not meet the “standard,” then God will not approve of us. If we screw up and fail to “perform,” then God will think less of us. If we do bad things instead of good things, then God will think that we are bad. The Weight becomes heavier and heavier as we realize that all the bad we have done far outweighs any good that we could ever do. In our own workings, we will never be good enough for God.

But there is Good News.

This Good News has a name, and His name is Jesus. Because of His life and death we are free from the Weight. When we trust in the work of Jesus, all of the pressure of performing disappears. Because we have faith in Christ, God can look at us and say, “You are good.” And this new approval and acceptance that we have from God is completely separate from the things that we do. At the heart of the Gospel and the Christian faith is the fact that you cannot work your way to any level of righteousness before God. But by believing in Christ we have a level of righteousness before God that cannot be matched by anyone anywhere.

Because of Jesus there is nothing that you can do to make God think any more or any less of you. To God, you are good. And He feels this way about you completely apart from the things you do.
I’m praying that this truth will sink deep into your hearts. I also invite you to look into the areas of your life where you are finding your self worth, in the things that you do rather than the finished work of Jesus.

Love you guys!

I Heart India

India! I have fallen in love with the people here at firs and the land. where to begin in talking about this country and this trip, and how it is changing my life??? but one thing that is so extraordinary has been serving along side my amazing brothers and sisters. In this short trip i have learned more about what it means to serve as one body than I have ever experienced in all my life working in any team. I have been privileged to see the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of our travel group; watching each of us in action, caring and supporting one another and seeing how each of our individual gifts serves so well God's perfect purpose. I am in awe of what community means. I love that we are able to share in God's' love with our brothers and sisters here in India. So awesome is God's love!

...but the winding roads are a bit tough.

Jessica

We learn so much...

Tonight we got a chance to have a very special dinner at a hotel here close by to the Firs.

After dinner some of us were so full from the delicious food they couldn't help but be quick for bed.

Look who I found...

It's Rinku!!!!!! He's been in Dehradun studying and came to visit us for a few days. Pray that he continues to do well in his classes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thurs

Well things in mussoorie have been filled with the power of the holy spirit. I am so proud of the team. Linsey is a little under the weather and we will are praying for her complete recovery.

Yesterday we started with 530 devos with the boys. We are impressing upon them their unique gifts and strengths. That God has specially designed them and the best place for them to minister is out of who God made them to be.

We had awesome team devotions...There is personal revelation everywhere as it seems that He doing a mighty work in each of our lives as we serve His purposes in India.

At 930 we went to their bible school to be a part of their chapel service. Jamie Lam share an awesome word and we were able to individually pray for each of the students.

We had lunch...tj, Keane and I did insanity....that crazy video...some of the boys jumped in. Challenging with the altitude...but was good to get some card ;).

We had dance practice at 230 and then started our design seminar from 330-6. We had dinner and then did retreat preparations til 1030.

We have a pretty jammed packed day and actually for the rest of the week....pray that the team continues to be healthy and have the attitude of christ. We are so blessed and rest assured He is doing a mighty work in our lives.


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3/10/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Aaron Harris

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 13-15; Galatians 1

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! --Gal.1:6-9

Paul is not very happy with the church at Galatia. They are compromising and allowing false teachings to come in. The Gospel message is being perverted by wise and cunning people, and the church is falling for it!

How does this happen? Does the church not know the gospel? Are they not studying the scriptures? Are they forgetful? Are their past mind sets holding them back? Are surrounding religions influencing them? Maybe they are allowing their emotions to govern there decisions? Are they afraid to stand up to there peers? So many things going on that we do not know.
In what ways am I not lining up with the gospel? Am I allowing things to hinder me? Do I allow my friends or family to influence me? Who am I obeying, God or people?

I see these things in my own life, were I allow little compromises to come in. Some from my own flesh desires and some from friends. In these times I see that I am allowing compromises in my life. I see that it is so important to stay grounded in God's word. So I can stand my ground when the compromises sneak in. So many things that keep me distracted and entertained I so quickly allow the compromises to come in.

Lord, thank you that you are a God that forgives out sins. I ask that you will forgive me for my wrong thinking, my lack of discipline to study or word, and listening to the voice of others. I want to continue to pursue you all the days of my life. Help me to stay the course you have for me. I thank you for Haiti and the people you have created here. Help me to stay focused on the people and not just the task.
For this team in India give them wisdom to build the leaders you want. Give them the words to encourage the leaders to stand up against the influences around them. May they truly be set apart for your work. Show up in amazing ways, may the Hawaii team come away with a greater understanding of your power and faith. Amen.

P.S. Go love on Rinku for me.

Beautiful Day at The Firs


The boys with Prakash Chandra (left, standing), the founder of The Firs Boys' Home. He came to Mussoorie just to meet us!

Hawaii, 1 - India, 0

This is our winning picture after we successfully cleaned and washed the dishes after dinner. Last year was a different story but tonight we claim victory!!!!!!!!! We love you Seema!

DESIGN with Firs

We're learning about spiritual gifts today!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Goats!!!!

Girls will be Girls!!!

Settling in...




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Creighton, Ashish, and the boys

Keane in morning devos.

Chris reunited

Jules and her new family

Boys growing up!

3/9/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Carolyn Pace

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 10-12; Mark 16

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. –Mark 16:20

This final verse of the last chapter in Mark falls right after Jesus spoke to the disciples then was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Jesus commissioned the disciples to share the good news, the gospel.

When I picture Jesus sitting in heaven, I think of Him waiting for us to talk to Him. His work at the cross is complete; it has made the way for humanity to know Him and the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am so encouraged by this scripture, to know that Jesus continues his work in Heaven, confirming His word the gospel; and as I ask, believing in Him, His will on earth shall be done. Everywhere Jesus went on earth He set souls free from bondage, torment, oppression, and bodily affliction. His will for all men is to set the souls of humanity free.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus Christ, who sits at your right hand watching over His word to produce its fruit. I pray for our India missionaries to share the love of Jesus with your Indian people. Help them to resist the pressure of performance and come into your rest knowing you will confirm the message by attesting signs and miracles. May your love for all humanity work in their hearts, minds, and souls so others will see and know you. May they have habitual unity and fellowship with you and each other, and may they be divinely inspired to ask for your abundant favor and be blessed. I pray for the salvation of souls, and for the multitude to be set free. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

The Beautiful Week of 2011

Everytime the team comes from Hawaii there is rejoicing and so much love in the atmosphere. I am so encouraged personally just to spend some time with God's sent people. This is always the most beautiful days of the year. Surely it's a family reunion,each time with many new members. I have no words to express my gratitude to the Lord and to all you precious people in NHDH.
Like iron sharpens iron, some of my rustiness disappears as I spend time with Pastor Creighton. There is no doubt God has joined us together for a time such as this.
March is a month of the school year beginning for few boys and for some it is final exam season. The boys that are writing their board exams, Bobby, Ajay, Prince, Rinku, Parveen, Lucky, Gopal, truly appreciate your prayers for them.
GOD has marvelous plans for each one of us, and we must discover that for our lives. That is a prophetic word confirmed by the visit of this team. The Lord is speaking to us the same things though we live so far from each other. The boys are growing up and it is a very timely word that has come to all of us.
Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and for all your sacrifices for us. We are one family, there is no doubt in that. It is God Himself brought us together so that we can be a blessing to one another. May the Lord continue to be glorified though our bonding and may His Kingdom come as a result of this.
Can't wait to explore what the Lord has stored for all of us here in Mussoorie in the next couple of days. I am sure some of our lives will never be the same, the seeds that this team will sow in these days will bear fruits and transform many lives in due time. When I think of the transformation work that God is to do in some of the Wood Stock School student, my hearts overflows with praises unto the Lord.

God's way of working is beyond my imagination.

with much love

ashish

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update

Well we arrived into deradhun's new jolly ranch airport...pretty amazing. Then drove up to the torchbearers retreat center to do a site visit. A second team went to purchase our sound system and misc retreat supplies. Hey ben they found a killer sound system that works with the local voltage system.

The retreat center is a Christian based organization that we could use for future pastoral or discipleship initiatives.

We drove up to the boys home and chilled. We met with the general supervisor for the entire AG movement in N India..53 years serving the lord! What a humble servant.

This morning we had an awesome devo time with the boys at 530am and then our own devo time after...huge revelation, lotsa tears and grateful hearts for the honor or serving Jesus!

We did a blessing at a new hotel opening up by a young Christian businessman and now we are at Woodstock having lunch with the students.. building excitement for our retreat this coming weekend.

The lord has been so faithful in out travels and handling all our logistics. Please continue to pray for our team (Linsey is not feeling well) and favor during the rest of the trip!

We miss our families and friends but know without a doubt that He has called each one here. Much Love!!!

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Namaste & Jai Mashi Ki! We've arrived!

Aloha and Namaste!
After 39 straight hours of travel and layovers (with very few glitches, thank you, Jesus!), we arrived in Delhi yesterday morning. God was gracious to us, and any discomfort along the way was met with sympathy and probiotics!

On past trips, we have always laid over either in Tokyo or Taipei, which meant after our extended rest, we still had to be in travel mode. This time, although the trip was grueling, the rest time was sweet, and we were able to transition as a team into ministry mode. Although we still had the plane ride from Delhi to Dehra Dun and then the drive up, up, up the mountain (which makes Hana look like Kapiolani Blvd!), we found opportunities to minister as the Holy Spirit presented amazing opportunities.

It was so good to see how the boys have grown. Creighton has been speaking into the older boys' lives already. They are so stoked to have him here. And they are hanging all over TJ (literally... he doesn't have those bulging biceps for nothing!). There is a new boy: Karan, or Gajender. He is Anil & Sandeep's cousin. He is 5, and has not yet adjusted to being here, so please pray for him.

By the way, Pono and Chris, the boys asked about you specifically, and why you weren't here! Just letting you know you were missed.

This morning we had the opportunity to worship with the boys before we met as a team for our own morning devotions and worship. Such a wonderful time of fellowship and mutual encouragement.

We are preparing today for Day One of Design for the boys. Bruce and Keane are snapping away, so we will post photos soon.

Thank you for your prayers. Through them we were sustained throughout our flight. We are so grateful. We will post more soon.

3/8/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Greg Woo

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 7-9; Mark 15
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. --Deut 8:2

He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. --Deut 9:16

God humbles us and tests us to know what is in our hearts and to see if we keep His commands, all because he loves us and so that “in the end it might go well with [us].”

Each of us has their own particular desert that God brings us through. I believe that the length of our desert is in direct proportion to the stubbornness of our hearts. For example, soft tender hearts willing to change lead to short stays in the desert. The opposite is also true too. This mission trip may be your soft hearted surrender to God that allows Him to gently lead you out of your desert.

Submit to Him daily. Obey His commands out of love for the Lord. Allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in paths of righteousness!

Lord, you are truly amazing! You have ordained this time of service in India so that the boys of Mussoorie, the students of Woodstock, and the faith warriors of NHDH would come to serve You as one body. Please open their hearts for discernment about the spiritual gifts that you have placed in each one of them. May they steward these gifts well so that You would receive all glory Lord!

Please shower them with your mercy and grant them the blessing of Your favor!

In Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

3/7/11 Survival Guide Journal Entry from Jill Matro

Today's Reading:
Deuteronomy 5,6; Psalm 43; Mark 14

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. --Mark 14:71-72

Peter overreacted to the suspicion of the servant girl and the others in the courtyard. He started to swear! And then the rooster crowed the second time and Peter was convicted to the core. He broke down and cried in front of all his accusers. Peter allowed the conviction to break through his false image. In contrast, Judas sat at the Last Supper with Jesus and heard him say, “But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Judas’ response was to pretend he didn’t hear Jesus. Judas ignored Christ, thinking his own human plans were justified; in fact, Judas probably thought his plans were better! Peter at first claimed a false identity, but then allowed his heart to be convicted. The fruit of conviction gave birth to allowing Peter’s true identity to form – the Rock of Christ.

Where am I prideful? Are there areas of my life, my ministry, my plans that I think I know better than God? Would I be able to hear the rooster to crow the first time? Conviction is a gateway to breakthrough.

Father, You are incredibly patient with me. I pray, asking for your guidance and direction, and then I pretend sometimes that I do not hear your voice telling me to repent of my pride. Please forgive my stubborn heart. Your voice speaks to me of your unconditional love for me, yet in my pride I try to prove my worth. Forgive me for not taking you at your word. I am loved, redeemed and beautiful in your sight. Not for what I do in Your name or for what I have accomplished or for who people say I am. Convict me, Lord, in your gentle way–or not so gentle way, if I need it. Break through any strongholds of pride I have hidden. Reveal them to me so I can rebuke them at their source. Do not allow me to live with a false identity. I am yours and You are mine. Through the blood of Christ Jesus who has washed me clean and given me victory! Amen.