Friday, March 16, 2012

Life Journal Reading for Saturday, March 17, 2012

Once again it is the longest day for the team... this time the Laos team. They fly today from Bangkok to Taipei to Narita then finally home... arriving TODAY (Saturday) at 7:35 a.m. Please pray for their safe travels and for finding time to process all that they have seen and felt and experienced. And I hope to see you all tomorrow at NHDH if you are in Hawaii... but wherever you are, make time today to spend with God's people praising and worshiping our awesome Creator!

Deuteronomy 32-34; 1 Corinthians 2
This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. ~Deuteronomy 32:51

When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. ~1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Paul, in sharing his heart with the Corinthians, wants them to understand how all that he is and all that he says does not come from his own wisdom or power or strength, but that it comes from God. His mentor was Moses, who himself knew the consequences of working in his own strength and not rather holding up God as most holy: the loss of the promised land.

Every time I read this passage in Deuteronomy 32, I think, “how fair is that?? ONE TIME Moses screws up, and –poof!– no more promised land for him! But then (also every time), I realize who Moses was to the Israelites: God’s #1 man. If he treated God with disrespect by not doing what he said how he said, why shouldn’t they do the same? So God simply had to do what he did, even though Moses knew him “face to face,” in a way that no other man had ever known him.

Paul had the wisdom of Moses’ experience, and even more beneficially, Paul had the blood of Jesus covering him. He understood that there was no way that he could do what God had planned in his own strength, and he wouldn’t even want to! This was God’s show, and in order to succeed, Paul knew it had to be God’s way or no way!

Father God, thank you for your word that teaches us, guides us, admonishes and rebukes us. It gives us a snapshot of who you are and all you have in store for us if we would just follow it. I pray, Father, that as these pioneer missionaries return from Laos, that they finally find rest and comfort in you, as well as excitement and anticipation in all you have planned for our church body as we continue to step out in obedience, seeking the lost wherever you take us. We love you, Father, and we are so very thankful for grace! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Hulo hulo for Didi

Dearest Sister Barbara

Heidi and I, our church and the India/Laos team has been blessed by your faithful work to produce this survival devotional. This is incredible work. So many times when reading a passage or someone's thoughts or prayers, we have been moved to tears by the Holy Spirit. It is that same Spirit that choked me up years ago taking my team to Nepal. That same Spirit touched me when Jill Matro read Dean's devotion as we sat in Honolulu Airport about ready to leave for their first India trip. That same Holy Spirit when David Matsuura read Aaron Harris' devo in Ashish and Seema's house that has us all crying. We know how hard you work behind the scenes to prod, poke, coerce, gently encourage so many to participate in this. I am so sorry that it is like pulling teeth (pun intended), but you and your family are good at that. The Holy Spirit in you is causes you to persevere. It is the reason why His word does not come back empty. When we are reading what is happening in India and Laos in the devotional on the team faith blog, we feel like we are right there. We are imagining all that is happening, and we can pray while God does His work. Thank you so much for connecting us all. Thank you for your obedience and gentle manner that allows us to participate in His divine nature. Your work is critical to His mission--as much as Aunty Sharon's or Pastor Creighton's. May God bless you, your marriage, your children and your home for your sacrifice (of sleep and other stuff), you incredible effort, and your sincere love for Jesus.

We love you so much.

Kiha and Heidi and 'ohana and ALL of TEAM INDIA and LAOS

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Journal Reading for Friday, March 16, 2012

The Laos team leaves Luong Prabang this afternoon, flying back to Bangkok where they will spend the night before taking the long journey home. Please pray that their remaining time today with Joe will be fruitful, giving them spiritual insight into God's will for this work.

Deuteronomy 30,31; 1 Corinthians 1
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. ~Psalm 40:5

God truly is a multiplier...from the fundraising to get to India & Laos, to the right people needed for the mission, to all the technical logistics of running everything smoothly. He makes up everything we are lacking so that His perfect plan is lived out. There simply is no other explanation, so you cannot help but be humbled, grateful, and in awe of all who God is and all that He has done.

As your trip is coming to an end, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with everything you have experienced: the people you have met, the things you have witnessed, or maybe just the presence of God. The normal reaction is to want to share those experiences and everything God did, but I pray that you just take time to reflect on how great God is. When you come back to Hawaii, and all the hectic everyday life begins, remember this feeling of gratitude for who He is and what he has done in you.

I love this quote: “Experiencing God as multiplier reminds us of His Power and strength. It lifts the lid off of what we think is possible and reminds us that with God anything can happen.”

Dear Jesus, thank you for continuing to be our multiplier and our source of everything. Thank you for these missionaries and their obedience to live out your calling in their lives. Please continue to protect them as they make their way back home, and provide rest for them. Let their fire burn bright within them so that they can be a light at home. We love you in Jesus’ name, Amene

Hoapili Sing

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life Journal Reading for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Special survival guides were created for the team members who have Laos as part of their trip, so I will continue to post journal entries until they return on Saturday. Please continue to be in prayer for Creighton, Fred, Jessica, Keane, Tua & TJ as they explore brand new territory for NHDH, spending time with Joe and his family.

Today's journal entry is shared by Heidi Pimental. I am especially grateful to Heidi and to Hoapili, because I know that sharing like this was out of their comfort zones... but they pressed through out of obedience to the call from God. Thank you both... I love you!

Deuteronomy 28,29; Galatians 6
The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. ~Deuteronomy 28:8

The first half of this entire chapter describes how God’s blessing will come when you fully walk in obedience to Him. He will bless you in every place you go, bring you victory in every situation you encounter, and provide abundantly for a prosperous life that overflows and blesses everything you touch.

As I think about where you are today, imagining all that you are experiencing and encountering, I am so excited, knowing that you are right in the middle of your obedience to God’s call. So be encouraged and walk with confidence, knowing Your God is with you today and every day, blessing you and everything you do. He is so faithful to bless your every step and conquer the enemy in this land. Our God is taking over and reclaiming this land for His glory through you. Continue in your obedience to Him, through Jesus Christ, who loves you dearly and dwells within you.

Precious Heavenly Father, all glory and honor to you forever! Thank you for sending this team to bring more of your love and more of Jesus to Laos. I pray that they hear your voice and know how great you are today, that the Holy Spirit be upon them and flood into this place and that the enemy be defeated and fall to your feet... In Jesus' name! Would your spirit dwell richly in each member and in J&L. May they be blessed and encouraged in their own obedience to be in Laos as the team spends time with them today and your presence becomes magnified. You are so amazing and awesome, God! Wow laulau!!! In Jesus name, Amen.

Heidi Pimental

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In Taipei and then to Narita

On our way home!!!

Life Journal Reading for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So today is part of the India team's longest day... they cross the International Date Line, so for them, tomorrow becomes part of today. So confusing. Regardless, please be in prayer for safe travels for the India-only part of the team. They arrive in Honolulu at 7:35 a.m. Wednesday morning.

At the same time, six members of the team are traveling to Laos to spend time with Joe and get a feel for the ministry they serve in Luong Prabang. They will spend Wednesday, Thursday & Friday with family. Please pray for what God has planned for this growing relationship.

Today's journal entry is shared by Alex Cheng, Travel Team member from 2008-2010 and now full-time missionary at our sister church in Taipei, Taiwan.

Deuteronomy 25-27; Galatians 5

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. — Galatians 5:16-18

It is through love of Jesus Christ that your true identity as a son or daughter and a servant of God is revealed: we have been redeemed into a divine line of royalty. When we live in our ministries of being reconciled with God the Father, He in return gives the greatest gift by beautifully exchanging our lives now released into the power of the Holy Spirit... that where we were once living in darkness we can now walk in His light... and that where we were once shackled by our sin and old fleshly nature, we have a newly found freedom in Jesus. It is through this very freedom that our identities become confirmed, and we no longer need to invest in how we can love ourselves to the point of self-elevation and personal feeding, but rather use our God-given freedom to pour out love to others, which when we do fulfills the second greatest command of God. With that said, though we walk now as sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, we will still battle in the spirit our fleshly nature when our attentions diverge from our identities in God back to what we may think we need.

As many of you are thousands of miles removed from all that is familiar, you will come to realize that the Lord is sending you on this mission for multiple purposes. The obvious ones are your assigned responsibilities laid out for you by the team to carry out the purposes of God using us to expand the orphanage in their outreach and ministry... but the other more significant mission is the one that God is doing in your heart, as you have stepped out from the person you once were in Hawaii into someone whose reliance on Jesus will exponentially grow as He takes you out of your element and by faith into the unknown. Certain parts of your flesh may roar, questioning your role and purpose, longing for loved ones and a place that you call home, or—even as you might see others sail in their anointing—wondering why God even called you here in the first place, as you see the faith of the kids of India teaching you a lesson or two about who Jesus truly is.

Bottom line is, through commissioning and sending you out, God wants to show you who you really are, and aspects of your faith may arise and reveal to you things that you were never aware of, or old habits may seem magnified more than before. It’s in this very place that the Lord is reminding you that your identity is not in all those things to which you once held so tightly. He wants to remind you that by walking in the Spirit and—right here, right now—laying down everything that isn't of Him that needs to be removed, will He fuel and empower you for what it is that you’ve been called to on this mission trip. It is now that Jesus wants to teach you how to really let it all go and crucify once and for all what might have been hard to reveal in your former life. And with that He will not only open your eyes and ears, but will resound within You a new Spirit which will change you eternally by giving you fresh encounters, new revelations, and most of all the heart of Jesus Christ. It will be then that God will personally tell you why He has you called here to India, and why it is so vital that you be here.

Father God, I pray that now in this time you reconfirm everyone's hearts here as Your beloved sons and daughters! And by reminding us of this greatest gift, we are empowered knowing that we have everything we need in order to carry out the next steps of this assignment with an overflowing heart of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I ask that you continue to break us, mold and make us, and that we fully invest into the mission of here and now that you have set right before our eyes... and that our focus be on how we can glorify You with all our hearts as we take the next step.
Brother Alex Cheng

Monday, March 12, 2012

...and we're traveling again! The team is in Delhi, having just arrived on the overnight train from Dehradun. They will head to Bangkok where they will overnight.

Today's journal entry is shared by Sarah Wiggins, who has been on that Dehradun-Delhi overnight train a couple times and could share with you some stories!

Deuteronomy 22-24; Galatians 4
“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” —Galations 4:7

As I read this scripture it brings to mind so many beautiful pictures. I take a step back and imagine how our Father God loves us. Wow. He calls us his own children and treasures us with an unfathomable love. He traded his perfect son for our disgusting sin. I don't know about you, but I would not—could not—ever do anything like that. Not only did he sacrifice so we could live, but He made us heirs to his throne; I assure you not one of us deserves it. Enter: God’s grace. There really is no way our little minds can comprehend this type of love and sacrifice, so it’s after reading scriptures like these where I stand in awe and simply utter words of praise.

Maybe this isn’t the deepest devo you've read on this trip, but this scripture simply speaks for itself. Hello Royalty, we are princes and princesses! #booyah

Father God, you are so good. There aren't words that can express the overflow of a heart so grateful for your sacrifice and love. We don't deserve it but still you continue to offer unmerited love and mercy. Help us to love others the way you love us and continue to shine your light on each person we encounter from India to Honolulu and beyond, may we be vessels of your love. Amen and amen


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life Journal Reading for Monday, March 12, 2012

Wow, it's Monday... the retreat and chapel are behind them, but the fruit is already beginning to manifest itself. Today is the Hawaiian dinner, where the team gets their hands dirty in the kitchen and try (usually without success) to keep the boys from helping out...

Today's journal entry is shared by Joshua Doherty, a member of the 2010 Haiti travel team. He is training for Air Force combat rescue but was in Honolulu during the holidays and wanted to share his insights.

Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” --Galatians 3:28-29

The LORD’s promises are everything we, as followers of Christ, ascribe value to. They are worth more than our possessions, our relationships and even our own lives. Without His promises, we have no assurance of what is to come when we pass from this world into eternity.

In the Old Testament we see God's promises fulfilled in lives contingent upon being one of Abraham's descendants. The eligibility for God's promises were dynamically changed with the coming of His Son Jesus, making grace available to anyone willing to put their faith in Christ, resulting in zero contrast amongst His followers.

When Paul wrote this letter, owning other people was as normal as owning a car today. And in contrast, the idea of women's rights or equality towards women was as rare as seeing a flock of pterodactyls flying above Kaimuki today. Not to mention there were major differences between Jews and Greeks; so there was a tremendous amount of counter-culture and earth-shattering lingo behind the point Paul is making in his letter to the Galatians.

Discovering this truth holds the same capacity to change our perspective today just as it did in the first century. Everyone is entitled to grace (regardless of the language you speak, religion you were born into/currently practice or how you wear your clothes etc.); everyone needs grace (regardless of how rich you are, how good you think you have it or how perfect your situation may seem etc.) and no one is beyond grace (regardless of the past sins you've committed, the accusations you've acquired or what has happened to you beyond your control etc.). When faith is applied and grace is accepted, we are all one in Christ Jesus and therefore heirs according to the promise.

To feel the gravity of this concept, it is not required to travel to the other side of the planet, but as some can attest, it does help. As you conclude your trip to India, seeing God’s hand working through you to minister to His elect from opposite walks of life, I hope this truth has been solidified in you: that there is no difference in those that are called according to His purpose. We are all one in Christ Jesus.

LORD, seal in our hearts a passion to see people as you do and not as the world tells us they are to be seen. Give us Your vision, not only for those that don't know You but also for those that do know you, so we are better able to minister free of condemnation. I thank you for the work You've done in the lives of this team over the previous weeks. Thank you for the lessons they've learned and taken. Thank You for the provision of safety over their travels and over their health, for the means You have provided for them to be able to go on such an adventure. I ask they would not take the lessons You've taught them lightly; let them take these lessons to their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces with fervor and excitement about the work You are doing in India and in their lives. Let Your truth abide in us. We are all one in Christ Jesus. AMEN.

Joshua Doherty

Youth retreat!

The Woodstock retreat that we did on fri and sat was so fun and awesome! I was challenged with sharing my testimony and the gospel with me small group. I hadn't shared my testimony in a setting like that or presented the gospel to a group before. It was fulfilling to step out of my comfort zone in the effort to build gods kingdom!
Just finished Chapel at Woodstock it is so awesome to see how the students and staff welcome us in like family. God is doing a great and mighty work in this school and the community.