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Elisabeth Elliot receives her reward
Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service, recalls a special faithful servant of Christ…
Author, missionary, broadcaster, and a woman of deep faith, Elisabeth Elliot (b. 1926 in Belgium) received her reward on June 15, 2015.
Mrs Elliot was the daughter of missionaries to Belgium, having five other siblings. Her family moved to United States while she was young, growing up in Pennsylvania and later New Jersey. She graduated from Wheaton College where she studied Classical Greek and met her first husband, Jim Elliot. Jim and Elisabeth (below) went to Ecuador in 1953 as missionaries. It was here that Jim Elliot was killed in 1956. Though held captive in Ecuador, Elisabeth continued her work as missionary for two years after her husband’s death.
From this event, Elisabeth wrote two classic works, Though the Gates of Splendour (1957) and Shadow of the Almighty (1958). She went on to write many more books and hosted a radio broadcast, Gateway to Joy.
Elisabeth was an adjunct instructor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, teaching course in Christian living. And, later, she was writer-in-residence at Gordon College.
Though I knew her name well, it was my wife, Melanie, who really introduced me to the work of Elisabeth Elliot. Melanie was honored to first meet Mrs Elliot in Modesto, California at Calvary Chapel Modesto.
Later, we had a Mother’s Day lunch with Elisabeth and her husband, Lars Gren. Our mutual friend, Kathy Gilbert, was kind enough to invite us. We have fond memories of our time with Elisabeth.
Kathy summarised Elisabeth’s death well, ‘As Elisabeth Elliot-Gren walked through those gates of splendour this morning she heard the words of Jesus: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord!”’ Kathy then mused, ‘Just imagine the joy and delight she’s experiencing now!’
We can only imagine! Until then, thank You, Lord, for the life of your faithful servant.
Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
Beyond The Mask – action-packed faith-based adventure
Janey DeMeo, Special to ASSIST News Service, is enthusiastic about a new godly movie…
As far as faith-based movies go, or even action-packed adventures, Beyond The Mask is far from typical.
It is both high action and with a strong Christian message, but special effects and superb photography combined with a really good plot make this film comparable to anything Hollywood has produced. Add to that the historic thread and top-notch acting and you have a winner.
The plot centres around Will Reynolds (Andrew Cheney), a Brit who is top mercenary for the British East India Company. When Reynolds comes to the rude awakening that he has been hoodwinked and framed, he makes a run for it in the American colonies hiding his true identity behind a metaphorical mask. It is in this setting, posing as someone he is not, that he falls in love with Charlotte and is also introduced to faith.
But it does not take long before Will’s enemy and former employer – the very man who had conspired against him – creeps into his life again and unmasks him, albeit by the use of deceit.
Will’s only hope is to attempt to redeem his past and prove his sincerity to his beloved Charlotte (Kara Killmer) – and to gaining the trust of Ben Franklin (Alan Madlane)- both of which lead him to adopt the courageous role of a type of Zorro figure who uncovers evil plots. Thus, Will Reynolds finds himself donning a real mask.
The movie also stars the ever brilliant John Rhys-Davies, (Raiders of the Lost Ark), who plays Charles Kemp, the boss of Will Reynolds.
Beyond The Mask is the brilliant creation of cousins Chad and Aaron Burns, two young men who are credits to the power of homeschool education. Brought to us by Burns Family Studios, this stunning movie was released on the cinema this month.
Not your typical Christian movie – but clearly Christ-centred, and absolutely worth seeing. As MoviePilot.com says, ‘Simply put – Amazing!’ Find out more about Beyond The Mask here: www.beyondthemaskmovie.com.
Janey DeMeo is founding-president of Orphans First – a Christ-centered non-profit ministry helping underprivileged children around the world (www.orphansfirst.org). She is an author, freelance writer and Bible teacher – and has worked with husband as a church-planter in France
WILLS POINT, TX /ASIA
Fisherman becomes a fisher of men
ASSIST also shares that Gospel for Asia highlights Matthew 4:19 – ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ – when the missions organisation recalls the conversation of Ravit.
The young man had listened closely to the words of Jesus as he watched the Jesus film that night. He was a fisherman by trade, but he had never heard of a fisherman catching men. Ravit had only just heard of this God named Jesus earlier in the day, yet here he sat with everything he knew about life beginning to change.
He had grown up worshipping what his family knew as the ‘fish god.’ Being fishermen, they sought their god’s favour to earn their livelihood. Whenever Ravit travelled to the nearby lake to fish, he would even seek a blessing from a local religious authority before going about his way.
One day, Ravit received a piece of Christian literature. He read it immediately and was intrigued by the love of Jesus that the booklet spoke about, so he asked the local Gospel for Asia pastor, Moti, to explain more about the Saviour.
Pastor Moti was travelling with a GFA film team that day when he met Ravit. Together, they were glad to answer the young man’s questions and invited him to watch a film about Jesus later that night.
As Ravit watched the film, the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. When he saw the scene of Jesus calling his disciples to become fishers of men, it struck a chord inside Ravit. Being a fisherman, just as the disciples were, he felt his own need to follow the Saviour’s call.
As soon as the movie was over, the young man sought Pastor Moti for prayer. Ravit chose to walk in Christ’s footsteps, received a New Testament of his own and started to attend the local worship services on Sundays.
Through Ravit and his testimony, his parents and siblings also had a change of heart and came to know the Lord Jesus a short time later. Because of this simple film, God transformed the lives of Ravit and his family.
Even though Ravit is still a fisherman by trade, in his heart, he is now a fisher of men!
Read how God protected a film team and their equipment from a drunken attack (http://gospelforasia-reports.org/2012/08/beatings-instead-of-popcorn-at-this-movie/?motiv=WB21-RB00&cm_mmc=GFAReport-_–_–_- ).
Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) is involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.
With so many Muslims finding Christ, will Islam fall?
Dale Hurd‘s report in Breaking Christian News (www.breakingchristiannews.com) says … Many Muslims are saying, ‘If ISIS is Islam, I’m leaving.’ Some are becoming atheists. There is a huge wave of atheism in the Arab world right now and many are turning to Jesus Christ. Islam was never faced with this crisis before’ says Brother Rachid .
The headlines say Islam is going to be the largest religion in the world. But Islam is facing a crisis. The terrible deeds of ISIS, done in the name of Allah and following the violent example of Muhammed, have horrified Muslims who are now questioning their faith.
Missionaries to the Islamic world say more Muslims have converted to Christianity in the last 14 years (since 9/11) than during the entire 14 centuries of Islamic history.
Many keep their conversion a secret, afraid for their lives. In London, CBN News talked to Imran (no last name given to protect his identity), a British college student from a Pakistani immigrant family. He left Islam after a lengthy study convinced him the Koran could not be true.
Leaving Islam can be a tough road. Imran has not yet become a Christian, but has studied the Bible and says Christianity is superior to Islam.
‘If someone leaves Islam and becomes an apostate, he is thrown out of his family; his family will be the first ones to abandon him,’ Imran explained. ‘His friends will reject him and he will be killed or he will be persecuted. A lot of my friends said, “This is the last time I’m talking to you because you disrespected the prophet Mohammed, you disrespected Islam.”’
Some ex-Muslims become atheists. But some discover a God who loves. In Sweden, Pastor Fouad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, himself an immigrant from Syria, has baptised more than 100 ex-Muslims. He said because of ISIS, many Muslims are coming to Christ.
‘Every week I meet one or more persons who come to me and want to know more about Christianity and the Bible because they are very angry about being a Muslim. They don’t want to continue to be Muslim,’ Imran said.
The ‘Dark Continent’
When it comes to religion, Europe has become the new ‘Dark Continent.’ And some European Muslims feel trapped between atheism and radical Islam, but some find hope in Christianity.
When Nassim Ben Iman came with his parents to Germany as immigrants from a Muslim nation, he remembers thinking that if Germany is a Christian nation, then Christianity is a dead, sinful religion.
‘So nakedness on the television is because of the Christian religion. Living together not married is because of the Christian religion,’ Nassim recalled thinking. But then he discovered real Christianity and is today an evangelist reaching Muslims and non-Muslims for Christ.
‘When the people understand who Jesus is, they will love him and follow him more and more. And when the Muslims understand more and more what Mohammed is, what the Koran is, what the history is, then they will go farther and farther away from Islam,’ he said.
The host of an important Christian program reaching Muslims told CBN News, ‘Islam is going to collapse.’
Brother Rachid is the son of a Moroccan imam who lived as a secret Christian convert for 15 years. Now he hosts an Arabic language Christian program called Daring Questions that challenges Muslims to question their faith.
‘Many Muslims are saying, “If ISIS is Islam, I’m leaving.” Some are becoming atheists,’ Brother Rachid said. ‘There is a huge wave of atheism in the Arab world right now and many are turning to Jesus Christ. Islam was never faced with this crisis before.’
Nassim said Islam appears strong, but it is only feeding off the spiritual void in weak Christian nations.
‘The greatest power of Islam is the weakness of the Christians,’ he said. ‘That’s what happened in Germany and in America and all the Western countries.’
Even while it seems Islam seems poised to overtake the West, Brother Rachid says Christians should not fear Islam, a faith he is convinced is slowly dying.
‘Islam is not God’s instrument to judge the West,” he said. ‘I think people are afraid because of what they see on the news. But even violence is just a sign of collapse.’
See also Missional article – Dreams and Visions Lead Muslims to Christ this month
Christian leaders tell supreme court ‘we will obey god, not man’
Some leading religious conservatives say they won’t go along with a Supreme Court ruling that would force them to violate what they call a ‘Biblical understanding of marriage’ as the union of a man and a woman. Their open letter to the Supreme Court was published as a full-page ad in the Washington Post.
The ad said that ‘any judicial opinion which purports to redefine marriage will constitute an unjust law.’
More than 60 people signed it, including Franklin Graham, Dr James Dobson, Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez, and Rev Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.
They concluded by quoting the Bible, saying, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’
Source: Encounter Gospel News
MACEDONIA, ARIZONA, AUSTRALIA
Three doctors on a mission to Macedonia
Ed Delph shares how Jesus opens missional doors…
The first two weeks of our recent trip to Macedonia, Greece and Turkey was like the apostle Paul’s experience in Acts 16. We had received a Macedonia call from a Macedonian business owner and a patient of my friend Dr Keat.
Show up in Macedonia, and see what divine connections, opportunities for influence, or God-sized opportunities the Lord would arrange for us.
Our team consisted of three couples, two medical doctors, Keat Wong and Andrew Kam and their wives, Lillian and Eveleen, from Perth, Australia. The third couple was my wife Becky and I from Peoria, Arizona.
I’m a doctor too – but of the church ministry kind. So off we went, the three doctors and their spouses, to Macedonia and Greece. Two weeks of no agenda, just enjoying the opportunity and a desire to bless and serve Macedonian people.
Our first stop was in the Dinaric Alps in a village called Mavrovo. We were in a beautiful, four-star hotel next to a ski lodge in the high pines. We learned something. Most everyone these days has some kind of pain or need for medical care. The employees of the hotel quickly learned Dr Keat is a GP doctor and his specialty is pain management, pain care and cure.
Dr Keat lives to serve people. Dr Kam is a radiologist who had a large practice in Perth. The staff also knew that I was a priest – their frame of reference for a pastor.
Clinic in a hotel
So we formed a ministry team to the hotel employees and their families and friends.
Dr Andrew would look at their X-rays, Dr Keat would reposition or adjust them, and Dr Ed would pray for them for their physical health and soul health. We had a clinic right there in the hotel for days. What a blessing. No charges, no paperwork, no drama…freely we had received, freely we gave and then freely God gave. The smiles on their faces said everything. News gets around when that happens.
Next we were in the second largest city in Macedonia…Bitola. It’s the complete European experience at 25% of the cost. Amazing things happened there. First of all, there was a large gathering of international artists from the age of nine to twenty years old. The young artists were in Bitola for an art competition – up to ten countries represented from as far as Hong Kong. The artists, along with their mothers, were all over this beautiful city, painting the various scenes.
The group ate at the hotel where we were staying and we quickly became friends. Their instructor is the most famous art instructor in Hong Kong for young people. He has a waiting list of two thousand naturally gifted young artists in Hong Kong. We became friends with him also.
As the competition progressed for the week, it became apparent that his nine-year-old son (who we became friends with too) was going to win the competition.
So the Chinese government sent their Economic and Commercial Counsellor in the Balkan region to attend the final award ceremony. Functionally, he is the Chinese Ambassador of Commerce in the whole Balkan region. We met him too, had a dinner and a breakfast with him. I had a wonderful conversation with him at the dinner.
Clinic in the embassy
So, what happened next? Dr Keat and Dr Andrew were invited by the counsellor to the Chinese Embassy in Macedonia. Guess what? The team went to work again and we had an informal medical clinic with the employees in the Embassy. ‘Freely given, freely give’ in action.
Also, the Chinese counsellor presented Keat, Andrew and me with official Chinese government chopsticks and several bottles of very expensive Macedonian wine. That is what is called Recognition. We were stunned and amazed.
Here’s one more incident with the many, many others I could mention.
One of the artist’s mothers and I became friends. Her job in Hong Kong is finding and hiring motivational and inspirational speakers. She also goes to church in Hong Kong. Hello? That’s what I do.
So what was the outcome? She is working on a trip for me to Hong Kong where I will be speaking all over the city and all kinds of venues. That too is amazing and adventurous.
Oh, by the way, the nine-year-old from Hong Kong did win the competition. I think I haven’t seen the last of him!
Are you willing to accept ‘Macedonian calls’?
Dr Ed Delph is president of Nationstrategy, an organisation with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in the church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. Links: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.nationstrategy.com