A Word from Pastor (Papa) George

The World – Widows and orphans in distress, April 30, 2020

 

     “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

(James 1:22-24, 27)

     Some of my fondest memories of church fellowship is when we would have a new person come. It could be someone that we met and we found out that they have been out of fellowship but felt called to come back to their “first love”. Many times, even though they were living with their spouse, they are coming without his or her support. What a blessing! And what a responsibility. Or, the first time we would have a youth or a group of youth come for their first time to “check-out” youth group for the first time. Sometimes, only one of them, would return again. Often, we might find out that their parent or parents were not interested or were against their decision to find out about Christ. What an encouragement for us to know that the Holy Spirit is prompting them to come.

      From a “spiritual” perspective, both of these cases and the countless others that they represent, would be considered widows and orphans because they have no one in their immediate family that are in fellowship with the Lord. They represent an incredible responsibility for us as the Church because many times we have very little information to follow-up with. Then, they show up and there is only a note on the door saying we no long offer direct fellowship, the face they can see and the hand they can touch, but they can go on-line and get a video message. Obviously, they represent the “feed My lambs” invitation that was given to Peter. Not the “take care of My sheep” or “feed My sheep”. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give us direction. He has already given us the power. If necessary, I pray that we would crucify anything that is of the flesh would keep us from “looking after these orphans and widows” in their distress.     


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USA – A bird on a branch, April 29, 2020

“Then Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22-26)

In the midst of the uncertainty, there is a need to “Trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.” We have been blessed with many people that have been helping make these boxes to give to our neighbors as an encouragement and reminder of God’s promises and His faithfulness. The sticker on the side of the box says: “A bird on a branch is not afraid the branch will break because it knows that it has wings.” And “Those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles.” Both the saying and the verse are in Spanish on the opposite side of the box. We have given out some for people to give to their neighbors and Kellen picked up 10 to distribute to the neighbors around their home in Burlington today. We are preparing another 18 at the moment. They can be given with some home-made cookies at the same time respecting everyone’s decision about how they choose doing physical distancing.

“How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near Your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your House; they are ever praising You.” (Psalms 84:1-4)

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USA – The truth will set you free, April 27, 2020

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

    Paul said, “Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

    Most believers will confess that they have struggled with the global reaction of our government leaders throughout the world to the corona virus and the “isolation” requirements that have been implemented. These reactions were all premised on the information given by experts that predicted an outcome equal to or worse than what we have seen in other historic pandemics. We are also witness to the terrible consequences that are being caused as a result of the economic crisis that has resulted. Now this information has been found to be misleading and hopefully future decisions will be made on the truth. We are encouraged as the lies of Satan that have misled many believers to over-emphasize common sense health care precautions are now being brought into the light.  
    “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)


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USA – The Body of Christ, April 26, 2020

   What a fascinating weekend in the life of the Body of Christ.

“But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)

Devotions every morning; breaking bread together with prayer and communion; building the ‘bird on a branch’ boxes to give to neighbors along with some yummy cookies and a promise to be there for them if needed; making masks; receiving aluminum cans and crushing them for the Harvest Kids; building cabinets; watching the Harvest Kids enjoying the new playground; building chicken coops; watching videos of new believers being baptized in Africa; sharing and receiving testimonies from Mexico, El Salvador, Alert Bay, BC, Kenya, DRCongo, Uganda, Burundi, Pierce County, the Harvest Vision ministry in Curlew, the greenhouse farming project on the Samish River, the farming project in west Mt. Vernon and meeting the needs – including trips to the doctor and hospital – for those that are living alone. Thanks to our faithful co-laborers that pray and financially support helping prepare and equip these saints to do the work that God has set apart for them, we will be able to send financial support to our co-laborers in Mexico and El Salvador in the morning. 


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The World – Facing the crisis, April 25, 2020

We are blessed to be co-laborers with pastors and leaders from different parts of the world that are facing the reality of witnessing people they have been called to serve suffer because of no food, water or medical help. This is especially true for countries in Asia and Africa and their requests for prayers and support through Whats App, Messenger or emails are endless and you can feel the reality of the pain they live with every day. They represent about 2.5 billion of the world’s population. Our prayers are with them and the message to them is simply:

It is difficult to witness so many suffering in the world, but God created the world and mankind not planning that our journey on earth would be fair or without suffering or that we would choose to remain here forever. Each person’s journey here has been established by God and our response to it, fair or not, will determine whether we believe in His love and omnipotent power. His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. We know that what He could prevent with His power, He allows in His wisdom. His promise and provision for us lies in His Word.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from My Mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)

Most people will not choose to believe.

Those of us that choose to believe in Christ have the promise of eternal life.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:1-4)

“Lord Jesus, we lift up every believer around the world that is being tempted to give up on the promise. We pray that they will choose to allow Your Holy Spirit to give them the power to overcome doubt and fear and be a witness to the truth of Your goodness, and that many people that are in Your Presence will come to faith in You and the promise of eternal life that You willingly died to make possible for us. Empower your servants to overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony so they may not love themselves so much as to shrink from death. Open their eyes that they may see the hills full of horses and chariots of fire and know that those who are with us are more than those who are against us.  In Jesus Name, Amen.” (Rev 12:11 & 2 Kings 6:8-23) 


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USA – Granite Falls Harvest Kids – April 21, 2020

    We are so thankful for Blake & Kylee Walker who along with a myriad of other responsibilities like maintaining a marriage, being parents and home schooling three children and running two businesses, also serve the Lord as the liaisons to Harvest Vision Ministries in Snohomish County. This includes sharing with other parents and guardians the vision of the Harvest Kids which was started with Madilyn and Hailey’s desire to help young orphan girls in central Africa have a bed to sleep in instead of sleeping on the floor of the school. That desire became a reality to Blake and Kylee and quickly involved other families and continues to bring these young people together to learn how to be true disciples, helping their own community and meeting the basic needs of children in Africa for over 7 years. The kids have raised and donated over $37,000 to purchase mosquito nets, beds, medicine, school supplies, provide clean water and land to farm and built toilets and schools.

    Thanks to everyone that helped expand this vision and get this little project completed. Now we need the pea gravel and the garden planted.

    The world sees it as a playground.

    To those of us that have a kingdom perspective – it’s not a playground – it is a battleground.

We hope and pray that everyone that visits will find a relationship with our Father in heaven.


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USA – Everything, Everyone, Everyday – April 15, 2020

   Great phone conversation with Wayne and Pastor Martin in Africa. Lot’s of prayers as we are looking forward too helping our co-laborers in central Africa share the love of Jesus in their communities. Thanks to Cheryl and everyone helping prepare the fields for planting crops that will build up the Body of Christ and help spread the gospel to all the nations. Thanks to everyone that is helping with the “Bird on a branch” neighborhood ministry that is bringing a message of hope during these seemingly uncertain times. The home-made cookies are just a bonus. Simply: “A bird on a branch is never afraid the branch will break, because it knows that God gave it wings.”

“Those that hope in the Lord, will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)

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Africa – Easter baptisms in Burundi – April 12, 2020

 
HE IS RISEN!
We are thankful today that even though the darkness of this world is not hidden from any of us, we can focus on what is praiseworthy and excellent. Thankful first and foremost for the love of the Father lavishly poured out for all mankind on the Cross and the promised eternal life that has been given to each of us that choose to accept the Truth. We are thankful that, for those of us in the USA, we have been given freedom in a nation that has given us great blessings and through them we can support our co-laborers around the world that are bringing the hope of Jesus Christ to nations that are not blessed like those of us that God has planted us in this field – for such a time as this. It was with heartfelt joy that we received this morning the testimonies from Evariste, the coordinator that we prayerfully and support in Burundi in Africa. On Easter, they visited 3 different communities in Bujumbura and baptized in Kinama 5 believers; in Gatumba 10 believers and in Gihanga 10 believers.

Jesus doesn’t care as much about what we give, as what we keep to ourselves.          

    Jesus came and gave us a “Preview of Coming Attractions”:

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

And then….

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your Hands I commit My Spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46)

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene…Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country…Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating…He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever do not believe will be condemned….After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right Hand of God.” (Mark 16:9-20

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Africa – Let us go over to the other side! – April 11, 2020

“That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.” (Mark 4:1)

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18)

In the first instance, the disciples lost focus of WHO told them they WOULD go to the other side. There was never a doubt in the mind of Jesus they would end up on the other side of the lake.

The same Jesus, with the same authority, told us to go make disciples.

We are thankful that our co-laborers in central Africa understand and walk under His authority.

Even as the quarantine was being put in affect in central Africa, they completed 13 outreaches and conferences the first of March and witnessed 529 accept Jesus and are now sharing the good news with others even as they observe the conditions of the quarantine in their respective countries. The limited person to person witnessing, is drawing more people in family units to faith in Christ, and social media, including the ongoing radio broadcasts, are reaching still others. When Jesus commands us to go and make disciples, He has the authority to make sure that even the gates of hell can’t stop the mission.


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The World – Only forty-nine left for me, Dad – April 10, 2020

A young boy, the son of a missionary, had heard his father say to the native congregation that if each Christian in that particular city would win fifty to Jesus the entire city would be Christianized. Without reservation this twelve-year-old boy accepted his share of the responsibility. Every day he would pray for a boy friend of his who was a Hindu. Such successful personal work was done that after a few months the boy friend was baptized. Radiant with happiness the lad watched the baptism, and said to his father, “Only forty-nine left for me now, Dad.”
Oh, that our faith were so simple that we would look to the Master for power to win against the enemy of souls! 


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The World – Are you a “fan” or a “follower”? – April 10, 2020

The difference between a fan and a follower lies in understanding what it is to be DEVOTED. Jesus was devoted to do the will of the Father, no matter what the cost.

God’s Word clearly gives us the promise that – “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being save.”

On condition that: “They DEVOTED themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. EVERYONE was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had EVERYTHING in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. EVERYDAY they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. AND THE LORD ADDED TO THEIR NUMBER DAILY THOSE WHO WERE BEING SAVED.” (Acts 2:42-47)

The Greek word for DEVOTED is “proskartereo”.

Definitions:

(1) To adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one;

(2) To be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing;

(3) To continue all the time in a place;

(4) To persevere and not to faint;

(5) To show one’s self courageous for;

(6) To be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly.   

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USA – The Passion of Christ – April 10, 2020

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ – which means, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Our family will spend this evening in the Harvest Home at 7pm watching the “Passion of Christ” embracing the Cross of our Savior, Lord and King, Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a copy, please let us know, we have a couple of extras and would try to get them to you today.
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
 
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake , so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
2 Corinthians 4:10-11)

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