Discipleship As Image Transfer
A smartphone with a dead battery is a pretty good picture of a lost person. We still bear the image of our Creator, but without His power working in us—without a living relationship with Him—we aren't experiencing everything He meant for us. There's still a faint reflection of the Owner. But it isn't an exact image.
This year, I shared several stories with you of people whose lives have been “empowered” by God. Joss, from Tanzania, was born into a Muslim family. Life had become so meaningless to him that at one point he was about to take his own life. But the owner of the smartphone he borrowed had been reading the gospel on our Godlife website, so Joss did, too. Instead of giving up on life, he got a new one. Now he’s transferring that new life to others by the hundreds.
There was also Max in Liberia. He pickpocketed Susan's smartphone. But after listening to her Christian music and reading email messages from her Online Missionary (Martha), Max trusted Christ. Returning Susan's phone on his knees, he asked her forgiveness. What an answer to prayer: just before the phone was stolen, Susan asked Martha to pray she would be a Philemon 6 kind of witness, meaning that the sharing of her faith would “energized” (ἐνεργής) through others coming to full knowledge of her identity in Christ.
GMO’s Online Missionary training prepares volunteers to do exactly this. Ian Walsh, a member of the training team I serve, is Martha’s “Community Leader” supervisor. Ian brought Martha into his community after training her personally. I recruited Emmy Nyangasi, Joss' Online Missionary, three years ago, after discipling her for five years. I wrote about her in my Thanksgiving, 2012 letter after she completed her training.
GMO Named Among World's Top 10 Most Impactful Ministries
What does this mean?
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We know that you rejoice with us over the millions like Joss and Max who are finding new life in Christ. We are grateful to the Lord for your partnership in our ministry through your prayers and financial support. We are excited to help lead GMO’s training as we look to 2016 and anticipate what God will do through our ministry. Christ-centered training transfersand is the way we'll continue to see the disciples of our disciples making disciples. (2 Tim. 2:2)
Being a missionary staff member with Cru entails working full-time hours at my ministry assignment, (Global Media Outreach), like any regular job. As you may be aware, I'm technically not "employed" by or paid a salary by GMO. And Cru requires all missionary staff members to raise funds from the Christians with whom we come in contact, to pay our family’s bills, so that we can devote our full time attention to serving in ministry at GMO. In other words, we need financial partners. It is humbling to ask for money, so please allow us to be blunt and tell you our needs. We're thankful to have you as our ministry partner and particularly grateful if you are led to help us meet those needs. But please do not feel guilty if you do not feel led to do so. You can only help if you know there is a need; but of course your giving should be wherever God is leading you.
- Analysis of the past 12 months shows we need at least $400 more in monthly donations to break even with our expenses. Even small monthly donations add up!
- The foundation in our home cracked and shifted due to massive Texas rain fall followed by extremely hot and dry weather, and it needs to be repaired. The estimated cost is $5000.
- Cru leadership has created a $2000 matching gift fund for us. That means for every dollar given, Cru will match it and that doubles the gift. The easiest way to participate is by going to http://www.give.cru.org/0543730.
|Over the same 12 months:|
|• An average of 558,441 visited our gospel sites each day from all over the world.|
|• An average of 56,637 of those visitors made decisions for Christ each day|
We pray that you are encouraged to hear these examples of how your giving is being used to train disciples like Emmy who train disciples like Joss who will make many more disciples! We also appreciate you allowing us to share our financial needs with you as well, so that we may continue to give our full attention to ministry. Please keep us updated on your family - has there been an address change? Illness? Praise report? How can we pray for you?
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!