Angry Devils and Tearful Youth
As I write you, two mighty missionaries are sitting in jail in Malaysia. They were reported by a Malay politician who wanted to get a reputation as being hard on crime. And the police are fed-up with him. (So they are letting the two students have access to their phones while waiting for this to be resolved.)
And another courageous canvasser spent three days last week in the hospital from a serious dog bite. It was a stray dog (like most dogs in Malaysia). And a few days before that, another student was bitten significantly.
Now we have been going door-to-door in Malaysia for 2.5 years already, and no period of time has been like this. All which leads me to conclude that the devils are just furious that we are meeting people in their previously undisturbed turf. And if devils are angry, I’m happy. I don’t think devils can win no matter how hard they try. For example, now the Malay police are witnessing first hand two real Christians having peace while being persecuted. And that must make an impression.
Meanwhile, here in the states, I am at Piedmont Camp where students went out yesterday for the first time and each one saw books go out.
But while victories on the front lines are tasty, something even more delicious has been happening to me and in me recently. I want to explain.
Perhaps a year or two ago I began to get something like a feeling or a conviction, while reading the news or while climbing mountains looking for birds, that I was criminally wasting my time. Now, I don’t promote following feelings.
But when feelings of conviction match your Biblical understanding of personal duty, then those feelings aren’t merely sentiments. They are spiritual awareness on an emotional level.
So I gave up resisting a month ago. I put down the camera. I stopped organizing time each day to explore new trees and bushes. You could say I stopped cold turkey. And a short time later I stopped accessing the news. I mean, I still know that Trump met Kim. But I am not going after the news any more at all. If it hits me in the face, I’ll know it. But what I am going after is something else:
I want a soft heart. I want to know the truth. I want to be baptized daily with the Holy Spirit. And in answer to prayer, this is what is happening to me. I am thankful.
And that brings me to Austria. There, at TGM (a mission-training center), I encountered another precious batch of missionaries in training. Oh, I love such persons! And as I shared with them, some of them were sharing with me. Some were touched by a book titled, “Steps to Personal Revival.” And the founders of the school gave Heidi and I each a copy. So I can summarize the book simply: the Holy Spirit makes holy men. We need and can receive the Spirit in answer to our heart cries and submission. So I begin daily asking for the Holy Spirit.
And, a few days later in Germany at the Joshua Camp, I saw evidence of the Spirit working with my preaching in ways I have wanted to see for decades. I don’t mean that my sermons have been powerless heretofore. (I have, for decades, prayed before each sermon earnestly for God to fulfill His promises to speak through me. And I know that He has.) But what I mean is that God gave me a heart to feel what I was saying, and He gave the audience a heart to respond or to oppose.
And I was so pleased. When teens (13, 14, 16 years old) came up to me afterwards to express their sincere devotion to the Savior, I was pleased immensely. When a lady with an addiction to sweets approached me, I was pleased and grateful at her determination to be an overcomer.
And I continue to pray for such Spiritual influences to pervade the audience to whom I speak. I speak again tonight.
Now where was I when conviction fastened on me so that I chose not to resist longer? I was in Indonesia on our new campus, iEAT-ex (for Institute of East Asia Training Extension). I saw there young adults hungering for truth, thrilling at understanding it.
And just prior to that I was in Bulgaria for a weekend meeting of scattered saints around that country. We met two families who powerfully influence the searching Adventists there. And from there we visited again Menorah, the mission-training school of Italy. Over the last two years God has been brining that precious hill-side campus higher and higher. And He has entrusted them with the highest grade of students.
But in Malaysia, my students seem to be scattering. How can that bother me? It does not. They are headed out to work the fields and valleys. And one of them, to be unnamed, to help with a large project to reach the Malay people. (And I, for my part, am learning that language).
And am becoming bolder in sharing what I know about truth. When we beat around the bush we virtually say, “what I know is not vitally important for you know.” Then we wonder why, after we take five years to carefully teach it, people aren’t convicted. Think it through. Jesus has warned us that we ought not to be ashamed of Him. I am ashamed of how ashamed I have been. Why is it so hard speak a word in favor of the King of the Universe?
And what is money needed for now? For Borneo Young Believer’s Camp ($7,000 needed). For staff homes at our new campus in Sulewesi, $40,000. For operations of the training program in Malaysia, zero per month. (Canvassing covers all).
And what is new at www.bibledoc.org ? An article on Jewelry. And the article on the Godhead continues to garner some positive interest from persons on both sides (or all three sides) of the discussion. And the old articles on Jennings and Pippenger need updating, but still are read continuously.
And what are people needed for? To reach and reach and reach some more. Do what you can while you can. Amen.
Oh, and one more thing. In March I recorded a series of lectures on the most important truths to potentially be aired in New Zealand over the FirstLight channel. If those recordings make it through the review process, it will mark the first time my teachings have had a significant chance to appeal directly to the media public. I sense it could be a beginning of something. I don't know what to pray for, so I am just telling you.
Eugene and Heidi