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Page 23 of 42

Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : With Kindness and Clarity by Jerry Cain

 

With Kindness and Clarity 

by Jerry Cain

Acts 16:9:  During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 

On the oldest maps it is called “Disputed Territory” but today it is marked as North East India connected to the rest of India by a tiny strip of land barely 25 miles wide.    

A unique feature of the “disputed territory” is the strength of over 7000 Baptist churches located in these seven states approximately the size of Kansas and Missouri combined. The first Christian missionaries arrived in Arunachal Pradesh in 1965 and today 26% of the population has embraced the good news of Jesus. Mizoram has the highest literacy rate in India and is 85% Christian. The residents of Nagaland embraced their first missionary in 1872 and now over 91% of the population is Baptist.   

This strategic Christian community is bordered on all sides by four major worldviews and has daily interaction with Communist China on the north, Buddhist Burma to the East, Muslim Bangladesh to the south and Hindu India on the west. Much like the early Christians in the Acts of the Apostles, these followers of Jesus speak with kindness and clarity to worldviews we seldom encounter in Clay County.   And now these brothers and sisters feel led to start a Christian liberal arts university.   

Second Baptist Church had a part in this nascent cause by supporting Steve Smith and me last April to visit this “disputed territory” and advise concerning the birth of North East Christian University. One sleepless night Paul envisioned a Macedonian saying, “Come over and help us,” and he took the gospel to Europe thus impacting the way people in Clay County see the world. North East India has now made that same request, “Come over and help us,” and 2BC responded through the Send Initiative. Only history will tell if the “disputed territory” becomes the epicenter of peaceful, international religious interchange through North East Christian University.

Who is calling to you, “Come over and help us?”  Ask God to open your ears and your eyes to the call.
Posted by Terri Soper at Monday, October 20, 2014 | 0 comments
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Experiencing Faith by Christy Edwards

Experiencing Faith

by Christy Edwards

Hebrews 11:1:  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   

As an experiential learner, I love to see things with my eyes, walk the streets with my feet and feel the love for people with my heart. I also want this for my children. So, it made perfect sense for us to travel to South Dakota to learn about the Lakota people and experience this new culture and people as a family.   

I can talk to my kids all day about the beauty and gift of serving alongside others, but until they begin to experience that for themselves, it is simply someone else’s story to them. Going to SD together gave my sons the chance to begin writing their own chapter in what I hope will be a lifelong novel about what it is to show the love of Christ to others.   

I often pray that God will use me as the hands and feet of Jesus. It was a new thing to pray this for my children. Watching Jackson work alongside Blane Baker was something I will never forget. Blane was working with the group to move a mountain of dirt. They had shovels and large buckets. Seeing Jackson wanted to participate, Blane found him a spade and a coffee can so he could join in. Jackson worked hard to fill his coffee can and help move that mountain of dirt. While working together, Blane became Jackson’s new friend and role model.   

In the evenings, Byron and Toni Buffalo ate with us. After dinner one night, Byron got out his flute and began playing. The music was mesmerizing, but no one loved it more than Luke. He was enchanted and every time Byron stopped playing, Luke asked for more. Seeing the way my one year old son connected to this Native American man was a gift. Children have a special way of moving beyond cultural boundaries.   

Going to South Dakota as a family was a rich experience for us and without the generosity of so many who have given to Catalyst, it would have been a financial burden. I’m grateful to be part of such a giving community of faith.    

Ask God to use you as the hands and feet of Jesus: in Liberty, in the Kansas City Metro Area, and around the world.
Posted by Terri Soper at Sunday, October 19, 2014 | 0 comments
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : They Are Not So Much Different by Eric Zahnd


They Are Not So Much Different

by Eric Zahnd   

 Psalm 100:3:  Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are all his people, the sheep of his pasture.   

The language was foreign. The food was different. The living conditions were primitive. And the heat was oppressive.  

 But the people! The people were really not very different from you and me.   

With the support of Catalyst’s SEND Initiative, our family traveled to Thailand with others from Second Baptist Church. We worked at the Upland Holistic Development Project, an agroforestry ministry assisting Hill Tribe people fleeing from Myanmar.

We dug holes, planted trees, painted a room, and built a roof for a well. And my teenage sons each brought home a prized possession—a handmade machete bought from a man who likely used it himself earlier in the day.   

As you might expect, we encountered many bewildering things. Not only was the language perplexing, the alphabet itself was indecipherable. The food was new and exotic. Especially the durian, a sweet fruit with a stench so powerful, it is banned in most restaurants and hotels.   

Many of the Hill Tribe people we met dressed in traditional garb, very different from Western attire. Their skin was dark; their statures' small. At first glance, they appeared very different.   But as we got to know them over hard work and good meals, we quickly learned that their desires, hopes, and dreams are quite similar to ours.   

They want safety for their families. They want a safe food and water supply. They want good neighbors. They want to live happy, long lives in a place they can call home. And, whether expressed or not, they yearn for a relationship with the Almighty God who created and sustains all of us.     

The world is a big place, much bigger than the relatively comfortable confines of suburban Kansas City. Language, cuisines, living conditions, customs, traditions, and even religions vary from place to place.   

But God created all of us in His own image to be His people. Our core similarities overcome our external differences. For Psalmist sings truly, "Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are all his people, the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3)   

God, help me see that all people are your people. All are in need of a Savior.
Posted by Terri Soper at Saturday, October 18, 2014 | 0 comments
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