Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nepal Miracle

Pasted below is an email written by Janelle Breznik, a member of the DIRT team to Nepal last February.  Immediately afterwards is a blog entry from Carl Bottorf of Arise Medical, one of our supported missionaries and the missionary that we went to work with.  It really is amazing to see how the Lord worked.


On our trip to Nepal in February 2008, several of us went to a brick camp to help with a medical clinic. It was overwhelming to see the lack of care these people endured making bricks with bare hands day in and day out. We saw hundreds that day. They came with wounds, respiratory problems and so many with back and neck pain from carrying the bricks. Near the end of the day a father walked up carrying a young girl on his back. She was extremely thin and though silent, her face spoke volumes about her incredible pain. It took some work to figure out what and where her pain was but after examination, we felt it was in her right hip and quite serious. Concerned it may be a severe case of bone TB, Carl, convinced the father to allow us to take her to a hospital for x-rays and tests. X-rays later proved what Carl suspected - TB had eaten away the top of her right femur and was no doubt throughout her body. Not a good prognosis. Before he dropped the team off to continue on to the hospital with Bibi, he offered for a couple of the women to come and care for her that night at the hospital. He said he’d be back to pick us up. 

This was the last night for our team in Nepal and there was a sense that we just wanted to stay together as a team. But, the Lord kept tugging at my heart. I went to ask my team leader about it. After some discussion, I told him that before we had left for Nepal, I felt the Lord speaking to my heart that He wanted to do a miracle. (I had kept that to myself till that moment). 

Funny thing, my team leader told me the same thing! We both agreed I should 
go and minister to this young lady. What a blessing to go! I was able to wash her hair and get the mats and tangles out. She smiled as she smelled the fresh scent of the shampoo. I gave her a bath the best I could with her legs already in traction. I felt so humbled to be there. As I washed her, the verse from 2 Corinthians flowed through my mind…”We are to God the fragrance of Christ to those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” Before leaving I was able to lay hands on her and pray she would be one of those being saved. I prayed for healing and for her to know God’s tremendous love. I left that hospital not sure if God had done His miracle, but I knew that I was forever changed by my time with Bibi and God’s presence in that room. 

Carl writes in his blog: 
We are still keeping up with the happenings at the Open Hands Children’s Home. I must confess that I simply felt compassion for this 50 pound fifteen year old crippled girl when I met her and really expected her to die. No doubt that the Lord had Bibi firmly in the palm of his hand and was simply using us as his tool. Bibi did not die in the hospital, which was a dirty and nasty place, so when Gina took her home, placed her in a bed in the dining room with her feet tied to the burgular bars of the window I felt that she would never recover and still at great risk of dying. William and Getenet carried her to the bathroom, Gina made her sit in a chair out in the sunshine, and my job was to threaten her and motivate her to eat enough food. 

A few days short of our departure from Open Hands, Bibi had accepted the Lord. She was now attending school for the first time, nearly doubled her weight and could hobble with crutches. Now, we have been told that follow-up x-rays indicate that her femur (legbone) and hip bones have re-generated and grown back; she is now not walking but can pretty much run totally without any assistive devices. Eva and Isaac are caring for her and report that she may even be going to her village to visit her family over the next school break. Janelle wrote the entry below to try to describe her thoughts about the first days in Bibi’s care. I take a good many photos while doing medical camps and have gone through all of my photos from that day at the brick factory looking for a photo of Bibi, as I remember the agony of her pain in her face. The Lord takes care of so many mysterious things sometimes. There are no “before” photos know to me of Bibi and for some reason, that is the way God wanted it. Janelle did have this picture of our initial contact that Saturday afternoon. I can still most vividly recall the agony on her face each time the leg moved. It was terrible. Now, it is but a memory with a strong lesson demonstrating the power of the Lord in even the most desperate of conditions. 



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pray for the Persecuted church

Through the general gifts, we recently had the opportunity to send money to GFA for the relief of the persecuted Christians in India.  I thought I would let you know what is going on.    Did you know that there is a $250 bounty on Christian Pastors in Orissa?  Extremist groups have offered what is a king’s ransom in India for the murder of our fellow brothers and pastors in India. That is almost unbelievable.  I am reminded of the ease in which I serve. I thank God for it but I do know that it is the trials in life that drive me to my knees.  Please pray for these godly men.  Since August, nearly 500 Christians have been murdered and 50,000 people are living in the forests, refugee camps etc because they had to flee for their lives.  149 churches have been burned to the ground and the Hindu extremists promised to escalate the violence on Christmas day. 


As well, Muslim extremist violence against Christians has been escalating, impacting the churches that we worked with in Egypt.  Please pray for our brothers, especially Brother E. and Pastor H.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I am very excited about an opportunity that we have here at CC St. Pete to participate in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class started by the  U.S. Center for World Mission - a non-denominational ministry that works with churches, mission agencies, and campus ministries around the world.  The class begins with understanding the biblical mandate for missions and outreach by looking through scripture and identifying a common theme throughout the entire Book, moves on to the spread of Christianity, transitions to the early church movements, and the modern missionary movement.  It climaxes in the modern missionary movement and finishes with a fantastic challenge on how to finish the task of world evangelism.  This course will energize you, will move your heart and will impact your life for eternity.  Check out some of the videos on this link:

The class starts January 18th, stop by the booth in the lobby for more details. 

The 16 core ideas of Perspectives are:

1. God initiates and advances work in history to accomplish His purpose.

2. God calls His people to join Him in fulfilling His purpose.

3. God's purpose is to bless all peoples so that Christ will be served and glorified among all peoples.

4. God accomplishes His purpose by triumphing over evil in order to rescue and bless people and to establish His kingdom rule throughout the earth.

5. The Bible is a unified story of God's purpose.

6. God's work in history has continuity and will come to an ultimate culmination.

7. The Christian movement has brought about positive social transformation.

8. The mission task can and will be completed.

9. The world's population can be viewed in terms of people groups.

10. The progress of world evangelization can be assessed in terms of church-planting movements within people groups.

11. Completing the mission task requires the initiation and growth of church-planting movements that follow social avenues of influence.

12. Completing the task requires effective cross-cultural evangelism that follows communication patterns within cultures.

13. Completing the task requires strategic wholism in which community development is integrated with church planting.

14. Completing the task requires collaborative efforts of churches and mission agencies from diverse cultures and traditions.

15. God calls His people to embrace strategic sacrifice and suffering with Christ in order to accomplish His global purpose.

16. By participating in the world Christian movement, every believer can find a way to live with vital, strategic significance in God's global purpose.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Church Planting


Pray for Ron and Uli Hostetler in Germany as they officially started Calvary Chapel church services in the YMCA building instead of in their living room this past weekend.  Pray that the Lord would bless Ron’s message and that the many people they’ve invited would come and attend this service.  If you have time too, send them an email through our missions website just to encourage them and let them know you are interceding for them. 


Also, pick up the latest edition of the Missions Newsletter in the Main Lobby.  (if you want to submit an article for next quarter, please contact us)


Friday, December 5, 2008

Loving our world!

Mission Maker Magazine recently come out with their latest magazine (and best one to date)!  You can find them on the web at ; it has a fascinating section on stats and figures.  Did you know that 9 of the top ten least evangelized cities in the world are located in one country?  That country is Afghanistan.  The only one outside of this country is located in Sahara in northwest Africa.   Wow, it makes it pretty obvious that there is a need to support cross cultural workers in central Asia!


It seems that after the Wednesday prayer service that some people didn’t quite understand how to pray for the various areas we brought up.  So I just wanted to take some time to explain.  The world is split into reached and unreached.  Meaning that a certain percentage of the globe has been touched by the gospel message (52%) and also has ready access to the gospel.  The unreached portion does not have a ready access to the good news (or none whatsoever).  Of the unreached areas, there are several large groupings of people.  The largest is of course the Muslim bloc where 20% of the world’s population can be grouped.  The Middle East, North Africa and Indonesia are primarily where we find this bloc.  The second largest with 15% of the world’s population (1,054,000 people) are considered Hindu.  India and Pakistan is where these groups are mostly located.  The Buddhist bloc is obviously located in Asia as is the Folk Chinese bloc.  The Tribal people (native groups of people with independently derived religions, usually animist, or worshiping the perceived creation around them –i.e., sun, moon, stars, water, spirits, etc) are only 3% of the world’s population but still command 230,700,000 people who haven’t embraced God’s word. 


In the Muslim world, there are 306,238 people per missionary compared to 798 in the Christian bloc.  That is a huge difference.   Again, how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent.  (Romans 10:14b-15).  My cry is that each one of us would be involved in missions by Going and serving, if not by Going, then by PRAYING, and lastly, by Sending.  Helping a missionary financially or with your time makes all the difference to our small army of missionaries.  But most of us haven’t considered our role in this battle.  Will you pray about how you can respond?  Are you available to whatever God would desire from you whether it is Going, Praying or Sending?   Maybe he won’t send you to Afghanistan, maybe he wants you in St. Pete, but are you available and willing and poured out to do whatever he might ask of you?


Pray about it.