Part 3: Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker_Part_ThreePART 3 of 3: Family First or Church First? An interview with dragon slayer, disciple maker, Pastor Brian Williams and his wife Ruth from Agape Missions International, Nepal.

Question 20: How do you have the energy and balance your time between studying, preaching, writing, caring for your family, and other ministries?

Family First or Church first?

  • Is the God we serve only a community God?
  • Is the God we serve only a personal family king?
  • Is the God we serve only a serious father?

Here below is some type of weird ideology based on the world’s value system:

  • God first.
  • Family second.
  • Ministry third.

Now, where do we find that in the Bible? Nowhere, can we find any of this in scripture. That unbiblical and soulish concept is propagated by intellectually challenged, worldly people in the church.

Here is another piece of theology that betrays biblical orthodoxy:

Family ministry or Church ministry? But not both as a priority?

Now, where in the Bible do we find such an either/or dichotomy so as to prioritize one over the other? This comes from an unbiblical worldview of splitting values when none is required. This is opposed to the Judeo-christian way of doing things.

Thus seeking FIRST the kingdom of God, is:

Church Family Ministry,

Family IN Ministry and

Family AS Ministry.

Here is what I believe is the pure Bible worldview on family and the kingdom of God. This truth encompasses all three of the concepts below in perfect unity without surrendering any of the three ideas.

  1. Participating in local Church Family events IS ministry.
  2. Families involved in spiritual exercises IS ministry.
  3. Fun family activities in a family IS also ministry.

To speak about Biblical balance in another way, let us look at these three sentences:

Our church is our family and our family is our church.

We are to minister IN our immediate-family/joint-family which IS our ministry too.

Our nuclear family is called to a BE type of ministry, as well as serving God in a DO type of ministry also.

Let us dig a little deeper without excluding any of the three threads mentioned above.

  1. Church Family Ministry

Many families reluctantly drag their kids and their spouses to a local fellowship. It’s a sad thing when a family enjoys every other program in their locality other than a church program. Many research studies show that those who have a committed church community as their primary social network live longer. Do we go to a local church and give our time, talent and treasure to that church community together as a family? Or do we just warm the carpet and do a bench warming activity there? Paul mentioned this priority beautifully in Hebrews 10:25 “Not FORSAKING the ASSEMBLING of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”

      2. Family “IN” Ministry

Most families wait until their children reach college for them to serve God. Then, it’s sometimes too late because they are already fixed and anchored in their ways. They have received no training at home. If we do not fellowship, evangelize, pray and enjoy the Bible together as a family, why will they do it when they grow up? The Jews were wisely commanded by God to tell their kids stories of what God did. Why? The word of God was supposed to be on their doors. Why? I think it was so they would read it, remember it and enact it every time they went out into society and came back home. They had Sabbath meals with great Bible symbolism so that they could experience Emmanuel in all the areas of their family life. The family that prays and does spiritual stuff together stays together.

Joel 1:3  TELL your children about it, Let your children TELL their children, And their children ANOTHER GENERATION.

     3. Family “AS” Ministry

So many people show their families by their lifestyle that they serve a boring God. If our God and our Parents do nothing but pray, read the Bible, go to church and evangelize, then we have shown our God as a fun killer at worst and a dull God at best. Do we dance with our kids? Do we play football with our kids? Do we go cycling with our kids? Do we watch movies with our kids? Do we go on picnics with our kids? Do we read books with our kids? If we have no recreational activities with our kids then we serve and portray our God as a spoilsport, a very grumpy old man who has is no fun and joy. On the other hand, fun was created by God but perverted by the Devil. We must take back what the devil has stolen.The family is itself a ministry and we must enjoy it without having to do stuff that is Christianese only. We are definitely not called to participate in sinful activities but there are other things we could do like, going to, zoo’s, picnics, parties and sports events. 

That is why 1 Cor 10:31 counsel’s us in this way “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do all to the glory of God.

Some concluding thoughts:

The family that prays together stays together.

But

The family that plays together stays together too.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

But

All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

Discerning Family Seasons:

So in conclusion, we must strike a healthy balance between investing our time for church community moments and a time for our personal and private family seasons. We must apply wisdom when we are to do which and for how long. Sometimes “family ministry” is the priority, other times the “church family ministry” is the priority, and still at other times, “family fun ministry” is the priority. Only the Holy Spirit can help us put the kingdom first by creating that balance in the prayer closet for each of the days of our week. 

On average how much time does it take you to put together a sermon, including research and study?

Depends on Question number 20. FullSizeRender (7)-002

How much time do you spend in personal Bible study and prayer a day?

Depends on Question number 20.

What is the hardest part of being a pastor/ pastor’s wife? 

Balancing Question number 20.

What is your biggest challenge in your ministry? FullSizeRender (1)-003

Implementing Question number 20.

What most breaks your heart?

People neglecting the values of Question number 20.

What has being a preacher and your ministry cost you? FullSizeRender (3)-002

Persecution.

Do you ever want to quit?

NEVER.

What keeps you going? FullSizeRender (4)-002

Our quiet time. 

What most encourages you?

The ongoing testimony of God lovers.

FullSizeRender (5)-002Who inspires you?

Those who incarnate the Bible in their localities. 

What has been the most unexpected benefit of your ministries?

Serving at risk people has brought out the best in me, my wife and five kids.

Do you have someone you can talk to for counsel, direction, FullSizeRender (6)-002encouragement, prayer—someone you can be really open with?

My wife has an Indian lady and I have an American and Nepali guy whom we are accountable to.

How do you keep your heart and zeal for people and God, in spite of people’s failings and some turning against you?

Serve them in His power and strength.

What are some things your church and others could do to lighten your load or refresh you and your family so you can better serve God and them?

People living out the gifts that they have been given.This lightens our burden and revives us.

What do you see as the biggest threat to the Church today?

Atheistic believers, worldly Christians and religious denominational-ism.

What do you believe is the key to revival?

Praying and evangelizing.

How do you feel about Jesus’ return, the rapture?

I am to serve Him till He returns. I am a PANMillennialistEverything will pan out when He comes back.

How are mission trip teams like the one my daughter, Abigail, came on with Adventures in Missions this past summer helpful to you and your ministry?

The greatest ministry your daughter and her team left behind was probably not Bible studies, hand-outs and eloquent speeches, (they are great too). But it was mainly by empowering the local leaders in Tami Nepal and our networks.

They did this by birthing and serving long term relationships, by an act of deep interpersonal koinonia in the hearts of the local long term workers. We are hoping for not only short term  success for the short space of time they were here but the long term successes by them investing generously their time, talent, treasure, (money and things etc), and touch, (prayer), in me, my family, my team and my partners. This model of “one-another” ministry was lovely to see in practice. Working together with the Holy Spirit and each other is key to our mutual success. This is only possible when short-term people/teams leave a legacy behind with us, their co-workers. Nothing is worse than an individual or team coming here and doing fast and furious ministry all by themselves while the local ministers are just tag-alongs.

The African Proverb is so true:

If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

Abigail and her team were lovely in being our friends and continue to be close to us by e-mail and Facebook. We pray and hope some of them come back again to be with us.

What is your favorite memory of your ministry?

From Street Kid to Pastor

by Kayla Strickler

Sachin was the name behind the face of a child beggar on the sweltering side streets of Nepal. Street kids are extremely common in this country; they often spend their days begging, sometimes at the urging of their very own families. Street kids typically lie, fabricate tear-jerking stories, or play dumb to coax more money out of unsuspecting travelers. Sachin was a kid that needed no such ploys; he had an obvious physical challenge in one leg. Even so, he traded the street life for a job in the carpet industry when the enticing opportunity arose. And just like that, he became a statistic and joined the ranks as one of thousands of Nepal’s child laborers.

In Nepal, child labor for the carpet industry is rampant. Despite many efforts to bust the business over the last several years, the fight to end child labor is still far from over. World-famous carpets come from Nepal—the smaller the knot and the finer the carpet, the better and more valuable. Consequently, tiny agile hands often work 16-hour days and stitch until their fingers bleed raw.

As Sachin grew into adolescence, working hard hours in this industry, he encountered someone who introduced him to a life of faith in Christ. As a new believer, he began attending a church that was willing and able to put a roof over his head; but this supposed miracle was short-lived. The life of that roof expired when the church abruptly changed their policy and chose to no longer support street kids. As quickly as the roof had been put over his head, it was taken away. Sachin found himself blindsided. He was physically limited, uneducated, and now completely homeless.

In his destitute and dejected state, an Agape affiliate got word about the boy with the sick leg and bleeding, carpet-making fingers. Before long, Sachin came under Agape’s wing to be developed as a leader through an internship, with a roof over his head, and no longer needing to work slave hours six days a week. The boy that was once on the streets now had a roof, food, a family, and above all, a chance in life.

Around the same time Sachin was beginning his journey with Agape, another miracle was being worked out in someone else’s life who would also soon join forces with the mission.

Agrata, a bright and steadfast young woman, joined Agape to grow and help fulfill her calling as a leader. As one of only two Christians in her otherwise Hindu family, she needed a place to live as her current living situation fell through. Staying where she was meant stress and ill health because of the tense environment; going back home to a Hindu family would mean re-crucifying the Jesus so important to her, (since returning to a Hindu family would mean renouncing her Christian faith). Caught between a rock and a hard place, she found a third option and made her home for the season in Agape, where she could live and grow with a community of believers.

Agrata and Sachin’s love grew fast and strong. Two years into their internship with Agape, their romance was a beautiful avalanche rushing down a hill, gaining their faith and maturity before they got married, but to the besotted couple, the avalanche was already gathering great speed. Brian’s wish was that they spend another six months in a development program growing really unstoppable. They quickly tied the knot and set out on their own, blissfully in love and choosing to branch out on their own.

A local church they had been attending helped the couple secure a place to live and work: two rooms, one for a meat business to support themselves, and one room to live in. Soon, they started a family. Life continued in this security for a comfortable length of time. When they were pregnant with their second child, they happened again upon Agape’s staff. When they did, Agrata and Sachin came bearing news of all the great things happening in their lives: pastorship, children, business… Except, one thing was noticeably amiss—Sachin and Agrata had grown weary of working in the meat business, and their hearts yearned to focus more on ministry. They rejoined Agape, reunited in the place they first met—this time with two little ones in tow. But, in the blink of an eye, they chose to return to their church and meat business. Then, the unthinkable happened. The infamous earthquake hit with ferocious strength, and left their home, business, stability, and life all rubble in its grip. Sachin, Agrata, and their two kids were officially homeless.

They came to Agape for help. In Brian’s own words, “Sometimes a couple needs help two or three times, to establish themselves…” And so, with great love, Sachin and Agrata found themselves back at their roots. In another beautiful partnership with Agape ministries, Sachin and Agrata were blessed even more than before. The couple remained with Agape until they were on their feet again after the earthquake. In due time, they had a well and a house built with a room for church, two bedrooms, and a washroom. They now serve faithfully in Nepal, running their own church, bringing more and more people to the knowledge and saving faith of Jesus, the one who can do exceedingly and abundantly more than anyone could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

What is your vision for your ministry, your calling?

Small is Beautiful!

It’s not terribly important how big a work we have, but rather how big a work God does and is doing through us.

Tami Asia Calling:

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:5 For every man shall BEAR HIS OWN BURDEN.

CAR CUP Nepal/ TARA School Nepal/ WARM Nepal

(Who is God? What is true/ real Religion?)

Click for Video: Meet Ruth

https://youtu.be/-I80BIz7yIE

James 1:27 PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED before God and the Father is this, To visit the FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS in their affliction, and to KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD.

Psalms 68:5 A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, and A JUDGE OF WIDOWS is God in his holy habitation.

Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even A CUP OF COLD WATER to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly NOT LOSE THEIR REWARD.”

Psalms 113:6-9 KJV Who HUMBLES himself to BEHOLD the things that are in heaven, and IN THE EARTH! He RAISES UP the POOR out of the DUST, and LIFTS the NEEDY out of the DUNGHILL; That he may SET HIM with PRINCES, even with the PRINCES of HIS PEOPLE. He makes the BARREN WOMAN to keep house, and to be a joyful MOTHER of CHILDREN. Praise ye the Lord.

The Prodigal Son,  Luke 10:25-37

Click for Video: Meet Our Team.

Bethesda Bishram Nepal

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his OWN WORKS, as God did from his.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from DEAD WORKS, and of faith toward God.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ,who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from DEAD WORKS to serve the living God?

Click for Video: Meet Brian

https://youtu.be/EMLPWThJyCU

Bethel Ashrm Nepal 

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same COMMIT THOU TO FAITHFUL MEN, who shall be able to TEACH OTHERS ALSO.

Blessings FullSizeRender (8)-002          

Cheers

Prayers

Because…

Together we do a great work for God

Rev. Brian Reshma Williams

*Click here to read PART 1. 

**Click here to read PART 2.  

***You can read my post featuring my daughter, Abby’s stories of her mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes 

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us****Please respect the request of the interviewees that neither the link  for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post on other platforms.

Thank you for your consideration.                                                                                                  © 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

 

Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal (Part 2)

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby _Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker-A _Preacher _Wages War_Part2

Part 2: Women at Risk, Children at Risk and a Judas—Continuing the Conversation with Reverend Brian Williams and his wife, Ruth, of Agape Missions, Nepal

Brian, where do you currently preach?

I oversee 200 churches, so I find myself travelling to these pulpits in India and Nepal. That brings me to our vision.We see this fleshed out in Bethesda Bishram, Agape’s second house in Kathmandu, Nepal, and it serves different functions. Throughout the year, you may find it populated by local pastors attending seminars, short-term missions groups working with Agape, or a family trying to get themselves back on their feet.

FullSizeRender (5)-001Bethesda Bishram serves a different purpose than Bethel Ashrm. It is a house for rest, revival, refreshing and renewal for leaders and their families. It is a place of retreat and fellowship.

Agape recognizes the importance of rest because it allows us to listen to the Lord and His will for our lives, because without retreat, there is no surrender. The purpose is to invest in the leaders of Nepal, so that they may be sustained. It gives them a chance to escape the fishbowl experience, the sense that one is always on display, of public ministry and find refuge, strength, and rest in Christ.

Ruth, did you think when you became a Christian you would become a preacher’s wife?

No, but I love the practical teaching style of my husband.

You are a church planter and overseer of churches and the author of five books on Biblical economics. Why is this important? What is your vision?

I have a simple dream. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use these Biblical Economics seminars for the glory of Jesus by helping the priestly people of God walk in financial fruitfulness. My prayer is that the kingly royal anointing would be upon them and that they will experience good success in every area of life. They will be the head and not the tail of their community or society, the top and not the bottom of their locality or village.

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FullSizeRender (8)-001My prayer is that:

It is high time that the Peter’s of today walk out their humble calling with their heads held high and not be frowned upon as old school missionaries. The Bible is never out of date and my desire is that there will be an explosion of the biblical Peter model of volunteer missionaries all around the globe. That they will destroy the fads and gimmicks of false doctrine by continuing a life of volunteerism faithfully.

My prayer is that:

The Priscilla’s and Aquila’s of today would not be shunted out of modern missions as irrelevant. My prayer is that many couples would turn their homes into churches and their workplaces into pulpits. That they would not accept being called second class workers of the gospel, which they are not. Accepting a salary or making a profit must never be allowed to be frowned upon by modern Constantine’s. That they would boldly remain in their holy calling thus defeating the false teachers of today who have demonically labelled them as the, ‘half time calling,’ people.

My prayer is that:

The Paul’s of today would continue to faithfully obey the higher calling of God by FullSizeRender (9)-001walking in financial wisdom as per the season they find themselves in. Many times the people of God in this dual model have walked in financial ignorance and so when crushing financial times have arrived they have left the ministry. I hope these books help multiply these amazing street smart Paul model missionaries who will be salaried or free volunteers as and when the need of the ministry hour demands.

You have a ministry for at risk women, rescuing some and their children from the sex trafficking trade and also a ministry to the sukumbasi (slum/street) children as well as developing leaders through two leadership homes. What is the road that led you to these ministries?

The Agape Mission International was founded on the great Commandment (Matt 22:37) the great Commission, (Mark 16:16) and the great Commitment, (Isaiah 61:1-3). The vision the Master gave me in 1998 was of a river flowing down a mountain to the lowest and the least in society. The hurting the helpless and the broken are whom the love of God and the power of God works best in and through very easily.

James 1:27 “PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED before God and the Father is this, To visit the FATHERLESS, (Children at Risk), AND WIDOWS, (Women at Risk), in their affliction…”

That led us to work with children and women at risk and not just orphans and widows.

Can you tell us about your Women at Risk Ministry?

FullSizeRender (8)-003We have 8 projects for women caught in sexual trafficking and exploitation.

WARM (Women At Risk Ministries) Nepal projects below:

1. A Tailoring Shop.

Therefore, those desiring tailoring skills are welcome.

2. A Computer Lab.

Then, those desiring software and hardware skills are welcome.

3. A Language Class.

Those desiring English Language speaking and writing skills are welcome.

4. A Beauty Saloon.

Also, those desiring beauty parlor and fashion sector skills are welcome.

5. A Food Outlet.

For those desiring cooking, baking and chef skills are welcome.

6. An Adult Literacy Center.

And, those desiring pre-school teacher training and educational skills are welcome.

7. A Candle Making unit. FullSizeRender (7)-003

Plus, those desiring scented candle-making and interior decoration skills are welcome.

8. A Handicraft Products workshop.

Finally, those desiring sewing, jewelry and crochet skills are welcome.

What is the process for rescuing and restoring women from the sex-trafficking trade?

We rescue and restore women from cabin restaurants, dance bars and elsewhere.We have intervention programs as well as prevention programs.

Please read more here:

http://womennepal.blogspot.com/

http://womenstorynepal.blogspot.com

Our training center continues to train more than 50 ladies daily. One girl aged 14 years who was sexually abused in an orphanage was rescued by our team. She is now going to school, and has accepted Christ. Another girl who was married with a child was thrown out of her home after she accepted Christ. She is now taking beautician training amongst us.

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From my daughter’s accounts from her mission trip to Nepal, and from reading some of the stories on the links at your site, it seems like many women, some with infants, end up in the trafficking trade as a result of their husband’s abandoning them.Why is this? How does the culture in Nepal view marriage?

Marriage is viewed very highly in Nepal. The problem is that the men find it very easy to run away from their wives and children. I think it’s a manhood issue rather than a marriage issue. Most women remain faithful till the end.

Prostitution and brothels are illegal in Nepal, but trafficking takes place when poor villages girls are falsely lured into better job opportunities. They are tricked and taken to India, the Middle East Muslim majority countries and Kathmandu’s dance bars and cabin restaurants, (actually brothel’s).

Please read more here:

http://fleshtradenepal.blogspot.com/

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Some are called  Dalit untouchables. What does that mean?

In Hinduism there is a caste system.The low caste, the high caste and all the rest in-between.The low caste people are the untouchable dirty Dalit people. There is a passage in the Rigveda, (Hindu scriptures), which enumerates the four castes in the being of the Heaven-Man called Purusha. The Brahman is called the mouth of Purusha, as having the special privilege as a priest of addressing the gods in prayer. The arms of Purusha became the Rajanya, the prince and soldier who wields the sword and spear. His thighs, the strongest parts of his body, became the agriculturalist and tradesman,the chief support of society, and his feet,the emblem of vigour and activity, became the Sudra or labouring man, (Dalit-Untouchable), on whose toil and industry all ultimately rests.

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Can you tell us about your Children at Risk ministry?

We operate two non formal schools in the slums.We also have a street kids soccer and feeding program.The purpose is to serve the poor but also model these ministries for local churches to start their own work amongst the marginalized.

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We minister to more than 100 kids on the streets and in the slums daily.We feed them, FullSizeRender (2)-005give them basic education, play music and football with them and tell them Bible stories on a daily basis. More than 50 of these children now attend children’s church every week.

 

We want to educate, empower and equip them. Our hope then is that they become good family people with sustainable jobs.

Please read more here:

http://streetkidsnepal.blogspot.com/

http://streetkidstory.blogspot.com/

http://slumschoolnepal.blogspot.com/

http://slumstory.blogspot.com

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What is the craziest situation you’ve experienced during your ministry that you are free to share?

Every Ministry Has a Judas

by Kayla Strickler

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. 2 Corinthians 2:17

Thirteen years ago began Tamasi’s story with Agape ministries. Tamasi originally belonged to another ministry in Kathmandu run by a reputable African man named Chibuzor (Nigerian for “God first” or “God leads”). Chibuzor ran a successful ministry in the city, but when he fell in love with a Norwegian woman, he elected to leave the beautiful mountains of Nepal for his soon-to-be wife’s homeland. Chibuzor left the ministry he had put so much blood, sweat, and tears into to another African brother. Under this leadership, Tamasi was the ministry manager.

One otherwise still and peaceful night, Chibuzor appeared to Brian in a dream. He bore a message, and through the hazy outline of the dream’s frame spoke: “Brian, I don’t care about any of the office affairs that may occur—I want you to take care of Tamasi, my manager. Don’t let her go. Keep her with you.” Chibuzor vanished. Brian’s eyes opened.

Only one short week later, Brian’s phone rang. It was Tamasi. Through anxious breaths and a crack in her voice, she failed to disguise her worry as slowly the story unfolded. The man who Chibuzor entrusted his ministry to had embezzled everything he could, including money, sensitive documents, and other information from the computer, and had disappeared—never to be seen again. He vanished still $3,000 indebted to the landlord of the rented ministry building, but in his disappearance, the debt now fell on Tamasi. Her plea to Brian was for help, so that she would stay out of jail for a nonpayment that was never meant to be hers.

Brian and Agape ministries stepped in to help. In God’s sovereignty and promise that he works all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), when Brian showed up to help Tamasi with the situation, the landlord instantly recognized his face. “Brother Brian!” he shouted. “It is you!”

The two jovially talked. With a puzzled look on her face, Tamasi watched the curiously joyous interaction. It took a moment for the realization to strike: Brian and the landlord were old football friends. Through his glee, the landlord agreed to loosen the reigns on debt collection and simply told Brian to call him whenever he was ready and able to pay. Tamasi’s dilemma and fear of imprisonment were eradicated. But this wasn’t over. A hazy picture of Chibuzor flashed across Brian’s memory. He remembered the dream he had a mere week ago and knew that he was to do more than just help Tamasi stay out of jail. So, looking at her background and skill set, he offered her a job in Agape’s ministry for women at risk.

And so began the long stretch of Tamasi’s work with Agape. For quite a few years, the partnership was fluid. But in time, word started getting back to Brian about Tamasi speaking ill of him and the ministry behind his back. (Nepali culture is known to be indirect in a way that fuels gossip, but this particular flame grew like a wildfire whose smoke was extra poisonous.) Soon enough, other team members couldn’t ignore the flames. They couldn’t ignore the tension in the air. Team members started asserting their opinions that Agape needed to dismiss her from staff, and even Brian agreed. But one thing was stopping him: the memory of Chibuzor speaking to him through a dreamy haze. As Brian remembered Chibuzor’s words, he knew what he had to do. The more he prayed about it, the more he remembered both the dream and the story of Judas. In Brian’s words, “Jesus still chose Judas. Everyone needs to have a Judas.”

And so, even though according to Brian, the last three or four years she was with Agape were “hell on earth,” every year at Christmastime Tamasi’s salary still increased. She was treated exceedingly well, even when Agape didn’t want to and their hearts told them to let her go. Then, out of left field one day, Tamasi unexpectedly left. She explained she was not feeling well; that she needed to stay home and take care of herself. She mentioned her husband and her mother as other reasons. She had been trying to get pregnant; she explained the doctor advised her to rest, and then she may be able to conceive. All seemed like plausible reasons, they thought.

But rotting fish will eventually smell.

Around six months later, all of the Agape students from the women’s center inexplicably started attending another institution. The mystery was solved when Brian learned that Tamasi had started her own center, and the drama unfolded tenfold when he rushed to check the records from the Agape program: Tamasi had stolen and deleted them all. Brian had no way to even contact the women who now attended Tamasi’s program instead of Agape’s. To add exponentially more fuel to the flame, Tamasi had approached one of Agape’s biggest financial supporters and slandered the ministry, spreading accusations of corruption. The donor believed Tamasi’s lies and began to put his financial support towards Tamasi’s ministry instead.

According to Brian, there are many lessons in this story. “She keeps me humble,” he says. Even though Brian wishes he could run into her on the street and confront her, it is a choice to love people—it is a choice to not be offended, and stand ground. It is a choice to love a betrayer despite their betrayal. It is a choice to focus on the fact that Tamasi still does something people will benefit from. It is a choice to lean on the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians describing people peddling the word of God for profit. It is a choice to acknowledge that some preach the word with an attitude that is good and some with one that is bad; but what is most important is that the truth still gets preached. It is a choice to look at people like Tamasi and intentionally not to come against them, even when the opponent is outgunned.

Perhaps most people would choose retaliation. Perhaps many would look at Judas and shout about how he should have never been with Jesus in the first place. But Jesus still used Judas, and every ministry will have one. How will you react to your Judas?

                                                         ~~~*~~~

What is the religious climate in Nepal? What is the Anti-Conversion Law?

General Information:

Nepal is a secular country with some degree of religious freedom. Nepal has gone through dictatorships, civil wars, guerrilla warfare, and earthquakes, which has made the people of Nepal very resilient in good times and bad. Nepal has never been under foreign rule, so it is very welcoming to tourists, but we still must be careful of sharing our faith in a wise way.

Specific Information:

The Anti-Conversion Law bill passed in parliament several years ago and it roughly goes like this.

  • You cannot force anyone to change their religion.

  • You cannot bribe anyone with money etc. to change their religion.

  • You cannot force a person to not become an atheist if he/she wants to.

To this they added last month, (September 2017):

  • You cannot harass any other religion that is not yours.

This Bill was passed into law by the first female president of Nepal. The funny thing is that Christians and all other religions believe and agree with the bill. As you know none of us in the Christian faith convert anyone or practise the above four points. The Spirit of Christ leads them to the Father.

So it’s business as usual…

We are open to get persecuted but not because of our foolishness. Therefore, all our churches and work in the slums and with women offer practical education, job skills and adventure evangelism with local churches, so we will always be okay. Of course the enemy goes around like a prowling lion and we must be alert also.

*To be continued in Part 3: God, Family, ministry. Which is priority? 

**Did you read Part 1?

***You can read my post featuring Abby’s stories of her mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes

***Please respect the request of the interviewee that neither the link for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post by e-mail and on other platforms. Thank you for your consideration.

 © 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_your_Heart_Dragon_Slayer_Disciple_Maker_Part_OneIt is my honor to interview and introduce you to dragon slayer, disciple maker and preacher, Reverend Brian Williams and his wife Ruth whose ministry my daughter, Abby, served under on her mission trip to Nepal. You can read Abby’s account in my prior post entitled, Echoes.

Please welcome Brian and Ruth.

Part 1

I am an Anglo-Indian. My ancestry is a mixture of the colonizer and the colonized. I look Indian and I am most at ease in an Indian culture but I speak and think with the English language.

Brian Leonard Williams is my name and I grew up speaking English as my mother tongue.

My maternal Grandfather’s name was Edwin Joseph Seaman, a British engineer and part of a group of pioneers of the Indian Railway.

 

Himalayan Railway Train

These were the days when British engineering was revolutionizing communication and trade across India, much of it to the benefit of the British.

Image from: On India’s Frontier; or Nepal, the Gurkhas’ Mysterious Land Author: Ballantine, Henry     

My biological Father was an Englishman named Edward Canute Roberts. However, after getting my Mother pregnant, Edward left for Australia without marrying her. So I was born in the huge metropolis that is Calcutta in 1970 to a single Mother, Antoinette Matilda Seaman, who had little means to support us; a gritty start to life. To the rescue came my Dad, Roy Ainsley Williams, a gifted diesel-engineer. He fell in love with my pregnant mom Antoinette and they got married. So Roy became My ‘real’ Dad. He was a wonderful Dad in spite of being a hopeless alcoholic. We went for walks together and ate fried fish, it’s still my favorite food. It turned out that Dad Roy was a great friend, but a poor provider. Given half a chance he would sell everything and disappear for several months at a time. I hardly ever saw him sober. I remember yearning for a sober Dad. My Mother rescued the family finances. She was industrious and resourceful, finding work as a secretary. We were poor but never went without food.

I spent the next few years at St Bedes orphanage and boarding school in Chennai, India run by the Roman Catholic Salesians of the Don Bosco order. My Mother scraped and saved money to send me there, searching for every discount and scholarship available.

My Father was Church of England and My Mother was a Roman Catholic. But we only went to church at Christmas and Easter. I had been exposed to religion at school, but essentially I was non-religious; my religion was the dance floor. I lived for dancing and womanizing every Saturday night—Shakin’ Stevens, The Bee- Gees, Boney M. I had all of the vices you would expect from a teenage lad. I remember rewriting and singing hymns for fun in the Chapel with rude and mischievous words, fighting, lying, lusting, cheating, stealing. Not in a big way, I was just one of the lads, and we got up to all sorts of pranks.

When I was nineteen, our family returned to Calcutta. I went to college to study for a Bachelor’s degree in commerce. For two years I continued to play the field. Addicted to women, I danced and drank my way through all of the pleasures that life had to offer. I lived for the day; I was an Epicurean. But the more I filled myself with worldly pleasures, the more empty I felt. Was self-centered pleasure all that there was, or was there a purpose to life? What did life mean? What if I was Michael Jackson, with all that money, fame and success? Would that satisfy? I put myself in Michael Jackson’s shoes. No, it wouldn’t, I decided. What if I had a family, a loving wife and a tribe of happy children? I would take my place in the natural birth and death cycle— would that satisfy? No, it wouldn’t. I came to the conclusion that life was utterly meaningless.

We tagged along from Calcutta with a band, just hanging out, parties and lots of fun—you know the way young people do. I found myself joining a group of music friends in Hyderabad, a large city in central India. Then a band member gave me some prophecy books which had Bible verses and newspaper articles on either side of a page. I was shocked that Bible verses had meaning in current events. I then found a Bible, but when I saw a long genealogy, just a list of names, I thought it  was an out of date meaningless book. I threw it in the corner of my room. However, whether out of a sense of politeness or by divine prompting, I decided that I should at least out of courtesy, read a few verses from the Bible, then I would return it. I opened the Bible at random and found the book of Proverbs. It was like holding up a mirror. I saw myself in the words of Proverbs, like the woman at the well. This book told me about myself like no other literature I had ever read. I read right through Proverbs, then Ecclesiastes, warming to its theme of ‘everything is meaningless.’ I thought, I could have written this book. By the time I was reading the book of Psalms I was on my knees in my hotel room committing my life to Christ. That was in 1989.

I read through the Bible three times in just nine months. I welcomed Christ into my life and started attending a Church in Hyderabad. I left my old lifestyle and returned to Calcutta to finish my degree in commerce and was baptized as a Christian. At the age of twenty-two, I was marching to the beat of a very different drum. But I still have a lot to learn from God’s word and daily yearn to feel His hand on my life.

How long have you been married?

My wife is a Nepali from Darjeeling, India, which once belonged to Nepal, but was taken by the British for their amazing tea. Before that, the kings of Nepal sold Darjeeling to the kings of India for a harem of girls, so it’s a very complicated place. Ruth Reshma and I were married in 2001 in Mirik, Darjeeling. We came to Nepal on our honeymoon and never left. So technically we are still on our honeymoon…sixteen years and counting.

How many children do you have? I know some of your children are fostered. Can you tell me a little about them?

We have four sons and a four month old daughter. Three of them are chosen from the womb of my wife and two are chosen from the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. One son, Sujan is an outreach leader with Youth With A Mission in Lucknow, India and another son, Sameer, is a youth leader in a Christian school in Denmark. Our two biological children, Samarth and Saran, are in primary and secondary school. Our small boy loves sports and his older brother loves to play the guitar and soccer.

Did you think when you got married you would be fostering children?

Never planned to, but we are pleasantly surprised. Before Marrying Ruth Reshma I went on an 80 day fast for our marriage and family. God told me that I was the sun and Reshma (means moon) would have nine planets in our solar system. We tried to figure out what that actually meant. We have five, so four more planets are yet to form in our family.

FullSizeRender (1)-002Please Describe your Ministry.

I, (Brian Williams), founded The Agape Mission International, (Tami), in 1998 in India, with the goal of living out our biblical calling to assist women and children at risk, as well as to create new apostolic disciples. It started with a church in south India, (which still exists) but is now a movement of 200 plus churches in Nepal and India.We oversee seven head pastors who manage all these churches.

We serve the at risk people group in a FullSizeRender (2)-003multitude of ways.We minister in the slums through our Tara Non-Formal Schools. We have our street kids soccer and food ministry.

We reach out to cabin restaurants and dance bars all the while maintaining a Women at Risk Ministry Center where we offer training for eight different skills for women at risk.The Bethesda Bishram prayer and retreat house is where we give local pastors retreat opportunities as well as a camp to host mission teams into mountain villages.

Bethel Ashrm is a place for mentoring at risk people into leadership as well as marginalised youth from churches who are going through various challenges.

You have other people living with your family. How many people live in your home?

Bethel Ashrm, is our home in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its name represents what takes place there. Bethel means “house of God” and Ashrm is taken from Hebrew and means “fire, head, and water.” Therefore, our vision for Bethel Ashrm is that it would be a place where our mind is set on fire by the Holy Spirit and washed with the water of the Word of God.

Inside Bethel Ashrm, we care for rescued FullSizeRender (3)-001children and disciple four to five young people at a time to start their own ministries and churches both in Nepal and around the world.

We offer Leadership Internships and Apprenticeships for Missionaries going to and from Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We also have youth volunteers who are sent to my churches for leadership mentoring.

Along with our five children, we currently have ten other children living in our home. These ten children include kids who were rescued from dance bars, the streets, abusive homes, or abandoned during the earthquake.

Please read more here:

http://leadersnepal.blogspot.com/

http://leaderstorynepal.blogspot.com/

http://bethelashram.blogspot.com/

How did this came to be? Did you and your wife envision your home like it is when you married?

Nope. One day I returned from India and found that my wife had closed down the staff boys and girls houses and had taken a house so we could all live and learn together. We were then taught by God to make it into a “live and learn” house for our family and others.

Ruth, how long was your husband away when you moved your family to a different house and brought all these people to live with you?

One week.

Did he have any idea you were going to do this or was it a complete surprise when he returned home?

A total surprise.

Were you worried about what his response would be?

Nope. He came home and I took him to the new community house.

FullSizeRender (10)-001You have 15 children and several adults living in your home. How do you orchestrate meals and household chores?

Good and healthy delegation. Even the teens cook.

Brian, what were your first thoughts when you returned home and found out what Ruth had done?

I was stunned, and then realized it was the best ministry decision we ever made. Still shocked daily at seeing this ministry become the bedrock upon which all other ministries grow.

*To be continued in Part 2:  Women at Risk, Children at Risk and a Judas

     **Read my prior post featuring Jacob’s and Abby’s stories of their mission trip to Nepal here:  Echoes

***Please respect the request of the interviewee that neither the link for, nor any content from this article be posted on Facebook. However, please feel to share the link to this post by e-mail and on other platforms. Thank you for your consideration.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

Echoes (Nepal Mission Trip Report)

 

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Abby. Girl with a heart as big as the open sky. She once said, “I think when we pray, God often says, “‘That’s all you’re asking for?’” She asked, she reached, and God allowed her to go on another mission trip. This time, to Nepal.

 “Abby, I know you’re busy with college and work, but it’s important that you write a post about your mission trip. Your stories will inspire others, and I don’t want you to forget.”

She glanced up and said, “You write it, Mom.”

So, here are Abby’s and her teammate Jacob’s stories as told to me.

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Echoes

JACOB: I had never been on an airplane before our mission trip to Nepal. The vivid chaos of Kathmandu greeted us as we made our way to our home for the next few weeks.

IMG_20170722_182343519Motorcycles, buses, cars, vans and bicycles, drove in and out and all over as if there were no lanes, no laws. They just did whatever they wanted. The buildings stood about four stories high and eight feet apart. They were everywhere— it seemed as though they went on forever, or at least as far as the eye could see.

ABBY: The guys stayed on one floor and the girls on another in our apartment style city dwelling. Water and electricity outages occurred frequently and without warning. We sat on mats to eat, and talk, and sing. We slept on wooden pallet bunk beds.

JACOB: Always. Car horns and barking dogs at all hours of the day and night.

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The Quiet Cafe

ABBY: All the waiters were really quiet in the cafe we went to on the first day. We thought it was because they didn’t speak English, but later learned that they were deaf and our main waiter was studying American Sign Language. My teammate Kendra and I speak ASL, but I hadn’t expected an opportunity to use it in Nepal and was so excited we were able to communicate with him and share the Gospel on the days we visited the cafe. He introduced us to his many deaf friends, his wife and children, and took us to many beautiful and interesting places he thought Americans should see.

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House Full of Rescued Kids and Former Prostitutes

ABBY: Our ministry host Brian and his wife, Ruth, have three natural born children, two fostered, and many more live with them, some orphans from the earthquake in 2015. Their house is full of women and children who were at risk, some rescued from human trafficking. The women are the most welcoming people I ever met.

It is amazing how Brian, his wife and the women raise their children. They are some of the most God loving people I know. The children are the best behaved, most selfless kids and they pray more passionately than anyone I’ve ever heard.

The Women’s Center

IMG_20170712_205305184ABBY: Brian and Ruth’s ministry encompasses more than those living with them though. They have a women’s center, a home for at risk women and children and those taken out of prostitution. There they are taught English and various skills such as making jewelry so they can earn money for themselves and their children.

We spent the mornings at the women’s center, painting and renovating the building IMG_20170727_151807678and grounds to better suit their needs, and helping with the women’s children as they worked on their new skills. In the afternoons we went to Brian’s house and talked to the women who lived there and tutored the children in English.

The first week we had the option to go on a prayer walk around a cabin bar where the prostitutes worked and possibly go in and talk to them, or to stay and tutor the children. I had already spent a lot of time with the children. Tutoring for the afternoon was not appealing while my other teammates ministered in ways that seemed much moreIMG_20170713_022207151 intense and more like what I came to Nepal to do. But when they asked for volunteers to stay, there was barely anybody, so I raised my hand and as half of my team went out, I stayed behind.

The children led us along a road filled with flowers. We played games and they sang songs in Nepali, picking flowers for us every step of the way as we walked back to the house for  lessons. …Oh. This is where I was supposed to be, I realized

While teaching the three-year-olds English at Brian and Ruth’s house, I got the chance to talk to one of the women who lived there. She said she loved having visitors like our team. She held a newborn baby and talked as if we are best friends. She told me her husband left her when their baby was three weeks old. He moved to Saudi Arabia and never came back. She said she had no bitterness in her heart though, and was thankful to God to be with her baby and live with Brian and Ruth. This painful abandonment was recent, but still, she kept saying. “Praise God.”

For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. Isaiah 54:5 (NKJV)

ABBY: “We walked everywhere in Kathmandu— 45 minutes to Brian’s house, Sometimes 35 to the cafes, and 40 minutes to church. We never know the schedule, Mom. Literally, never.”

One morning, a group of little children from our ministry host’s home walked 45 minutes to our lodging. They chattered and jumped, faces aglow, as they led the way. “Come! We want to show you our church!”

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As we entered the tiny church building, the Nepali women rose and sat in the aisles, insisting we take their seats. After song service, they called our team on stage and someone placed a  guitar in my hand. We looked at each other, perplexed.

“What songs do you know on guitar?” my teammates asked.

“None,” I said. “I can only play if I have the music notes, and I have none.”

So, my teammate, Jen, started playing the keyboard, calling out notes to me as she did. I know we sounded awful, but they still cheered at the end and asked one of us to testify of what Jesus had done in our lives.

Afterward, the little girls ushered us into another room. “You’re leading Children’s church today!” they said. We weren’t expecting to lead, so we had nothing prepared. After a lot of convincing, one of the older children agreed to translate for us. We sang songs, and after the preaching, we played games and taught them the creation story. Our translator knew limited english, so, as they told us their favorite Bible stories, we acted them out, teaching what they could learn from each one.

We found out afterward that the wall between the children’s church and the sanctuary is paper thin and the congregation could hear every word we said.

Listening Prayer and the Armor of God

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:14-16

ABBY: We stood together in a circle, whether in a room or on a street, and named each piece of the armor of God and pretended to put it on ourselves and prayed every time before leaving for any ministry.

We asked God to show us people who we needed to talk to about Him and my friend Kendra had a vision of a little girl in a red dress.

Mountain MinistryIMG_20170716_100036927_HDR

ABBY: He jumped aboard the bus, yelling as he did, and wearing so many layers of clothes. Who IMG_20170717_110502576is this dude, we wondered. As our bus wound its way up the narrow, dusty mountain road jostling us from our seats, he bounced around, randomly hollering, “Fire!” Bipin is a pastor and he is the happiest person I’ve ever met. Everyone on the team ended up loving him.

The villagers glanced up from their work as we sped by. Each of us carried a few of Brian’s books on church planting to hand out at the pastor’s conference where he was preaching. Brian is a writer, a preacher, and disciple maker. He has sent workers into Denmark, India, and Nepal to pioneer churches. He preaches so much like my pastor, Paul Campo.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)

IMG_20170717_110149108_HDRIt was hotter in the mountains than in the city; hot in the day and hotter at night. The night rain beat loudly on the tin roof, some making its way inside. We lay on the ground to sleep, sticky and pouring with sweat. There was no electricity; no water. We took buckets to the waterfall for our showers.

IMG_20170718_080408972_HDR    Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Brian’s wife went into labor unexpectedly, so we left  the mountains earlier than planned, making it in time for the birth of their baby girl.

The Monsoon rains burst from the sky, sending water coursing through the muddy streets and filling potholes.

ABBY: One Saturday morning, the day of worship in Nepal, we attended Bipin’s church. There stood the little girl in the red dress who Kendra had seen in her vision. She was speaking sign language to her mother. She lit up with a broad smile when we started signing to her.

Bipin was always singing and he made us sing along everywhere we walked. We jumped puddles and little rivers meandering across our path, the aftermath of the rain. I wondered why Bipin had chosen this long and tiring route to his home for lunch that day.

Suddenly, a woman called out to us from the upstairs window of a house. She had fallen asleep and awakened to find that the group she traveled with had forgotten her and locked her inside when they left for the airport that IMG_20170717_120213322morning. She had been praying for someone to come by and rescue her. We retrieved the key from under a flower pot in front of the house, unlocked the door, and she hurriedly left to catch her flight, thanking us and praising God as she did.

We walked past a freaky butchered goat, its head cut off, a machete beside it. They eat goats and chickens there.

Sometimes we choose restaurants based on the rating we gave their bathroom— if they had one. The food is so spicy it makes my nose run and burns my stomach, but I love the momos.

The Rat Race

ABBY: The warm night air clung to us as we trudged up the giant hill on our way home. The bushes by the side of the road rustled and I bent over expecting to find an injured bird, but four rats lept out.

“It’s not a bird, it’s not a bird!” I cried, as we  ran screaming into the busy street and cars and buses brushed my ankles.

We named our animals— like the cockroaches and the pigeons who knocked on the windows.

It’s a Whole Other World Up There On the Rooftop.

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ABBY: I finished washing my clothes and pitched the water over the edge of the roof.

“Hey! There’s a drain up there for that!” my teammate said as water splashed through the window below.

Oops. I didn’t  know.

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Almost every house has a flat rooftop. I went on ours every morning to read my Bible and pray. People walked to and fro on the streets below, winding between the rows of buildings. Nepali women swept every floor of their houses precisely clean, as if they IMG_20170717_094155721needed to get every single speck of dirt out before they could start their day.

The rooftops of the neighboring houses stretched straight across for miles. Laundry draped from lines strung on poles, colorful prayer flags hung from rooftop to rooftop. People washed their hair, bathed and did their laundry on their rooftops. The three-times-a-day-tooth-brusher vigorously performed his ritual.

The lower mountain ranges of the Himalayas loomed in the distance. On days when the clouds parted revealing the taller snow capped peaks, we ran down into the house to tell everyone so they could come up to the rooftop to see. Many of my team went up there at night to listen to worship songs, sing and pray.IMG_20170712_201914231

JACOB: Christian, the only other guy on our team, and I stood on the rooftop praying over the house, for the girls, and the mission trip. We still felt uneasy when we finished, so we stayed up to worship. While Christian let out cries of worship from the front edge, I felt called to the back corner of the roof. I didn’t know what for specifically, but I could feel something dark, something that didn’t belong there.

 “God,” I said, “thank you so much for this place of worship. This place of fellowship and community. Lord you have put something on my heart, you have made something very obvious. Christian and I feel we aren’t alone on this roof right now. I just want to declare your name. Jesus Christ is Lord. I ask that you cast out anything that is here with us and is not of you, for it has no dominion in your house, in this house.”

Suddenly, a tall, dark, muscular, evil, being was coming toward me. It had depth; it was there— in a spiritual sense, but also in a physical sense. It ran at Christian and I, pushing clothes Jacob funout of its way and ducking under the clothesline to get to us. The demon got right in my face, then  disappeared and reappeared on the rooftop of the home next to ours.

Christian and I looked at each other; our hair stood on end. “Did you see it?”

“No; but I felt it!” Christian said.

ABBY: We left the windows open, even when it rained. But still, the thick warm air hung heavy over us. The neighbor’s conversations, crying babies and barking dogs punctuated the night, keeping some of my teammates awake, but I fell asleep.

The Cabin Bar

ABBY: The next time we got the opportunity to stay or go, I went out with the other girls to a prayer walk by a cabin bar where the prostitutes work. It was the most intensely I’ve ever prayed in my life. We walked and prayed for about an hour before going inside.

Men came to the cabin bars to order a drink and a girl. Several rooms for this purpose encircled the dining area.

No one in the cabin bar spoke English, so while we waited for one of the women to come to our table, we prayed out loud. But we were careful not to say the names, God or Jesus, as our ministry leader had warned us not to, so the owners wouldn’t know our intentions.

Such darkness in the room, spiritually and physically.

Tear stained tender cheeks.

When cabin bar workers walked over to our table, the Nepali woman who works in the anti-human trafficking ministry translated for us. We told them we were tourists.

We ordered drinks and talked for awhile.

Her husband had left her. She had been there  about a week. She hated it. She wanted to leave.

That’s where I met Surita and her sweet baby.

We asked her questions about her life and what she wanted to do, her hopes and dreams. She had none.

If a woman seemed interested in escaping, we would ask her if she wanted to talk to us again. We hoped, if she trusted us enough, we could meet elsewhere and tell her about the women’s center, offer her a new life and introduce her to Jesus.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

Motorcycles zipped by, a family of four on one, including a newborn. We dodged cows. Three wheeled busses careened across streets with unmarked lanes.IMG_20170712_083041376

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Slum Ministry & Discipleship

IMG_20170712_083515805ABBY: Some of the disciples from Brian’s discipleship training school, choose to minister in the slums to at risk children as their service before being sent out to start their own ministry. These young men are only 18-21 years old, but carry great responsibility.

So, our last week in Nepal, we went to one slum in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The children were down by the river playing  with rocks and sticks as trash floated by. One of the girls yelled something in Nepali and they all came running after us as we walked up the street. We played soccer with them first so hopefully they would sit still for us afterward.

The children sat on the hole studded floor of  the small, dark, cement building watching intently as we told Bible stories. On one of our last days, an older man from the slums wandered into the room and joined us playing a game called Indian Chief. Every time he lost, we made him do a dance in the middle of  our circle, just like the rest of us had to. It was one of my best days in the slums. He danced like one of the young Nepali women performing for the king.

FullSizeRender (1)We sang songs, and the children yelled them back to us in a language they didn’t fully understand and did the motions for them energetically. Their clothes never fit, they rarely had shoes and they smelled so horrible that when they came close you wanted to cover your face. But with their big beautiful smiles and them reaching out wanting to hug you— you couldn’t help but hold and love them, no matter what.

JACOB: ​Nepal is a country of deeply spiritual, hospitable, sweet, and loving people. This trip taught me to find a place in my heart to store compassion. It taught me that no matter what my circumstances are, there is always safe haven in the Lord. This was the first time I experienced the Holy Spirit overseas. It was the best month of my life. Jacob and little boy

I got closer to the team of seventeen people I served with than I ever could have imagined. They are some of my favorite people and will always be a part of my life. Every day I pray for Nepal, the people we impacted there, and for my team.

Absolutely the hardest thing about this trip was seeing our team members get sick, taken off the mission field and admitted to the hospital in the third and fourth weeks of the trip.

The most rewarding, was being able to pour into our ministry family. They were extraordinary. They sacrificed so much and insisted on serving us. Having the opportunity to serve them was incredible. I miss Brian and Ruth and their family very much.

IMG22794329ABBY: My favorite thing about this mission trip was helping our ministry hosts, Brian and Ruth and their family, and spending time the women and children they rescued.

It’s been a privilege to serve in this beautiful country.

JACOB: This spring I’m going on a mission trip to Peru for eight days and in the summer I’m hoping to go to Africa. I feel called to plant churches overseas.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Video, Come On, Won’t you Run Free? Nepal 2017, by teammate Miriam Meeks

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:15 (NLT)

UP NEXT: It is my honor to interview and introduce you to Reverend Brian Williams and his wife Ruth of Agape Missions whose ministry Abby and Jacob served under on their mission trip to Nepal.

PART 1: #Disciple Maker~ A #Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in #Nepal “I am an Anglo-Indian… a mixture of the colonizer and the colonized…”

© 2017  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On your Heart

Brother’s Keeper

Are you your brother’s keeper, or a stumbling block, an instrument for his demise? Are you a light to show the way or an excuse for wrongdoing? Are you salt and light or a shadow for sin to hide in? Do you offer a hand up, or a step down?

Are you willing to become all things to all men so some may be won? Is one of those things you are willing to become, righteous? Are you willing to hold yourself to a higher standard for the sake of others— for the lost, or for your weaker brother?

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 NASB

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brother’s and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 NLT

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.  Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

“Your compromise may become your children’s standard,” the preacher said.

If you don’t show your kids that you love your wife, you are telling them that you don’t. Every boy needs to know how to love a woman & your son is watching you to see how it’s done.The man your daughter will marry is greatly influenced by the one she sees in you. #TheFatherEffectBook    http://www.thefathereffect.com    @johnpfinch    #TheFatherEffect 

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42 (NKJV)

Your kids are following you. It’s your choice where you lead them. -John Finch @johnpfinch    #TheFatherEffect    http://www.thefathereffect.com

Yes, we will each be held accountable for our actions, response to the Gospel, and our obedience to God. But we are still responsible for the influence we have on others. Let it be for good.

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please himself. Romans 15:1 NASB

“God, I fall so short! Change me. Jesus, help me to live in Your Light; to be the light. Amen.”

Lifesong, Casting Crowns:

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Consecrate

Let Them See You, JJ Weeks Band:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Diamonds

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_your_Heart_Diamonds

You don’t have to like everything you create. Sometimes the purpose of creating is to minister to others or for someone else’s enjoyment. You just need to have a measure of peace with your work, know that you’ve given it your current best and keep learning; keep practicing. For example, I paint a little and have some pieces I don’t like, but the people who own them do, and that’s great— because the artwork was for them and I don’t have to look at it hanging on my wall.

To my fellow writer Brian who inspired this post, I say:

Brian, you have held on for too long to let go now. The lessons learned on the journey prepare us for our destination. Humans are by nature too self indulgent and lazy to spend as much time and tears on something, as you have on your writing, for the desire toward it to not have been set in your heart by your Maker. But talent is a seed and it must be cultivated. So get back to work! Much weeding often precedes reaping a good harvest.

Powerful writing isn’t achieved by merely composing words, but by the pouring out of a heart onto the page.

Write out of your passion

Write out of your pain

Write out of your trials

Write out of your triumphs

Write out of your hurt

Write out of your healing

Write what matters

Write what ministers

Let the scars of your story be heard by others. Doing so diffuses the enemy’s lies and our wounds become weapons of light. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With

The inclination to abandon unfinished work reminds me of those who habitually break up with the person they are dating,  just so they aren’t the one to get dumped. It’s their way of avoiding rejection, failure. They still lose. Sometimes in our efforts to self preserve we self sabotage.

It’s important that you not just write, but finish. Completing a project builds confidence, and confidence silences doubt. -David Corbett

It’s one thing to set something aside for awhile and work on another. It’s a different thing to abandon your work. Fleeing our duties doesn’t save us from failure.

Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out. -Babe Ruth

So, you fell down. Get up! The only real failure is quitting when you are called to carryFullSizeRender-001 on.

You will never know who your work will impact until you put it out there. But first you have to finish.

Natural diamonds take years to form as carbon encapsulated deep within the mantle of the earth is subjected to intense pressure and heat. Something of greater value is created than it’s original state by going through time and process.

Pressure

Life will steamroll you if you let it with the day to day dramas. But as the preacher said,  don’t let the urgent distract you from the important. You will have to make time for what is most important in your life; you will never find it. My priorities are, God, family, and the tasks which fulfill my calling.

Heat & Cold

Fire forges; fire purifies.

Elements introduced in the process of a diamond’s formation can also affect its color and clarity. So too trials color our lives. According to my gemologist friend, Robert, the whitest diamonds are found in greatest abundance in Russian mines due to the effect of the extreme cold of the earth’s surface there.

In those times when I can’t see where I’m  going and I don’t feel like carrying on, I cannot allow my emotions or lack thereof to govern me. My faith in God, His Word and calling for my life lead me. I fulfill  my part by doing the work I know to. I just start and lay one word down on the page, and then another, and another… Sometimes the power is in the going.

Editing is like mining. Like Kimberlite, the volcanic rock, which transports diamonds from deep within the earth to the surface, everything that fires your inspiration is not going to stay. Some of it is just to get your words on the page. Then the mining, cutting and polishing begins.

We too must leave our original sinful state and go through process, if we are to be transformed and into a  new creation- a precious son or daughter of the King of Kings. We are His treasure.  

Time

It takes time to form a diamond. It takes time to form character. And it takes time to form a writer. It took more than two years to cut and polish the Centenary Diamond. The skilled diamond cutter reveals the brilliance of the gem.The better the cut, the brighter the diamond.

Do you want your work to sparkle? Do you want to be the real deal, to reflect the brilliant light of Christ? It’s going to take time and process, becoming transparent and having a teachable spirit. You must yield to the Master’s cut.

I want to be polished and perfected, faceted into His perfect plan.


Writing starts deep in the heart and soul. For me it starts with time spent with God. I cannot write without Him.

With God, the priority is always presence over performance, intimacy over independence. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NKJV)

Jesus is my breath. I pray through every piece I write. I write with Him.

I realize that if I can accomplish something purely in my own strength, those dreams are way too small. Allen Arnold, The Story of With

It’s often a terrible spiritual battle as I write. Doubt and fear hound me, I battle oppression, discouragement, depression and exhaustion. Sometimes the battle is from within; I can be my own worst enemy. But often it is from without.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Writers of truth are a threat to Hell, so we should expect assaults. We need to put on our full armor- be battle ready word warriors and continue to pray for one another.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)

“God,” I said, “why is this so hard?”

“How else will you be able to minister to others if I don’t take you through here?”

Life is demanding; it has a way of taking mad turns. But all our struggles and failures provide opportunity for God to grow us and bring a turnaround. They enable us to encourage others on their journey.  If everything came fast and easy, I’d probably think it was my doing— I couldn’t empathize with others, or learn to lean on God and His approval.  

Much of my inspiration comes from my pain, struggles and failure and my desire to help others. I take my assignments from the needs around me and my God above me. I can invite Jesus into my inadequacies, all my inabilities, for He is my enabler. Jesus meets me in my mess and He is enough. I press through. Sometimes I must write through the darkness and into the light. There comes a point when it’s like the dawn and the fog lifts and God’s presence falls and there is joy.

I know I am small. I have much to learn. But I’m not depending on myself. I’m depending on Christ. Christ is my qualifier and He has a way of making much out of little when we give ourselves to Him. He is faithful, so I hold on, carry on, and write on, for His glory.

“Here’s my pen, Lord.”

*I take full responsibility for all flaws in myself and in this article. I’m undergoing time and process. Blessed to write for my God; privileged to sit under the mentor-ship of author Jerry B Jenkins as part of his writers guild.

**Special Thanks:

The Gemological Institute of America

LAM Goldsmiths

Maeve

Robert, my gemologist friend, also known as, “my gardener friend.”

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Broken

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Broken

Lazy rays of afternoon sunlight stretched across the beach, the relentless waves strewing shell and stone along the shoreline. I bent for a beautiful shell partially buried in the whirl of sea and sand encircling my bare feet. It was broken. Disappointed, I flung it back into the angry waters. As it left my hand God spoke to my heart.

“Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t treat you like that?”

Jesus walks through the sea of humanity, intentionally seeking the broken, the flawed, the less than perfect. He sets out to rescue and redeem the lost, those battered, even shipwrecked, by the storms of life.

Jesus, perfection personified, gave Himself to bring us to Himself. There’s no need to bury my brokenness, or my wrong thoughts, or feel condemned because of them. God is Holy, but I believe He prefers our honest uncensored prayers to an act, or rote religious dialogue. He knows me; He sees me. I cannot hide from Him. I can let Jesus uncover my sin.  He won’t cast me away when I stumble and fall. He loves me anyway.

He loves you too. Do you need to be found?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18 (NKJV)

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, life beats us, leaves us breathless, lying on the ground.

I can give Jesus my sin, myself, and what I’m not meant to bear. He carries me when I can’t walk on my own.

My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. Sometimes He needs to break us, so He can make us again.

It’s by way of the road called broken that I am mended. I am made whole as I place my battle weary sin scarred heart in the hands of my Maker.

He brings purpose to pain. With a touch from His healing hand my heart is made whole.

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

He is the designer of our destiny.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

We are His treasure.

Do you want Him?

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37 (NASB)

I want You, Jesus

I want all of You

Have all of me

Thy will be done

Have Your way in me

You fulfill me

But I am not satisfied

Empty me

Fill me

Teach me your ways

Oh God, I want to know You

You are my sustenance

My life, my breath, my strength

My friend

My God.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

Matthew West – Broken Things 

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

One

“Everything in me wants to quit right now,” she said.

“You can’t. Not- an- option. That would be flushing all your hard work, and turning your back on the gift God gave you.”

“Suddenly I question everything, especially my abilities as a writer, and I just want to turn and run the other way…”

“You think you have battles now? Remember, there is no armor in the back, so if you turn tail you are more exposed than ever to the enemy. Regret is a miserable bedfellow. It’s harder in the end to go in the opposite direction God’s headed, which is forward.”

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

 Trending

My friend complained that certain media is just propaganda.

“(They) set algorithm to trend only hate and propaganda. The Gospel or anything positive never trends,” she said. “If you watch trending lines, you can tell it’s being manipulated. It’s so negative. We Christians, or positives thoughts, are being pushed off.”

There’s a lot of bad in the media, and in the world. And it’s all pretty trendy. I can pay attention to that and let it discourage, distract and derail me, or I can seize the opportunity to promote good and encourage others.

The Gospel has never been trendy, but it still gets its work done— one by one. Jesus only had 12 apostles and not nearly as many followers as Rome, or the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of the day. And even Jesus’ few followers deserted Him for a time, but that didn’t stop the Gospel.

Your worth is in Christ, not in others. Even if men revered you- what is that compared to the King of Kings and  Lord of Lords calling you His own and loving you?

Never mind what others are doing. Focus on what God is doing and what He has for you to do.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

The Sound of Crickets

“…I know my writing is amateur. I know all these things, but it’s still frustrating putting words out into the world to the sound of crickets….” she said.

If God has called you to a task shouldn’t you get to it?

The only real failure is quitting when we are called to carry on. All else is just the learning on the road to success.

“Lord, You are life giving Living Water. Encourage Your weary word warriors. Refresh our world worn souls.”

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. II Corinthians 4:1 (NKJV)

I believe God created us with the desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to do something that matters. Fulfillment is found in Jesus, and purpose, when we follow Him and find our calling and use our talents to glorify Him and serve others.

I am called to scatter the seed of the Gospel through His Word and the words God gives me, to lift up Jesus’ name and honor Him. I write for the one and The One. I let God decide what to do with it. The good shepherd leaves the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep. So, even if my words only impact a few, what matters is that I obey God by sharing His truth from the platform He gives me. It’s worth it for the one who hears and follows Jesus. You are one. I am one.

And if my words impact many, I must remember it is:

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6  NKJV

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. I Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV)

Small Potatoes

A friend recently referred to her writer website as “small potatoes.” Let me tell you a story.

Dwight was only four years old when his father died, leaving his mother to raise his family of nine children on their farm in Northfield, MA. His formal education ended in fifth grade. He moved to Boston at 17 years old where his uncle hired him to work in his shoe store, under the condition he attend services at Mt. Vernon Congregational Church. On April 21st, 1855 his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, took the time to pay a visit to and share the Gospel with the young shoe salesman. Dwight L Moody accepted Jesus as his savior and became one of the leading evangelists of his time. He also founded the Moody ChurchNorthfield Mount Hermon School, the Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers.

Look at the chain reaction of influence and conversions of men who became preachers:

Edward Kimball, volunteer Sunday School teacher ⇨

 

D.L. Moody- “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” ⇨

FB MEYER.jpg

F.B Meyer- “Let us, therefore, not live in the summer‑house of emotion, but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God.” ⇨

Wilbur Chapman- “Anything that dims my vision for Christ, or takes away or cramps me in my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me; and I must, as a Christian turn away from it.”⇨

Billy Sunday- “Stopping at Third adds no more to the score than striking out. It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.” ⇨

Mordecai Ham- “When’s the last time you asked God for something that was beyond your ability?”  ⇨

Billy Graham- has preached to more people than anyone else in history.

And it all goes back to a volunteer Sunday School teacher who took time to share the Gospel with one.

Every soul impacted by each of these preachers and each of their converts is the fruit of Mr Kimball’s decision to minister to one.  I wonder who led Mr. Kimball to Christ?

We are tools and seeds in the Master Gardener’s hands. Jesus is the sun shine and the rain that makes the seed grow and bear fruit. I must use what I have for God and leave the results up to Him. That’s enough to keep me busy and blessed till He takes me home.

“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.” – Billy Graham

“When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”- Billy Graham

Remember, it’s by grace.

His grace will take you from the place called, “small potatoes,” to the plans He has for you.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34 (NKJV)

RESOURCES

D.L. Moody

https://www.moody.edu/about/our-bold-legacy/d-l-moody/

Biography: The Life of Dwight L. Moody, by his son, William R. Moody

D. L. Moody books

F.B Meyer

F.B Meyer Books

Wilbur Chapman

Wilbur Chapman books

 Billy Sunday

http://www.billysunday.org/

Billy Sunday books

Mordecai Ham

The Day Billy Graham Found Christ

Billy Graham

https://billygraham.org/

Jesus Saves and Ordinary Farm Boy (Billy Graham’s conversion story)

Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham

Billy Graham books

*Update on My Daughter, Abby’s Mission Trip Here:

She is His https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/blog/

Nepal_Mission_Trip_abbysmission.wordpress.com_A.M_Views_

                                                       A. M. Views, Kathmandu, Nepal   -Abby Colby

**Please Note: I made necessary revisions to my prior post entitled, Happy Birthday America. If you read it beforehand, please take a moment to read the revised version.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Be Wary of Comparing

Be wary of comparing. It’s a wretched road which leads to  self-doubt and discontent. Stop. Look to God.

God withholds no good thing from us. So, to be jealous or discouraged because of someone else’s success is like accusing God of denying or not knowing what’s best for us. It’s an attempt of the heart to mutiny against the Lordship of Christ. God makes the path, sets the pace and wants to patiently, lovingly, bring us to the destiny He has for us.  DSCF8135-002

I understand massive spiritual assaults, like apathy and doubt. Sometimes I’m so exhausted and discouraged I feel like my pen weighs a ton and it’s so hard to pick it up and write. I understand no time, little support, feeling overwhelmed— and procrastination.

I am acutely aware of my inability and shortcomings. And I’m so grateful for Jesus’ guidance and empowerment to overcome.

Others inspire, challenge, and teach me. But Jesus calls me to follow Him, and by His grace, to become the best me I can be for Him.

A lump of clay is of little use until it is yielded to the molding of the potter’s hands. It’s value is determined by who the potter is and his workmanship.

So it is also with us. We are dust, clay- and Jesus is the Potter. Like a lump of clay, our existence lacks significance until we fulfill our purpose. Our first purpose is to know Him; He created us for relationship with Him. We cannot form ourselves into what God’s intent is for us. We are truly nothing on our own.

It’s as we place ourselves in The Master Artist’s hands and let Him work out our imperfections, mold and shape us into the vessel He intends for us to become, that our identity, purpose and value is realized.

God makes no duplicates, so why compare yourself?

God does not judge greatness or reward according to talents and accomplishments, but rather, by the intent of the heart and faithful stewardship to His calling.

There are no insignificant tasks when I am doing what God has called me to.

There is no less than or better than, in God’s eyes- just obedience or disobedience to His will.

You cannot attain anything greater than the destiny God has for you. We are all called to greatness in God.

Jesus is a hands on kind of Maker. We are His workmanship.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Have you allowed the enemies of frustration, doubt and fear to hinder you? What are you going to do about it?

What has God called you to do? Do that. What are your gifts? Don’t doubt them- develop them.

It is my responsibility and God’s desire for me to use my gifts for His glory and to serve others. If I do that, I will have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be proud of either, because it’s all given  by Him.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

So, to my writer friends I say, sit your butt down in the chair, and just write! Just start. Lay one word down on the page and then another and another… Pay Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Wield_Your_Swordattention to your heart and the stress, and the mess, and the blessed around you. It’s all  potential writing material.

There’s a whole hurting, dying world out there waiting for a glimpse of Jesus and his grace and power. Your words can be the window.

Don’t draw back— carry on soldier. Write on. Let’s press the battle to the gates.

Yes, we all have much learning and growing to go. So, “Go!”

(In His grace.) 🙂

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

In Step With My Father

I remember Daddy holding my hand as we entered the gates to the botanical gardens, Wrigley’s gum, Elephant Ear pastries, Matchbox cars, him carrying me when I was hurt, and scraping every speck of black pepper off my food. And bumper cars. I hated them, but I never told him because I liked to hear him laugh—and we were together.

Tattoo-It_On_your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Blue_Mountains-003

Daddy was pale and shaky after riding the corkscrew roller coaster. We made kites with bamboo and tissue paper. They always crashed, but that was okay. He drove way too fast on the windy island mountain roads in his little ultramarine Triumph Spitfire. He got upset when I fared better with a drop line than he did with his expensive fishing rod.  Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Fishing Boat_Jamaica

*This piece, In Step with My Father, was originally posted on 6/10/2016. Some revisions and additions have been made.

You gave her the tie dye set. You get her cleaned up!” said Grandma as she pushed us outside. A bucket of soapy water, a scrub brush and our stifled laughter under the mango tree. Pinned to the clothesline, my brightly colored creation flapped happily in the breeze. I loved that hat!

He gave me a piano, like Schroeder’s in the Peanuts comic strip. I  played it as loud as I could because I thought it would make him visit sooner.

I pretended I didn’t know him when he took me to Disney World. I walked several feet ahead, or behind, because I thought his camera bag looked like a purse and I feared someone might recognize us. Tears coursed down my cheeks when he wouldn’t let me run off for the day with the boy I met at the resort. All the boys were afraid of my daddy.

He was a businessman. He laughingly called me his “rapacious little capitalist” for running my underground fudge business at school. I made over $1000 before they caught me. We were proud of the “F” I received for my class presentation on a controversial topic: I did a good job on it and I stood for what I believed. When I ran away he followed me.

Daddy had his problems, but he loved his children and grandchildren. Sometimes he missed the mark. We all do, some more than others. But God uses imperfect fathers, imperfect people, to guide our lives sometimes if we let Him.

Then, one day he was gone. Just. Like. That. —No warning. I didn’t know that was our last “I love you.” I wasn’t ready. But God is the one who numbers our days; He said it was time. We have a finite amount of time to love, to know, to understand and reconcile with each other. He wasn’t a perfect father. None of them are, you know? Except for one.

God is the only perfect father. He is a father to the fatherless. Jesus went to great lengths to meet us where we are. He left his throne in Heaven, donned human flesh, and died to save us from our sin, and reconcile us to Himself, to God. He loves us in spite of ourselves. But we have to accept Him.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. Psalms 68:5

“Daugh-tah, come here. Child of mine, I love you so much, yuh see.” my father would say in his accent. God calls me daughter too, he calls me to himself. He wants to call you son or daughter too. God wants to do life with us. And when people fall short of our expectations and our needs aren’t met, God is always there for us. He is our sufficiency, the difference maker. He is enough.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.   ‭‭John‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”   Romans‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, daughter, son, is there a breach that needs mending? Will you start the journey to restoration? Just take one small step. May I suggest the first one be to pray; and the second, forgive? Maybe you won’t get where you’d like to on this side of eternity. Maybe you are only able to take those first two steps. That’s okay. Just start, and let God be God, the mender of hearts. Extend grace like God does for us, even though we don’t deserve it.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”   Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”   Matthew‬ ‭18:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

SONG: 70×70 – Chris August (Official video) 

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.   ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

SONG: The Blessing – Jim Trick

Dads- your children, your wives, your country needs you. Will you step up to the plate?

“Here I am Father. Forgive me. Help me to forgive those who hurt me. Help me to step in Your footprints, and walk a little closer with You Jesus.”

SONG: Lead Me – Sanctus Real

Yeah, you are probably going to mess up sometimes, stumble and fall in the process. But God will pick you up. He’s like that.

SONG: Good, Good Father – Chris Tomlin

LINK TO: The Father Effect, Movie – 3 Minute Trailer (*Warning: Contains some sensitive material) 

John Finch grew up the youngest of 3 boys in a suburb of Dallas where he lost his father to suicide at age 11. As a young man, John did anything he could to avoid confronting the wounds he suffered as a result of being fatherless. His craving for affirmation from a father who was not there to provide it, led him to…  http://thefathereffect.com/about 

RESOURCES

Encouraging Dads Project- Stories and resources to encourage dads Creating a community where we can share positive stories and ideas about becoming better and stronger fathers.

Encouraging Dads: 30 Short Stories That Inspire & Encourage Dads Kindle Edition

 Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

To speak with a family help specialist, request resources, make a donation over the phone, inquire about general information, or to report a problem, contact us at the number below.

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    1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)
    Mon – Fri: 6am – 8pm (Mountain Time)
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    Focus on the Family
    8605 Explorer Drive.Colorado Springs, CO 80920-1051

Family Life Ministries -Help for today. Hope for tomorrow

Link to my post entitled, Forgive   

©2017 Rachael M Colby

Tattoo It On Your Heart