Season’s Greetings

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Alisa Christmas2012 is quickly coming to an end. This year has seen Alisa finish her first year of college and start her second. Herron School of Art on the IUPUI campus has been a place for growing in her skill as an artist. She was privileged to study abroad this summer as part of her major. She is also learning what it means to live independently in an apartment with a roommate, as IUPUI is largely a commuter campus.

Laurie has visited work in eight different countries with me this year as part of our ministry with WGM as I oversee the work of our missionaries around the world. She has also been back in the Marion school district as a bilingual specialist working with migrant children. She covers the elementary schools in the district working one-on-one with children, helping them improve in their learning skills. This is so much more than simply 

DSCN0940teaching, as the greatest need of many of these children is simply love and attention.

In our travels with WGM this year, Laurie and I have set foot on four continents. That has been an incredible privilege as well as demanding physically. We have looked into the eyes of faithful servants of God who are doing what He has given them to do to make a difference, because of what was done for them 2000 years ago.

In a documentary on sex trafficking I watched recently, a woman who rescues children from brothels was reflecting on how huge the problem is and what she is doing to help. “Some people, they want to do something so big, so they do nothing.” she said.

 DSCN0951Laurie and I have seen needs so gripping this year that one doesn’t know what to do. But we are doing what we can—perhaps very limited, but what God has given us to do—to make a difference where we can in this world. And for your partnership in that we thank you. We trust this Christmas will be a blessed time for your family.


Best Christmas Wishes,

Tim, Laurie, and Alisa Rickel


Tim and Laurie Rickel, PO Box 948, Marion, IN 46919

World Gospel Mission | December 2012

How is Your Soul?

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

The first week of December we had an event at WGM headquarters called The Gathering. All of our missionaries home for fundraising joined our support staff for three days of inspiration and fellowship. Our speakers were Pastor Steve DeNeff of College Wesleyan Church and Steve Moore from The Mission Exchange, which is an association of mission agencies that WGM is a member of. It was a rich time and I want to share some notes I jotted down as I listened to these men.

In this post I will write about the Soul Shift portion of our time together.

Steve DeNeff, along with several members of his staff, presented Soul Shift, which is material that started as a sermon series and now is in a book by that title and a workshop that Steve has taken around the USA. It was great to hear a fresh presentation of the very foundational truth upon which WGM was founded. I think this statement best summed up Soul Shift for me.

With Soul Shift we are not talking about how it happens, but rather what the transformed life looks like.

And so here are some thought provoking bullet points from my notes.

  • 100 years ago pastoral care was called Soul Care.
  • There is a big difference between the winning of souls and caring for the soul.
  • A soul might be saved, but there might still be something wrong with the soul. You can be washed in the blood and going to heaven, but still be lazy. We need to cure souls that have been saved.
  • Am I depending on artificial categories that have been created by my culture but that are not Biblical?
  • The Bible has a lot to say about the soul. It talks about the heart. About the bent of the heart and the inclinations of that bent.
  • Whatever shape the soul is in is expressed in the body. God isn’t just interested in taking us into heaven, but he is interested in taking heaven into us.
  • If I am reading the word because I have a message to prepare, but I am not loving the word of God, does that count? If you give more and more, but you don’t like doing that, does that count? When we change the questions it gets harder. That is what we are going to do this week.
  • What does it mean to be spiritual?
    • For reformed it is to have good doctrine
    • For Catholic it is coming apart from the world
    • For the Wesleyan it is experience-hungering after God
    • For the Pentecostal it is speaking out for God
    • For the Charismatic it is having a word from God
  • God says I will put my Spirit into you so that when you follow my decrees you will do it out of desire. If I took away heaven and hell you would do my will because your heart and mind are so changed it is the only thing that makes sense to you.
  • How is your soul?
  • The tying of my shoes has become second nature to me. We do so many things in our minds without thinking of them.. We have been wired to do those things without thinking. Transformation is changing the way we think so that we do things that are like Jesus would do them without eve thinking about them.
  • There are seven shifts of the soul.
    • From me to you – When you start to think of others before ourselves
    • From slave to child – when I go from thinking I should serve God to loving him
    • From seen to unseen – when I realize I am not on this planet alone. There is a world I cannot see that is just as real as the one I can see
    • From consumer to steward  – when you realize the things you have are not for your benefit but for the benefit of others
    • From ask to listen – when they stop asking everybody else for advice and start listening to God’s voice
    • From sheep to shepherd – when we wake up one day an realize I am not just here to follow Jesus, but I start to take responsibility for other people’s lives
    • From me to we – when we start to defer to the body of Christ

And so we have notes from the first day of the Soul Shift material. This may whet your appetite for reading the book. I will post some more notes from the other two days in another post.

I will also do a blog post on the material Steve Moore brought to us in the weeks to come, but most likely after the Christmas holiday. His topic was Missions in the Context of Deep Change, and brother, was it ever thought provoking!

Here is another response to my e-mail reflecting on this season. It was sent to me by retired missionary to Bolivia, Paul Steward.

Tim. Thanks for your email and we are looking forward to next week. This Christmas story I wrote a long time ago and used it in a Prayer Letter in the 1960s I think. Also it was printed in the CALL. I was reminded of it when thinking about Christmas and our missionaries away from family, etc. It sort of put things in prospective. Paul


The little house with its discolored mud walls and broken tile roof was in the shade of a tall palm tree with a few banana plants growing nearby. The few small windows were without screen or glass while the door stood open. The scraggy chickens freely made their way in and out looking for a few crumbs under the table. Don Jose and his family were seated together for the meal as darkness began to creep over the village and green tropical countryside. Don Jose was still nearly drunk from the fiesta the night before. His wife had tried to make a meal of rice, some bananas from their yard and one small egg for each of the children. Drink and tobacco were taking all that Jose earned on he days when he was sober enough to work so they were always in
need of food. His wife did not care any more if she cooked or not but for the sake of the children she tried to do her best. Medicine for her was out of the question and the few herbs she had tried did not avail to remove the ever-present pain of a treatable medical problem.

Deep sadness and despair showed on the face of their 17-year-old daughter as she sat considering her future and the coming new year. What more could she look forward to than the same unhappy and hopeless life her mother had known, but she knew of nothing better. The eldest boy was in hiding because he had stolen things to buy drink as he followed in the footsteps of his father at a young age. The younger children were as happy as they could be in their ignorance of anything better. Christmas to them was an opportunity to hear the music of the fiestas and maybe a little extra to eat on that day. Their ragged clothing, so torn and dirty, did not allow them to go to the big church on the hill even for this most special day of the year.

********************** (A year later)

The little house looked about the same. There were some patches where new mud had been filled in and a weak coat of whitewash had been applied. The tree still whispered gently in the evening breeze overhead and the banana leaves rippled softly nearby. There were more plants growing now and even the few chickens looked better and gave more eggs. Inside things were about the same as far as material things were concerned. The evening meal consisted this year of some meat in with the rice, some fruit, and even a little piece of sweet bread for the children and coffee for the older ones.

The great change that was so noticeable was in the people. Don Jose, his head and shoulders held upright as a proud husband and father, took his place at the head of the table. His wife, who’s hands still showed the daily hard work of the home, was able to sit and relax as she felt no pain and to be proud of her family. Their clothing was not the best but it was clean and well patched. The daughter was a radiant picture of joy and hope for the future. The eldest son was seated beside his father and showed in his face that he was proud to be a member of the family. The little ones were seated in expectation of the meal after which their father would read to them.

Mother placed the BOOK in Don Jose’s hands and he found the place and started to read. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King…” The Christmas story finished, all heads were reverently bowed in prayer as Don Jose began to pray. “Our Father in heaven, we thank Thee for ever sending the missionaries to our village and to our home. We are so grateful for the many who gave and who prayed that the missionaries could come with the BIBLE and the Message of Thy love. We thank Thee as we remember the night we bowed in prayer asking forgiveness for our sins and for strength and help in dark days of persecution and deep trouble. How thankful we are that we have found Salvation through Thy Son Jesus Christ who was born so long ago in Bethlehem. We are so grateful and we thank Thee …

I wrote this in 1962 or perhaps a bit later. We used it in a prayer letter sometime after that. Paul Steward

What was true in 1962 is still true today. And that is the meaning of Christmas and the reason missionaries are out there.

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

This past Tuesday I sent out an e-mail to our staff commenting on the weather (it was starting to snow) and remarking on the contrast from what I was seeing out my window and what I had just experienced in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Here is what I wrote.

Quite a change from a couple of weeks ago in Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, where I was reminded again of this incredibly important mission that we are all involved in because unto us was born in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord.

I trust as you go about your ministry work today you will feel with me that sense of a higher calling that gives true meaning to all the activities that we find ourselves engaged in this month of December.

It went on to snow 10 inches just North of my home and at 6 pm our lights went out. We were without power for the next 23 hours. Now that was a bit like Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. I took the picture above as I was driving home that evening.

But what was interesting was the response to my e-mail. I want to share just one response here. It comes from Linda Spriegel in Kenya.

Yes, the good news of Christ is for all the world!! I just prayed with a mother who had a child dropped at her door, reportedly fathered by her son. After trying to care for it for two months, she came yesterday desperate for help. The child was severely malnourished already. We sent the baby to the out-patient clinic and through the system at Tenwek, the lady found out the baby could be taken care of at the Baby Center in Nakuru, if she gave up any rights to her. She came beaming to our door just now, having finished all the paper work, bearing a Bible given to her by Dr. Bemm. She has not attended church for three years. Peris, my cook and partner in ministry, and I talked with her and prayed for her, as I’m sure Chuck had, too. She wants to come back to Christ, after this obvious sign to her that God sees her needs and cares for the littlest ones.

One of my Bible study leaders came this morning, too, asking for prayer for three people, with specific physical and spiritual needs. It was great to be able to pray with her, claiming Jesus’ power to heal illnesses and broken relationships, and to bring wayward hearts back to Him. A widow with AIDS and seven children came needing milk money, and seed and fertilizer. She is trying to follow the Lord with her life. Another single mom came, needing milk money. (We help about 16 families with money for 1-2 liters of milk/day, paying at the end of the month.) Although she regularly attends the weekly women’s Bible study in her village, she has not settled on a church, so we keep praying with her. A married woman with diabetes came needing some money to go to out-patient today. Her husband has been the town drunk for years, with short periods of sobriety. The Wesches have impacted this family a lot over the years, and continue to pray daily for them. Her husband has been sober for four months now, attending a fellowship that Alene Burgert leads near the shops here at Tenwek. He knows the Word better than many stronger believers, and He desires to follow the Lord now. Each time his wife comes, and in between times, we pray for this man with so much promise. Alene believes he can be the leader of that fellowship one day! Yes, Jesus came to bring light into darkness, and it’s a privilege to serve alongside His people here in Kenya.

Christmas blessings to you and yours,


I had another response that I will share in my next post. But it is neat to realize the difference Christ is making in the lives of folks around the globe.

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


Posted: November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

“What am I going to do for lunch?” It seems that I ask myself that question more often than I should. I guess it is the busy-ness, but I’ll feel hungry, look at my watch, and realize it is already lunch. Then I’ll realize I forgot to bring a lunch and I’ll contemplate the Ramen noodles in the lunchroom.

Today this internal dialog has a whole different feel. This past week I was with a WGM group that visited the Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya. This is a camp housing over 80,000 souls–men, women, girls and boys who have fled from armed conflict in their countries of South Sudan, the Congo, Somalia, Rwanda, and Uganda. We were traveling with Deng Ajak Jongkuch, one of the Sudanese “Lost Boys” who fled with other children from his village when government soldiers came abducting children and killing adults and burning the village to the ground. What followed was a month long march across the border into Ethiopia to a refugee camp. After four years in this camp the Ethiopian government collapsed and rebels attacked the camp, driving the children across the Nile river, which was running rapidly at the time. Many children drowned, others were snatched by crocodiles and others were shot by the rebels. What followed was a 1,000 mile march south to nortthern Kenya where a refugee camp was formed in Kakuma. They started sleeping under the trees, then they gathered some local materials to build makeshift shelters. Then someone brought plastic and eventually mud huts were built.

This all started in 1992. I don’t know that I ever heard of the lost boys, so named because of this long trek starting with close to 30,000 children from 4 to 20 years of age making their way through the wilderness of Southern Sudan. They survived on any plant life they could find, and by hunting small animals. One of the boys in Deng’s group had grabbed a plastic container, and when there was water they could collect it and share it. But there were many hungry and thirsty days. When the pain and fatigue overcame a boy he would sit down by the trail. He had lost hope and would soon die. Of the 30,000 starting the journey, only around 12,000 arrived at the destination following the year long walk.

Deng spoke to me about the hungry days in Kakuma camp. The refugees were given food for fourteen days. But it never lasted that long. “On the hungry days,” Deng told me, “We played games and stayed active so that we could forget the hunger.” There were at least two hungry days a month.

We met in a church in the refugee camp. Deng asked them what had changed in the ten years since he had been chosen to go to the States. Same food. Same amount of food. Nothing had changed. he told them that if he had been able to better himself given the chance, then his hope for them was for them to have that opportunity too. “Don’t give up hope!” he told them.

Are you hungry? I’ve been thinking about the faces I saw in that camp. People just like Deng. The only difference is he was given an opportunity. He has returned to Sudan with a masters degree in public health. He is committing his life to helping the people of Sudan. “I could stay in the States and work,” he told me, “But i would just be working for myself and that would be empty when so many need so much.”

What are you having for lunch today?

This week I saw a picture of a friend who I haven’t seen for a number of months. The last time I saw him he had lost weight to the point where I remarked on it. But in this picture he had to be at his ideal weight. He looked great! And ten years younger. The picture was in a denominational magazine and my friend was pictured serving communion in his new church plant.

This got me to thinking. Is the obesity epidemic in America a result of our worldview as American Christians that causes us to neatly compartmentalize our lives into sacred and secular? This dualistic worldview which says, “Well, this pertains to  Sunday morning, but the rest of the week is mine” has us neatly categorizing our life into segments that have to do with our faith and those that don’t.

The headline this morning was US OBESITY EPIDEMIC CONTINUES TO SPREAD. The article shares that twelve states now have 30% or more of their population in the obesity range.

Four years ago only one state was that unhealthy. Twenty years  ago, that is 1991,not one state had an obesity rate over 15 percent. Today every  state has an obesity rate over 15%.

Does this statistic shock and alarm you? It certainly catches my attention.

I have a missionary friend who has lost over 120 pounds lately. Another missionary asked me if I knew why he lost that weight, which he has chronicled on his Facebook. If he wants to identify himself he can make a comment on this blog entry. Anyway, I have heard that someone came up to my missionary friend after a service and challenged him with a reference to I Corinthians 6:19. Now, I’m sure you are thinking, “Ah, yes. I Corinthians 6:19, my theme verse!”

Okay, I won’t make you look it up.

1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (NIV)

As I understand it, when my missionary friend was challenged as to his obesity, at that very point he decided to abandon his dualistic western world view and embrace a wholistic understanding of scripture and his Christian faith. He probably wouldn’t articulate it like that, but I’d have to say this is what embracing a wholistic approach to your Christian faith looks like.

Now, you can moralize anything you want to, asserting someone is failing spiritually if they do not share your opinion. However, I fear that we secularize things overly much at times with our dualistic approach to our faith. I mean, really, when Paul admonishes us in verse 20 that we were bought with a price, therefore we should honor God with our bodies, was he only talking about sexual purity?

You’re probably thinking, “Oh great, just what I needed, more guilt!” OK, I’m preachy in this post. But know that I am preaching at me. You see, according to my WII Sports Plus I am just into the obesity range for my height. It keeps telling me that my ideal weight is 70 lbs lighter than I currently am. I think that is extreme, but if I lost 50 lbs I would be back to the weight I was when I was in my 20s. I’m losing weight, but it is a slow and painful process. I am part of that Indiana statistic that makes it the 15th fattest state in the union.

You may look at this picture and say, “You, obese?” And isn’t that a fitting commentary on just where our worldview has taken us? Just what we accept as normal? And so, as I have reflected on my worldview, I have had to conclude that my weight is not some part of me that has nothing to do with holiness. Because I suspect that people watching a flood of overweight American Christians rushing into restaurants following the Sunday morning sermon are not saying, “Man, there is something attractive about those people. I want to be like that!”

Here’s the thing. Despite popular media’s attack on Christianity, I really do believe that Christians have largely shaped our American society. For instance, many of our largest universities got their start as Christian universities. And how many hospitals carry a reference in their name to a Christian heritage?  How about the YMCA? These institutions have influenced the very development of of our society. And sadly, I think Christians have led the way in the obesity epidemic plaguing our country today. And our churches are for the most part closing. Is part of that because, frankly, a good number of us just don’t look all that healthy anymore?


I interrupt this blog post for a special commentary. Actually I have been thinking about this since I made this post this morning and I need to add some thoughts. My blog has as part of its subtitle the phrase, “Random acts of blogging.” Well, maybe I was a bit too random this morning because I hadn’t really developed my thoughts very well before hitting that old Publish button.

For instance, I really don’t think you can draw a straight line between the decline of the North American church and obese Christians. Certainly there are many Christians who are very fit and trim and who  take care to stay in great shape. And I do not in any way want to insinuate that our external beauty is a measure of whether we are a good Christian or not. By the same token, I do feel that as an overweight Christian, I personally could do a better job of integrating my faith and my daily life by being more concerned with caring for my “temple.”

So let me draw this conclusion. Just as missionaries go to developing nations and look at things such as latrines and clean drinking water, I think the church is presented with a real opportunity to minister wholistically by responding to this obesity epidemic in the USA.What would that look like? I think that compassionately helping people understand proper nutrition and the importance of exercise is one way to do that. Maybe helping people to learn how to deal with stress and depression with other outlets than eating would be another way the church could take a wholistic approach to preaching the Gospel.

I’m a product of our culture, so thinking in these terms of integrating sacred and secular is a new thing for me. But I do think it is worth thinking about. I hope this stirs some thinking on how wholistic thinking could impact our society. It certainly has mine.

A Case in Point?

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Disciple Nations

I’ve been blogging about the Disciple Nations Alliance forum that I attended and the concepts presented there regarding worldview and transformation. The practice of dividing our world into sacred and secular can result in a less than effective church outreach at best and real chaos at worst. Today I have a guest blogger. WGM Missionary, Mark Dunbar, has written about the chaos end of the scale where he ministers in Honduras, Central America. I read with interest his analysis of violent crime spinning out of control in that nation, and in many nations around the world for that matter. Mark himself has been the victim of violent crime on more than one occasion as a missionary. Here is his analysis.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

This is merely one of many promises giving us an answer for the Honduran society and, for that matter, for the world itself in 2010.

The snapshot of Honduras right now is that at least in the larger towns and the cities, the majority of the population is afraid to leave their homes and many times even to stay within their homes because of crime: violent thefts, kidnappings, hired killings, and even massacres.

Three groups within Honduras have joined forces to form a perverse trilogy: the gangs, the drug traffickers, and corrupt authorities.

  • Whereas the gangs previously were kept busy struggling between different factions, they now seek to extend their influence and power by taking over businesses, homes, and entire industries as is now the case with urban public transportation.
  • Previously the drug cartels used Honduras in money laundering.  Now they have formed a complex networking so that no part of society has remained untouched by their violence.  It is common to see poor people all of a sudden building a mansion.  They are protected around the clock with well armed bodyguards and are untouchable by the authorities because they have more sophisticated weapons then the army itself.  To make matters worse, the traffickers are directly linked to and under the control of foreign drug cartels that care nothing for Honduran society.
  • Corruption in Honduras has always been among the highest in Latin America.  What has changed has been the partnership with people with absolutely no conscience.


This combined onslaught has resulted in that a human life has less value than a simple cell phone.  When the authorities do capture and arrest criminals, they are often forced to let them go free with no or little punishment.  Once released, the delinquents are free to impose their own punishment on those who pressed charges.

Until now, the church has, on the most part, only gotten involved in a particular case when it affected one of its own members.  We have now reached the point that there is no church remained untouched by the delinquency and anarchy.

According to Romans 1, social problems are caused by a mistaken theology or by sin, quite often within the church itself.  As evangelicals, we have separated our God from our daily lives, relegating Him to being the God of the spiritual.  At the same time we hope and ask for Him to bless our physical bodies, our economic condition, and our emotional lives.  But, before seeking God, we generally go to the doctor, the financial advisor, or the counselor.  In the case of violence in Honduran society, we have simply turned over all responsibility to the political authorities.

The Bible contains a long list of examples of ordinary men and women whom God used to transform a broken society.  What these heroes had in common was that they cried out to God, depended on Him, and were filled with His Spirit.

2Chronicals 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will Ihearfrom heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  I sincerely believe that God has a purpose for the Church in Honduras right now in 2010.  It is the role of transforming the society.  This promise does not speak to the need of the unconverted and the criminals to humble themselves, pray, and repent, but rather to the people of God to do so.

The time has arrived for the evangelical church in Honduras to be the body of Christ for the transformation of this society.  We are in a war in which each Christian and each church uses his weapons against the enemy but not in a strategic way.  It’s as though an army left each troop with the order to simply fire when deemed necessary.  God has given us the authority won by our Champion.  He has given it to His church.

Ephesians 1:18-23.  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.

Our strategy must be that described in 2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will Ihearfrom heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.   

Keeping in mind:

  • That we are fighting a spiritual war against spiritual beings (Ephesians 6:10-20)
  • That God is sovereign; therefore our requests must not be selfish or based on what we ourselves want but rather based on glorifying the name of our God (James 4:3)
  • That God’s will is the absolute best (Isaiah 55:6-11)
  • That we are called to be united in harmony among ourselves and that unforgiveness and disunity hinders our prayers (Matthew 18:19, Mark 11:22-26)
  • That any unconfessed sin in our lives stymies our prayers (Psalms 66:18)

I propose the following strategy:

  1. Call for days of prayer and fasting on a local, regional and national level.  This is first of all for repentance both personally and corporately as a church.  It has been our apathy, our selfishness, our envies, our divisions and lack of love, our hesitancy to take and use the authority offered to us by God Himself that has produced this national disaster.  (Daniel 9:2-21; I Peter 4:17)
  2. Call out to God for:
    1. Boldness to speak the word of God and for God to extend His hand in working miracles in this society (Acts 4:24-30)
    2. Wisdom, protection, and boldness for our authorities (I Timothy 2:1-2)
    3. Fear, disloyalty, confusion, division, and lack of trust for the alliance between gangs, drug traffickers, and corrupt authorities (Psalm 83, Psalm 94:23)
    4. The repentance and revival of Honduran society (Jonah 3:10)
  3. Start a means of communication between churches with requests and answers to prayer specific to members of churches, their families, and their acquaintances that have been directly affected by threats, kidnappings, murders, theft, etc.  (Perhaps on a web-page, Facebook, prayer chains, etc.)
  4. Extend the movement to other churches in order to hold a large public event calling out to God for Peace in Honduras.  Always look to God for guidance on this event.


Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Some additional thoughts:

  1. DISCERNMENT in regards to the focus of prayer to target in on the specific need and God’s will regarding this need.
  2. HOLINESS is of utmost importance for the pray-ers.  Remember Achan!
  3. Be open to, and humbly seek PROMISES of God for these requests.  Careful not to be presumptuous.
  4. Our MOTIVATION is of utmost importance.  Many here are praying for our nation in order to not lose their savings, their security, and their comforts.  Our first priority is the honor of God and the salvation of souls.  It is easy to fall into a spirit of vengeance.  My conviction is that we should focus on what I Peter 4:17 says: “Judgment must begin at the house of God.”  If the church is right with God, they will be salt and light for the perverted and cruel world.
  5. Be careful that our efforts in prayer do not degenerate into prayer groups praying for simple health needs of members in the church.  KEEP THE FOCUS.
  6. As it is fashionable to have “Prayer walks”, do not let this or any other fad take over the effort – do all under the DIRECTION of the Holy Spirit.


So what do you think about Mark’s conclusions? Would you add anything to them in light of the concepts of a wholistic approach to evangelism? How does the church impact its society through the daily lives of its members?

Thanks, Mark for writing about this issue that goes far beyond the borders of one country.