Highland Baptist Church
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Helping People Follow Jesus
Over Spring Break 2011, a team of college students worked with Living Water International in El Salvador with hopes of establishing a clean water source there. However, at the time of their departure from El Salvador, they were unable to provide a working well for the village. What follows is a testimony from one of the LWI board members about God’s power and faithfulness:
"After we left El Salvador a bit discouraged, the LWI team workers (not another team of students) wanted to go back to the village on their own time to drill a second hole. They received permission from the home office to make a second attempt using the “air-drill” method—no drill bit and no pipes. They used highly pressurized air to create a hole nearly 100 meters deep. They did not find water. They covered it with a tarp to let it 'charge' (allow water to seep into the hole) for a few days. A worker returned to find the hole was still empty. The LWI worker informed the village leader that his crew would need to return the next day to 'cap' the well—declaring it to be a closed project. That night, the village leader gathered a group of villagers around the tarp covered hole and began to pray. They cried out to God about their sickness and their need for clean water. While they were praying, they heard a loud noise and the tarp began to rise and shake violently as huge amounts of water erupted from the hole! Other villagers thought it was an explosion and were afraid to leave their homes. After the initial rush of water, it settled down to fill the hole to the top—indicating that this would be a viable well. The next day the LWI crew arrived to cap the well and found the result of this miracle. They sent for casing and worked to mount a pump. The well was finished and now provides clean water for the village."
Highland is blessed to be a small part of this story and has the honor of our name on the plaque that caps this miraculous well. All glory belongs to God—for the miracle of water for people in need.
From Norman Hoffman
The mission trip to Alaska in the summer of 2008 was inspirational. Many new Christian friendships were generated, and the name of Christ was reborn in the lives of those who went on the trip along with our Alaskan friends. We went on this mission trip with 12 people. Half of the group were college students who had a god background in basketball. The group was led by Larren Silver who is the assistant basketball coach at MCC.
The camp in Aleknagik ran well, and attendance ran in the 20s each day. This is a community of Alaskan native children who may never leave the outback. I would walk the roads of the village each morning and invite kids to come. On the last day, parents came to see what the kids were doing, and they were proud of their kids. They also listened to the message given by Larren and were very friendly.
The camp in Dillingham was a great experience. The first session was well attended, but at the second session, we had a maximum of 10 kids. So, we went to the local HUD housing project to see if we could find more kids to join us. We noticed a blacktop half basketball court there... so we came back with basketballs and brooms... and the kids came out and visited with us. Thus, a new camp was born. Our group was very attentive to ensure that all kids were greeted and loved.
Why do people go on a mission trip and what is gained from the experience? Personally, I get to have a time where I put down my reservations in a setting with Christian friends, and I get to tell people about what Christ has done in my life. I also get a chance to make some new bonded friendships with Christian people I might not have ever known. I am much richer for the experience, and it is good for the soul... everyone should have that experience.
From Joy Endsley
On our 2008 trip to Belarus, we had a divine appointment. Believers in Belarus always want us to lead them in Bible study when we come. In the picture, our good friend, Pastor Gena, translates for Joy Endsley who is teaching “How to be a witness, a study on Acts." In the audience was an Iraqi doctor who heard the Gospel. We were amazed to have this opportunity to share. During the same trip, our team was able to clear land and debris from a burned house next to a WWII gunnery that would be transformed into a house of worship. We also ministered in a college dorm at an English speaking university. We viewed the video Amazing Grace with several Belarusian students followed by a question-and-answer session about the Gospel.
Quotes from participants on North Africa trips
“My heart was enlarged on this trip for the people, as I looked into their eyes and prayed for them without their knowing it, for the missionaries as I got to know them better and see their lives, and for the team in their hard work and willingness to serve.” –Pollyanna West
“I went to serve the missionaries there and to gain compassion for the people. God did both and gave me a glimpse of how He sees these beautiful people! It has increased my prayer life for this part of the world.” –Shannon Durand
“I was touched by the children and how much they need prayer. Also, the time you spend with the team is a great opportunity to serve alongside people from our church.” –Brandy Rodriguez
“I felt that the Lord wanted me to go. I was much more blessed than the people we served.” –Fred Gottlieb
“This trip expanded my perspective of God. How exciting to invest in His kingdom knowing that He is faithful to complete the work He has begun!” –Julie Zakhary
“I was struck by the lost condition of a whole nation without Christ. The fellowship of the team was also a blessing. I’d encourage anyone to go. It will impact your life.” –Keith Byrd
“I was so blessed by the warmth and hospitality of the people and was frequently reminded of just how much God loves them. God is definitely working there, and I have seen that work in action.” –Steve Durand
“You experience God’s character beyond what you see, feel or even imagine here in the States. Words and pictures cannot convey the awe of experiencing God yourself in the outer parts of the world.” –Otis Scott
“You get to meet people who are just like you but live across the globe. You get the chance to feel like you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself. You realize that God is using you in His ultimate plans.” –Jill Anderson
Quotes from participants on a choir trip to Guatemala
“To have the opportunity to lead out in worship for hundreds of missionaries was a humbling experience. These people have laid down their lives for the Gospel, their worship came from deep down in their hearts. God ministered in profound ways to us all.” -Gary Rhodes
“It was such a blessing to sense the Lord’s presence throughout our trip. So much prayer went into our preparation, and so much intercession occurred during our stay. I know that is why His anointing was present.” -Mary Ann Thomas
“I love ministering through music, but being able to listen to the missionaries and hear of their work, their concerns and needs, and being able to take that to Abba is precious.” -Nancy Little
“I can say with certainty that I will never be the same! My prayer time will increase, our family’s financial support to missions will increase, and our involvement in future mission trips will increase.” -Holly Escue
“Guatemala was a wonderful chance for me to meet missionary families first-hand and hear their hearts for ministry and their love for the Lord.” -Linda Smith
“In leaving the country, the thing that will forever permeate my heart and my mind is the indescribable picture of people worshiping with tears in their eyes, hearts surrendered to the King, hands lifted towards the heavens, releasing burdens, and truly being free in Christ.” -Ashley Harrington
“I was most touched when the children prayed for us in their language. I couldn’t understand a word, but that did not matter. Our hearts were as one with God at the center.” -Naomi Vinson
“I really believe that God has given me a new appreciation and understanding of foreign missions and His love for all people. I would encourage everyone to consider going on a mission trip to see what God is doing around the world!” -Kim Stevens
“I was inspired by watching our missionaries, Kendon and Wendy Wheeler. They are an example of living open-hearted to the call of God, whatever it may be.” -Krista Dalton
“Looking into the faces of the children, I realized that they would be on the street, alone, if not for the children’s home. I’ll never forget them. They would just hug on us for the longest time and not want to let us go.” -Brian Konzelman
“Our team worked so well together on a spiritual, relationship and practical level. It was a breath of fresh air. I would call it mutual love and respect of the God kind.” -Lanny Nye