“…thanks be to God!  

He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV

 

Praying friends and family:

The Washington, DC Mission team and I arrived safely on Sunday night! Some very dear friends gave us a surprise welcome at the airport when we got there at 9:30p.m. 

I want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for taking the time to pray for us while we were in DC for one week. Below are the prayer requests you lifted before God’s throne of grace and the ANSWERS we received as a result. There is also a link for some pictures of the mission trip for your enjoyment. Hope you catch a glimpse of what we did as you look at the photos. We are filled with amazement at the way God’s Hand worked in and through us: 

1.   Pray for the mission team by name: Kirk, Karen, Rayleigh, Rachel, Amy, Josh, Tara, Dianna, David, and me (Sam). Ask that the Lord will direct our steps by His Word, and that no iniquity will have dominion over us (Psalm 119:133).

The Lord directed our steps throughout the whole week in visible and invisible ways. In fact, He added two more members (Ben and “little Sam”) to our team. It was so amazing how He directed us to the individuals He wanted us to talk to during the course of our one-week stay and outreach in Washington, DC. As we walked and prayed in certain sections of the city, He directed us on what to pray for. Ben and I walked by the CBN offices and prayed for this ministry and a host of other similar ministries that they would spread the Gospel around the globe. We also interceded for the nations that don’t have freedom of assembly to worship God due to lack of righteousness, justice, and liberty in their countries.

 How we thank God for the victory that He gave us as a team and as individuals! On Tuesday (August 10), He encouraged me not be weary in doing good, for in due season I’ll reap a harvest if I don’t lose heart (Galatians 6:9).

2.      Pray for safe travel and divine appointments. Rachel and I will be flying in the morning [August 9, 2010], but the rest of the team is already there.

PTL! He granted us safety in our travel to DC, in DC, and from DC back to Oklahoma City. We are so thankful for your prayers. The Psalmist spoke of the Lord’s watch care over us:

 The LORD is your keeper;
       The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
 The sun shall not strike you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.          
  The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
         He shall preserve your soul.
 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth, and even forevermore.

(Psalm 121:5-8, NKJV)

3.    Pray for our team to have unity and display the love of Christ as we serve together from Aug. 9-15. 

Unity was evident in our midst and we can only attribute this to the mighty Hand of the Lord. We stayed at a mission house in a relatively safe neighborhood and we split the cost of groceries, etc. We hope and pray that those we met saw a display of the Love of Jesus. Several people expressed appreciation for the work we did. I was reminded of Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” At the end of the day, we want Jesus to receive all the glory. Amen! 

4.         Pray for opportunities to share Christ as we serve people with acts of kindness: American University students as they move into their dorms and local families through a back to school project by distributing school supplies. 

As new students arrived at the American University, our team was there along with other volunteers to welcome them and give them a hand in carrying their belongings to their assigned rooms. This provided some opportunities to invite them to consider attending Restoration Church and other churches in the vicinity. One of the ladies on our team prayed with a girl they had helped move to her room.

Additionally, we pointed the new students to some Christian groups on campus such as “Chi Alpha.” We co-labored with this group that encourages students to be smart, passionate, focused, and engaged as far as their relationship with Jesus is concerned.

As far as distributing back-to-school supplies, we did not do so. Instead, we worked toward its accomplishment. Our team knocked on nearly 500 doors in some neighborhoods and we asked for back-to-school supplies. Praise the Lord for a 10% success rate.  Around 11a.m. on Saturday, Pastor Joey of Restoration Church and two others drove by the various homes and collected 55 bags of donated back-to-school supplies. The supplies included some check donations as well. These will be forwarded to a mission agency that will distribute them to the inner city kids in actual school back-packs. 

5.         Pray for the Spirit to give us boldness and the words to share as we interact with homeless people and engage other people in spiritual conversations on the street. 

We engaged a number of homeless people on the street in talking about spiritual things. Please pray for three guys we conversed with, namely: 1) Raj from New Delhi India who has been on the streets for 25 years. He believes religions are man’s inventions for the purpose of controlling man. He did not allow us to pray for him, but when we asked him if he was afraid to die, he said, “yes.” He definitely needs to know the love of God in a personal way; 2) George, a former Mechanical Engineer, has been homeless for 2 years and does not see a congruence between what Christians profess and their daily practice; 3)  David has not had a place to call home for quite some time. He initially told us that he was a Christian but after talking with him we found out that he was not. David claimed to “know everything” but when Pastor Nathan asked him if he had figured out how to get off the streets, where he did not like to be, he responded with an emphatic, “NO.” 

6.         Pray for us to be an encouragement to this new church and its leaders, especially Joey and Nathan and their families

On Thursday evening, Pastors Nathan and Joey had planned and secured a permit for us to have a “Block Party.” However it did not materialize due to “bad” weather. It had rained that morning and I had started complaining in my spirit and the Lord reminded me how very hot it had been the previous three days. I believe the Lord gave us a break from the scorching summer temperatures and protected us from a possible tornado that was likely to occur in the area at the time of the party. The block party did not take off because the Lord wanted us to fellowship with the pastors and their families (that is what I thought as soon as the party was cancelled, and this was confirmed by what transpired that evening!). As soon as the party was cancelled, we agreed to converge at the Mission House later for some hot dogs and fellowship time. 

As we fellowshipped around the table, I sensed divine direction, unity, commitment, and dedication on the part of  the pastors and their families in relation to the church planting work the Lord has called them to do in the Northwestern part of Washington, DC. They also expressed that they were encouraged as a result of our being there. We gave out several fliers inviting people to their church and they immediately saw an increase on the number of visitors to their church website.  Likewise we hope they will see a multiplication in their Sunday attendance.

7.           Pray for God to save souls and grow this church [Restoration Church] for His glory in the city.

As far as I know, no one prayed to receive Christ as Lord and Savior but the good news is that the seeds of God’s truth were planted and we hope and pray they will grow to bear lots of fruit for God’s glory. I am encouraged by the fact that witnessing involves both our work and God’s work. Our part is to lift Jesus up and He will draw all men unto Himself. The late Bill Bright, I understand, defined witnessing as follows: “Sharing the Good News in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.” Please continue to pray that the Gospel may saturate this capital city of the United States culminating in a global impact.

In closing, let me thank you again for going with us on this mission trip in prayer. Please enjoy some pictures of the trip by clicking on either of links below that Kirk, our team leader, shared with us:    

a. View Album 

b. Play slideshow

May God bless and keep you. Let’s continue to remain in the mood of prayer. The apostle Paul exhorts us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

In His exciting steps and service,

🙂 Sam

P.S. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9, NIV