Friday, January 29, 2010

Moaning and Groaning Does Not Do a Bit of Good

Moaning and groaning does not seem to do a bit of good. The old saying goes, “When it rains, it pours!”

Recently, we picked up our van that we had loaned to a family who needed a car for several weeks and noticed the “Service Engine Now” light was on. I took the van to our mechanic and it cost over $1400 to repair.

Recent computer and equipment problems this week for my office will cost $2100.

The doctor told me that surgery on my knee is badly needed, but he cannot guarantee results. Because of my arthritis and other problems, the pain will probably continue as he says my knee is one big mess!

However, when you and I as Christians begin to ponder bad situations, it is good to realize that compared to the situation that millions are facing in Haiti and the Philippines, our troubles are nothing. For example, I just watched a video of street children going through garbage in Manila just trying to find a scrap of food they could eat to keep from starving.

So what if there is a large bill for the repair of our vehicle. God owns it! It is His money. So what if computers crash. It is His equipment dedicated to His service; and the same goes for my body. If it has been dedicated to Him (Romans 12:1-2), then He can do with it that which He pleases: cripple it, heal it, use it, or put in the barn!

Psalm 66:11-12: “You (God) laid an oppressive burden upon our loins... yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.” Charles Spurgeon said, “We often forget that God lays our afflictions upon us; if we remembered this fact, we should more patiently submit to the pressure which now pains us.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strength Through Brokenness Before God

L.E. Maxwell, founder of Prairie Bible Institute, said, “A man that has not experienced brokenness before God cannot be trusted with leadership.” Dr. F.C. Peters said, upon hearing Mr. Maxwell, “I returned to my room deeply moved as I analyzed my own relationship to Christ and to my brethren. Suddenly I saw myself as I was strong willed and aggressive, a leader who just could not tolerate being wrong or losing. God used that truth to break me once more.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Power of Prayer

D. E. Hoste, the man who took over the China Inland Mission from Hudson Taylor, wrote a book titled Behind the Ranges. He was trying to analyze why the people with whom he lived and worked were not doing very well. But the people in the other village across the ranges were doing great! He visited them only now and then, but they were always doing fine, so he began to ask the Lord what was going on. How could those across the ranges be doing better than those with whom he lived and worked? The Lord showed Hoste the answer. Although he was spending much time counseling, preaching. and teaching with those with whom he lived, he spent much more time in prayer for those across the ranges. He concluded that there are four basic elements in making disciples: 1) prayer, 2) prayer, 3) prayer, 4) and the Word - in that order and in about that proportion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Kiss of an Old Godly Man


One of my heroes, L. E. Maxwell, died in February 1984 at age 88.

Mr. Maxwell was President and Principal of Prairie Bible Institute (PBI), a school on the prairies of Alberta, Canada. PBI, through the grace of God, trained and sent out several thousand missionaries, pastors, Christian workers, and others throughout the world.

I graduated in 1966 from PBI and my wife, Margaret, graduated the following year. We both benefited greatly from our years at PBI and honored and loved Mr. Maxwell for his example of dedication and sacrificial service to the Lord and his love for the Word of God. He also truly loved PBI’s students. He sought to train them in a disciplined lifestyle for God’s glory with a thorough knowledge of the Word of God.

Mr. Maxwell suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other ailments during the last years of his life. He became bedridden and required around-the-clock care. Individuals volunteered to take turns sitting with Mr. Maxwell and caring for him during the night so his wife, Pearl, could sleep after she had cared for her husband all day long.

During one furlough from the Philippines, I spoke at a conference at PBI. I heard that a dear friend, Robert Sinclair, in his late 70’s at that time, was one of the individuals who cared for Mr. Maxwell in the late night and early morning hours. He usually took a shift from 10 p.m. until about 4 or 5 a.m.

The family granted me permission to visit Mr. Maxwell during one of Robert Sinclair’s night shifts. One evening around midnight, I sat with Mr. Maxwell for over one hour. He reclined in a large chair and was unable to speak. I moved closer to him, and with our knees touching and his strong hands in mine, I simply expressed my appreciation to him and gave an update about many former students of Prairie who were now serving with ACTION and other missions in the Philippines. As I shared story after story of how God was using them and the impact that Mr. Maxwell and Prairie had made in their lives, tears ran down his cheeks.

When Mr. Sinclair informed me that it was time to put Mr. Maxwell to bed, I asked if I could do this. He instructed me on how to bend over so Mr. Maxwell could put his arms around my neck. I then put my arms around his frail body, picked him up as though giving him a bear hug, and carried him to his bed in a small bedroom.

As I lay him down, my face was close to his. Before releasing his arms from my neck, he gave me a kiss on the cheek!

I have been with many well known and famous people throughout the years in various venues of service and ministry, but have never been so honored as to have had the opportunity to actually carry and assist this dear saint of God.

One of the verses Mr. Maxwell used to quote quite often was Hosea 6:3, "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD..." (nasb).

It is because of the example and teaching of men like Mr. Maxwell that we can press on to know the wonderful Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Leaders to Pray

Spiritual leaders should be men and women of prayer (James 5:16-18). Relying on our own strength to accomplish things is worldliness. True spirituality is constant dependence on God for everything, from the mundane to the earth-shaking (Philippians 4:6-7). When confronted with a crisis or a crucial decision, the spiritual leader’s first impulse would be to breathe a prayer to God. He would then spend an extended time of prayer as well as call on others for prayer. He, whose first impulse when confronted with a crisis is to immediately call a meeting in order to discuss the matter, is a worldly leader.

--William B. Girao

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Works in Ministry to Children

A lot of ministry to kids amounts to little more than child care and entertainment. This alone does not fulfill God’s heart for kids. What will help us really reach kids and disciple them?

Over the past several years, we have asked mission leaders, pastors and teachers to tell us about the most effective evangelism and outreach programs working in their regions. This has not been a formal study. However, we heard many common themes, emphasized over and over again.

Top ten most effective programs for reaching kids
1. Families
2. Mercy ministry (ongoing compassion in action)
3. Christian mission schools
4. Vibrant, relevant Sunday school or children’s church
5. Friends
6. Bible camps
7. Other club programs
8. Vacation Bible schools or other crusade-type events
9. Sports camps, programs
10. Vacation Bible schools or other crusade-type events

Look back over the list. Do you notice what is missing? We have not included curriculum, children’s tracts, children’s Bibles, videos, coloring books, or other literature. Why? Because children do not come to Christ as a result of a piece of paper, unless it come attached to a human being. Children (and adults, too) are reached through relationships.

In many developing regions of the world where we train children’s leaders, people request materials. They want curriculum and teaching supplies. We understand the desire. But we feel obligated to tell them about the great North American curriculum experiment. For the past 50 years, we have watched more and more curriculum become available to Christian teachers for Sunday School and other children’s programs. Most teachers have ample access to well-written curriculum. What is the result?

Researchers report that two-thirds of our students are leaving the church after high school. Our children struggle to describe their beliefs. Have they grown as disciples? Unfortunately, no.

One lesson we have learned: it’s about relationships. [Pages 180, 181]

Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are Ten Lickins' Enough?

(edited by P.Callaway)

When I was growing up in the 1940s, a spanking was called a “lickin,” and a swat was called a “lick.” Few people seem to know much about this anymore, so I was particularly intrigued by the excellent movie Places in the Heart.

The movie deals with love, sacrifice, determination, and racial prejudice. In one scene, a young widow is faced with the need to spank her son. The mother asks the 11-year-old how his daddy had spanked him before. The little boy obediently says, “Mom, I bent over the table and he would spank me with his belt.”

Distraught, the mother asks, “Would he hit you hard or softly?”

“What I did was pretty bad, Mom, so he would probably spank me hard,” the boy responds.

“How many licks would he give you?” asks the mother.

“Well, Mom,” The boy replies, “Dad would be pretty mad so he would probably give me ten.”

So the mother proceeds to give him ten swats. Through tears, she later says, “I will never spank my son again.”

It was a very moving scene, but I laughed at the difference between the mother portrayed in the movie and my own mother. My mom would have said, “If you do it again, I will give you twenty!”

Mom and Granddad, who helped raise me, believed in lickins. Boy, did they ever!

On one occasion I received two spankings. I had thrown a rock through the window of a moving car and my grandfather almost wore out his thick brown belt on my backside! When my mother got home from work, she did not think he had beaten me enough, so she went at me with a black plastic belt. I may have had welts on my legs from these two hard spankings, but I did not throw rocks at cars anymore.

When I was about six or seven, someone was selling fruit on the side of the road. It looked to me like they were making quite a bit of money, so I proceeded to open a fruit and vegetable stand myself. One thing was missing: product. We had no garden so I stole the fruits and vegetables from the neighbor’s backyard. It was a profitable little venture.

Until my grandfather found out.

He thought it was so funny and was laughing so hard that he could barely hold the belt to spank me. When Mom got home, she laughed in her room for a while, then got in a few good licks as well. I had to pay the neighbor back of course, but I don’t think that was enough. From then on, I noticed that whenever I passed his house, he watched me very close.

Growing up, I think my middle name was “lickin.”

The Word of God says there is a very important place for discipline. “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death,” we are told in Proverbs 19:18. And again in Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from Him.”

In the New Testament we read of God’s discipline of us, His children:

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives…it is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:5-11, all verses from the nasb).

Yes, God disciplines His children, but He has a purpose for doing so: It is for our good. How can this be? That we might share His holiness, His righteousness.

There is however, a difference in the way we discipline our children and the way God disciplines us His children. As earthly parents, we make mistakes. We give five swats when we should have given ten or twelve when we should have taken them for ice cream and had a meaningful talk.

But when God uses whatever means of discipline He wants to use, He knows exactly how much to give, what pressure to use, and in what situation. He spanks exactly right; not too hard and not too soft, but only that which accomplishes His purpose for His glory.

I knew my mom and grandfather loved me because of their care and—yes—even because of their lickins. If, like me, you have experienced God’s hand of discipline, remember the fruit it will bring. His love is felt daily as He cares and “reproves” us for our sake and especially for His glory.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Do The Numbers Say About The Information Explosion?

There are currently 6.4 million books published about Christianity. Christians have produced 4.8 billion Bibles over the years, with 1.6 billion currently available on the planet. [“Table C,” IBMR, p. 30, line 58.] Non-Christian countries have 227 million Bibles in place in their midst, more than needed to serve all Christians there. However, they are poorly distributed, so many still do not have access to a Bible. [Johnson, “World Christian Trends 2005.”] Wycliffe also reports that the Bible still has not been translated into 3000 languages around our world. [Page 174]

Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Friday, January 15, 2010

The "P" World: People

Let’s consider a different view of the task. What if we wanted to reach all the unreached kids of the world, about 1.4 billion children under 15? What if every church in North America challenged itself to reach and disciple (please do not skip this word) 100 totally unreached kids around the world each year through its mission ministries and teams? About 300,000 congregations (even if some do not have a current interest in mission) times 100 kids equals…30 million kids! Some churches might do more. Some might do less.

Even if this dream were possible, it would barely move us forward. Why? Because, right now, more than 88 million kids are born each year into families that do not know Jesus. So we’d still be falling behind, just with annual biological growth. We will barely have begun to reach the 1.4 billion unreached children who are already waiting to know Christ, much less reach the new ones. [Page 102]

Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poverty

More than one billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day. In total, 2.7 billion struggle to survive on less than two dollars a day. [“Fast Facts: Faces of Poverty,” UN Millennium Project 2006, www.unmilenniumproject.org.] In these poverty-challenged areas, the population of children is often close to 50%. Many face extreme poverty, where there is not enough food to eat, clothing to wear, and no secure housing. [Page 90]

Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is There Really a Shortage of Supply?

Some may say there are not enough workers, not enough resources and not enough dollars to reach our world for Christ. Many disagree. A global lack of resources is not the issue. God has more than enough.

So what’s the problem? Why do we so often experience lack? Is there any way to tap into God’s supply on a more regular basis? Are there obstacles we can overcome?

Some say it’s the enemy. It is.

Some say it’s a lack of faith. It is.

Some say we squander what we get. Some do.

Some say we’re asking for things that are not God’s will. True.

Some say we’re holding onto God’s stuff as if it is our own. We are.

Some of us just can’t figure out what we really need. It seems so. [Page 100]
Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books to Read and Studies to Do

We are told not to judge a book by its cover? Really? Why not? Our lives are light to glorify God. Our cover should show what is inside. This is why I don’t read books by authors who swear and tell off color stories (man talk) in their sermons, who are not biblical in their teaching or lifestyle, and who live lavishly; who are not someone I would like my son and grandson to be like.

CHARLES SPURGEON said, “God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, acts with a hand that never fails.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

Faith and Football



by Randy Alcorn
www.epm.org

One of the reasons we enjoy fall and winter is football. Nanci is more football-crazy than I am, but we both really enjoy the game.

Last January the Florida Gators won the national college championship. Quarterback Tim Tebow was named Most Valuable Player.

If you would have told us four years ago that Nanci and I would become Gators fans, we’d have said “no way.” Nothing against the Gators, but Florida and Oregon, land of Beavers and Ducks, are geographical opposites, and in the past we haven’t followed closely what happens in Florida at the college level.

But last year Tim Tebow and his family changed all that. Tim’s parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, invited us to spend a weekend with them and attend a Gator game last November. They lived in Oregon 36 years ago while Bob attended Western Seminary, where I went after Multnomah Bible College (now Multnomah University).

Bob graduated from Western with our old friend and pastor Stu Weber, who I served with in the first thirteen years of Good Shepherd Community Church, which Nanci and I are still part of. We went to the Tebow home for a fun weekend, with much talk of the past, the present, and God’s faithfulness. The Tebows have a great family, and a great ministry in the Philippines.

Tim Tebow, in his first three years of college, has won the national championship twice, as well as the 2007 Heisman trophy for the best football player in the country, and was one of the three Heisman finalists in 2008. For this year, he’s in the top five in the preliminary votes. But what’s really remarkable is his outspoken devotion to the Lord, who he always publicly thanks as “my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (which is much more specific and controversial than thanking “God”). You may have seen Phil. 4:13 and John 3:16 repeatedly on camera, under his eyes.



Timmy, as his family calls him and as he signs his autographs (including on several jerseys for our grandsons), is utterly serious in his commitment to Christ. I have only been around one public figure who receives the amount of attention Timmy does, which is way more than most of us are built for. We were sitting with Timmy for an hour in a private post-game tailgate event, where we were able to talk and pray with him and watch him interact with others. Then he jumped in his parents’ car with us to go hang out at his apartment with some of his friends. (Nanci and I posed with Timmy’s Heisman trophy and a Heisman ball signed by winners of the trophy at the Tebow home; to clarify, I did not actually win a Heisman myself.)

Because Timmy has been so explicit in his faith in Christ and commitment to purity, he has a target on his chest. (If I were Satan, I’d sure go after him.) Pray for this young man. Fortunately he has a truly wonderful Christ-centered, kingdom-minded family. His parents, brothers and sisters are the real deal. So is Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow isn’t the only great football player with faith in God. Speaking in NFL chapels over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know a number of them. One of our friends, Jason Hanson, ranks number seven in total points scored in NFL history. He is still going strong. Jason kicked for Washington State, setting NCAA records that stand to this day. He was a teammate with retired quarterback Drew Bledsoe. He holds the all-time college record for most field goals from 50 yards and more (20), and 40 yards and more (39).

Jason also holds the all-time NFL record for field goals 50 yards and greater—42 of them—and we got to see record-setting number 42 on November 8, when he gave us four tickets (Rod and Diane Meyer came with us) to watch Seattle play the Lions. It was fun talking with Jason after the game, along with Lion punter Nick Harris, another committed Christ-follower; congratulations to Nick and Heather on the newborn twins!)

Last year was a rough one for the Detroit Lions, but an incredible year for Jason, who missed only one field goal from any distance (it was blocked). Jason kicked eight field goals over fifty yards last year, tying the NFL single season record He was a pro-bowl alternate. And at age 39, having played with the Lions seventeen years, he’s been with the same team longer than any other active NFL player.

Most importantly, Jason is not only a great competitor, but a humble follower of Christ, who uses his gifts for God’s glory. He loves his wonderful wife and children and is a real role model.

The way he’s kicking, Jason may keep playing for years. When he finally retires, in my opinion Jason will have had a hall of fame career. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Jason is already there, because the uniform he wore and the football he kicked to break that NFL career record for 50-yard-plus field goals were officially handed over to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Isn’t it fun to know that God has his people everywhere, in grocery stores and tire shops, in offices, at colleges, and in professional sports?

And what about Kurt Warner? Nine years after he won the Super Bowl with the Rams, and about five years after everyone thought his career was over, last year he led the underdog Arizona Cardinals through the playoffs, all the way to the Super Bowl. For Warner, it’s all about Christ.


Source: www.epm.org

Friday, January 8, 2010

Recommended books for a pastor in his 20's

from Randy Alcorn
http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/

Recently I was asked to recommend some books for a pastor in his twenties to read.

It's tragic that many Christian adults, including many current church leaders and even some pastors, are so immersed in popular culture and so undisciplined that they do not turn off the television and devote themselves to daily study of God’s Word and reading of Christian books centered on God’s Word. I hope this list might encourage you to go out and find some good books to read as you start the New Year.

This is the list of books I came up with:

The J. I. Packer Collection (Packer’s best) compiled by Alistair McGrath

Exegetical Fallacies by D. A. Carson

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D. A. Carson

God is the Gospel
by John Piper

Their God is Too Small: Open Theism and the Undermining of Confidence in God by Bruce Ware

Why We’re not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Young, Restless and Reformed: A Guide to the New Calvinists by Collin Hansen

Doing Theology With Huck and Jim: Parables for Understanding Doctrine by Mark Shaw

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lessons from the Dungeon

The lesson from the dungeon is that if you are going to be the servant of God, you’re going to have to tell the truth ― the good, the bad, and the ugly ― no matter what. And you’re going to have to live with the blast furnace of criticism and opposition.

Witness the integrity of Joseph in this matter. Some people must have looked at him years later and said, “He became the prime minister of Egypt overnight.”

No, he didn’t. God was fashioning Joseph for leadership in the crucible of suffering, hammering out his convictions on the anvil of life. And one thing God was teaching Joseph was this: “Joseph, tell the truth. Do what is right, because it is always right to do right.” Joseph learned the lesson, and he stood out in the midst of the malaise around him.

Just before his death, Paul told his spiritual son and disciple, Timothy, “Preach the Word…. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears what to hear” (2 Timothy 4:2-3). Calvin says, “All love to be flattered. Hence the majority of teachers, in desiring to yield to the corrupt wishes of the world, adulterate the Word of God.”

Joseph told the truth in the dungeon even when it was hard. What a shame that our nation is led for the most part not by people of this commitment, but by politicians who wait to see what popular sentiment is at the moment, and then follow it.

Somebody has to stand up and tell the truth. If God’s people will not be strong and do exploits, then who shall?

Alistair Begg, The Hand of God (Finding His Care in All Circumstances), Moody Publishers, Chicago, 1999 (page 106)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In 2010 please send us your best and brightest, as well as others!

Hundreds of additional missionaries are needed to serve with Action International Ministries (ACTION) in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America – workers to serve in evangelism, discipleship, and development with all sections of society including the poor, needy children and under-trained pastors and Christian workers.

Whether you are “the best and brightest” of your school or church or just ordinary like the rest of us, there are 10 basic requirements to serve with ACTION:

1. An ability to feed yourself on the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
2. A desire to rejoice in the Sovereignty of God in all circumstances (Daniel 3:17, 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 6:10).
3. An understanding of one’s biblical call of God to missions (ministry) and a well thought-out biblical philosophy of ministry (Luke 9:57- 62, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
4. Basic evangelism skills (2 Timothy 4:5).
5. Discipleship skills (2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Peter 3:18).
6. Skills that allow one to function on a team, and help carry the load (Hebrews 10:24-25).
7. Relationship skills that allow for one to gently confront others, and also to receive correction and not be easily offended (Galatians 6:1-2).
8. A life marked by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-25).
9. A servant attitude (2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:7).
10. The willingness to adapt to a different culture and to understand that what is personally familiar and comfortable does not always work elsewhere in the world (1 Corinthians 9:1-23).

What do you think? Are you interested? Are you age 21 to 75 and willing to trust God for support (personal and ministry) and for Him to use you for His glory?

Please check our web site www.actioninternational.org or contact any Action International Ministries (ACTION) office for more information:

ACTION USA • PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398 • Tel. 425-775-4800 • info@actionusa.org
ACTION Canada • 3015 A 21 Street NE• Calgary, Alberta T2E 7T1• Tel. (403) 204-1421• info@actioncanada.org
ACTION New Zealand • PO Box 8928, Christchurch • Tel. 011-643-341-0933 • rob@brighthopeworld.com
ACTION United Kingdom • PO Box 144, Wallasey, Wirral CH44 5WE • Tel. 011-151-630-245• info@actionuk.org • Registered Charity 1058661 •

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cancer Survivor by God's Grace

I am a survivor of colon cancer which was diagnosed in 1993 and treated over the next year. God's hand was on my life through this experience, especially in giving me two extraordinary doctors. Dr. Dan Froese was the skilled surgeon who when faced with a difficult choice in the middle of my surgery, stopped and asked God for direction. The decision he made to perform a colostomy helped save my life. 

The second doctor par excellence was Dr. Saul Rivkin. All of the patients who are privileged to be in his care love this man and appreciate his dedication to each one of us. He aggressively attacked any cancer cells that escaped the knife, and so I'm alive and well today.

Several months ago during a regular checkup with Dr. Rivkin he mentioned to me that he had only one other patient of similar circumstances to mine who was still alive. 


"Why do you think God allowed you to live when so many others have died?" he asked me. For a moment I was taken aback by his question, but then thought of several possible reasons. I replied that perhaps God gave me cancer so that I could share the Gospel with him. 

Also, it was during my cancer treatment that God gave me a deep concern for Africa, especially to the 13 million AIDS orphans. In the intervening years I have had the opportunity to begin projects on that continent. Another purpose for still being alive is that God continues to work in my life for my good and His glory.

In a recent discussion with my former surgeon and now friend, Dr. Froese, in which we were planning a medical outreach to Africa with a team of doctors, I related to him my conversation with Dr. Rivkin. Dr. Froese concurred about the severity of my cancer and shocked me by saying that it was one of his worst cases which survived. 


I had not known that and am humbled that God has allowed me to live these extra years. Whether I die today or live many more years, my prayer is that my life will be pleasing to my Heavenly Father. In the words of John Newton, "I am a wretched sinner, but I have a wonderful Saviour!"