Tag: nations

Getting a Heart for the Nations When You Don’t Have One

At first I followed Him because of what He saved me from, rather than what He called me to. I just knew I wanted to be saved from the consequences of my sin. But, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I started to see more and more of what He had called me to. Instead of just giving me a ticket away from the place no one wants to go to, He also offered to be my companion on the journey and to give me His heart.

Over time, I grew to love our times together. I loved sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His words. There was no place I would rather be than with Him and with those who love Him. My relationship with Jesus was characterized by me saying, “Come and be with me,” rather than following the call to come and follow Him.

In Song of Solomon 2, the Beloved is caring for the one He loves. He gives her the choicest of foods and meets her every need. She is aware that He goes out to the mountains and the valleys, but is content in the comfort of her home, as long as He comes to visit. As their relationship continues to grow, He invites her to join Him. She delays because she has just cleaned up and doesn’t want her life to get messy, but eventually she realizes she would rather be in His presence than in her neat and tidy home. He is what she wants, not comfort or familiarity, but Him.

This is my story too. I knew of others who were invited to go out on adventures with Jesus, which was great for them, but I was glad to stay home with my children, my western toilet and clean water. As the years have passed and my relationship with Jesus has grown, my love of security has been dwarfed by my desire to be with Jesus wherever He is in whatever He is doing. It has never been about the adventure for me. It has always been about being with Jesus and sharing His heart.

HIS HEART HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOR THE LOST, THE SICK AND THE BROKEN.

Years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We had a busy ministry to match our busy home and I was hurting for my six children, wondering if their faith would make it through the challenges they faced. I remember praying, “Lord, will you please send people to minister to my children during this time?” The minute I prayed, I felt like the Lord said, “Now you understand my heart.”

I was identifying with Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38; “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to the disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’” I understood the passage in a whole new light.

THERE ARE SO MANY  PEOPLE WHOM HE WANTS TO KNOW HIS LOVE.

And He is asking us to follow Him in order to draw them in too.

I’m so thankful He kept asking me to join Him. As I’ve followed Jesus I’ve had front row seats to see prostitutes who felt their lives were worthless be given worth by the Creator of the world. I’ve seen HIV positive children given hope for a life and a future. I’ve watched lepers lift their hands in praise to a Father that has given them value and purpose. We have rejoiced as we’ve seen alcoholic fathers set free and returned to care for their families. The joy of seeing the poor in villages that had never heard about Jesus be transformed by Christ, is a joy far greater than I could have ever imagined when I said, “yes,” to come and follow Him. I am so thankful for what He saved me from, and what He called me to!

IN RESPONSE //

Has Jesus asked you to follow Him to places you didn’t think you’d ever go? Do you follow Jesus because of what He saved you from or for what He has called you to?

We also encourage you to join us this weekend for World Mandate. Whether you live in Waco or move to the remote corners of the world, God has called all of us to carry His heart for the nations. World Mandate will be an incredible weekend to hear more about what God is doing in the earth and how you can be a part. Even if you didn’t get a chance to get tickets for our live location here in Waco, we still want you to be a part! Jump in with one of our nearby satellite locations or  Register today at worldmandate.com.

By Julie Steadman

AN UPDATE FROM ENGAGE THE NATIONS

Our ENGAGE THE NATIONS interns are heading back home, and we are so thankful for the way God has moved in various nations throughout the summer. Check out a few testimonies from some of our teams:

ATHENS

Throughout the summer, one of our interns befriended a Syrian girl who would read the Bible with her consistently. When they were talking one day, our intern discovered that she had been struggling with back pain for about five years. Our intern shared with her about how Jesus heals, and the girl agreed to pray with her. They prayed in the name of Jesus and after praying a few times, the girl was completely healed. It was the first time the girl had ever prayed to Jesus!

BELGIUM

While passing out sandwiches in a park where many refugees live, some interns met a man from Macedonia. His leg was swollen and badly bruised and it looked like he had varicose veins. He said it had been injured for quite some time. A team member prayed for his leg and the man said he felt blood flowing through it and that it felt like it had been massaged. Two team members prayed again and the swelling on his leg significantly decreased, the bruising almost dissipated and the man said it felt good and normal again. He was up and walking around on it. He thanked the interns and they told him it was Jesus that healed his leg. He said he knew about Jesus from Christian missionaries from America he had met in Macedonia. Praise God for healing him and for obviously pursuing his heart!

CAPE TOWN

Where our team lived in Cape Town, a lady named Franscina came every Wednesday and Friday to clean their rental house. They got to know her pretty well, and decided to invite her family over for lunch one Sunday as a way to show her they love her. She was so shocked and amazed she almost cried. She was absolutely blown away that white people would ask a black family to come over to their house outside of work. She said she had never heard of that happening and even said that she told her friends and pastor at her church and they had never heard of black people and white people visiting each other’s houses. She shared with us ways racism has affected her life and many others in Cape Town, and she asked, “why do you want to have my family over? We just don’t do that here.” We told her Jesus would totally invite you over for dinner and we want to do the same. We just want to love you like He does. She was overwhelmed and so thankful. She and her family came to lunch, and we are expectant for the culture in Cape Town to change, one family at a time.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

One day team members went into a local hospital and were given full permission to go anywhere and pray for anyone they wanted. One of the women they encountered had a misaligned spine and could not walk. They prayed for her and felt the Holy Spirit powerfully in the room. After they prayed, one member tried to ask her if she was able to stand before, but she misunderstood and immediately stood up and started walking! She was crying and saying, “Praise God, I love you God!”

MIDDLE EAST

Two team members shared with a young shopkeeper, who really wanted to meet up and talk more about a booklet consisting of a few Bible verses that previous interns had left with him. The shopkeeper eagerly came out to meet the team members on a fifteen minute break. “Guys, I must talk with you about this book…it has changed everything. I was full of so much negativity and then I read those words and I am filled with peace.”

He asked if he could please copy it, and share with all of his friends. One intern took out his Bible to show him that the booklet contained only a few small quotes from it, but as the words were still in his mouth, this young shopkeeper threw off his sandals and said, “This book is too holy! I must take off my shoes!”

Team members continued to meet with him, read in Luke 8 about how the wind and the waves almost sank the boat Jesus was on until He simply commanded the storm to stop, as well as the passage about the demonized man. As he was reading this passage he stopped and said, “Brother! Do you know what this means? It means that Jesus has power and authority over nature! The world! The whole universe!” Later he was asked, “Why do you think Jesus even took the time to heal the man who was full of evil spirits?” He replied, “I know why! Because God sent Jesus to the earth to take away all the burdens of man.” In the span of a few days, he memorized the entire booklet of verses that was originally given to him.

Before the team members left him, they wanted to help him dream about how much God wanted to move through his life, so they asked him, “What do you think would happen if your family got a hold of this truth you now have about Jesus?” He replied, “They would be full of peace too!” They then asked, “What do you think would happen if your country got a hold of this truth?” He said boldly stated, “Brother, my country is believing a lie, they don’t know how powerful Jesus is!”

PERU

The team in Peru made great connections with a local university and a few local churches in the area. They were given access to the largest university in Cusco where they taught English classes and hosted sports and dance clubs. One day our team was able to perform the drama for 520 people and saw 102 salvations and 37 healings in one day!

At the beginning of the summer two of our interns were at Starbucks and asked the barista if they could pray for her. She was working, but wanted to meet up later. About a week later, she messaged one of our interns and said, “I’ve had a lot of hard things happen and am waiting for your prayers. When can we meet up?” They set up a time to meet and heard her story. Her father had passed away from cancer about four years ago. He was an elder in their church, so she grew up knowing God to some extent. However, after her dad died, she felt like there was a wall between her and God. A couple days before our team offered to pray for her, she had asked God to send someone to pray for her, if He really listened to her. It was a sweet thing for her to see her prayers answered so clearly. It was also sweet for one of our interns who met with her because her dad passed away when she was young as well. They connected and our intern was able to speak life into her story and pray a blessing over her. The girl went with our team on their outreach that night. As she went out, she would go up to people, encourage them and tell them that God hears them. It was a beautiful picture of someone realizing a truth about God and then immediately sharing that with others.

God is has moved powerfully in Peru, and our team is incredibly encouraged and thankful for the opens doors throughout the nation.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Two weeks ago, a team member saw a man whose car was broken down and decided to go help him. When the team member reached out to help, the man knew there was something special and different about him, because no one he had offered to help all day. The man shared that he was having pain in his arm and, after receiving prayer, he was completely healed! He explained that he was a Muslim who knew about Jesus, but had never experienced power like that before. A couple weeks later, the man’s wife sold her wedding ring so her husband could have the money to drive eight hours to meet our intern again. When they met, the man heard the story of Jesus from the Bible and decided to follow Him for the rest of his life!

Antioch Discipleship School: Fall Outreach Testimony

Recently, our Antioch Discipleship School sent teams of students on fall outreaches to six locations across the US:

The team that went to Norman, Oklahoma to serve Antioch Norman spent much of their week reaching out to people, specifically international students, and inviting them to a Thanksgiving feast that was to take place during their trip.

The ADS team in Norman

Read more about their trip and hear ADS student, Nathan, share how the nations were impacted from Norman:

“Friday night of the outreach was the Thanksgiving feast. More than 140 people came from more than 64 nations! Multiple people decided to follow Jesus. I followed up with a man named Sumit. He is from Nepal and is in America hoping to work at a hospital for his med school clinicals. He had spontaneously showed up in church the Sunday before our arrival because he “was drawn there and wanted to learn more about Jesus!” The church has been believing for Isaiah 60:1-3 to happen and it was happening that night! Sumit came to the feast and gave his life to Jesus that night. I saw him at  church on Sunday and invited him to sit with me. I got to teach him why we worship and what words like Hallelujah and Amen mean. It was powerful! The nation of Nepal was changing in the seat right next to me. 

ADS students talk to international students at the Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving feast with international students at Antioch Norman

Ross was able to connect with a student from Mozambique named Xadraque. He was familiar with Christianity but also had some Islamic roots. Once he found out Ross was a personal trainer, he could not stay away. He kept asking him questions about training and Ross was able to instantly connect. During the message, Ross could tell Xadraque’s was interested in what he was hearing. Ross shared the Gospel again and Xadraque wanted Jesus! He gave his life to Jesus and was able to meet a member of the international Lifegroup, which is awesome!

Hanging out with middle eastern students

The whole trip was marked by peace and rest as we spent a lot of time praying and walking. We got to serve the church and international ministry and really blessed them.”

The team at the Oklahoma border

Want to know how you can be a part of a fall outreach with Antioch Discipleship School? Get more info here.

How to Get a Heart for the Nations When You Don’t Have One

I started following Jesus when I was about 15 years old. At first I followed Him because of what He saved me from, rather than what He had called me to. I just knew I wanted to be saved from the consequences of my sin. But, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I started to see more and more of what He had called me to. Instead of just giving me a ticket away from the place no one wants to go to, He also offered to be my companion on the journey and to give me His heart.

Over time, I grew to love our times together. I loved sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His words. There was no place I would rather be than with Him and with those who love Him. My relationship with Jesus was characterized by me saying, “Come and be with me,” rather than following the call to come and follow Him.

In Song of Solomon 2, the Beloved is caring for the one He loves. He gives her the choicest of foods and meets her every need. She is aware that He goes out to the mountains and the valleys, but is content in the comfort of her home, as long as He comes to visit. As their relationship continues to grow, He invites her to join Him.  She delays because she has just cleaned up and doesn’t want her life to get messy, but eventually she realizes she would rather be in His presence than in her neat and tidy home. He is what she wants, not comfort or familiarity, but Him.

This is my story too. I knew of others who were invited to go out on adventures with Jesus, which was great for them, but I was glad to stay home with my children, my western toilet and clean water. As the years have passed and my relationship with Jesus has grown, my love of security has been dwarfed by my desire to be with Jesus wherever He is in whatever He is doing. It has never been about the adventure for me. It has always been about being with Jesus and sharing His heart. His heart has always been for the lost, the sick and the broken.

Years ago, my husband Don was diagnosed with cancer.  We had a busy ministry to match our busy home and I was hurting for my six children, wondering if their faith would make it through the challenges they faced.  I remember praying, “Lord, will you please send people to minister to my children during this time?” The minute I prayed, I felt like the Lord said, “Now you understand my heart.”  I was identifying with Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38; “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to the disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’” I understood the passage in a whole new light. There are so many people whom He wants to know His love, and He is asking us to follow Him in order to draw them in too.

I’m so thankful He kept asking me to join Him. As I’ve followed Jesus I’ve had front row seats to see prostitutes who felt their lives were worthless be given worth by the Creator of the world. I’ve seen HIV positive children given hope for a life and a future. I’ve watched lepers lift their hands in praise to a Father that has given them value and purpose.  We have rejoiced as we’ve seen alcoholic fathers set free and returned to care for their families. The joy of seeing the poor in villages that had never heard about Jesus be transformed by Christ, is a joy far greater than I could have ever imagined when I said, “yes,” to come and follow Him. I am so thankful for what He saved me from, and what He called me to!

Has Jesus asked you to follow Him to places you didn’t think you’d ever go?

Do you follow Jesus because of what He saved you from or for what He has called you to?

By Julie Steadman

Julie teaches in our Church-Planting School and partners with her husband Don in his role as Global Director of Antioch Ministries International.