Monday, November 1, 2010
Students sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sierra Leone, West Africa
By Matt Halseth
“I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” —The Apostle Paul,
1 Corinthians 2:3-5
I often get a surprised look when I tell people that my job is to take students overseas to tell others about Jesus. I sometimes think behind that surprised look is a question like; “Are teenagers really capable of telling others about Jesus?”
Yes, I know, teenagers can be energetic at times but when that raw faith and enthusiasm is channeled on the mission field, teenagers can be a powerful force God uses to expand his Kingdom. After all, Jesus himself chose 12 wild and rambunctious teenagers to turn the world upside down for the sake of His Kingdom!
A huge part of our summer is evangelism. Most students fear sharing their faith because they have never done it before. Fear is a natural response to evangelism. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 that even the apostle Paul experienced much weakness, fear and trembling.
Throughout the summer we tell students to share their faith NOT in their own strength but through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am constantly amazed to see how effective teenagers are when they step out in faith, trust in the Holy Spirit, and experience all God can do through them.
These are quotes I received from our students after a rewarding summer of evangelism in Sierra Leone:
“Royal Servants helped me understand what I believe and got me excited about sharing it with others. I even had the opportunity to share the gospel at a prison to more than 100 inmates! God gave me the words to say.”
“I strived this summer to not worry about whether my words were perfect. But instead I prayed that the Holy Spirit would work through me, and that the girls in my discipleship group would see God’s love demonstrated through me.”
“In the beginning of this summer I struggled with giving God every area of my life, and trusting Him. Quickly I came to the realization that I could not make it on my own strength, but only through the strength that God provides.”
“It is so amazing how God can work through my life. I have never felt anything like this before. I feel privileged to be called a servant of God.”
“In Sierra Leone God gave me more of a heart for street ministry, and one-on-one evangelism; even if it meant being persecuted.”
“I learned how to pray more passionately and earnestly seek what God had for me. This summer also helped me feel more equipped and confident in sharing my faith in Christ.”
Sharing the gospel with a complete stranger in a foreign land is just one fear to overcome. But bringing our mandated message home to friends and family brings about whole new levels of fear and trembling. Please pray that our students would be bold in their own schools and communities, and that they may continue to see God’s power on display!
Developing a New Training Camp for Next Summer—2011
In October the Royal Servants mission trip leaders met to work and pray over the development of the new training camp land near Portage, WI.
This is a very exciting stage in the history of Reign Ministries. For the 28 years Reign Ministries has been leading Royal Servants mission trips, we have begun each summer by preparing our students at Training Camp.
Each year we have conducted our student missions Training Camp on rented grounds. But several years back, Reign Ministries started planning and looking ahead and decided to purchase our own property. Three years ago we found the right spot near Portage, Wisconsin. Now is the time to make the move. Next summer, God willing, we will be holding Training Camp on our own new ministry property.
Training Camp is not just a good idea; it is an integral part to our entire mission trip experience. Many of our alumni, often years later, report back to us that Training Camp changed the direction of their lives.
This fall our Royal Servants staff came together to work for a week on the existing storage barn. We leveled out the main floor, built new stairs, poured concrete in the basement and added tons of new storage shelves throughout the barn. It was an awesome week of working hard and dreaming about the potential of the new training camp for the sake of spreading the gospel around the world!
No doubt it will take years to completely develop the land. But our prayer is that in the first year we would be able to have the main infrastructure completed. In order for that to happen, a lot of details and work must come together. Please pray!
We are all very excited to see what the Lord will accomplish in the lives of students and the impact that will be made on the mission field because of this new land!
Before full-time ministry, Matt worked in the Building industry. He was able to use some of these skills in practical ways, like building the new stair case in the existing storage barn.
The most predictable thing about an international adoption is… it is unpredictable! While we do not have a “due date” to plan for, we are thankful for the perfect timing of our heavenly Father!
The most major delay we have experienced thus far was last spring. Not by international bureaucracy, but by the State of Minnesota! Eventually, our paperwork did make it safely to Ethiopia, to begin the next wait. :-)
We expect to receive a referral anytime between December and March. We have requested infant twins or a single infant girl. We covet your prayers as decisions are being made by our agency about which child or children we will receive. Once we have a referral, we travel 10 weeks later. We are required to either take two separate trips or one longer trip to Ethiopia.
Praise God for the incredible evangelism efforts we had in Sierra Leone with students. Continue to pray for the impact that has been made on students lives as they live for Christ in school this year.
NEW TRAINING CAMP
Praise God for the new Royal Servants training camp. Pray for all our staff involved in the development and that we make our goal of training students on the new land next summer!
Pray for Matt next week as he meets and networks with 20 other youth pastors and ministry professionals to study disciple-making. They meet 6 times over 2 years.
Please pray for the adoption process and for our future adopted child(ren). We are hoping to have a referral by Christmas. Please pray for our family and for patience.