This past weekend marked our 15th annual missions conference, and once again, I was deeply moved as I heard the testimonies of our FIRE missionaries, serving around the globe and throughout the States. Jesus is doing amazing things in the nations!
And for any who wonder about the lasting fruit of the Brownsville Revival, wonder no more: Our school (originally, the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and today the FIRE School of Ministry), was birthed in the holy fires of Pensacola, leading in turn to a missions movement, now called FIRE International.
We have all heard the bad news from the Middle East and have grieved over the onslaught of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Well, the good news is that we have two families and several singles serving in Northern Iraq, and in the midst of the chaos and upheaval, a powerful prayer movement has been birthed.
Not only so, but as refugees have poured into the region, there has been an unprecedented openness to hear the gospel.
Sick bodies are being healed, lost sinners are being saved, and believers are being strengthened.
We don’t hear that in the nightly news.
You’ve also heard about the murderous rampage of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. One of our courageous, single woman missionaries, works with impoverished children, including Muslim children who are coming for education, some very near the Boko Haram territories.
She is convinced that as the kids are educated they will be elevated – especially since they are receiving a biblically-based education – and that will be the best answer to radical Islam.
We heard reports from members of our large team in the Philippines: They are planting churches in rural, unreached regions, where the people only know traditional religion. They are caring for orphans, feeding needy children, starting discipleship training schools, and fighting against human trafficking.
Recently, they were able to help a two-year-old girl whose mother sold her into sex trafficking.
The stories go on and on.
Another grad showed a powerful video of Muslims coming to faith in large meetings he held in Pakistan.
We heard great reports about large youth rallies in Italy, where less than 1 percent of the native population is born-again. Doors have also opened in high schools for teams to share the gospel, and the owner of a casino in Italy actually facilitated a gospel outreach in front of his building. Jesus is Lord!
Other grads take multi-day trips and hike for hours into the Andes Mountains in Peru to reach the lost, while others reach out to hopeless souls in a neglected town in England and others still have been pelted with stones preaching the gospel in Mexico.
Others reach out to the prostitutes in Tanzania, now providing a home for them where they can be grounded in the Lord and kept safe. (That’s just one of the many ministries our grads have birthed in Tanzania.)
Another grad just launched a FIRE School in Cameroon, another in Holland (the home of legalized prostitution, marijuana, same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, and much more), with other schools about to be birthed in other nations.
Another grad has learned how to present the gospel in culturally relevant cartoons that work for both the literate and illiterate. (In the past she has worked with lepers in China and now is going to Southeast Asia.) Recently, a 103-year-old woman reading one of her cartoon books came to saving faith and now, at 104, loves to share the gospel and worship.
Other grads are taking orphans into their own homes, doing creative children’s outreaches where they can preach freely, while another grad in India, together with her Indian husband, has started orphanages, children’s schools, and ministry schools, planted churches, and conducted annual outreach services that draw as many as 60,000 Indians, the vast majority of them Hindus.
And then there are our faithful missionaries serving in parts of the Muslim world that we cannot disclose, as well as in other closed countries worldwide.
When one of our missionaries leaves his family each day, he says, “I’ll see you tonight, or in heaven,” and he cannot stay in some major cities for more than 24 hours before the assassins are on his trail.
Another grad was martyred by Muslim terrorists (I cannot be specific at all for numerous reasons), and his widow (and the mother of their kids) continues to burn bright and do outreach here in America.
And speaking of America, where the needs are great as well, we have grads who are making effective inroads into human trafficking in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, with regular rescues, lots of pro-active education, and the business community beginning to take a stand for righteousness.
Words literally fail me when I seek to describe what these precious men and women are doing, some with large families and others who are single, some in their 70’s and others in their early 20’s, some on the field now for more than 15 years, many of them working among the poorest of the poor, others taking the gospel into the business world, all of them glorifying Jesus.
Why do I share all this? Because my heart is overflowing with gratitude and I want to encourage you that, in the midst of the bad news worldwide, God is doing great and mighty things.
I also want to stir your own heart.
Perhaps the Lord is calling you to get involved? Perhaps He’s calling you to pray for these missionaries or to support them? Or perhaps He’s calling you to step out, get trained and equipped (if you need the training) and to move out of your comfort zone into full-time service in a new location?
Whatever He’s saying, let your response be, “Here I am, Lord! Send me and use me.”