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FSM 274       DO/TS
--Exciting Ministries Pioneered by TRF Supporters!
© June 1995, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland


       Our Coffeeshop Ministry       1
       A Wedding Ministry       6
       A Miracle Ministry to the Deaf       7
       Our Kute Kidz!       9
       Visiting a Sweet TS Home       11
       Helping the Poor       11

Our Coffeeshop Ministry!
From Robin and Vicky, Gabriel and Maria (TRF Supporters), Japan:

Our background
       In December 1986, while still in the DO Family, we (Robin and Vicky) returned to a Japanese town we had pioneered, to see our sponsor. I (Vicky) was eight months pregnant. While staying at a friend's house during this short visit, I went into labor. That was quite a trying situation, as our finances were low and we didn't know a doctor in this city. But our friend called around and found a midwife for us. So our fifth child, John David, was born.
       After the 15th day, it was obvious that something was wrong. In surgery the problem was discovered, and almost his entire small intestine was removed. He was given only three weeks to live, but thank the Lord, he's still here with us!
       The birth of John David drastically changed our lives. As sorrowful as it all was, we knew the Lord was moving in our lives. God bless the nearby Home who took such good care of me as I recuperated, while Robin went to handle paper-work and make regular visits to see the baby. Since it seemed we would have to stay in this town now, we were given a pioneer fund to open an apartment. That was almost seven years ago, and we've been in the same area ever since.
       Although at that time we were DO members, we were pretty much on our own, as there were no other Homes in this city. Our first year we lived in an apartment and basically spent our time witnessing with our kids and establishing contact with people we had met before. It was really good for us and we were thankful to have that time out of a busy big-Home schedule just to concentrate on our children's needs.
       ({\ul \i Note}: After living in an apartment, Robin and Vicky lived with other couples in a large house, which they then had to vacate. After that, they and the family of Gabriel and Maria lived in separate houses near each other and continued to work together.)
       We became TSers over four years ago, and so much has happened since then. Although we've been TSers, personally I don't feel anything less than 100% Family. God has done so much for us, it's hard to know where to begin.

God moves in mysterious ways!
       At our New Year's Eve candlelight service last year, we prayed for some specific things for the coming year, among them new housing without investing a lot of money, and a fruitful type of ministry in which both families could work closely together. It wasn't long--about two weeks to be exact--before the Lord started to drop the answers in our laps.
       Out of the blue we received an offer from a longtime friend to move both families to beautiful new housing, at his expense, if we would be willing to come to work for him on a new project he had. The new project was to be a coffeeshop where people could come and practice their English in a relaxed atmosphere. We were to be the main staff, and our friend was quite open to any ideas we had about how to run the place. So we immediately envisioned the possibilities of putting into practice many of the ideas suggested in “What's Wrong with Japan” (DB9, ML #2405) and related Letters.
       We were all very encouraged to see how the Lord was answering, and felt that this was His plan, but of course we all did some real desperate praying to make sure, as this would be a major move. Also we wanted to make sure that we would not be getting bogged down in something unfruitful that would be just a System job.

Opening the coffeeshop!
       After praying and agreeing together, we decided to take the plunge, and before long we were making plans for opening day. The first thing we wanted to do was create an atmosphere in which people would relax and feel comfortable, and not so much of a “study” environment. The place we were to use had formerly been a restaurant and had a bit of a modernistic, cold feel to it, complete with a steel girder running over the middle of the bar. The Lord gave us the inspiration to model it after the old U.S. pioneer settler days. We figured it would be a good wholesome family image, and also something the Japanese could relate to as being “authentically American.”
       We had a small budget to work with, so we set about buying material and sewing curtains, changing the modern wall lamps to old-fashioned-looking ones, hanging a few old-fashioned photos, paintings, a tapestry, etc., on the wall. We wrapped the steel girder with brown hemp rope, added some nice plants, and the spirit of the place was completely changed! Our plan was to serve coffee, lemonade, and home-baked cookies.
       We had an opening party in the coffeeshop and an adjoining room, packing in about 100 people! Many who came were our good friends and contacts. It was a real success! We sang a few songs for everyone with the children, and people seemed to really enjoy the time.

Meeting people and making friends
       We've had a wide range of customers at the shop, including high school and college students, housewives (some of whom bring their school-aged kids), businessmen, teachers, etc. Many of them are very sweet and sheepy. Some of the regular visitors to our house now come to the coffeeshop to see us, such as Mami-chan, a DFer who comes regularly once a week. We can have a good talk and fellowship with her and give her some new lit to read and see how things are going for her.
       We have met a couple of other girls in their early twenties who have taken to us, and our kids really love them. They are quite receptive. One of the girls poured out her heart to Maria recently at the shop and confided in her that she has been needing someone to talk to, someone who understands. We've been lending these girls “witnessing” videos, such as “Ben Hur,” “Quo Vadis,” etc. We can exchange these for a new one every week when they come, and talk about the message of the film with them.
       We usually man the coffeeshop with one or two adults, and three or four of the older of our 8 kids. We keep some games at the shop that customers play with the kids, also drawing materials, our photo albums, etc., so that there are things to do with the guests. The kids do a lot of the activities and conversing with people, and it's a real good witness, as people are always impressed with their maturity and helpfulness and happy spirits. Praise the Lord!

Questions of finances and support
       We have the price of the coffeeshop set at only 500 Yen (US$6), including coffee, home-made cookies, and one hour of “English conversation time.” This is ridiculously cheap by English-school standards here, but our idea is to make it inexpensive so that it's easy for anyone to come, especially the college students, etc., who we want to reach. If we meet someone on the street who seems potential, it's very easy to say to them, “Why don't you come visit me at the coffeeshop, and we'll talk some more.”
       To make this low rate possible and to still have enough for expenses, we are starting to offer regular English lessons in a different room for a more normal fee. The idea is for this to be the main support, while hopefully not taking too much of our time. People that we meet through these lessons who seem potential can be encouraged to come to the coffee house to “use their English,” so we can spend more personal time with them.
       In our particular situation, our king is also the owner of a chain of “jukus,” which are Japanese “cram schools” or the school after regular school. There are about 2,000 students in all in his schools, and we have been asked to visit these on a regular rotating basis to sing to them, play games with them and give them some exposure to native English speakers. We've agreed to help with this, and although it's not the direction we want to concentrate on, we do see some witnessing possibilities in this also. The coffeeshop is the project that we feel can bear the most fruit and the one that we all want to concentrate on, so we are trying to keep these other things to a minimum, but use them for God's glory as best as we can.

Lessons in working with Japanese
       Every situation will vary, but there are a few things we've learned here. Although the king is the company owner and made the original agreement with us, we soon began to realize that there were other people in top management, his counselors, who did not necessarily have the kind of crazy “Don Quixote” type faith and inspiration that he had. Because large amounts of money were involved in moving two large families to new housing, re-modeling the shop, our salaries, etc., we found that these people had a great influence on him.
       At first it was a little sticky, as they began to introduce many other profit-making schemes for us to become involved in, but we did not want to stray away from the original vision that the Lord had given us. Japanese management is accustomed to employees doing its every bidding at the drop of a hat, and they were a bit surprised when we were not. They didn't seem to be able to interpret our attitude and conviction and wondered if we were perhaps “lazy foreigners” who didn't like to work like the Japanese do.

Prayer and learning from our Japanese co-workers
       We didn't think that they could stop the coffeeshop project, but their doubts were beginning to worry our king, and we felt they could make things unpleasant in the future. We had a few desperate prayer sessions about this, as these problems could affect the fruitfulness of our future ministry. We prayed that the Lord would work in their hearts and help us to befriend them more in a personal way.
       We felt led to give in a little, doing at least some of their projects, as long as their demands did not become overbearing. We began to take more the attitude that “the king and his kingdom” are also part of our ministry, and that these people were indeed the “king's court” and people to whom we owed respect and needed to try to minister to.
       We have since become quite close to several of them, including the “bucho” (2nd in command), who has turned out to be a very sweet man. We found out that he has a handicapped daughter and he really wants us all to meet her, as he thinks that we can “make her very happy.” They have also learned to understand our way of thinking a bit better--that we put a lot of emphasis on our Home and family life, and that we do not want our children to be marketed as “sales products.”
       Actually, we have since become thankful for their expertise, as the boss is a real “dreamer” (God bless him!) who goes a lot on whim and inspiration, and without these people keeping him a bit earthly-minded, the company might have folded long ago!
       Please pray for us in our continued relationship with these people, and for lots of good fruit in this project!

Tips and lessons regarding the children's involvement
       We've found for the most part that our children enjoy the witnessing opportunities and time talking to and relating to people, which is, of course, very needed in their lives. We want to encourage them to get out and sing and dance and do anything that they can for the Lord.
       To keep the proper balance in their involvement, one thing we're trying to be cautious of is that they are not used too much for some of the mundane tasks, or spend too much time just “hanging around” at the shop, as of course not every customer results in a thrilling witnessing possibility, although the kids are always a testimony. In other words, we don't want them to get “burned out” on the coffeeshop, or have it become somewhat of a System job to them at times when the level of inspiration may be a little lower than at other times.
       The kids do spend some time playing cards and board games, along with word guessing and more “thinking type” games with the customers. We've found that this can be a good tool to get to know people, especially the shy Japanese. Of course, we do not spend a lot of time playing board games at home, since Dad pointed out they can be a great time waster. It all just needs to be kept in perspective, just as we as adults often have to sing some System songs while out night singing, as a means to get to know people. So we just remind the kids of the real goal, and in a way it's a step in their spiritual maturity to be able to “use something” as a means to reach the sheep without getting tripped off. It seems that without these ice-breakers it would be hard to get to know many people here, so we're learning to “use it” and not be overly worried about it.
       In our Home situation now we are home schooling with materials from the States, so thank the Lord, our kids don't have to go to public school. They're a tremendous witness at the coffeeshop, so the Lord is really using them in that way. We're thankful to have that as an outlet for them to pour out to others.

Thankful He Can Use Us!
More on Our Coffeeshop Ministry
From Gabriel and Maria (TS), Japan
       A few years ago, when we received the letters about becoming TSers and leaving the DO Home, we began crying out to the Lord with our whole hearts, desperate to get the victories we needed. What kept us from completely giving up was the children. We couldn't let them down.
       I just want to say that at that time I knew the changes we went through (going on TS status) were from the Lord. It was God's will, and the Lord used our shepherds to get us where He wanted us. I really believe if they hadn't come to those decisions or written those letters, the Lord would have found another way. I just felt the Lord wanted us out of the DO Home at that time; I didn't understand why. I knew it was His will and His doing. At that time Maria was really discouraged, but after I shared my feelings it really helped her. It made her feel the same, since knowing that something is God's will gives you faith He will take care of things.

Getting close to our children
       After living with Robin and Vicky (see the preceding testimony), we moved into separate houses about twenty minutes apart. Maria and I felt that it was God's will for us at that time to pour into our seven kids and focus on them. In the school Home we were around our children a lot, but it was their teachers who took most of the responsibility for training them. This was the first time we were on our own, and we were somewhat overwhelmed with the thought of teaching and training our children without the help of others.
       My faith in finances was also very low at that time. For the first time in our lives we had to personally care for our family full-time. We had only 20,000 Yen (about US$220) left when we finished moving, and no income at all. Then we read “Appropriating Faith” (from the book Streams that Never Run Dry by Grandmother), and it encouraged us so much! It literally saved our lives! In a smaller situation, you have to get closer to the Lord. You see personally what He does for you. He can specifically answer your prayers for the smallest details.
       Then, things started happening. The Lord did a miracle to supply us with a house with a yard for the low rent we had asked for in prayer. I got a job doing construction work. A neighbor gave us a triple bunkbed. Another neighbor wanted English lessons from Maria. Maria's sister gave us the money for a telephone.
       The Lord then led us to get into English teaching so we could pour more into the children. Jesus supplied these jobs through a telephone call, a friend named Ann, and a business card of a new friend named Hank. Hank explained how to set up English classes in your own home. That was the main way we supported ourselves at the time. It is very convenient and you can make any schedule.
       For two years, we were able to get very close to all our children. We schooled them, comforted them, guided them, corrected them and just got to really love and understand them.

Answered prayer for more fruitfulness
       However at the end of two years we were feeling a little useless. Only Maria and the older children were going out witnessing once a week. It didn't seem to be enough. We were starting to feel kind of trapped--it was like the “Green Door.” Were we going to live in this city, teaching English, until Jesus came back? We weren't accomplishing much any more. The kids weren't being used of the Lord. We also wanted to work closer with Robin and Vicky, and, of course, accomplish more for the Lord.
       Then, at the New Year's Eve candlelight service, a couple of us prayed the same thing, which was for a big house like we had before, so that we could all live together again. Since we didn't have money for a deposit, we prayed specifically for a house that we wouldn't have to pay a deposit for.
       You can imagine how excited I was when a few days later that prayer was answered! A meeting with a king opened up the possibility of a coffeeshop and a new house with no deposit. It sounded great! Of course, making changes is always hard, so we wanted to be sure all this was the Lord's will, because if it wasn't we would just fail. We put out a fleece to the Lord to take care of the finances.
       Well, the Lord had been getting us ready for the right decision! Mice began coming into our house from everywhere! (Old houses have many holes for pests to come in!) The clincher was that our next door neighbor in the duplex we lived in went crazy and started yelling and banging on the walls! Our king had already decided to give us a salary (the fleece for finances). Our friends ended up helping us move everything in just one day.

Working together on the coffeeshop
       We then had a meeting to discuss the coffeeshop. (For details on this, please see the preceding testimony.) Our king had lots of ideas, but was glad to hear any suggestions we had. He always encourages us to be innovative, as he likes new ideas, thank You Jesus!
       The inspiring thing is that our kids are working with us. The adult visitors that come like to talk to the adults, but some like to talk with the kids. You meet lots of people in the coffeeshop and you can get to know them pretty well. Instead of just being guests, they can't help but become friends. Their purpose is to learn English and ours to witness. Some people aren't so receptive, but others are. It's like the verse, “Be ready to give an answer to him that asketh of thee” (1Pet.3:15).
       Some of the fruit we've seen is in the friends gained, some pouring out their hearts to us. Also, the children are becoming more outgoing and learning to relate to almost anybody. We just feel like the Lord is sweeping us along in His will. It's not because of anything we have necessarily done or deserved. We are thankful He can still use us.
       Love in Jesus and David,
       Gabriel and Maria

A Wedding Ministry!
From Abel and Angel (TS), Japan:
       (At the time of this writing, our Home consists of myself, Abel, my wife Angel, and our eight kids, aged 12 to 1.)
       The ministry of weddings began a few years ago in our area through a contact at an English salon (a meeting place like a coffeeshop) the Home had started. The contact had spent some time in the U.S. and was interested in our missionary work. He said his hotel, which was just being built and included special features such as a pool, tennis and golf schools, was also planning on handling weddings, as it's considered by many Japanese to be quite fashionable to have Christian weddings, in addition to or sometimes instead of, the traditional Japanese religious service. He asked if we would be interested in performing them.
       Other people from the hotel said they had had problems finding and negotiating with pastors from local churches. Often these pastors had restrictions on how the wedding had to be done, which were difficult for the hotel to comply with, or which, if done, would definitely cut into their business. Some of the churches either wanted to talk to the couples many times beforehand at their church, would not do weddings on Sundays, or just didn't want to participate in such commercial enterprises outside of their church and had a rather self-righteous attitude. Since most of the potential customers would not be Christians or members of their church, this also presented an obstacle to some church pastors.
       So it turned out to be a golden opportunity not only to do a wedding with real spirit and a Christian witness, but also a very good source of needed income for the Lord's work.
       The hotel asked the Home to help them during a “bridal fair,” which included a wedding ceremony, as well as the singing of appropriate hymns, etc. Plans were finalized for us to do not only the pastoring for the wedding, but also the singing and organ-playing. This meant that we could control the spirit of the wedding proceedings, as well as, of course, get paid for doing all the jobs. These included pastoring, ring boy, flower girl, singing hymns or our own songs, and playing the organ or other instruments. This was all worked out with the hotel staff, too.
       I also write the script for the wedding ceremonies, which is in the local language, since most people here don't understand English that well. Procedures used for the weddings are mostly taken from the How to Get Things Done book, and we use appropriate MOP and Daily Might quotes made as simple as possible.
       We worked it out that we do a short rehearsal before each wedding just to verse the bride and groom on the basics and show them what they must do and say. This also gives us a chance to witness to them a bit beforehand, as most are not Christian.
       The ceremony itself lasts only about 20-25 minutes, including songs and everything. If you would like to do this ministry, you would have to check around in your area about how much to ask as a fee per wedding. In our case, the hotel made an offer which seemed to be very generous and acceptable for the different jobs that needed to be done at each wedding.
       The hotel which employed us didn't ask for an ordination certificate, and since this is not a Christian country, they did not seem so strict on that aspect. On the other hand, you can expect questions about your “church,” and the best counsel I can give is to be as truthful as possible as to who you are, always emphasizing Jesus and the Word, so there will be no misunderstandings later. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: If you undertake a wedding ministry, it could help prevent problems if you explain that while you can conduct a religious ceremony, legal papers for the marriage will need to be issued by government officials, according to the laws of the land in which you reside.)
       All in all, doing the weddings has been a real blessing not only to us personally, but has enabled us to contribute financially to the work and the local Home here in a way that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. Also, it has opened the door to meet many influential people, such as doctors, businessmen, etc. This ministry always gives me a chance for a direct witness to people I meet who know that I'm a pastor.
       Within the hotel itself, it has given me the opportunity to witness to much of the staff. Some have gotten saved and read our literature such as Daily Foods and posters. Many of the staff have received “Somebody Loves You” tracts, etc., as well as the brides and grooms, who are always open for a witness when they come to get married. The professional organist and singer for the weddings have turned out to be very sheepy and read many DFs. Recently the hotel owner, when he got a “Somebody Loves You” tract, almost broke down in tears. He said it was just what he needed in his life, as he'd been so busy with business lately, it had left him wondering what life is really all about.
       So certainly the Lord has made this ministry a blessing for us as well as others! God bless you! We love you!
       Abel and Angel

Little Is Much If God Is in It!
From Willing (TS), India:
       My name is Willing Warrior and I am 27 years old. I was in the DO Family for a little over five years and have been a TSer for over three years now.
       Becoming a TSer was quite an adjustment for me. In the beginning, I felt lost, lonely, helpless, very discouraged, and for the first six or seven months I would go to bed crying and feeling very discouraged. At one point I just couldn't handle not being in the DO Family, and became extremely depressed. I felt like I was useless and that I was pretty much on the scrap-heap. I was full of remorse for the things I had done, which had led to my becoming a TSer.
       In mentioning how I felt emotionally, I would like to stress that I in no way felt mistreated. I knew I fully deserved what I got and the fact that I failed the Lord, Dad and Mama and the Family made me even more depressed and remorseful! I would keep saying to myself, “If I only had!”
       However, even though I really felt that it was the end, and that there was no hope for me, the Lord never failed me during that time. I would spend whole nights in prayer and the Lord would give me comforting verses. I never felt so close to Him as I did then. Also, even though I felt like giving up many times, the deaf catacombers that I had been ministering to were looking to me and really hungering for the Word and love, so I kept going for their sakes. Thank the Lord, He brought me through and I am very thankful that He did!

The Lord opens a door!
       When I first came to this city in India, I wasn't sure what I would be doing. The day I arrived I prayed desperately for the Lord to lead and guide me, and He gave me two Daily Mights. The first one was “The Advantage of a Handicap” (GPDM:218) with the illustration of a deaf boy ministering to the deaf. The second Daily Might started out, “God will open doors that no man can close!” (GPDM:105). What a miracle, as I was experienced in sign language!
       I was a bit hesitant about launching into this ministry, though, as the local sign language differed from the sign language I had learned. I also didn't know how or where to meet the deaf in this city. But the Lord knew, and that evening I went to a restaurant and met a few boys who were deaf! I witnessed to them in my “broken” sign language. They were able to understand me, and prayed with me to receive Jesus into their hearts! They directed me to an official in the local organization for the deaf and also gave me the address of the local deaf school.
       I visited the deaf school the next day and the Lord led me to quite a lot of deaf boys and girls who I was able to witness to and lead to the Lord. Praise the Lord!
       Two days later I met the secretary of the local organization for the deaf. He was a young deaf man, the same age as myself. I shared my testimony with him and witnessed to him, and he told me that he had been witnessed to before by Family catacombers from another city who were deaf. He had prayed with them to receive the Lord! He was very happy to meet me and said that he would help me in any way possible.
       I spent quite some time with him, learning the local sign language. I told him of my burden to witness to all the deaf in this city. Upon hearing this, he told me one way that might prove to be fruitful would be to witness through teaching English classes to the deaf. Then he offered me a job as an English teacher!
       I decided to take his offer and give English classes for the deaf twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, and between classes I would try to go DTD and OTO witnessing with posters.

The way of pioneers!
       I started teaching about 20-30 deaf boys and girls. They asked me why I was teaching them, as no hearing person had volunteered to do this before, so I shared my testimony with them and told them how Jesus could change their lives for the better as well.
       The first three months were quite difficult. My friend who had given me this job had told me that the deaf in this city might not be as receptive and open as other areas. Most of the students didn't want to pray to receive Jesus at first. I was discouraged and felt like stopping the classes, but every time I'd pray, the Lord would give me verses leading me to just stick and keep going! I prayed desperately and asked the Lord to do something--that since He had opened the doors for me to reach the deaf, He'd have to get my students, all of them, to receive Jesus into their lives!
       Right after that, things started snowballing! My students began to be full of questions about Jesus and the Bible! I started giving Endtime classes, which really turned them on. After these classes they would say, “We don't want any English grammar. Teach us more about the Bible and how we can tell others about Jesus before the Antichrist comes!” I photocopied my memory book for them and they started memorizing verses. They were all excited, on fire and turned on about telling others about Jesus, and especially about the Endtime! Then they started witnessing to other deaf people who started coming to our classes to see what it was all about! All of this happened over the space of one month!
       We rented a TV and VCR and I showed them the movie “Jesus of Nazareth,” which touched their hearts and got them excited and yearning to serve the Lord. So I took them all out witnessing at a sports tournament for deaf and handicapped people from all over the state. They turned the place right-side-up with their witnessing! One of the deaf boys went up to the organizer and asked him in writing if he could ask all the participants and the audience to pray with him to receive Jesus into their hearts. He showed the organizer the prayer and this man read it aloud in the stadium and over 500 people prayed with him!
       Out of these 20 or so deaf students, four were real labor leaders, so I started separate Word classes for them. During one of the classes one of the boys asked if God had a prophet for this time, as He had in times past. I gave them a class on our Endtime prophet and shepherd (on Dad's birthday!) and told them how the Lord used Dad to start the Family, sharing Ezekiel 34 with them. They ate it all up and just went wild with excitement! Hallelujah! They really love Dad and Mama and the Family! Thank You Jesus!

When you're doing it right, the Devil will fight!
       Well, all this must have made the Enemy hopping mad, and persecution started. One of the boys, J., had been witnessing to his former friends. One of his friends got upset with him and didn't want him to witness to the others and asked J. to stop. In spite of his threatening, J. kept witnessing.
       One day this boy, along with 20 others, some of them really tough guys (all deaf) barged into my class and told me to stop teaching the deaf or else! I prayed desperately and felt a real assurance that the Lord was in control. I told them that I would not stop witnessing to or teaching the deaf. Thank the Lord, the secretary who had given me this job was completely supportive and gave me full permission to continue. Thank You Jesus!
       Pretty soon these boys started patrolling the streets seeking to either beat me up or kill me! I must say all this really drew me even closer to the Lord and made me pray each step of the way. Many a time these bullies would be right across the street, but the Lord would blind their eyes.
       This persecution also sobered up my students (who had become catacombers), and showed them that witnessing was serious business and would not always be peaceful. God bless them, they all came through even more determined to serve the Lord! We prayed desperately against all the trouble these deaf boys were causing, and a month and half later the persecution stopped completely. Thank the Lord!

Reaching the top!
       During this time the Lord led me to meet Mr. A., a prominent architect of this city who has a deaf son. I shared my testimony with him and witnessed to him, letting him know about my ministry with the deaf youth. He was visibly moved, and with tears in his eyes told me, “I wish I had a son like you!”
       He then asked me if I could teach his son English at home, to which I agreed. His son, along with another deaf teen, received the Lord. They really got turned on, and started witnessing to other deaf teens in their school. They also began regularly attending my weekly meetings and Word classes for the deaf. Although Mr. A. hasn't yet prayed with me to receive Jesus (he is a Muslim), he nevertheless respects my beliefs and what I do. He introduced me to several top builders and government officials in the city. The Lord also worked it out for two of our catacombers, P.J. and J., to get jobs with Mr. A., who took them into his office and trained them as architects.

Witnessing miracles!
       The catacombers and I would pool our funds and make photocopies of black-and-white poster tracts and go OTO and DTD with them. We also went on the road to other towns and cities in this state, visiting deaf schools and training institutions, doing small shows and praying with the students. We now have catacombers in five other cities who are also very active. Thank You Jesus! The Lord has helped us to win an average of 500 souls a month, with over 2,000 souls won every Christmas so far--a total of over 30,000 souls in the last two and a half years. All this has been done by the deaf catacombers themselves!
       I made a brochure about my work with the deaf and would use it when witnessing OTO or DTD. Once while going office-to-office I met a young industrialist. I presented our work to him and the need for English textbooks in my deaf ministry. I furthered explained that the books had to be ordered from the U.S. and were expensive, and we were hoping to find someone to sponsor this project. It turned out that this man had a brother who lived in the U.S.! He telephoned him and had him order and mail the books to us right away! This young industrialist is now a regular supporter and a very good friend.
       Recently the Lord let us start a computer training course for the deaf, the first of its kind in this city. A computer training institute, through a friend, agreed to give a discount, and another friend has agreed to sponsor the course. I interpret the classes every day. All four of our deaf catacombers passed the course and another one of our catacombers got a job in a friend's company.

Benefits and lessons!
       These are just some of the highlights of the Lord's supply, protection and blessings on my deaf ministry. Being away from a “bigger” Home situation and on my own has taught me to be more prayerful and hear from the Lord and get direction from Him. It has helped me to be more desperate in my relationship with the Lord. Also, one benefit is being able to follow up on our sheep regularly and minister to them regularly without the constraints of other duties. Of course, I need to watch out for the danger of becoming too independent and not being open to other possibilities.
       At first I lived with my mother, due to a legal battle over some property, which necessitated my staying there. I then received a small inheritance and rented a room and stayed by myself. During the following year I did not pay much attention to the physical aspects of my “Home,” which is a small room with a kitchen platform and attached bathroom. I didn't keep a regular schedule, many times skipping meals, teaching classes and witnessing late into the night.
       Being able to get the tools was a real blessing and really helped me increase my support. Also, being on my own, I would many times spend money unwisely and was wasteful in many ways. Since Simon Metanoia joined me in January 1994, things have been a lot better. We're keeping regular schedules and the Lord has also helped us raise the standard slowly. Thank You Jesus! Simon faithfully reminds me of things and corrects me and helps in our work together. “Two are better than one!”
       We now also have people we have met witnessing who are supporting us regularly. As we continue to minister to our friends and sheep, the Lord is also touching their hearts to give. While some help with monthly contributions, others help weekly. Apart from this, we meet new contacts as well and offer them the tapes and posters, and this has also been a real help in raising our support, together with the tithes and gifts from the deaf catacombers.
       Much love,
* * *
Blessings in disguise
       I am Simon Metanoia and I am 41 years old, an Indian national from Madras. I was in the DO Family for 15 years and have been a TSer for a little over three years.
       When I was told that I would have to leave the DO Family and become a TSer, I was in a state of shock. God bless the Family for the help they gave us at that time--tapes and posters, lit and some funds. The first two years were very difficult, as everything seemed so hopeless. The Enemy would really attack and get me down with guilt and condemnation, but thank the Lord, He always saw me through. My daily prayer is that the Lord will give me the courage to do His will.
       The main benefit of being a TSer has been to get close to the Lord in a way that I might not have been desperate enough for in the DO Family. Of course, it has been very painful, but it has been a blessing in disguise. My situation also keeps me very desperate with the Lord, because since we are on our own, the Lord is my only safeguard. It gives me a real thrill to have the freedom of following the Lord and seeing His hand in everything. However, I have not arrived and am a real mess. I can't make it without Jesus and the Family.
       God bless you! I really love you and need you so much. Thanks for all the love, concern, encouragement, help and prayers.
       Much love and prayers,
       Simon Metanoia

Reaching the World Through Helping the Poor!
From Sam and Cristal (TS), Brazil:
       It all started with a conversation about a poor family in our city. The mother of one of our catacomb disciples had been helping them, and we were so touched when we heard about their need that we decided to take them a box of food and clothing. When we did so, we sang for them and afterwards they all got saved! Praise the Lord!
       Back home, we discussed how there are so many people like them. We felt we ought to do more for them than just feel sorry, and we were convicted by Dad's sample of concern for the poor around him. We asked the Lord to show us if there was something more we could do for these poor people. That's when we had the idea of writing to all our sheep (in our mail ministry and those we personally minister to), giving them the vision of helping with food and clothing. We even suggested they try to get their friends and contacts to help as well.

Visiting the poor neighborhoods
       After getting out this mailing (consisting of a newsletter, a poster and an appeal letter asking for their donation of food and/or clothing), we visited some needy neighborhoods, to see where we might be of help. We miraculously “happened” to run into two couples who turned out to be active labor leaders in their communities already. The change that came over these people after receiving Jesus in their hearts was immediate and noticeable! They really got on fire and wanted to help us in any way they could.
       The Lord used these couples mightily as bellwethers and helpers in distributing our gifts. We shared our vision with them and asked them to make a selection of people in their area that we might help, considering two things: 1) their need, and 2) how faithful they had been with what they had. We came up with a list of 52 families, a total of 320 people.
       After that, we started making “family kits”--a quantity of food proportionate to the number of people in the particular family, as well as clothing. We all got involved, washing and mending the donated clothing, cleaning and polishing the shoes, etc. We set the winter clothing aside for later when the weather will get colder. Each box of food and clothing was identified with the name and address of the family, along with the number of people in that family.
       When we took the food and clothing to each home, we would go inside and sing to each family. They nearly all prayed with us to receive Jesus! It was a real blessing for us to get to know them--real sweet people with lots of faith.
       The situation here is a bit different from some big cities where poverty is synonymous with crime or filth. These are country folk who just didn't succeed in their farming, or lost their land, and came to the city to look for work in factories. It has been easy to work with them and even convicting to see how they keep their houses so clean, even though they're very poor.

       {\b “Bring in hither the poor...”}
       A local businessman was so touched by our work that he not only donated 700 kilos of food, but he sponsored a dinner on Christmas Eve! Someone else knew the owner of a bus company who let us use three city buses to transport the people to a club which we secured by another miracle!
       We chose about 20 families to participate in this Christmas dinner. We distributed numbered non-transferable invitations, being careful not to reveal where the dinner was to take place, so that 1,200 instead of 120 people wouldn't show up, should that information leak out! All the tables were identified with the different families' names, and one of our three receptionists ushered them to their places.
       After the meal, we showed a Christmas video, followed by a little skit our kids put on. Then we had a delicious birthday cake for Jesus, and the kids who had birthdays in December blew out the candle. Everything went so smoothly! All our catacomb disciples took part and it was a wonderful success!

Long-lasting fruit!
       So far, we have distributed about 1,700 kilos of food and three cubic meters of clothing, shoes and toys. Of course, all the food was eaten in a few days, but we've gotten some real fruit that remains from these efforts. Aside from the roughly 350 souls who were won, our catacomb disciples experienced real spiritual growth in a short time. We made contact with all kinds of people and made a real impact on our community. Many people told us that they'd always wanted to do something like this, but just didn't know where or how to start, so the Family was a catalyst to their helping others.
       We ourselves and our JETTs also benefited greatly spiritually and we learned a lot. We also met some top people, some of whom we'd been wanting to reach but hadn't been able to through other means. One of these is the president of a multinational company with around 6,000 employees. We met with this busy man for over an hour and he praised our work, gave suggestions, and offered his help in any way.
       Every day we see more effects of the testimony this little work has been. Through the poor we reached the rich--a miracle of His provision, prevision, and planning! We never dreamed such a thing would have such fruits. Please pray for us, as this ministry is very new to us. Thanks! We love you!
       Sam and Cristal

Copyright 1996 The Family