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FSM 328       CM/FM       New Frontiers! Firsthand Accounts from Those Who Left the Old for the New!

Copyright © by The Family 1998--2/98

Table of Contents
       IT'S JUST THE BEGINNING       1
       MIRACLES ALL THE WAY       2
       THE GREAT MOVE EAST       4
       ALL WITHIN SIX MONTHS ...       6
       WELCOME TO CHINA!       6
       SET THOSE FIRES A-BURNIN'!       12
       HE CARES FOR HIS OWN       12

The Oasis Home, Croatia
       Our summer road trip to Bosnia consisted of ten days of traveling, fun, excitement, and fellowship with the Homes on the way--not to mention several unexpected stops, which the Lord used to keep us on His schedule in spite of ourselves! The caravan brakes burned out just as we were leaving, which delayed our trip sufficiently so that we arrived in Sarajevo just at the Lord's time. Our friend, the wife of the head of the Red Cross, happened to be alone for the weekend, as her husband had gone to Spain. So she invited us to stay with her during our visit.
       We spent a lot of our time witnessing to this lady, but also took time to personal witness to the many students who were out enjoying their first days of summer holidays! We met many precious sheep there--it's such a ripe harvest field!
       Then we headed south along the coast. After pulling our caravan for hours along the winding, narrow, and often hilly coast road, you can imagine how desperate we were to find a place of rest. We were expecting to stay in a campground which was listed in our tourism book, but found it closed and overgrown, as it had been severely bombed during the war--as were all the other campgrounds listed in that book! As we stopped in a petrol station to ask for directions, the Lord had His representative there waiting for us--a man who "happened" to have a friend who was just about to open a campground. He phoned him, and even though it was now dark, he came over to show us the way! We were their first visitors, as tourism is picking up very slowly since the end of the war.
       The city we came to is gorgeous, but badly damaged. The historic old town was hit by hundreds of mortar shells from the surrounding hills. The war has left big scars on everyone's life, and there is a great vacuum for spiritual guidance. They really need the forgiveness and love that only Jesus can give. Some people are very bitter as they try to understand why all this happened. Nevertheless, daily busloads of kids from all over Croatia come here for excursions, as it's such a famous place! Also Bosnians come here for holidays, and we found it easier to witness to them here, away from their Muslim surroundings.
       We were having difficulty getting an e-mail address, as the technology has been slow in coming here. Then one day as we were driving, a van full of UN observers pulled up along side us and we heard "Terve"! (Finnish for "Hi"!) The smiling face was from Finland, and he'd noticed our registration number was from Finland too! They were monitoring the border between Croatia and Montenegro (which is closed to civilians) and watching for any heavy weapons, so their outpost is really at the "end of the line." They invited us to visit their lonely abode, and we had a sweet time of fellowship as they shared with us all the security aspects of the area.
       David and Angelina sang for them, their beautiful harmonies complimenting the setting sun as it descended below the mountains of Montenegro. It "just so happened" that they had gotten an e-mail address that very day, so they said we could pick up our backlog of messages (the milky ones) at their address, and they gave us some tips about how to get our own!
       As we write this now, the young people (David, 22, Angelina, 15 and Crystal, 18) are ministering and giving Word classes to a group of local youth. Angelina's friend is 15; her mother died in the war, and her father is a fisherman. She sells vegetables from her own garden to help support their family. She also works in the local bar, washing dishes. She is very sweet and loves the Word and wants to help us with our CTP work, as we need a translator. (She's already teaching us Croatian.) We really appreciate your help and prayers!

From Esther David (22), Russia
       My story goes back to when Mama's GN "Say Not Ye There Are Yet Four Months" (ML #2997, GN 640) first came out. We read the GN for devotions together, and I remember thinking, "Thank You Lord, the doors are opening again to the CIS! God bless all those who have answered the call to go!" -- And I gave it no further thought.
       Shortly afterwards we re-read the GN unitedly, and when the heart-searching question was read, where Mama asked what we as individuals and we as a Home planned to do about helping to reap the harvest in Russia, I felt as if the Lord was asking me personally. The person reading the GN then asked if there was anyone in the room who wanted to answer the call and go to Russia, and without realizing what I was doing, I put up my hand! Ha! The Lord surely knows how to recruit laborers!
       As I went to bed that night, I had a real struggle with saying yes to what I knew to be God's will. I had all sorts of "good excuses" of why I couldn't go and shouldn't go, etc. But I didn't find peace of mind until I finally decided to yield and take up the challenge. The minute I said yes, the Lord gave me the burden and desire to go to Russia -- and the feeling of urgency that I needed to get there ASAP!
       I wrote for clearance right away, and went for a visit to my relatives in Spain, who I hadn't seen for 11 years. The Lord used this time to help us reconcile, as they had been very antagonistic in the past. TYL! They even got me some of my winter needs and gave me my first donation! Upon my return a month later, I was expecting to find that I had received clearance, but to my dismay there was no answer. I rewrote my clearance request, as it had been three months, and prayed for a speedy reply! Meanwhile the Christmas push was upon us, and I had to make a decision whether or not to start fundraising for my trip by faith, even though I still had no clearance, or to trust the Lord to bring in the funds and put my heart into helping the Home with the outreach and programs we had lined up.
       After praying about it and talking with a close friend in another Home, I decided to put my needs in the Lord's hands. Well, as night follows day, the Lord never fails in one of His good promises; a week after having made the decision, after returning from a provisioned dentist appointment, I got a letter with a check in it for $1,500. It was from Mark Elder, to whom I had been writing for a few months. God bless him! (See ML #2931, GN 600.) It was such an encouragement to know that the Lord was in control and that the work He had begun, He would bring to completion! Hallelujah!
       Shortly afterwards I received my clearance, along with invitations from Homes in EE and the CIS! Thank the Lord! I started going out pledging for supporters in a Korean area of town, where I met some of the sweetest Christians, so sincere in their love for the Lord. As I continued to follow up on them, they pledged to help me while overseas too! By a miracle I also got a multiple entry visa in exactly one month from the day of request. A month before leaving I had pretty much everything I needed, but I also wanted to be able to take $1,000 as landing funds, which I then wanted to give towards the vehicle fund for the Moscow Homes, since they don't have any. That morning I prayed and claimed verses with the children that I was taking care of for the Lord's supply of that specific sum.
       After quiet time that very day, I got a letter in the mail with a $1,000 check in it! Hallelujah! I right away told the kids and showed them how the Lord had so efficiently answered prayer. -- They were flipped! "The future is as bright as the promises of God!" He surely never fails in one of His good promises! Thank the Lord!
       We also found a travel agency which had very good prices, and I was able to reserve a ticket right away. The day before I left, I realized I was two bags overweight, so I called the airline and asked what their policies were concerning overweight. They told me they charged $120 for every additional bag. I prayed and decided to send a fax to the general manager of the airline. Meanwhile I got together with some others to claim a miracle on such short notice--the eve of my departure.
       Sure enough, ten minutes later the phone rang; it was the general manager informing me that he had received my fax and, after discussing it, they had agreed to carry one of my bags free of charge. I thanked him profusely and asked about the other bag, explaining it was a small sleeping bag. He told me he'd meet me at the airport the next day, before my flight, and there discuss it further.
       The day of my departure fell on National Prayer Day. After saying goodbye to my sweet Home and praying for a complete miracle for my trip, I was off. Upon arriving at the airport, I asked for the manager and was told that he had just left on a flight a few minutes earlier. I asked to speak to the next person in charge, who turned out to be really busy, as it was only an hour before their next flight. I explained the arrangements that had been made to waive my extra baggage through.
       She asked to see my visa and asked me the purpose of my trip to the CIS. I explained that I was going to be doing humanitarian aid work, as a volunteer. I showed her my visa which I assumed had "humanitarian aid worker" written on it. I was so sure of it, as the invitation I had received had it written in English. She glanced at my visa and whispered to the other flight attendants, "She's a humanitarian aid worker; put her luggage through!" Hallelujah!
       It was not until I arrived in Russia and one of the nationals read my visa (which is in Russian), that I discovered I had a "commercial" visa instead! Wow! -- Such a miracle, as the flight attendants were all Russian, but they took my word that my visa was what I thought it was! Praise the Lord!
       This experience has served to increase my faith and trust in the Lord's loving care and supply. I hope it's an encouragement to anyone who is planning to launch out by faith and heed the Lord's call to pioneer. I can assure you -- once you know it's God's will and you step out on the waters, the Lord will meet you there! He never fails in one of His good promises!

From Jonathan and Amor
       (Editor's note: Jonathan and Amor and children have been in China for over a year now, and the Lord has done many miracles for them to remain in that difficult mission field--see Grapevine #22 for some of the inspiring details. In the following testimony they tell of how the Lord originally led them to go to China, and the lessons they learned and difficulties they had to overcome to get to Taiwan and then on to China itself. We hope it will encourage your faith that what He has done for others, He can do for you!)

Prayer and Prophecy: The Lord Leads the Way!
       Maybe you're wondering how we decided to make this move, and why we chose China! Well, the answer is: That's what the Lord showed us! Around the time that the Charter came out, we pioneered a new Home in the US. We began learning to spend more time with the Lord, in prayer, praise and hearing from Him in prophecy. At first it was sporadic and we weren't always faithful to ask and to listen, but the more we did and the more He answered, the more we realized, "This is the {\ul \i easy way}!" Ha!
       The Lord provided miraculously as we just followed and were faithful to pray, obey and do the wenting (witnessing!). For awhile, we were just one family, with our children and teens. Esmy, our YA daughter, joined us en route to her new mission fields of Hungary and Croatia. Then another YA joined us, en route to his new field of Russia. Then the Lord began to give us the desire to go overseas again! We'd been overseas before, but for years (since returning to the States at the time of "It's Almost Over") we'd been involved in projects, leadership, and the work going on in the States. It had all been very exciting, fulfilling and rewarding, but now we had been "set free" from those responsibilities and we were being led to make a big change. We were free to follow the Lord, as He led. Our only limitation now was our faith. How much could we believe the Lord wanted to use us and to do through us?
       When the GN with the prophecies for Russia and China came out, both of us read it and felt a tug on our hearts. We discussed it, and then got together to pray and ask the Lord for His leading. He indicated clearly it was His will for us to go, and that we should begin preparing! Wow! We spent quite a bit of time listening to Him and getting more of His counsel and direction. We still didn't know where He wanted us to go; He didn't tell us at that time. But we both had a feeling deep down that it would be China!
       We then made a commitment to yield to the Lord, and to begin making preparations to go. Within hours, we were faced with our first major battle. -- One of our teens who'd been living away from us for some time phoned us and told us she wanted to visit us, and that she had decided to leave the Family! That night, as we began praying for her, Jonathan started weeping uncontrollably. It was a big breaking for him, as he and his daughter had been close. We realized then that this wasn't going to be an easy project and move, and that we weren't going to be able to just walk across the goal line! In hindsight, we realize this was probably the beginning of the preparations for the biggest mission we had ever gone on. And over the last year, it has entailed many breakings and remakings; the Lord was trying to teach us to be nothing, and to become totally dependent on Him!
       Praise God, it hasn't been all breakings! It's been lots of fun, and the Lord made it clear from the beginning that He was answering our prayers and working things out miraculously for us. He began providing our needs even more abundantly. He spoke to us clearly every time we needed His answers or direction. He raised up good situations for all three of our teens who decided to leave the Family to study. This was one of the biggest miracles, how the Lord raised up responsible people who miraculously appeared and volunteered to help and/or to be their guardians! TYL! God bless them! Once we knew they'd be well taken care of, we continued with plans for our trip.

The Battle to "Walk by Faith"
       In retrospect, we realize that the main lesson the Lord kept trying to teach us through all of our battles, breakings and remakings, was the need to cast everything on Him once again. Also to pray and hear from Him fresh every day, and to follow Him closely, believing that He would carry us through and do all He'd promised. Each time we began to walk by sight, we were hit with battles which seemed so monumental. Each time we cast all our cares on Him and just followed by faith, He did all He promised -- and more!
       One of our biggest battles was putting our children "on the altar." We have 11 children between us, plus two others we help to care for. Our oldest have gone on to serve the Lord, but we have three teens who decided in the last year or so that they didn't want to keep going in the Family. Our youngest five who are with us have been affected by their brother and sisters leaving, and also by the influence of the System, having been in the States for many years. The Lord promised He was going to help us, and He kept telling us to prepare and go, but it was so hard to do that when we felt there was so much we could do to help them.
       But when we became immersed in trying to help them, that slowed us down, and even caused more animosity in our kids' attitudes in some cases. The Lord kept telling us, "Say not ye there are yet four months and then cometh harvest" (Jn. 4:35).--In other words, get going! Again, looking back, we realize the Lord was serious about our coming right away. And He's fulfilling His promises to help us all to change and become new creatures, here in China. Praise God! "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful Who hath promised" (Heb.10:23).
       Another battle we didn't do so well with (in hindsight!) was fundraising -- not the fundraising itself, but our lack of faith for the Lord to provide the funds quickly. We set goals, but didn't believe the Lord could raise up our support so fast. We now see that He didn't want us to spend extended months and months trying to raise up promises of support. He could do it quickly, as He needed us in China soon. In the end, the Lord did it quickly anyway! Almost all of our promises of support came in the very last weeks, after we set our departure date and determined we were going by faith. Thank You Jesus!

His Miracles of Supply and Support
       The Lord kept telling us each time we prayed for our needs, "Take one step for Me, and I'll take two for you." -- And when we did our part, He did His too. He supplied every need abundantly, even at the beginning giving us a large donation to help us on our travels, tickets overseas, etc. When we were moving more slowly, we set some goals for the pledges of support we wanted to have, but those seemed to be somewhat elusive. We sent letters asking folks to help, but received very little response. We visited Amor's relatives for a few weeks, but little came of it.
       Eventually we returned to the city we'd lived in for the previous year, and a sweet FM family offered to put us up for the few weeks before we left. Finally, we told the Lord we were going by a certain date. Right after making that commitment, we received a large donation and pledge from a couple who are now our biggest supporters. God bless them! We were also invited to a prayer meeting attended by many Latinos. They ended up praying for us, and many were touched by the Lord and promised to support us! They were so excited that a Latino woman was going as a missionary to China! This was a big encouragement to us, as it seemed that in one night the Lord put us into the ballpark of the funds we'd prayed for!
       We were reminded of the Lord's promises when we first were praying about going overseas, that a lot of our support would come from the churches. We'd made a number of efforts earlier in the year to go to different churches, but it hadn't seemed to bear lasting fruit, so we had opted instead for more of a street ministry, predominantly amongst the Latino youth. So here the Lord was fulfilling His promise of supplying through the churches, and also through Latinos, whom we'd ministered to for the last year. Thank You Jesus!
       We made a quick visit to Amor's relatives to say goodbye. While there, Amor felt moved to get them all together and try to give them the missionary vision. Again the Lord's Spirit moved and fell on all. The Lord used her to bring unity within their family where there'd been some dissension, and after some good confessions, prayer requests and united prayer for each other, they all promised to support us!
       The Lord provided new suitcases for us at greatly reduced prices, and also air tickets at discounted prices. The Lord brought in more last-minute supporters and gifts (two from the Latino churches), so we were able to come with a reasonable amount of landing funds, including enough money for our first newsletters and our first exploratory trip into China. Thank You Jesus!

From Andrew and Hannah, Hungary
       At the beginning of last year, we were at a crisis point in our walk with the Lord. We and our eight children were living on our own in Ireland, slowly losing our vision, with no apparent hope of getting to the mission field. We also received notice that in order to remain CM, we needed to increase our voting membership. We were desperate, but not doing so well spiritually. It was a heart-searching time for us and we felt discouraged, but we prayed and the Lord spoke clearly to us, telling us to apply for clearance to go to Hungary, and to send in a Want Ad for a small family to join us in Ireland while we raised funds. It seemed an impossible situation, but the Lord kept encouraging us to step out by faith.
       Then the Lord showed us to change our outreach method from postering to videoing -- something that I (Andrew) had been reluctant to do for the past couple of years because I preferred postering. However I finally tried it, and boom! The blessings started pouring in! The first day out, we distributed ten videos, next day seven, and within a month 100 videos were out and we had many potential supporters too! The funds started coming in four times as quickly as before. Next, our clearance came through (much to our surprise, being a large family). Then we received a reply to our Want Ad, and another family joined our Home.
       The Lord just poured on blessing upon blessing as we put in motion our vision to be missionaries again. We felt so incapable, but the Lord kept anointing everything we did. It was amazing to see that everything the Lord told us came to pass! The Lord supplied all our funds, a caravan to take with us for the trip, and even a Home in Hungary to move to. (God bless them for taking in our large family!) We then moved to Hungary, praising the Lord for how He has given us an inspiring place of service here in Eastern Europe!
       Within six months, He turned our situation around completely. All we did was follow Him, as He supplied our every need and did everything for us to get our family to the field. With God, all things are possible! It was such a testimony to us, and we're so glad we said "yes" to Jesus! He is so wonderful!

From Alfred, China
       It's almost hard to believe, but I'm in China now! The Lord opened the door for me to join Noé and Joy, in their spacious four-bedroom house. I met up with Noé while he was in Taipei on a fundraising trip. We traveled through Hong Kong and went from there by ferry over to mainland China.
       The Lord did a series of miracles, like getting us on the airplane from Taipei with well over 250 kg. of luggage, without having to pay one cent for excess luggage -- savings that amounted to more than we had paid for our tickets! Furthermore, in Hong Kong we were able to get my visa for mainland China in half a day, and those who issued the visa were extremely helpful with the filling out of the form, "Don't write this, write that!" I ended up with a six-month business visa, without having to show as much as a business card for documentation!
       By then it was time to pack our over 250 kg. and try to make it to the ferry on time. Earlier that day, the Lord had raised up a sweet girl who granted us free transport of our luggage without worrying about how many kilos it was. Another miracle and another big saving!
       We were given the royal treatment from the ferry company, and the same treatment awaited us at the other end: "Welcome to China! Have a nice stay!" We felt so welcome! They ushered us though immigrations with only a cursory check! -- A little hassle you have to have, to make you appreciate all the smiles. They asked us to open one of our 15 pieces of luggage, and found an old monitor that Noé had picked out of the garbage, but that was working just fine-- (in fact I'm using it now). When they saw it, they decided not to charge anything! There were no hassles, no difficult questions, no obstacles of any kind!

From Ado (of Kanah), USA
       "Proceed as if possessing!" Those were the instructions the Lord gave us -- the key to what He wanted us to do. It was 1983 and it had been nearly four years since we first arrived in Panama, and we wanted to go further south to another Latin American field. We made our choice and sent off a clearance request.
       It was then that a very unexpected thing happened. Various MO Letters had been coming out about the East. We were missionaries to Latin America, and though the letters about the Eastern countries were interesting, we did not even think that they could be talking to us. We spoke Spanish, had been in Latin America for nine years at that time, and had a burden to continue working in Spanish-speaking countries.

Korean Church Ministry
       I should explain that after the letter "Invade the Churches" (ML #834) came out, one ministry we had was teaching Sunday school at a local church. That was something that we hadn't thought of doing before, but that Letter encouraged us to step out and try it; we did, with positive results. Although it was primarily a congregation of Americans, a group of Korean children also attended the Sunday school while their parents rented facilities at this large American church.
       This contact with the Koreans led us into some very interesting ministries with them. We had Bible studies at their homes, privately tutored their children in English, and often visited their homes for fellowship. It was an unusual ministry for that time period, and by the time that we left nearly 80% of our work in this small Central American country involved Koreans. In the five years that we stayed in Panama, four of those years we worked closely with Koreans. They became some of our strongest supporters and helped us a lot.

The Call of the Lands of the Rising Sun!
       Somewhere along the line we received a letter from the South American country we had written clearance to, explaining that they couldn't receive us there for some reason. Then one day we brought home a new mailing and pulled out the Letter "Lands of the Rising Sun" (ML #1283), which explained how some countries of Asia were up and coming economically, and would be good places for the Family to go to. One of these was Korea.
       At the time there were several other brethren standing around, and when they saw the Letter, they all said, "Hey, that's where you guys oughtta go -- Korea!" Wow! We had never even thought about that, but after reading the Letter and praying about it, the Lord said, "Go!" One Sunday, we were giving a little sermon to the Korean congregation, when we told them about our desire to go to Korea as missionaries. We thought that they'd be thrilled. However, most of them tried to discourage us, saying that it was a very rough field and we wouldn't like it. But we told them that we had to go, because the Lord told us to.
       It was almost a year from the time we made the decision before we actually departed. There were times in that year that we faltered and questioned our decision, such as when we went to a nearby country and visited the Homes. Some had asked if we could help shepherd the Homes there (it was at the time of the Fellowship Revolution, in 1984), and we were thinking about it when the Lord gave us a dream. I remember it clearly. Two young Koreans were pleading for us to come, telling how much they wanted us and needed us. It was so startling that I woke up immediately with the feeling that we had to get to Korea. So we continued on our quest with plans to leave Panama and head off on a journey that would take us more than 17,000 miles!

Our Ways and the Lord's Ways
       It would be important to mention here that we were poor in cash, but rich in faith. The Lord had abundantly provided our needs in miraculous ways through provisioning and friends. Our general goal was to have money for the tickets to Korea before we left Panama, because we were determined not to get stuck in the States. A relative had offered to pay our plane fare to the States a few months before we left, and we were counting on that to come through. We were also figuring to have a sale of our household things and raise funds that way. Then due to a legal situation regarding the house we were renting, we didn't pay rent for three months and it looked like we might be able to keep the money that we had saved for the rent. Wow! We were excited, and counting up all the possibilities, it looked like we could have quite a bit towards our tickets.
       But when we received our clearance from the office in Japan, they said that a $10,000 landing fund would be good to bring to Korea. Gulp! There were no other Family members there, they said. Well, our relatives didn't send the funds for the tickets to the States, so we bought them ourselves. When we had the sale of our household items, it rained all day and hardly anything sold, so we gave most of it to the two local families. Then just as we were about to leave for the airport, the owner of the house came because the legal situation had been settled, and so we paid him the three months' back rent.
       We sat down to calculate where we stood financially after all was said and done, and we had a grand total of $150! Here we were going to the States to visit some relatives who were not too favorable and all we had was $150! We were somewhat concerned, but I guess in our pride and trying to have it all together, we had not realized that the Lord had other plans, as He wanted to get all the glory.
       I remember thinking of all sorts of plans to raise funds, like litnessing or a singing/busking ministry or maybe visiting churches. I -- with the emphasis on the I -- had a lot of ideas, but I hadn't really stopped to ask the Lord what to do or what He wanted to do. I wasn't used to slowing down and listening to the Lord in those days. I moved pretty quickly in my own strength, and stopping to pray about what the Lord wanted wasn't something I did often enough.

Visiting Our Relatives
       Let me explain a little about my relatives. My father had not been favorable to us at all, and the last time we visited his house he was unkind and unloving, basically rejecting us and our missionary work and message. A couple of months before we had planned to leave Panama, my brother called to inform us of my father's hospitalization due to a disease of the nervous system, and that he was not expected to live long. I had asked the Lord to have someone witness to him in the hospital if he couldn't hold on until we arrived, but that if He did want us to witness to him, Jesus would have to keep him alive until we got there. I add this as background, as it played an important part upon our arrival in the States.
       So here we were, finally cleared out of our house, having gotten rid of our excess belongings and settled all our financial obligations. With everything we were taking with us packed in cardboard boxes, we headed for the airport. (Actually, we had provisioned a suite at an airport hotel where we stayed the last day or two before we left, which was quite relaxing.) When we took a shuttle to the airport, as we stepped out, an entourage of vehicles with a police escort and sirens blaring and a lot of fanfare -- obviously carrying some VIPs -- pulled up to the door right where we were standing. Out stepped several military officials, and then we saw that the VIPs were a couple of high-ranking generals from Korea. Along with them was a Korean man that we knew, who greeted us as he escorted the generals into the airport. We took that as a sign from the Lord that we were going in the right direction!

Witnessing to My Father
       After we arrived at my parents' home and got everyone settled, I went to see my father in the hospital. He was conscious, but couldn't talk or move. As I held his hand, I realized that he had enough strength to signal a simple "yes" or "no" by squeezing. I showed him some home videos and pictures of our children. During the next few days I visited him several times. One day while alone with him I explained about Jesus, Salvation, Heaven, and that he would soon be leaving this world for the spirit world. As I talked he squeezed my hand to signal me that he understood.
       When I asked if he'd like to pray to receive Jesus, he signaled yes. I said the prayer, and at the end he squeezed his confirmation. Tears came to my eyes, because for many years I had tried to explain these things to him and he had not listened. Now on his deathbed, there wasn't much else he could do.
       On the seventh day I was in his hospital room, sitting alone reading a MO Letter called "The Resurrection Story" (ML #1769). I remember distinctly something happening that got my attention, and I turned to my father's bed. There was a light, or something that moved or flashed. Whatever it was got my attention and I called out, "Dad? Dad? Are you there?" He was gone. He had died at that instant. I was so happy that he had received Jesus just days before!
       As you may imagine, there were several weeks more with the funeral, various visits by relatives, and other legal matters. It was a great time to witness to them all and let them know about our plans to go overseas. Of course, we didn't get much of a positive response from them. One of my brothers almost snickered when I told him we were going to Korea. He laughed, questioned how I was going to support myself, how I would live, etc. We continued to witness all we could, even though things were a little difficult and my relatives weren't very cooperative. Not having a car (in the States) was quite difficult for us, and at times we had to walk a mile or more to a store to go shopping. We didn't mind walking, but we were used to public transportation in Panama, which was basically non-existent where we were in the US.

Proceed as if Possessing!
       It had been almost five weeks that we'd been there with my relatives, which seemed rather long for us as we desired so much to be on the mission field. We had desperately asked the Lord for His plan, what we should do, how we should do it, etc. "Please show us, Lord!" was our cry.
       One day while doing some yard work, I remember thinking and praying, as I was breaking up the old tree branches that had been cut from the fruit trees in the yard. As clear as I had ever heard the Lord's voice, He said, "Proceed as if possessing!"
       I wasn't really one for getting prophecies or messages, but usually my direction from the Lord or answers to prayer came through impressions, leadings, Bible stories or verses. So when I got this message, I came to tell Kanah right away.
       "Proceed as if possessing." Now what did that mean? We analyzed it like Dad had taught us to do through the Letters, and we felt that this was a key to His plan for us. We believed that He wanted us to act as though we already had what we needed. "To proceed" (to keep going) "as if possessing" (as if we already had what we needed to make the trip to Korea). That was encouraging. But what were we supposed to do? Well, we would probably fly to Korea from California, no doubt, and since Kanah's mother lived there, why shouldn't we go visit and take it one step at a time? We had five children by this time, and enough money to get to California.

The Lord Comes Through!
       Kanah's mother, who was crippled from arthritis, let us stay in her small two-bedroom mobile home. She was so loving and sweet and inspired that we were going to the mission field. It was the first time we had seen her in five years. Our visit was fun. She was getting to know her grandchildren, and getting reacquainted with us. We helped do some repairs around her house, and did some things that were difficult for her due to her arthritic condition, like shampoo her hair, clip her toenails and put lotion on her legs. We had regular Bible studies, devotions, sang and praised the Lord. She loved it!
       A few weeks after visiting her, I was getting concerned, wondering what the Lord wanted us to do next. It was then that Kanah's mother offered to buy our tickets to Korea. Wow! For seven of us, that totaled over $2,000! That was quite a surprise! We didn't know that she had much money! We then put things into high gear to look for cheap tickets, get our visas and set our departure date for three weeks later. What a miracle! We thought that the Lord had done so much already, and we were ready to roll. But that wasn't all; He wasn't done yet!
       Kanah's mother, who was very favorable to our work and enjoyed having us there, wanted to help us more. She asked how we thought we'd get the money we needed to live over there. We explained how the Lord had led us and the message that He gave us, and that we were just trusting Him. She was praying along with us that someone would come through with a big donation, and the Lord answered her prayers. Many years later, she told me that the Lord told her to give us a big donation. She said it was one of the only times that she had gotten a message so clearly from the Lord. As we were packing and preparing, she offered to help us with more money. She was so excited about it! For several days she was thinking about how much to give and how she could rationalize giving us so much.
       So she came up with a plan -- many years earlier, Kanah's father had borrowed $5,000 from Kanah's college money and never paid it back. She then calculated it with interest over the years, and with her "thumb on the scale," she decided to give us about $15,000. (Her brother-in-law handled her finances, and since he and his wife were not favorable to our missionary work, she thought that he would strongly object to her just giving us such a large sum of money. So this was her way of doing it in a business-like way, in order to appease them.)
       Kanah had never expected to get this money back from her father, although her mother considered it a debt. So you can imagine how thrilled, amazed and very thankful to the Lord we were for how He was pouring out on us so abundantly! After she committed herself to this very big and generous gift, there was yet another surprise in store for us and her. To explain this one I have to give you a little background.

More Unexpected Supply
       Many years before, Kanah's parents had bought some property in the hills. The previous owner, who lived nearby, had a son who Kanah had known well when she was young. Later, there was a legal problem with the property and the son was trying to take the property away from Kanah's mother. Apparently this had been going on for years, and he actually owed Kanah's mother a good sum of money that he hadn't been willing to pay.
       While we were in Panama, Kanah's mother wanted to help us and she told the Lord that if this guy ever paid her the money he owed, that she'd give it to us. (We didn't know anything about this at the time.) Well, guess what happened? This guy called while we were visiting, and Kanah answered the phone. They talked for a while about what he was doing and what she was doing, and she ended the conversation with a cheerful, "I love you!" as a Christian witness. This so moved him that he commented later how surprised and impressed he was at these words. Then he talked to Kanah's mother and agreed to pay her the $6,000 that he owed. Within a few days the check arrived -- and she gave it to us!
       All of this was happening so fast; we were so surprised, shocked, thrilled and just praised God for the miracles He was doing! We now had over $20,000, plus our tickets! It was like the Lord was just picking us up and carrying us along. We didn't have much to do with it. He had told us that He'd supply, and that He did! -- He definitely got all the glory! None of the "plans" that we had really came through; Jesus did it all!

The Arrival
       The story doesn't end there. The Lord continued to do miracles of supply! The very first day after we arrived in Seoul with our "ton" of luggage, we went looking for a friend from Panama. Mr. Kim had been one of our most faithful supporters, and had returned to Korea two years earlier. We continued to send him our newsletter from Panama, though we didn't hear back from him. However, we knew where he worked, so we went to find him.
       He was so shocked to see us in his office! He took us to lunch and to visit his family. When he heard that we were looking for a house or apartment, he explained that his sister was a real estate agent and she could help us. -- And that she did! That very afternoon we found an apartment, gave a down payment, and signed the contract! What a miracle! -- Less than 24 hours after arriving in a foreign country that we had never been to, with no other Family members there, the Lord had provided a place to live.
       We stayed in that apartment for a year. There were 40,000 people living in that particular apartment complex, and we were the only foreigners. Our lives became a witness to many as we made friends and began our ministry in Seoul that lasted almost two-and-a-half years. We had no lit in Korean and we did not know much of the language, but we knew we were supposed to be there and the Lord had gotten us there so miraculously.
       A brother of a friend, Mr. Lee, was surprised to hear about us, and when we showed him a rough copy of a translation of the Hem of His Garment book, he asked if he could take it and read it. Unbeknownst to us, he had the book printed -- 1,000 copies -- which he presented to us only two weeks later.
       Well, time would fail to tell of all the many other exciting things that the Lord did on that particular missionary journey. Although it was exciting and thrilling, it didn't stop with that trip. Jesus has continued to supply and provide for us in many miraculous ways in the years since then. He has been so faithful and never, never failed in one of all His precious promises.
       So if you are in a difficult situation and wondering what to do and where to go, take time to hear from Jesus! He'll tell you exactly what to do. I only wish that I had learned to hear more clearly from Him years ago. Thank God that we now have that wonderful opportunity to hear from Him so directly!

From Lily, USA
       The Lord miraculously supplied tickets at a good price for Sia and me to go to Estonia on a "shove off" last summer, and it was so exciting--a blast! It was so refreshing to be away from America, and feel the sweet spirit of the Estonian people. Tallinn is a beautiful city, especially the old city.
       Soon after arriving we were ready to head out WITNESSING! Wow! I had already learned a couple of phrases in the local language, but we found that the majority of the people in Estonia speak English. We met such sweet and open people. Their spirits are completely different from Western Europeans. Some of the Estonians had never seen black people before, so they stared at Sia and me. Ha!
       I went up to the people, and said, "Tere! Kuidas kasi kaib?" (Hi! How are you?) The people were really turned on to see an American trying to speak their language. They immediately took the posters and hungrily read them. Within one week, I was able to learn expressions in both Estonian and Russian, ask people their names, and tell them that I was glad to meet them, that I loved them, etc. They are so hungry for the Word. We also went to the beach to witness, which was very fruitful. Part of the beach was for nudists, so we got posters out to them, too. Ha!
       One precious girl came up and gave me a big hug. I gave her a poster, and she immediately read it. A little later, she came up and asked if she could help us pass out some posters. She spoke fluent Finnish, Russian, Estonian, and a little English, and would pass out the posters with such zeal! She had such boldness and fire, and wouldn't take "no" for an answer.
       I find it hard to express in words the wonderful time that we had! It was certainly a life-changer for both of us. The precious brethren are so on fire, and have so much conviction. Last month, their Home got out over 50,000 posters! I fell in love with the field, the Home, and the people there, and plan on returning one day soon!!! If you or your teens are losing fire by being pent up in fields that are hard and saturated with the Gospel, get yourself and them to a ripe mission field! It will get those fires burnin' again!! And if you can't make it to Estonia (or some other mission field), be like Sophie the washerwoman, and help support that wonderful work there! It's hoppin'!

From Thai Charity, Thailand
       A little over a year ago, Micah and I and two others launched out to pioneer a small city. At the time I had eight children, the youngest being three months old. The Lord supplied everything we needed and paved the way, helping us to find a house and start our new Home.
       About five months after moving in, I became pregnant with our ninth child! I was worried, as we were still in the pioneering stages and I was the main outreach person. I usually am quite sick and weak in the early months of pregnancy. My previous pregnancy had been quite difficult, so I was concerned about how everything would work out, but the Lord came through! I had extra strength and no morning sickness, and I began to wonder if I was really pregnant. A few months later I went in for another check-up, and the doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant!
       My entire pregnancy went very well, and the delivery was also very quick and smooth, so much so that the doctor didn't even make it to the delivery on time, and the baby was delivered by a nurse! The Lord also miraculously worked it out so that we didn't have to pay hardly anything for the delivery. PTL! We were so encouraged that He really is with us, and in control of every detail. He makes it so easy for us to keep going for Him!

Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family