We are just six days away from our Northwest Youth Conference (sponsored by the Northwest Ministry Network / northwestministry.com). This weekend features Jeffery Portmann (our Network Youth Director), Chet Caudill (our National Speed the Light Director), and the music of United Generation (a ministry of Puyallup Foursquare). Thousands of students from all over Washington and North Idaho will gather together to be challenged to live life on purpose – praying, giving, going, and serving.
One of the greatest moments to come out of a weekend like this will be our Speed the Light offering. Our youth ministries will be given an opportunity to truly give to something bigger than themselves, the Commission of Jesus Christ, lived out by one our missionaries who is currently living in Japan. The goal is to give nothing less than $30,000 to Ron and Debbie Galbreath that they might have the transportation and technology needed to do all that they are already doing in Hachinohe. This would be their first STL car in nearly 15 years. Read more about the Galbreaths, Assemblies of God Global Missions, and the ministry of the Speed the Light by visiting the following sites:
You have heard of the devastation that has recently hit the nation of Japan. The Galbreaths know this tragedy far too well. Ron writes, “We are the only Assemblies of God missionaries located in Tohoku, the area that was affected by the recent quake and tsunami. According to the local news, this tsunami was the largest single natural disaster ever to strike Aomori Prefecture where we live. The damage caused billions of dollars of damage to the Hachinohe port and coastal areas in our city. Praise God, the tsunami did not reach us (we were less than half a mile away!) Our house was a complete mess from the shaking, though. Furniture toppled over. Everything fell out of the cupboards. We had a lot of breakage, but no one was hurt. For several weeks after the quake we were isolated. The roads were closed. We had no power or telephone service. It was next to impossible to buy necessities like gas, kerosene, and food, but God provided and we survived. We have church members who lost their jobs because of the quake. One man’s company was destroyed in the tsunami. One family had their farm destroyed. Many people we know suffered loss from the quake, but people are beginning to pick up and move forward.”
Imagine the opportunity for our missionaries to share and to show the life and love of Christ in such challenging times? You know the statistics. Far less than one percent of this nation is currently following Christ. But what if this number changed in our lifetime? What if people were added to the church on a daily basis? Ron explains, “Mrs. Tanaka (name changed) married when she was barely 20. She hadn’t been married for more than a couple of years before her husband began to cheat on her. Even though they moved, he always seemed to find another woman. They separated several times, but always got back together for the children’s sake. In her pain, Mrs. Tanaka turned to Buddhism, becoming very devout and religious. She even traveled across Japan to visit various temples and to learn from highly respected priests, but nothing helped. As a last resort she came to church. After a couple of years of hearing the Gospel she decided that the Lord was the answer she was looking for. Not long after she got baptized, her husband also began coming to church. Now both of them attend faithfully. Her husband plays the guitar and leads worship in our church. Together they are praying for the salvation of their children and grandchildren.”
This is why we are giving to these missionaries. So that lives can be rescued. Marriages restored. Communities transformed. Who wouldn’t want to give to that?
The Bible reads, “And [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on'” (Mark 12:41-44, ESV).
I am not as concerned with the amount of this offering as I am with the hearts of this generation. My prayer is that a weekend like this will be a catalyst for our students to begin to have the heart and mind of God. That they choose to use ALL that they have, to reach who they are with, right where they are at…and that they also use ALL that they have to send and support others to go where they will never be able to go and to reach those they will never meet.
So here is what I am asking of you:
* Pray for the people of Japan. Pray for the ministry of the Galbreaths. Pray for this weekend’s Youth Conference. Pray for the need that will be presented. .
* Consider giving to the Cause. All checks should be made out to the Northwest Ministry Network (memo line: STL/Galbreaths) and sent to the NWMN ATT Jennifer Palmer (35131 SE Douglas Street, Suite 200 / Snoqualmie, Washington 98065)
* Share the need via relationships and social media (blogs, twitter, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #CBL11).
See you at New Life Renton on October 14-15, 2011. This is going to be good.