Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 1977

Elvis Presley went into hiding 35 years ago today. Many, however, remain convinced that Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. You can read more about his disappearance here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

India 2011 in Review

Here's a brief slide show that highlights our November 2011 trip to Maharashtra, India:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mission trip funding: A 'crisis of belief?'

We have exceeded an $11,250 fundraising goal for our next expedition to India. Upon reaching this milestone, we sent this message to our financial partners:

A longtime friend reminded us weeks ago of Philippians 4:19, which promises, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

When we tell people we believe the Lord is asking us to raise $11,250 for a mission trip to India, we get a variety of reactions. As people receive our request, they are faced with a "crisis of belief." All these responses begin with, "Wow, that's a lot of money..."
  • How will my gift ever make a difference?
  • What makes you think people will give so much for a mission trip?
  • Why don't you just pay for it yourself?
  • Why are you asking me to contribute?
  • What happens to my gift if you don't make your goal?
  • I'm not sure God will supply all of my needs if I give toward your trip.
  • I would never share my faith; why should I help you share yours?
  • How can I help?
In his excellent study Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby explains what he calls a "crisis of belief."
When God invites you to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for you. You will quickly realize you cannot do what He is asking on your own. If God doesn't help you, you will fail. This is the crisis of belief when you must decide whether to believe God for what He wants to do through you.
At this point many people decide not to follow what they sense God is leading them to do. Then they wonder why they do not experience God's presence and activity the way other Christians do.
The way you respond at this turning point will determine whether you become involved with God in something God-sized that only He can do or whether you will continue to go your own way and miss what He has purposed for your life.
When we request financial support for a mission trip, we are inviting others to join God in something only He can do. Every reaction we hear is an expression of that "crisis of belief." In all, 50 donors are sending us to India this year. Thank you for being one who decided to follow God's leading, and be a part of something none of us could possibly do on our own!

Last year, our India team was privileged to see more than 700 adults pray to receive eternal life, as well as many children and youths. The harvest fields of India are indeed ripe. Thank you for allowing us to be your hands and feet in those harvest fields. We look forward to telling you about what our amazing God is doing among the people of India.

Grateful to be sent out by you,

Hank, Debbie and Ali

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why we go

This is some of the most compelling videography I've ever seen. And the message - aimed at Christians - is clear:

Lost from AsiaLink HistoryMaker on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you know the history of Pentecost?

Shavuot, also spelled "Shavuos," is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (corresponding to late May/early June; it will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 19 in 2010). It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer and the day the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. It is one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals (shalosh regalim) mandated by the Torah.

Unlike the other two pilgrimage festivals (Passover and Sukkot), the date on which Shavuot occurs is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah. Rather, its occurrence is directly linked to the occurrence of Passover. Beginning on the second day of Passover, the Torah mandates a 49-day (seven-week) counting period (the Counting of the Omer), which culminates in the 50th day, Shavuot. This counting of days and weeks expresses anticipation and desire for the Giving of the Torah. At Passover, the Jewish people were freed from being slaves to Pharaoh; at Shavuot they accepted the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God.

Shavuot has many aspects and as a consequence is called by several names. In the Torah it is called Feast of Weeks; Festival of Reaping, and Day of the First Fruits. The Mishnah and Talmud refer to Shavuot as Atzeret, as it provides closure for the festival activities during and following the holiday of Passover. Since Shavuot occurs 50 days after Passover, Christians gave it the name Pentecost ("fiftieth [day]"). However, the actual Christian commemoration of Pentecost occurs on the seventh Sunday after Easter.

In modern Israel and among Karaite and Reform Jews, Shavuot is celebrated for one day. In the Jewish diaspora outside Israel, the holiday is celebrated for two days, on the sixth and seventh days of Sivan.

Now you know.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-16, New Living Translation

The Birth of Jesus

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

May the Lord be pleased with you and your loved ones, and bless you with peace this Christmas!