Now that we have reviewed some of the “BIG PICTURE” principles of God’s plan and purpose for His church, I want you to see how this worked out practically in the Early Church. As a start, read the following verses and note what the Lord was doing through the Apostles.
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).
“And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
“Now in these days…the disciples were increasing in number” (Acts 6:1).
“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
“And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21).
“And a great many people were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24).
“Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed” (Acts 14:1).
This is the work of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where God is at work and the Spirit is not grieved or quenched, this is what happens. Some say this cannot happen today. To those people I ask the question; ‘have God’s principles and power changed?’ The same Holy Spirit that God gave at Pentecost is still here! What has changed? I believe we have substituted God’s ways for man’s, and the Holy Spirit’s power for man’s ability. There is only one answer to this problem. STOP – REPENT – RETURN TO THE LORD AND HIS WORD!!
Please Pray: (October 3 – November 10)
1) Teaching Church Leaders using the Burmese God’s Plan for His Church in Yangon – October 27- November 7
2) Launch the new Karen God’s Plan for His Church in Maw Day Musekee – October 17-19
3) Teaching Bethany College students God’s Plan for His Church in Chiang ai - October 13-24
4) Synergy Meeting with Vietnamese Leaders in Bangkok - October 6-10
5) Strategic Planning for the Khmer God’s Plan for His Church in training Cambodian Leaders – November 1-3
6) Launch the new Vietnamese God’s Plan for His Church in Saigon – October 13 – 24
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving, pray also for us, (Tim and Sherman):
1) That God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ Col 4:2-3
2) That words may be given to us in opening our mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel Eph 6:19
3) That the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored 2 Thess 3:1 (ESV)
4) That we may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding Col 1:9
5) That we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might Col 1:11
Dear Faithful Brothers and Sisters,
We first want to thank the Lord for his abundant goodness us in so many ways. Your prayers are
heard and we sense God's unmistakable leading in so many respects, though not always just the way we expected. Here is a brief update on a few items from the last newsletter:
Pakistan: Tim Bunn and a brother from Africa were expecting to travel there this month to introduce GPHC to 25 - 30 pastors, but because one of the visas was not granted, we felt the Lord closing the door. The Pakistan brother we trained in Chiang Mai last year is now going to conduct the training in our absence. We believe this is God's way of making the work there truly indigenous. Please pray for this dear brother.Foreword to be written by David Hesselgrave (professor emeritus Trinity Evangelical Seminary) along with several other key endorsements. It will then be ready for Bible Schools and Seminaries around the world. Continue to pray for open doors where this will effectively impact students before being sent out in His field.
Seminary Course: Final proofing and editing is finished. We are just waiting for the
Foreword to be written by David Hesselgrave (professor emeritus Trinity Evangelical Seminary) along with several other key endorsements. It will then be ready for Bible Schools and Seminaries around the world. Continue to pray for open doors where this will effectively impact students before being sent out in His field.
Trip to S. E. Asia in March was postponed which gave Sherman more time to heal from two surgeries. Just Monday, he received a very good report from the surgeon and release to return to normal activity using normal caution. For this we are very thankful!
Please pray for trip to S. E. Asia in May:
-Through our connection in Pakistan, there may be an open door for Tim to visit Malaysia and/or Bangladesh to introduce GPHC.
-Through a wonderful sequence of events, God has given us Pastor Randy from Connecticut to travel with Sherman and Tim. He is working through the manual and has a heart for church planting. We believe this is God's appointment!
-Sherman and Randy: May 6th to 10th - in Yangon, Myanmar to help a brother there launch the new Burmese manual.
-May 13th to 16th - in Chiang Mai, Thailand to complete the training of Chinese missionary students before they go out to various unreached people groups around the world with God's plan and purpose.
-May 17th to 20th - complete the training of Karen students in Chiang Mai, preparing them to strengthen their own people to reach out to unreached people groups in both Thailand and Myanmar.
-Tim and Randy: May 22nd to 24th - in Phnom Penh, Cambodia encouraging a church planter who has been translating the manual into Khmer and has been going through some trials.
-May 25th and 26th - following up on new contacts in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in view of advancing God's work in Vietnam through the church and business leaders.
-May 27th to June 1st - God has given us a new opportunity through a contact in Hanoi to visit the Hmong and Dao ("Yao") people groups along the northern border of Vietnam and China to introduce GPHC.
These are opportunities that only God could orchestrate and we ask for your special prayer that each event will be guided and filled by the Holy Spirit so that an indigenous and eternal work will be ignited and hasten the Day of the Lord. "This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).
With gratitude for your interest, prayers and support,
Tim, Sherman and Randy
Below is a testimony received from a group of Lahu disciples we trained last fall using illustrations from the new revised God's Plan for His Church.
Our teaching consisted of showing them how the Gospel spread from Jerusalem (Pentecost) to the world. This is what happens when disciples, with childlike faith, take seriously the Holy Spirit and Christ, the Living Word. We have seen this happen over and over again throughout the world.
“After teaching the book of Acts, the Pastors are so happy to go out to share the Good News with the people. We dedicated the 9th daughter church on March 15, 2014. Members of the new church are from Ah Kha tribe. Your teaching is so effective. Thank God for that.”
Yes my brother, there are so many adversaries which we are experiencing. We however thank God for all his promises. I want to tell you that it is not easy for these old churches to accept New Testament principals and come out of their traditions which are not found in the word of God. Some of the old churches adapt tradition, doctrines and church structures and their leaders have become owners of the churches, especially when a church is in the villages. But I thank God because his word is sharper than a double edged sword. Pray always for this new ministry we have on our shoulders. I am so glad because we are not only teaching the principles but the power of God is being demonstrated. I was asked to pray for the sick and God graciously gave them healing. I did not expect this to happen, but the church elder just stood up and asked me to pray for the sick. Brother, I don't understand how the Holy Spirit is working because l did not have this in my mind to pray for the sick. We really need your prayers. On Thursday this week we are going to two other churches and we are sure God wants us to go there, but we do not know what is ahead of us. This manual (God’s Plan for His church) is anointed!
This post will give you a slice of what God is doing in Thailand. “Timothy and I had a very fruitful time ministering the Word of God to 7 students. He knows the material and can communicate the biblical principles and connect these principles to their current and future ministries. He actually can communicate and teach much better than I can. What a blessed time we are having together!”
A brother in Zambia who has completed the GPHC training reports:
"The leaders whom we have taught through this manual (God’s Plan for His Church) have come to consider the manual like a bible commentary. They understand the book of Acts and the letters of Paul. They say transformation is taking place in homes and in the churches."
During this season in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving with an amazing spread of food and special time with family and close friends. We want to take this opportunity to especially thank you for standing with us in so many ways. The best way we can do this is by giving you some ‘clips’ of events that have taken place recently and exciting opportunities ahead of us:
Brother Henry met in Mabonga with “more than 100 people eager for the Word of God”. He taught from God’s Plan for His Church which brought transformation in the church. “Church chairmen” resigned and became biblical “deacons and deaconesses”. After preaching from Luke 15:11 “about the lost son, 57 people believed in the Lord Jesus”. 13 were set free from demonic oppression, and 3 were healed from different diseases. “We really felt the presence of God and the Holy Spirit moved mightily.” There was further teaching for GPHC on New Testament principles of order in the church.
Persons are asking how to plant churches like Paul did. Henry is being used by the Lord to teach these principles from Scripture.
We have helped Henry purchase two new tires for his vehicle because of the amount of travel he is doing and since the tires he has now are very smooth. There are 22 other repairs that need to be done, so if the Lord moves you to help, please let us know. Remember that Henry has also launched a ministry to the Pygmies which is already bearing fruit.
The Burmese translation of GPHC is complete and in the proof-reading stage. Pray for printing to take place soon in view of Tim’s visit in January.
GPHC training will take place at the Siloam Bible Institute, January 13 to 17, 2014. Pray for students to have completed the lessons in preparation for a week of review and writing their projects and strategy.
The GPHC Karen translation is nearly finished. It will need type-setting and proofing before it can be printed. The opportunities with the Karen in Thailand and Myanmar are many. Please pray for the completion of this translation and for God to open effective doors to train and promote a focus on the unreached of these countries.
The translation work in Urdu is complete and we have sent partial funds for printing. Our Brother in Christ has a vision to train key men who will impact this country and beyond. Pray that this amazing opportunity will result in a spiritual awakening throughout this part of the world.
Tim has had amazing opportunities to attend the Campus Crusade Conference in October and present GPHS which received wide acceptance by many, including a representative from Global Alliance for Church Multiplication. He also will attend the Finishing the Task Conference in CA the first week in December. The purpose of this conference is to identify current unreached people groups and to connect churches, missions and missionaries to them. Paul’s “ambition was to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Ro. 15:20) Pray for God to use these occasions as divine appointments for spreading biblical principles for accelerating God’s work among the unreached of the world.
Through a chain of contacts from the US and England, a brother in Liberia heard about our ministry and asked for our material. We sent two copies of GPHC along with instruction on working through the lessons. Here is a brief quote from his last email: “Our churches and some of our sister churches in Liberia are facing serious problems that this training manual gave an answer to. Therefore, I decided not to delay but to start studying the materials and to organize some men who are willing and also can be used to train others, as we see in 2 Timothy 2:1-2." Pray for God to use this brother in reestablishing the church in Liberia on a biblical foundation in preparation for God’s expansion throughout Africa.
Changes: We are in the process of upgrading the Seminary Course to be used anywhere in the world. We are convinced the time is right for this to be used in equipping students before they launch out into the Lord’s work. Along with this, we have decided to change our ministry name to NEW FOUNDATIONS, dba Go and Reconcile
We believe this new name more accurately represents our goal; to follow Paul’s example in Romans 15:20.
Ministries: We have so many reasons to thank you for standing with us in prayer and support for God’s work through unworthy and unlikely servants. We are humbled by His grace, yet inspired by the continual renewal of the Holy Spirit. It is a joy to also report that Sherman’s health is much better--thank you so much for the prayers, emails, cards, phone calls and visits. There is another three weeks of physical therapy, but he is beginning to get back into the work.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).
This week (July 29th to August 3) there is a conference in Yangon, Myanmar. The initial report for the first two days is that there are "about 50 - 60 hungry souls" at the meeting and we are seeing "a real work of the Spirit".
These two things will always go together; hunger for God's Word and a work of the Spirit. Notice the example in the Book of Acts:
Acts 10:33, "Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord." There was a readiness to hear what God would say, which we receive primarily through His Word. This is followed a few verses later with Luke's record; "While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word" (verse 44).
If you want to see God's Spirit work in our day, promote a hunger for His Word, not yourself.
In all things, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
One of the key principles we see in the Book of Acts is that the life, fellowship and preaching; all forms of worship of the early church, was a strong reason why the church grew so rapidly (Acts 2:14-47; 6:7; 10:34-48; 13:48-49). Dr. Edmund Clowney has said, “When we worship God as we ought, that is when the nations will listen.”
Is our worship truly God-centered? If we mix in to our worship anything that exalts man, we will weaken out gospel voice to the nations; the unreached.
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