|1st Quarter 1999||Newsletter of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement Women's Track|
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. Isa. 33:10-11
In this last year before the turn of the century, the AD2000 Women's Track is facing major changes. A special task force is meeting regularly to work on the "new look" of the Women's Track. Our international executive committee, made up of five of our regional representatives met last July, and will be meeting again to finalize recommendations to our full board of regional representatives.
We desire God's direction in all that we plan, for without Him we cannot succeed. And we ask that you will pray with us for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we attempt for Him.
OUR GOALS: PRAY that God will help us to clearly define our goals as we continue to focus on mobilizing women to pray for and reach those who have never heard about the love of Christ. PRAY that we will have a definite target, clear to all who work with us.
OUR LEADERS: PRAISE God for the regional representatives listed in this newsletter. Most have served faithfully since the inception of the Women's Track. PRAY for guidance as to their future responsibilities; that they will not grow weary in well-doing, but will continue to be visionaries, encouraging women to use their gifts to fulfill the Great Commission.
PRAY for our representatives who are facing physical problems: Evelyn Christianson, Robyn Claydon, Juliet Thomas, Elizabeth Mittelstaedt.
PRAY that every woman who accepts the responsibility of leadership in the Women's Track will share our vision, and make the concern for those without Christ her primary goal.
PRAY for new leaders who will join the Women's Track as we expand our outreach. PRAY for a replacement for Lorry Lutz, international coordinator, who plans to retire in the year 2000.
OUR NAME: With the turn of the century, the name AD2000 Women's Track becomes obsolete. Before the end of 1999 we will announce our new name. PRAY that the right name will be chosen, and that it will be accepted around the world with understanding and without confusion.
OUR NEW PROJECTS: During 1999 we are launching our Women's International Advocacy team. PRAY that God will raise up hundreds of women who will become advocates for women in unreached people groups, especially in the 10/40 Window. PRAY that women will have the burden to pray, to keep informed, to raise up other advocates, to go on prayer and vision trips, to provide resources -- whatever it takes to help women who are serving, often alone, in difficult regions of the world.
PRAY as we launch the program with literature and other contacts, that it will strike a responsive chrd in the hearts of many women.
OUR FINANCES: As the Women's Track grows both in outreach globally and in the international office in Colorado Springs, the financial burden grows heavier. PRAY that we will trust God for His provision without fear or discouragement. PRAY for new sources of funding from around the world. PRAISE God for the many who serve without remuneration, simply because they are obiedient to God's call.
A Firebrand for the
When you meet Ana Maria de Costa in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, you catch an intensity of purpose which impacts every one she meets. Ten years ago, she started the first missions council in their church. Up until this time, the church had not sent out a single missionary, or ever had a missions conference.
Ana Maria, with a friend, Edina, and several others met every week for two years, praying that God would open the heart of the church to missions. For various reasons members of the prayer group moved away and Ana Maria was left with one person. She cried to the Lord, "I need a meeting with more than one person. Please give me a group next Sunday."
Ana Maria didn't tell anyone about her prayer, but the next week seven people gathered. As they prayed they read Operation World, and mission biographies, put up a map and marked the people groups they were praying for. Finally Ana Maria went to the pastor and asked if they could hold a missions conference. Today the church gives 10% of it's budget to be used by the missions council, and the church supports more than 20 Brazilian missionaries all over the world.
Then, in 1995, Ana Maria's friend, Edina Gomes, came to her for help. All her life, Edina had wanted to be a missionary. An orphan, she grew up in Brasilia with her godmother. After high school she attended the local Baptist seminary and studied linguistics through a Wycliffe sponsored training program. Then she went on to a nursing course before working among an unreached Indian tribe in northwest Brazil.
But in her heart, she continued to long to work among uneached people in Africa. Early in 1996 Edina visited several countries in West Africa and finally found her tribe (unidentified for security reasons) in Guinea Bissau. This tiny Portuguese speaking country is primarily Muslim. The tribe invited her to return to teach them Portuguese and help them start a school and clinic. They had never had any outside help before, and no mission work had ever been done among them in Guinea Bissau (though some Bible translation and the Jesus film were available in their language in other countries).
Edina returned to Brazil with a vision. She knew that she would receive prayer support and encouragement from the church. But she also needed funds for a well and a clinic, so she turned to her friend Ana Maria.
God gave Ana Maria a plan. She formed her own mission organization, called AMIDE, put together a proposal and then asked God for five churches to adopt the tribe in Guinea Bissau. She visited the pastors of the five churches she had selected, and each one responded with a donation. She could now send Edina back to Guinea Bissau as their first missionary at the end of 1996.
Since then another couple is preparing to join Edina, and Ana Maria herself has gone to visit the work. She found the well dug and literacy classes in process with the aid of a converted tribesman.
The danger of malaria, the lack of communications and the on-going civil war which affects safety and availablity of food make every day a challenge in this remote place. But it has just fired up Ana Maria's vision to send more Brazilian missionaries to every one of the nine Portuguese speaking nations of the world.
Because of her passion for evangelism, leaders in Brazil asked her to become the national coordinator of the AD2000 Women's Track there. The Track is reaching into all parts of the country as women catch the vision through this firebrand for the Great Commission.
The Gospel Train was
a'movin' to Kationon
For months before the women of the AD2000 Women's Track in Abidjan, Ivory Coast took a train ride to the villiage of Kationon, they prepared for the trip. Ever since their leader Violet Mtegha passed away last spring, they wanted to honor her memory in a special way. They knew she had been very concerned about the 115,000 Tagbana people living in the Ivory Coast, and especially about the 144 villages which had never heard the Gospel.
It wasn't hard to pick a target village. Kationon has 10,000 people, with no church or known Christian, and is the center of witchcraft for the region.
So months before the scheduled trip, a team of six women went to the village on a prayer journey. They visited the pastors in the nearest major town to enlist their cooperation and blessing. They returned to Abidjan to raise funds for the project and organized a month-long prayer and fasting chain.
On August 3, 1998, the first contingent left for Kationon -- 22 men and women, including a medical doctor, two nurses, a third year medical student and an aide. Every day for a week they held a clinic. During the week 130 people responded to the Gospel message.
Then on Friday a trainload of 40 more people arrived including a musical group and a film team. In the afternoons the team visited door to door and in the evenings they showed films (including the Jesus film) and put on concerts. When the electricity failed, they were able to rouse the head of the electric company who came out late at night to fix the problem.
In all, 267 people accepted Christ. Before the team left they held a meeting for the converts. With tears, they recalled the struggle to break out of their bondage, and joy at the victory in their new faith. But some expressed fear because they had given up their fetishes and believed the sorcerers would try to kill them.
However, the team had planned well, and had arranged for an African missionary to stay behind to nurture and train the young converts. Some of the pastors from the region who were involved in the project also promised to help. The Women's Track will continue to support the project spiritually and financially.
Meanwhile Madame Jeanne Marie Guiro, the national coordinator for the Women's Track
in the Ivory Coast, asks prayer for future projects, including visits to the Lobi
and Nafara villages in coming months, and the sending of a missionary to the Koyakas.
Violet would be very proud of their accomplishments.
Upcoming in 1999
Hope for Europe
Women's Evangelism III Conference
Sponsored by the North American Women's Track
July 23-25, 1999
International Day of Prayer for Women
September 4, 1999
Praying Through the Window IV
The last global thrust of the decade for the countries in the 10/40 Window
Two young ladies in China had become Christians while listening to radio broadcasts. They each immediately felt the call to be a missionary. Their pastor attempted to teach them to witness right where they were because they were so young.
"No," they insisted, "the Bible you gave us says Jesus said to go to all the world ... We have read everything Jesus said and nowhere does He ask people how old they are. We want to go."
"Very well," the pastor said. "Hainan Island is off the mainland. It is very rough. There are no Christians there. For young ladies it might be dangerous."
Excitedly they responded, "How soon can we go?"
Two years later the young women came back to get Bibles for their new churches. They met the pastor in a local hotel where he introduced them to some church officials from the West. The visitors said, "Pastor, ask them how many churches they have established on Hainan."
The young women hung their heads. "We've only been there two years. Not many."
"Oh not many. The people were not friendly... sometimes they became very vicious... several men threatened us."
The pastor interrupted... "How many?"
The pastor looked at the two young women and asked, "Thirty?"
Again the women began to apologize when the pastor asked another question, "How many people are in the churches?"
"Oh, not many... Only two hundred twenty people."
"Two hundred twenty in thirty churches?"
"Oh no, in only on very small church. There are bigger ones."
"And how many in the biggest church?"
"Oh, less than five thousand... we have just started."
The guest asked, "What did they do? Ask them what they did."
"What did we do? Why nothing... we just prayed. After we prayed the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do, and we would do it. We would just do it and keep praying."
|This story was originally told in The Coming Influence of China by Carl Lawrence (Vision House Publishing) and retold in the DAWN REPORT. We have adapted it here as a reminder of the power of prayer. At the same time we need to remember that God doesn't generally send out untrained workers without any preparation for ministry. In this instance God ordained and blessed a unique situation.|
Once again the AD2000 Women's Track committee from Manila trained and helped a group of women in another part of the country to hold an evangelism training seminar. The leader of the seminar is Vasayas last year joined the team to train a new leader in Mindanao.
Among the more than 700 delegates who attended the November meeting were three young women who were working among remote tribal groups in the mountains of Mindanao. In the past these tribes were known for their fierce tribal fighting and even cannibalism.
Another encouraging model was a young Burmese pop star who had accepted the Lord after many years of intercession by her father. Today she sings and testifies about the Lord everywhere.
Thelma Pnatig, Southeast Asia Women's Track representative and her team are already planning three prayer rallies in Southeast Asia and around the Phillippines for the coming year. And Esther Gusto, coordinator for the Philippines Women's Track says future plans include an evangelism seminar in Luzon.
We'd love to hear from you about how women in your area are training others for evangelism!
What Jesus learned from His mother
When God chose a mother for His Son's descent to human lowliness, He chose a woman with still, deep quietness surging through her soul. Mary of Nazareth submitted her body, reputation and future to Jehovah God. "I am the Lord's maidservant," she said, "May it be with me in accordance with your words!"
Nine months later the child came! Not to Mary's comfortable newly-married's nest she shared with her Joseph. He came to her gentle heart in a stable in the midst of the hubbub of a refugees' nightmare.
The new mother gathered the accolades of shepherds and angles and offered them up to God with pondering worship. Twelve years later, in the temple, she pondered again, this time over hew Son's word abut His Father's buisiness. She spend the rest of her days wondering when He would receive the attention due His majesty and deity.
Mary's Son was her Lord and King, even before He entered her dark, wet womb. With no sins to atone for, no flaws to compensate for, her perfect sinless, never failing Son also had quietness in His soul. He humbled Himself and chose to become Jesus the lowly, gentle, teachable one. He chose to listen, not only to Mary's motherly words of love and adoration. He heeded her words of advice and admonition. He chose to submit to her household rules. Even after He had moved from the carpenter's shop to the Rabbi's circuit, He chose to honor her.
I wonder, when the crowds sat at His feet all day long, until they hungered, was Mary His model for moving about amongst a broken mankind, with that quiet, gentle compassion that drew people to Him?
Did He picture her in her smoke-filled kitchen preparing bread and fish, as He fed 5000 stomachs with multiplying scraps of a young boy's lunch? When they tried to make Him King, He escaped and went into the solitude of night. There in that hillside cave, alone with His Father, did He remember how His mother had sought not her own glory but that of Another?
At last He assumed the role of Redeemer. Hanging on an execution stake, facing the most shameful death known to mankind in His day, He humbled Himself again. He perceived the sword that pierced His mother's sould and chose to provide for her care. Groping through His pain and anguish and suffocating darkness, He called out: "Woman, behold your son."
Queen challenges South Pacific delegates
Hundreds of local women joined the 80 delegates at a confernce on evangelism held in Tonga last August to hear Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho of Tonga speak. The delegates came from eight Pacific island nations -- Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.
Robyn Claydon, AD2000 Women's Track representative for the Pacific and Lausanne Senior Associcate for Women organized the conference. She wrote, "One of the most moving parts of the celebration was when the delegates were asked to stand country by country while one member of each delegation brought the nation's flag to the foot of a large wooden cross... and prayed for that country. When it was the turn of Tonga, the Queen herself came down from the platform carrying her own country's flag to the cross. She called on every woman in Tonga to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with every member of her family by the year 2000."
Hope for Europe -- Women in Leadership to meet in Germany
After three gatherings of European women in Eastern Europe since 1992, German women will host the Hope for Europe conference in Frankfurt in April 1999. The conference, already fully booked, will climax on April 24th at a local stadium, which will be open to the public. Ann Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter, will be the main speaker.
Hope for Europe: Women in Leadership, is an initiative of the AD2000 Women's Track, the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelization and the World Evangelical Fellowship's Commission on Women's Concerns. It is another evidence that cooperative partnership between organizations can result in great blessing in the Body of Christ.
Write the representative from your region:
Africa (English-speaking): Esme Bowers, 3 Wyehill Way, Retreat 79X5, Cape, South Africa
Caribbean: Blossom White, 36 Mottley Ave., Kingston 20, Jamaica, West Indies
Europe: Elizabeth Mittelstaedt, Lydia Magazine, Postfach 1222, D-35608 Asslar, Germany
Latin America: Mercedes Dalton, Calle Los Abetos, PJE No. 1Ð36, Colonia San Francisco, San Salvador, El Salvador
Middle East, N. Africa, CIS countries: Iqbal Massey, 1136 Ginger Lane, Corona, CA 91719-7776, U.S.
N. America: Evelyn Christenson, P.O. Box 29557, Minneapolis, MN 55429, U.S.
N. Asia: Kai-Yum Cheung-Teng , Block A, 3/F., Podium of Tak Bo Garden, 3 Ngau Kok Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Pacific: Robyn Claydon, 12 Cornwall Avenue, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
S. Asia: Contact the International Coordinator
S.E. Asia: Thelma Pantig, 6 Sampaguita St., Roxas Cir. Subd., Sanyo Novalches 1116 Q.C., Philippines