THE BURDENS ON MY HEART (2)
Two days ago, I wrote a blog entitled “The burden of my heart”, I am sure the title is confusing to those who have read the blog, as I did not actually say what my burden was !!!! The thrust of my thinking when I wrote the blog was that there are many Ministries who have a burden and a passion for a truth, and many people criticize them and say that “they only have one sermon” or one “string in their bow” as that is all they talk about. I am very aware that God has given me a burden and a passion and it is the constant burden on my heart, and constantly comes out in my writings.
I believe God has given me two burdens that have become the passion of my life, more than ever now as I have more time to pray and study the Word of God. THEY ARE DISCIPLESHIP/MENTORING & MISSIONS & THE NATIONS.
As I look back both these burdens took literally years to develop in my life. Margaret recognised early in our marriage, the burden for Discipleship, even though sadly I literally didn’t have a clue what it meant. We had a team of Americans come to our church in Sydney in the 1970’s one of the ladies prophesied I would be ministering to young men. We saw a move of God in the church (40-200) and many young men came into the church, some are in the ministry to this very day, and yet I simply (with little real undersatandingh tried to disciple and mentor them and I stumbled along seeking to minister to them. When we moved to Newcastle we saw the church grow from 40-400 with many many young men and women.
The Lord changed our direction to Bible College Ministry after 7 years there, and I discovered that as well as being appointed a Lecturer I was also appointed the Dean of Men, and had the privilege and responsibility to Disciple and Mentor young men with a call of God on their lives, this I did for 11 years. In hindsight I was still stumbling along.
I slowly but surely came to see the various weaknesses and flaws in modern day Discipling practices, and the often total lack of Mentoring of men as they go into and continue in ministry. I do not dare say I fully understand yet what I call Biblical Discipleship, but I have a constant passion and burden to do it right, and seek to build the Church “according to the pattern of the Word of God”.
In 1976, our church in Sydney decided to send a Missions team to Singapore/Malaysia, the driving force to take the team was a young Singaporean who had come into the church, and I was seeking to disciple him. I went months ahead of the team to meet with church Leaders and set up the visit, simply believing I was fulfilling the Great Commission. but a “seed” was planted in my heart especially for Asia at that time. I had the privilege of further visits for ministry from Sydney and Newcastle and the “seed” for Asia continued to grow in my heart.
In January 1985 I took a team from the church to India and taught in a Bible College in Andrah Pradesh, I was overwhelmed by the masses of people the majority in total spiritual darkness, at the conclusion of the trip we were in the airport in Hyderabad and we had some prayer before our flight, and I had a vision (or something) and knew in a moment of time JESUS CHRIST SHALL BE LORD OF INDIA, the “seed was growing, spiritual conception and birthing was starting to taking place.
From 1982 we starting taking Mission teams to Thailand as well as Singapore/Malaysia and made many ministry connections, including conductng Pastors Seminars, especially in Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. One afternoon I was taken for a drive, we stopped at a market town near the Mekong River. local Thais and Burmese could cross over the bridge, but foreigners could only go half way (as their were armed guards posted.) As I stood in the middle of the bridge and looked into Burma (Myanmar) I began to weep as an intercessory prayer burden came upon me. I thought I will be going to Yangon soon (and I did) but on my return home from the trip though when I began to pray for Burma, there strongly came a burden for the three Indo China countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, each country I have ministered in and especially Vietnam where I had the privilege of going 32 times.
In late 2005 as a result of clear direction from the Lord I resigned my teaching post at Hillsong College to begin an Itinerating Teaching Ministry in Asia, which included as well as Singapore, West & East Malaysia, India and Taiwan and especially Indonesia, which took me to Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Timor and Bali many times
In total I have ministered the Word of God in 25 different nations including in Eastern Europe, in Estonia, Ukraine and Russia.
Both my passions and burdens took a number of years to come to full birth and fruition, whether I was slow to “get the message” and there needed to be a maturing process I do not know, but they are now constantly on my heart and mind.
I cannot physically go to Asia any more, but I visit all those nations every day in intercessory prayer , believing and confessing not only that Jesus Christ shall be Lord of India, but of every nation of the world.
I do a little face to face Mentoring, but am regularly using social media like Video Whatsapp to Mentor young ministries and Zoom for Teaching Seminars especially on Biblical Discipleship.
In a sense I do not have a “public” ministry anymore but I have two consuming passions, that has become the most exciting aspects of ministry I could have ever considered, and I say THANK YOU LORD.