Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Power of the Holy Spirit

Jonathan, 21, joined e3 Legacy in Cambodia last month for his first mission trip. Read on as he shares his experience.  “The power of the Holy Spirit—this topic manifested over and over with each new day on this trip to Cambodia—was demonstrated through abilities to find words or passages in the Bible, through seeing the most unlikely hearts convicted, through the peace we felt.  This week, I have seen His power more than ever before in my life. The most memorable of these demonstrations was the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of Van Nang, a 75-year-old villager in the town of Bet Sai Da.

When we approached this man for the first time, my translator and I thought he was asleep, but it turns out his leg was hurt and he was unable to move it. It had been this way for months. Now, healings have always been a tough subject for me. I grew up in a church/home that did not stress healings to be of any importance, so I have always been considerably skeptical. But the Lord had been preparing my heart for a few months prior to the trip, and I was willing to experience and believe the truth of His power. Meeting Van Nang was a perfect reassurance of God’s impeccable timing.

Immediately after hearing of Van Nang’s leg, I asked if I could pray for it. He agreed, and I asked God to heal him. This was the first time I had asked this of God, and also the first time I believed it might happen.  But nothing did. I prayed again, to no change. I asked if I could share the gospel, and he agreed. His response, however, was that he’d only believe after being healed, so I prayed again. Still, nothing changed. That night the Lord put it on my heart to share with our team and have everyone pray. I felt such a unity amongst the body of Christ while we prayed. The next day I returned to Van Nang’s home to pray and found him standing! He told me that the morning after I prayed, he was able to walk for the first time in months. He chose to accept Christ and acknowledge Him as his Lord for the rest of his life. It was amazing to see how God, through the Holy Spirit, worked in both of our lives at the same time. God’s power is undeniable, whether you are a skeptical, young Christian, or a Buddhist of 75 years.”

Dr. Dobson Selects e3 Legacy as a Partner

By Terri and Andreas Mehrguth
Directors, e3 Legacy

e3 Legacy - Families on Mission became an official partner of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk on February 1. Partnerships are a new endeavor for Dr. Dobson, and e3 Legacy is honored to be one of six ministries selected, and the only missions organization.  Frankly, e3 Legacy is a great fit because Dr. Dobson has been the leading advocate for the family for decades and he is committed to evangelism, both of which are the cornerstones of e3 Legacy.

Family Talk constituents can find information about e3 Legacy and our expeditions on Family Talk’s website. In fact, there's a direct link there to e3 Legacy’s GO page listing expeditions! Not only that, Andreas and Terri Mehrguth will be interviewed by Dr. Dobson on March 4 about the benefits of families sharing the gospel together internationally. The program will air nationally on hundreds of radio stations in late March/early April. Additionally, Dr. Dobson will distribute an article specifically about e3 Legacy to his 300,000 families who receive his monthly emails.  Check out the link to Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. We are trusting God to use this national exposure to mobilize more people, particularly families, to the field to share the gospel on one-week mission trips with e3 Legacy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Lesson of Stewardship

In 2002, as we prepared to take our family to Tobago, situations arose that required us to us raise partial support for that mission trip. We weren’t too excited about the prospect. In fact, we considered not even going if we were going to have to raise support. Actually, that’s fairly humorous when you consider that we’re doing ministry development full time now! But God had a lesson for our family to learn. 

As people supported us, our family would pray for them. We’d then discuss the role of stewardship with our sons, Garrett and Jordan. Conversations focused on how we were accountable to God and our ministry partners as to how wisely we ministered with the resources provided.

Well, our boys must have grasped the stewardship principle because the following summer when we arrived in Swaziland, they carne face-to-face with a choice. Prior to leaving, they were asked to prepare their testimonies to share at schools, which they did.

Shortly after arriving, they were told they were to give their testimonies the next day at church. Looks of panic and fear gripped their faces, and they firmly replied, “No.”  Andreas and I then calmly informed them that we understood their fear (we felt the same way) and that if they didn’t feel ready that it was alright. However, we would have to pack our bags, fly home, and return the money to our ministry partners. As they reflected on their choices, they recalled our discussions about accountability for resources provided. Although they felt uncomfortable and insecure, they chose to do what they were asked to do. As parents, we truly felt for them, but we didn’t want to miss this teaching opportunity. Fortunately, the foundation had been laid during the previous trip and they stepped out in faith (and fear.)

Taking this difficult step was powerful in their lives. You may recall a picture from our ministry pamphlet of Jordan, at age nine, sharing his testimony with more than 700 school children and teachers! What a wonderful lesson for our boys to learn that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them (Phil. 4:13). lt is our desire that families who minister with us on short-term mission trips will have similar teaching opportunities with their children!

Monday, February 18, 2013

From the Bondage of Islam

By Terri and Andreas Mehrguth
Directors, e3 Legacy

Terri received an email from a former Muslim couple, Musa and Ralia, whom she had the privilege of leading to the Lord in Kenya. God is working in a tremendous way in their lives.

On a previous mission trip, she had met with them for five days, two hours each day, sharing about Jesus Christ and His gospel of forgiveness; Musa and Ralia did not receive Christ at that time. She returned exactly one year later and made a surprise visit to them. When they saw her, they very simply stated that they were now ready to confess Christ! Terri prayed with them and took them to their first Christian worship services the next day.  She introduced them to a young Christian couple in the church, who agreed to disciple them. Alex and his wife committed to share the truths of God with them.

Below is the email Terri received from them earlier this month. In a way that only God can do, He has knit our hearts with this young, very poor, former-Muslim couple halfway around the world. Praise be to God Almighty!  

Dear Spiritual My Mum Terri Mehrguth,

We are greeting you in the name of Jesus Christ. We hope you are doing well together with your family under the protection of Jesus Christ. We believe your prayers are working in our life because we are feeling fully transformed. We are going on with teachings of Jesus Christ being assisted by brother Alex whom you left for us as our Word teacher. God bless you mightly. We hope for your reply.

Your spiritual son and daughter, the transformed Muslims from Kenya, Isiolo town.

Mr. and Mrs. Musa Dika

Clearly, Musa and Ralia are studying God’s word because their email sounds as though it could be the beginning of one of Paul’s epistles!

We hope you are encouraged by this sweet email from these new Christians.

Monday, February 11, 2013

But does it work?

By Terri and Andreas Mehrguth
Directors, e3 Legacy

We met with a couple who questioned if it really is possible to start a church in a week. It’s a legitimate question. When we were evaluating what ministry God would have us be a part of, we, too, questioned if it was possible to plant a church in a week that would be sustainable. We had our doubts, but God has shown us time and again that one‐on‐one discipleship really works, especially when He goes before us to prepare people’s hearts. In fact, this past June, God allowed us to see firsthand how the churches our team started in Kenya the previous year were thriving.

Our team of 14 started four churches in Isiolo, Kenya, a predominantly Muslim area with tribal religions making up the difference. On the Sunday our team was returning to the States, the churches we started during that previous week held their first church services. Before boarding the plane, we were overwhelmed with joy for the great report we received that 20 to 35 adults attended each of the worship services with an average of 30 children. With tears of joy, we praised God for all He did.

But what’s it look like one year later?

You may recall that God used our team of 23 to start five churches in Meru, Kenya. Meru is less than three hours from Isiolo, so our team headed up to Isiolo our last night before returning to the States and worshipped with the churches started the previous year. As God would have it, our return to Isiolo fell on the one‐year anniversary of the four churches. And what a celebration we had. Each church welcomed us with a wonderful celebration that even included a birthday cake.

The growth was evident! In Kambi Ya Juu and Mwangaza, the churches were preaching God’s Word and the children’s ministry were thriving, despite the fact that the congregation was very poor, so poor they survive on just one meal, generally porridge and a few vegetables, per day. In Tulla Ruba, the congregation had grown to about 50 adults and the same number of children. Just three months before our arrival, the church was able to move from the pastor’s front yard to a wooden building; picture Little House on the Prairie. Currently, the church in Mailitano hosts Sunday school and worship services on Sunday, small group Bible study on Wednesdays, prayer and fasting on every Friday, and children’s ministry on Saturday. And the Lord is blessing their commitment. This church is having such an amazing impact in the community that government leaders have withdrawn funding for the existing school because of corruption and low test scores and have asked the church pastor to start a new school. The leaders not only gave the church land and funding for the new school, but there is enough land to build a dedicated church building!

Keep in mind that these churches are not made up of recycled Christians from other local churches. These churches are made up almost entirely of new believers. That’s true church growth!

So, while it might seem impossible to start a church in a week in our American way of thinking, with God leading the way and preparing hearts, churches are being planted and new followers of Jesus Christ are being discipled all so that God will be glorified.