WHAT DOES THE BEGINNING OF MISSIONARY TRAINING LOOK LIKE? A PANDEMIC?...
What is the Big Picture?
After days and weeks and long hard hours of anticipation…
MY FRIEND RENEE CAME TO VISIT!!
Why am I telling you this? What does that have to do with a “Big Picture”?
Let me explain to you in more detail how the mission we’re training with works.
Finisterre Vision starts its training program with twelve hours in person. This is called the “Big Picture”. During this time, one gets an EXCITING overview of what the entire ten year process in the tribe would look like.
Back in November, I took the Big Picture when Joey (the executive director) flew to my church in Michigan from Phoenix after I told him I was interested.
Then he connected Daniel and I, and then Daniel came to America from Australia to take the Big Picture in Phoenix after meeting me in Michigan at my Bible college in March.
Now here we are! 95% done with training.
BUT – here’s the exciting part of the story.
I was not interested in Finisterre Vision at all a few months prior.
Then I met my very close friend Renee, and I thought SHE would be interested in it, so I told her about it.
Even though she kept telling me how great Joey was, I didn’t really care. I wanted to go to Israel. I was happy for her, but I had no interest in Papua New Guinea whatsoever.
To make a long story short, and to skip to the important parts, basically, on other sides of the world, Daniel and I both found Finisterre Vision, and we were both convicted at the same time that this mission was CRUCIAL.
It hit me that it didn’t matter if I liked or disliked certain cultural aspects of places, or if I wanted to be in the city versus feeling isolated in the jungle – here’s the bottom line.
50 people groups in the Finisterre Mountains have no way to hear the Gospel, no church, and no Bible translated in their language.
They are dying and going to Hell because of their sins against a holy God, and they never get the chance to repent and trust in Christ, because there’s no one to tell them to truth about the Gospel.
Yes, they are deserving of Hell, we all are, but they are not given the the resources to learn about the Messiah.
We know that God is sovereign, and we trust Him to work out His perfect will, that’s why we’re not “worried”, but deeply concerned, like Jesus was over the lost.
We are COMMANDED to go share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. No, I’m not saying everyone should go overseas, but I think more people should seriously consider it.
Imagine you repeatedly broke traffic laws, running red lights, speeding, running from your authorities, constantly. Think about your sin, your lies, evil thoughts towards each other, failing to think about God.
This is your guilty state.
Now, picture yourself sentenced to jail forever, and dying in that state because no one told you about the good news.
The good news is that Someone came to pay your fine, to legally dismiss your case!
But you were never told.
This is WAY worse of a situation.
People are dying and going to Hell, completely separated from the grace and mercy of God who gave them life for all of eternity…and no one is going to tell them that Jesus Christ shed His blood to die for His people.
The truth of the Law is written on our hearts! We know we are guilty! But imagine not knowing the cure!
Imagine if a bunch of people had the cure for the corona virus (a legitimate cure, not a hoax), and they kept it to themselves!!
That’s why Finisterre Vision is such a cool organization. Because they understand the seriousness of the Gospel, and they are striving to do something about the huge problem of unreached people groups.
So…after much anticipated time…my friend Renee came to Phoenix to start the training process for unreached people groups in Papua New Guinea!!
Then…we found out that another girl locally in Phoenix has also starting training, and…a guy from Ohio named Jared flew out to start training also!
Daniel, Jared, Renee and I had such a great time together, as you will see from the pictures below.
They both loved the training, and they seem serious about continuing on with the mission, after they both finish college, which is SO exciting!!
Parting with them was so sad, but I was so thankful to have precious time with such a dear friend (Renee), and we were very blessed to meet a very solid, kind new friend (Jared).
In other news, Greek is going well! We are over halfway done with Mounce’s course! Three more big exams to go in the next month or so!
And, besides the exams, we have a full schedule with our job too! Taking care of foster and adopted children can be difficult at times, but it’s definitely worth the eternal consequences in the end. So thankful for our job!
Our connection with Greg, our potential future ministry partner, is growing as well! Check out his blog if you didn't already, he’s really doing some cool stuff with it!
Also, in other exciting news, our church is doing very well! They have started to get involved in more and more evangelism! We had a meeting a couple weeks ago to get things started, and we have been planning events and going out to share the Gospel as a church! It’s such a blessing to be a part of such an encouraging body of Christ!
SPEAKING OF EXCITING…we are getting closer to the mission conference this October! YAY! Look forward to that!
Check out these pics!
Exciting new spot to evangelize, a relief from the heat. :)
Joey! Our mission's executive director, showing off his "Pandemic" game skills. His sticker on his phone means that there are 50 tribes yet to be reached in the Finisterre Mountains.
Jared and Renee fighting off the virus...
Solving the world's crisis...
Daniel studying hard for the field!
Renee and I excited for missionary adventures to come! :D
LONG DISTANCE PARADES, AWESOME JOB, AND CULTISH?!?
- by Sarah Bruce
What an exciting parade!
Here's the story...
After realizing that no parades were still being held in the Phoenix area, Daniel and I heard about a mayor 3-4 hours away who was still holding events!
The excitement of going somewhere with a large crowd of people THRILLED me SO much, that Daniel (the mature, wise one), agreed to going!
Oh man! You have to see the pictures!
5,000 people lined the streets of a small town in north-eastern Arizona, all ready to receive Gospel tracts!
We were blessed with passing out so many tracts (I was wearing gloves, no worries...) to the people of the community! They were SO receptive to everything we passed out! It was such a huge blessing!
On the way there, I was able to organize all the tracts! Between the two of us, we were carrying probably over 1,000 tracts, and we had other resources too!!
We thought, that would be enough...
We ended up literally clearing out everything that we had, to the point where we were giving out American Gospel CD's (check it out if you haven't seen it)! Also, random tracts that we only had one of, Living Waters booklets, and...we gave out a full BOX of booklets called "What Time is Purple" that were given to us FOR FREE by Wretched Radio (you have to check out their stuff, it's amazing...).
Then, after the parade, my sweet husband Daniel and I had a really nice afternoon together. The town was beautiful and we were so thankful to have that time together to pray and enjoy what God has given us.
We found out later that people from our church know of the town. We were shocked to learn that the town is primarily Mormon (even though Phoenix is very Mormon populated, this town seemed fairly Christian). As we were leaving, I was thinking that we might have just shared the Gospel with a bunch of Christians (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but then it turns out that a town of mostly LDS population got the Gospel! That was even more exciting!!
It's so important to distinguish the true Gospel from the deception of Mormonism. The religion is a cult, and I would urge anyone reading to make sure that they understand why it's false. Knowing that Jesus Christ is God Himself in the flesh, eternal, holy, and separate from us is essential for salvation. Understanding that He is, always was, and always will be higher than us, is crucial.
Speaking of huge blessings...let me back up a little and tell you how the Lord is working in our lives.
I lost my babysitting job about a month or two ago because the job consisted of tutoring children, and summer was approaching.
So, I was looking for another job, and, without realizing it, I ended up contacting a lady who I had talked to previously about babysitting. I had talked with her before, and we found out that she knows our mission director, Joey!
Long story short, Daniel and I are now babysitting for three adopted children and one foster child every day of the week, and the environment is BY FAR the best I have ever been in.
This precious family has fostered thirty kids, working with children for sixteen and a half years.
They go to a solid church, they have great family values, and they seem very focused on the Gospel.
It’s such a joy to have a job where Daniel and I can talk of the things of God freely with good Christian fellowship!
In other news...
Greek is going well. We finished Mounce's noun system, and we are starting verbs!
(I'm sure that thrills you...)
Also, we have been invited to be guest speakers at a HUGE mission conference at my church back in Michigan, Berean Baptist!
As long as COVID-19 doesn't cancel it, I will keep you updated on the details of the conference. It's going to be exciting!
As far as training goes, we are still 95% of the way through. The further training we have consists of support raising, church elder approvals, and pre-planned house building for our home in Papua New Guinea.
Ready for some REALLY exciting news??
I had the amazing opportunity to be on Cultish!
I was so thrilled!!
If you haven't heard of it...Cultish is a Christian Podcast that exposes cults and false teachers here in Phoenix.
After doing some ministry together, the host of Cultish, Jeremiah Roberts, invited me to be a guest on the show, and we had some GREAT conversations.
It's a must-listen to!!
I don't want to reveal anything about it - see it for yourself: https://thecultishshow.com/
My episode (part 1 of 2) should be released, tentatively, August 18th. BUT - if you listen to any of it, part 2 is the BEST (that episode should be released a week later).
If you want something interesting to listen to, please check it out and leave your comments!
You will never guess the topic...
Also, Cultish is a GREAT resource for exposing false teachers, so please take a look at some of their other material too.
And...in case you didn't guess...we are officially members of Grace Covenant Church!
They put us up on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gccgilbert/
It’s such a joy to be part of a church that understands the need for the Gospel to go out to all people groups. We are so thankful that they understand the need to give the Law to the proud, and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, His shed blood and resurrection, to people of all nations.
Also, you know how I mentioned Greg, the really smart guy from Michigan? Well, his blog is here! If you want to know more about the rest of our team, here is our very close friend and potential co-worker: http://www.gregoryrogerbrown.com/
(Just so you know... the website is going to say that it's not secure, but it's fine. Greg is just still in the process of making it.)
His blog is so good! If you want substantial information on exactly what we believe and exactly what we’re doing, that’s the place to go!
Check out these photos, and be sure to hear the Podcast. :)
My crazy colorful Mexican-Australian cowboy with a million dollar Gospel tract!
Ready for the parade!!
The exciting beginning!
Some of the first people at the parade to get tracts (don't worry, I wore gloves)!! :)
The end of the parade. People were so excited! It was so lively!!
My sweet husband looking back prayerfully at all the past events.
Beautiful view of God's Creation on the way back.
Thanks so much for reading!
If you're interested in partnering with us, so we can keep giving you weird and crazy stories like this, please visit: https://www.finisterrevision.org/donate/
What have we been up to?
What does a tattoo artist and a Native American have to do with missionary training in Papua New Guinea...?
In the past month or so, we have done tons of Greek, we have plenty of exciting church news, and we have a couple evangelism stories we would love to share!
Now, I know all that you care about is the tattoo artist, but…first thing is first: Greek!!
Greek is AWESOME!
No, really, I’m serious! It’s so great!
We’re plowing through first year Greek (2 semesters) in four months. Don’t be impressed, anyone could do it. Bill Mounce is an AMAZING teacher. The leadership at Grace Bible Church in Tempe, AZ (https://www.gbcaz.org/) is also SO helpful! They are helping us through the process.
Also, Daniel and I couldn’t learn ANYTHING without our friend and fellow-tribe-mate (Lord willing), Greg Brown. He’s like a humble, undercover genius who can help you with anything. He said he’s going to start a blog soon…so…if I were you…I’d probably read his blog over ours so that you gain more brain cells... 😊
So…what’s one thing we’ve learned from Greek so far? I’m sure you’re dying to know.
I’d say the most important thing I would like to share is that when you can see how Jesus would have said things, rather than in your own American understanding, it’s not only awesome, but it’s so incredible that words can’t express it. Just seeing how John 1:1 proves the divinity of Christ should be enough to make your heart soar!
What else do I have to say before I get to the tattoo artist?
Well…exciting church news…as of tomorrow…Grace Covenant officially votes on us to become members of the church! YAY!
I can’t celebrate yet, (it’s highly probable that they’ll vote for Daniel because of his accent and not on me…kidding…) but, we're very excited to (hopefully) become official members of our church! We have worked hard on the membership process, and we’re so happy to finally have a solid church family that we can attend together and have regular fellowship with!
You will just have to wait until my next post to see if we made it in or not…live in suspense…
Now, for what you really want to hear about – the tattoo artist and the native American!
I will do more for you than just explain to you in words some narrative of evangelism encounters…
I will actually provide videos for you to watch…courtesy of Daniel, because it was his idea and he knows how to use tech stuff WAY better than I do.
We have two videos we would love to share with you. We really encourage you to watch both of them. With genuine sincerity, we pray that God will touch you with what you see.
Please allow me to explain both videos first...
Video #1: Niko the tattoo artist
Here’s a video of a lady who wasn’t in the mood for a conversation about the things of God.
If you’re watching this video, you’re probably thinking, why post a terrible witnessing encounter gone wrong to try to promote yourselves as missionaries?
And, you may have another objection…I didn’t share the Gospel. I didn’t even try.
Didn’t I say in our last post that the Gospel is everything, everything should be centered around it and it alone??
Here’s a principle for you: Law to the proud, grace to the humble.
Another note: God is glorified in the accepting of the Gospel, the rejecting of the Gospel, and in the mere proclamation of the Gospel.
More thoughts: Someone needs to be broken by the fact that they are a sinner (they’ve lied, stolen, cursed God’s Name, made an idol to suit themselves etc.), before they will ever hear the truth of the Gospel. If you don’t understand the disease, you won’t understand the cure. Because of this, we're not going to share the Gospel. We don't want to share with someone the precious news of the Christ, the God-man, shedding His blood for His people, rising again, and living forever to rule and reign for all of eternity, to someone who is just going to laugh it off and find it contemptible.
God knows what He’s doing, because He is sovereign. He shows all of His attributes in His mercy and justice. His mercy in sending souls, deserving of Hell, to Heaven based on the shed blood of Christ alone, with no merit of their own, and His justice in justly sending law breakers to Hell because of their eternal crimes against a holy God.
Here's the video:
PLEASE remember that we're not professional video editors. :)
Video #2: Daniel the Native American
You have to see this video!!
My husband Daniel shared the Gospel through the grace of Christ alone to this eager, searching man with such clarity and humility, that it was moving to be there.
Yes, you understood right, Daniel (my husband, the Australian), witnessed to a guy named Daniel, and it went SO well, that the man flat out told us he wanted to get right with God right then and there.
More thoughts: Did we take this man through a sinners’ prayer, or did we run him through a system of questions planned out that we ask every person to answer? No. We believe it is God who saves, not us, therefore, if someone is truly being convicted by the Holy Spirit, He will save them. All that we can do is do our part to proclaim the whole counsel of God through the Gospel and through prayer.
Please join us in praying for Daniel, for God to truly save him and to grow him in Christ likeness.
Just focus on the words, not on my husband and his gorgeous accent… because he’s mine. 😊
Here's the video:
Do you like the idea of these witnessing clips?
This was not our own idea!!
Please visit Living Waters YouTube for more information on how to share your faith biblically: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmrVJGUS1u5-Hsm_BFS_1YA
Also, if you made it this far, please note that you can always donate to us at https://www.finisterrevision.org/donate/#howtogive.
We would love comments on the videos!!
Contact us with any questions!
A MINISTRY FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL
by Sarah Bruce
We are married!
An Australian, his first time out of the country, married a crazy girl from Detroit.
How did this happen?
Well, it all began with the Lord calling each of them, separately, on opposite ends of the world, in the same way.
Terrible, depraved wretches, the Lord saved both Daniel and I (Sarah) through an understanding of our own sin before a holy God. Daniel and I were convicted of the fact that we were sinned constantly against the perfect, righteous God who gave them life (see Helpful Websites for more info).
I cannot start any blog without showing you how the Gospel impacted our lives, because that is the reason we exist, to glorify God and to share the Gospel to all of Creation.
To make a long story short, and to not bore you with details of our story, I can show you the Gospel, and tell you that the reason Daniel and I are married is because we know our utter helplessness before the just and holy God of the Universe, seeing our lying, idolatry, and lack of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and all our other sin before us every day.
That is why we have this blog.
That is why we exist – to share with you the hope of Jesus Christ.
Daniel and I could tell you all the details of our relationship, and we could share exactly how we got to Phoenix, but, if I was someone reading a blog, I would not care about all that. I would rather share with you things that matter, things which are of serious consequence, mixed with some light subjects, so that you remember (hopefully) the truths of the Gospel that we are trying to communicate.
With that in mind, I will share a little bit of information just so we do not seem like complete strangers to you.
Daniel and I met through the mission we are training with, Finisterre Vision. You will hear much about this mission if you continue reading these blogs (assuming there will be more soon).
In a nutshell, Finisterre Vision is a mission to the unreached people groups in the mountains of Paupa New Guinea. The name of the mission refers to the Finisterre Mountain Range, and there exists 50 people groups left who have never heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (please see Helpful Websites for more info).
Those 50 people groups are full of lost souls who will die, never hearing the Gospel, and they will justly end up in Hell because of their sins against a holy, and righteous God.
Our plan is to go into a tribe, teach the tribal people how to read and write, give them a solid foundation in a chronological teaching of the Bible, giving them the Gospel, and then translating the Bible into their language so they can read the truth of God’s Word for themselves.
The first major step we have taken towards this our missionary training, and in the process of that we got married!
On May 16th, 2020, Daniel and I walked down the aisle to get married.
We walked down an air-conditioned path in a nice, beautiful church, listening to the beautiful piano play sweet hymns. We listened to our pastor give the Gospel and plead with souls to get saved!
Those souls in Paupa New Guinea are not able to have those luxuries, the most important luxury being the Gospel.
With each second that ticked by at the wedding, souls were sinking into Hell. And they are sinking into Hell presently as I am writing this, and they will continue to sink into Hell as you read this.
That is why we are writing this. Please keep listening to our story.
Daniel and I met for the first time in March, when he came to Michigan, his first time in another country. He came just in time, right before the corona virus rocked the world, and the entire world panicked and shut down, showing even more how desperate people are for the Gospel.
Why would someone leave everything behind in their home country to pursue training in missions? Because of the importance of the Gospel.
Not slowing down because of the virus, Daniel and I pressed on with our training through Finisterre Vision, completing currently 95% of the training in a few months, moving to Phoenix (because the executive director of the mission lives there) and starting our lives together, in purity, courting for a couple months, and then getting married only two weeks ago.
Why do we want to have such an aggressive timeline? Because of the importance of the Gospel!
What are we doing now? Sharing the Gospel on the streets in Phoenix, finishing up our training, and becoming members at our church, Grace Covenant (see Helpful Websites). On top of that, we start learning Greek this Monday!
I have mentioned the Gospel quite a bit. Why? Because I (wrongly) assume that, because you are probably reading this in America or some other country like Australia that has religious freedom to some extent, that you know the Gospel.
That is wrong of me to assume that. Let me lay it out for you.
Consider your sin. You will give an account for your every word, thought and action, and we all deserve Hell.
God sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect, sinless life as the promised Messiah – God in the flesh – and died on the cross, dying with the burden of our sin on Himself. Then, He rose again, proving Himself to be God. You broke God’s law, but Jesus paid your fine. God can legally dismiss your case while upholding perfect justice. I urge you, repent, turn from your sin, and turn to Christ.
Why would anything else matter?
Thank you so much for reading this!
Check out our wedding video:
Contact us with any questions!!
Daniel and Sarah Bruce are missionaries in training to Papua New Guinea. Daniel is from Australia and Sarah is from Detroit, MI. They reside in Phoenix, AZ and they are members at Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, AZ.