SNOW, EVANGELISM, GREEK, AND THE DO TRIBE...
Snow in Arizona?
Believe it or not, this picture was taken in the desert state!
This snowy scenery was only about an hour and a half from Phoenix!!
We have quite a bit to share from this month, but I figured I'd start with something fairly light-hearted.
...why the snow??
Because this is the FIRST time that Daniel has EVER seen snow!
Of course he's seen it on TV, a little bit on the road, etc., but he hadn't seen snowy weather in person. He was able to see it fall and stick on the ground!
After we went up to Flagstaff with Joey last month, and didn't see any snow up there, we were told that an even closer town to Phoenix was going to have snow!
So, we took the drive up there, the roads closing behind us as we travelled up.
How would we get back?
But, in the meantime...
Daniel had some fun in the snow!!
These pictures show Daniel making snowballs and throwing them for the first time (if you're concerned... no ducks were harmed in the throwing of these snowballs)!
And, here's the good news...
By the time we were ready to go back, all the roads were opened!
And...best of all...we were able to leave some tracts places in the short time we were there! YAY!!
In other news...
Some thoughts on the virus...
It's hard to believe it has almost been a full year of this corona madness!
This past year has been filled with so many changes and crazy things happening in the world, it's also been almost a year since Daniel and I officially met!
I praise God for His timing! If Daniel would have tried to leave Australia just a week later, he probably wouldn't be here!
Everything shut down that soon after he got here.
So thankful for God's Providence...including His oversight in evangelism...
A flame thrower we saw at Tempe Beach Park while we were out sharing the Gospel.
I had a great conversation that I wanted to highlight while at the local park where we normally share the Gospel!
Pray for Yonyo!
She was sitting on a bench, and she was open to talk about the Gospel! She didn’t have much church background, and she wasn’t sure about having a belief in God, but she was willing to accept that a Creator exists.
After we established that, she admitted her sin when I took her through the Law.
She said she never really read the Bible, and she didn’t believe that Jesus is God.
So, I explained to her that the Bible says Jesus is God, and He proved to be God by living a sinless life, dying, and rising again for the salvation of His people.
Near the end of our conversation, she asked me a few really good questions. She wondered why Jesus would die for people, and other inquiries that seemed to show genuineness.
I told her of the importance of repentance and faith in Christ.
When I asked her what she needed to do to be saved, she said she couldn’t do anything to save herself.
She said she had never heard the things I told her before, and that it made sense to her.
Please pray for her!!
Also at the park...
We ran into some Black Hebrew Israelites who tried to engage Daniel by asking him what his race is.
When they got the answer “Australia”, they asked him if he was an aboriginal...
...obviously he’s not, so they started screaming at him and blaming him for murdering aboriginal people.
Please pray for them because they are near impossible to talk to...
On this subject, I would STRONGLY recommend a teaching series our church went through on the social Gospel and the whole BLM issue.
Grace Bible Church Equipping Hour:
A week or two after that first encounter...they were back!!
A bunch of them were out, slowly gathering, trying to get a crowd. They were trying to stop people before they crossed the street. With a little crowd gathered, we watched them for a minute, hoping to catch people after that they had talked to. They were literally telling one girl with her two friends that, because of some verse in Revelation, she should be enslaved to them. The three soon had enough of that and they walked away, swearing and freaking out in conversation with each other about them.
We saw where they went so we followed them, and they eventually came up to us, wondering what those guys were all about. They asked us if we were Christians, and they said they liked our approach better than the Hebrew Israelites. We gave them a booklet, and we wanted to continue conversation with them, (obviously) but they didn’t really seem open to it. They were nice, but pretty hostile (worldly) and didn’t actually want to engage in anything serious. Interestingly enough, one girl from the group said she was born Jewish (non-practicing)...
Pray for the Black Hebrew Israelites, and for those who they were talking to!!
What are you doing?
Go watch Omri preach...
Another thing you should watch...Fireproof!!
I saw this picture inside a firemen-themed restaurant, and I thought it was cool!
It reminds me of one of my favorite analogies of sharing the Gospel.
Imagine a burning building with people inside, and a bunch of firefighters outside the building, playing on their phones, ignoring the people dying inside the building.
That sounds crazy, doesn't it?
Shouldn't the firemen do something? They have all the resources to save those who are in anguish...
We have the Gospel, we have the resources!
Let's go share the Gospel to those who are unreached!!
So...how are we currently trying to obey the Great Commission?
We are blessed with so many resources, especially from our church family.
On top of having the Gospel in our language, we have all the food we need, a nice place to stay, and everything else we need.
In order to be faithful to the Word of God and obedient to His commands to us, we try to be thankful, and to pause and remember all God has done for us.
We want to glorify God even when we don't have fruit or current opportunities to obey the Great Commission in more exciting ways (like tribal work), because we know that God will allow us to go there when it's time. We want to be fervent in prayer and thankfulness now, not missing opportunities as they come.
This is what we strive for: 1 Cor. 10:31-33, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. Do not offend Jews or Greeks, or the church of God; just as I [Paul] also please everyone in all things, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of the many, so that they may be saved."
So...where are we?
This is where we are seeking to live out the Great Commission! Tempe, AZ! (Tempe is a subset within the greater Phoenix area.)
I thought this board game was funny!!
When I put stuff in this blog regarding evangelism, it’s usually (unless we take a weird trip somewhere) in Tempe!
“Downtown Tempe” and the “ASU Tempe Campus” (in purple...the most expensive ones...) are the main places we go, along with “Tempe Town Lake” (in teal just above the others).
Phoenix has some creative features!!
More interesting Phoenix creativity!!
Doesn’t the cactus art look cool? We have real ones too...
BUT, the real reason I took this picture isn’t mainly about the cactus.
What else do you see in this picture?!?
It’s a little image of Jesus (I assume)...and a boy hugging him.
The Catholic presence is pretty strong here, and I pray for more opportunities to witness to them.
Some might think little pictures like this are fine, and Christians might think they’re okay as long as one isn’t worshipping the image, but I think it’s more serious than that.
I can’t look at this and think that the King of the Universe would be pleased with it.
I’m only putting this in here as a reminder that Christians need to make sure that they’re not guilty of this same thing Catholics are doing, making God out to who they want Him to be and worshipping that image they have created in their mind instead of the Lord.
This is one of the reasons we want to go to an unreached people group, because we want to go were we "aren't building on another man's foundation" (Rom. 15:20). We want to share the Gospel with those who don't yet have distorted, culturally-informed view of Jesus. People here have the Bible in their language, and they have access to solid teaching/churches, if they want it. The people of the Finisterre Mountains don't have that...
Another colorful place in Phoenix!
I think of these spiritual analogies in everyday life, because I want to be thinking of the things of God wherever I am.
Of course, I DEFINITELY don’t do this perfectly.
I try to look at things like this picture above and just be thankful for beauty God has given us on this earth.
Even though Phoenix has some ghetto, it really does have awesome places like this.
Not only awesome places, but awesome people...
A fish tank at a restaurant where we had great fellowship!
Yes, I know I ended the caption of the last picture implying I was going to talk about people, and I know these are fish...
But I wanted a picture of these fish anyway, so I thought I’d use it as a reminder that, as well as going out to evangelize (fishing for people), we should be fellowshipping with other believers.
And that’s what we did at this restaurant!
It’s so encouraging to have such a solid church where we can have fellowship with other believers, especially when they invite us out to eat and we spend the entire time talking about the things of God! When you can see the joy of the Lord radiating on the faces of the people of God, it’s so awesome!!
It’s such a blessing to have like-minded believers who want to ponder the things of God, who desire to be edifying, who want to help others grow in their faith and want to grow in the faith themselves.
Speaking of growth...
WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING I’M SUPER EXCITED ABOUT?!?
So, this current Greek class has been extending a little bit, but it still ends by the end of this month.
Actually, by the time you’re reading this, we could be taking our final exam...AHH!
That’s not what I’m particularly excited about though...I’m excited about MACHAM!!
Here’s a long story as short as I can put it (so you’re not too bored):
I’m weird. I really like Greek. I mean...honestly...I LOVE Greek!! So, I was pretty sad about Greek ending...because Daniel can continue on with seminary training, but this is the last class for me...
...it was the end for me...
Greg, our good friend from Michigan, came to the rescue!!
He told me of a guy who’s holding a Greek class over Zoom for various people of different skills and walks in life, for free!!!! And this is the textbook for it!!
And the best part...is that Daniel is totally supportive of all of it!
Hold on...speaking of Daniel...let me brag on him for a bit...
Daniel completed the School of Biblical Evangelism!!
Look at Daniel!!
Have you heard of the School of Biblical Evangelism?
If not, you should consider it!!
It’s an online course from Living Waters that takes you through how it evangelize to the lost through various (101) lessons and bonus audio!
I haven’t given you enough links yet, so here’s the link:
Living Waters School of Biblical Evangelism:
Speaking of Living Waters...
Who do you see in this picture?
Yes, this picture shows a guy in all black talking to Ray Comfort (not shown)...but who else...?
Daniel and I!!!!
This picture (or more properly, this video, shown below) was taken when Daniel and I took our first trip to LA!!
You have to see the whole video, it’s so good!!
Here’s the link: Living Waters "6 Ways to Conquer Porn":
More about Daniel...
My little professional recorder!!
Curious about these photos?
No, this doesn’t have anything to do with Living Waters...it does have to do with the Gospel, though!
Our friend from church has been recording for an EP, and he wanted Daniel for a portion of it.
You’ll just have to wait and see... ;)
ALRIGHT, I need to rant for a minute.
You think this is funny?
I almost didn't want to put this in here, because it bothers me so much, but I thought it was necessary, to make a point.
Feminism is no joke. The first sin consisted of Eve taking fruit from the tree.
She was the one deceived. Her natural emotionally driven sinfulness contributed to our plunge into depravity (sin and death).
I could write a whole blog on this, but I doubt many would pay any attention if I did so...
So, instead of that, please read these verses:
"But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a wrongdoer. But women will be preserved through childbirth—if they continue in faith, love, and sanctity, with moderation." - 1 Tim. 2:12-15
Moral of the story?
Don't toss men aside...
Women are not always right.
Under-cover evangelism at GCU!
On a lighter note, want to hear a fun story about some evangelism we did at a local college?
We went to a college we had never been to before!
It's called Grand Canyon University (GCU), and it's called a "Christian" university, but it's definitely not.
I did have one conversation with a girl named Sarah (I talk to quite a bit of Sarah's...), and she did seem like she had genuine, saving faith, and that was encouraging! But, everyone else we talked to or encountered, were clearly secular.
One interesting conversation I had to note was with a girl who got offended by the pro-life message of the Gospel tract I was using.
It's not one of those tracts that has graphic images on it, or anything, it simply has a quote from Ronald Reagan on it that says basically that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Sometimes I forget the quote is there because it has the Gospel on the back, and it doesn't really talk much about abortion.
Anyway, I was going through the Law with this girl, and then she kind of interrupted and she asked me if I would keep the baby if I was raped. I said yes, and she walked away.
Pray that she is convicted of sin, and that she turns to Christ with whatever potentially hard situation she's going through!
Also...keep praying for Do...
Quick Do update from the team in PNG!!
Things are going well for the Do tribe in the Finisterre Mountains!!
As for the response of the Do tribe to the Gospel, they are continuing to grow and ask important questions about the things of God to the team.
Next steps include finishing the translation of the Bible (portions have been translated for the teaching lessons), more teaching for anyone with questions, and training men up to be elders in the newly formed church!!
Pray for them, for the other team that is just starting the process of language learning, for another team in Florida who wants to get to the field in the next year or so (more on that later), and for us as we continue to train so we can get there too!
We also have a huge surprise to share next month...
If you're interested in donating, please visit:
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, where they are members at Grace Bible Church in Tempe, AZ.