What have we been up to this month with our new child?
Resurrection Day with Taliah!
Hope your Easter went well earlier this month!
This picture was taken during some fellowship after church with church people.
It was such a blessing to have time with our church family, and to connect as a new family ourselves!
The fellowship we had was awesome; we even had the privilege to sing some hymns together to express our joy in Christ!
Taliah did awesome the whole time...she slept all through-out church... ;)
Some thoughts on the Easter season...
Did you do anything for Easter?
I'm sure that, if you did, you thought about the cross and about the sacrifice that Jesus gave to us through His death.
But isn't it terrible how everything is so glamorized? In this picture (to the left), you see a common image of "crosses" - a nice background with some fancifully designed crosses.
Obviously you know that this is not how the Roman cross Jesus died on looks, but do you ever think about the seriousness that Jesus Christ, who was completely sinless, took on all of YOUR personal sins? In the picture to the right, you see an illustration that is much more accurate...our lying, stealing, lusting, coveting, greed, and dirty thought life upon Jesus Christ.
Only God could die for sins.
And that's what we celebrated at church!
Our church explained the Gospel extremely well this Easter! Please look at this link for the sermon: www.gbcaz.org/sermon/04-04-sermon/
Taliah got to listen in too!! And she was great the entire time (she slept through it all...)
At our church, when there is a new life that the Lord has blessed a family of church members with, they ask the parents to hold the child up to display the blessing of new life on earth!
So that's what this picture is, a week before Easter Sunday!
Taliah at church - her first time!! She was only one week old!
Teaching Scriptural truths since birth...
It is our prayer that Taliah will understand Scriptural truths once she gets older...when she’s too old to sleep through church!
Our prayer is that this verse will be true for her:
2 Tim. 3:15, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
The reason I have a picture of the Ten Commandments is because, without a true knowledge of sin, there is no way to understand the truth of the Gospel.
Once we understand that we have broken God’s Law, it will make more sense that we need a Savior.
On that note, what evangelism have we been able to do?
Reagan tracts and diaper changes!
How have we had opportunities to share the gospel since Taliah has been born?
We have been blessed with unique opportunities!
Because we need to stop for frequent diaper changes, what better opportunity is there to leave tracts in public restrooms?
This awesome little holder that I carry Taliah in is also a great tract holder!
I’ll come back to evangelism, but how are we doing Greek nowadays?
We have been able to take a little break from Greek, but then to get right back to it!
it has been so great to work at our own pace and to study when Taliah is sleeping!
The class that Daniel and I have with Greg, our friend up in Michigan, has been really nice! It has been refreshing to be able to still connect with Greg, and to have a very flexible schedule.
The other class I am taking has been really fun, also! We have our first test today!
We will probably continue our studies until Daniel starts seminary in August.
Back to evangelism!!
This picture was taken on one of our first times out after I gave birth to Taliah!
We had a small group event where we went out to eat at in a nice town in the Phoenix area.
This led to some tract opportunities, and some great fellowship, not just our small group, but with a bunch of church people and all of their kids!
It’s so encouraging to have the body of Christ with you when you are trying to stay focused on Christ and share the Gospel!
Speaking of the body of Christ…
Daniel’s Expositor’s Application!
Daniel officially got his Expositor’s application in!
If you weren’t paying attention before, or this is the first blog post you’ve read, Expositor’s is an in-house church Seminary that Daniel plans to attend this Fall.
Completing this training should equip us with the skills we need for the mission field!
I just wanted to make a note about the title of this seminary. The whole idea of having such training is so that we can learn how to exegete the text of Scripture.
What does that mean?
Exegete means that we are to study the text of scripture and learn what it says, and then what it means, not to interpret it however we want to.
if we do that… maybe we won’t be as moody as the pictures below…
Crazy Taliah faces...
I just had to include these!
Taliah is so cute, and so crazy!
We are so thankful for the gift God has given us!
Her silliness is already a springboard for the Gospel, and I pray that it continues to be!
No matter where we end up…
What does our timeline look like?
Have you ever heard of New South Wales!?
I hadn’t, before Daniel!
it’s in Australia! But this picture was not taken in Australia, it was taken in a cool little antique shop in Phoenix!
I included it so that I could explain more about our timeline for those of you who are wondering what it might look like! Of course, it is the Lord that determines our steps, but if we were to say how it looks like things will go right now, this is what we have in mind.
The thought is: years of seminary, sometime in Australia before we go to Papua New Guinea, and then at least 10 years in the tribe.
In the tribe, we plan to learn the language, teach the tribal people literacy, present the Bible from creation to the cross, disciple the tribal people, and then plant a church that is self-sustaining.
It is our goal to work to this end, and not waste our time while we’re here in Phoenix on a goal that is in the future, when we are never promised tomorrow.
Redeeming the time at the mall!
Daniel, Taliah and I, having a great time at the mall!
I have been wanting to get out and share the gospel more, but with the heat of Arizona, and the short amount of free time we had, the mall seemed like the best idea!
These pictures show Taliah on one of her first times out of the house, ready to share the gospel!
We were able to go throughout the maul and place a lot of tracts in various places.
It was a huge blessing to be able to do that again!
Find the tract!
Do you see the tract in this picture? Here’s a clue, it looks like money sacrificed to idols...but it’s not!
I can’t believe that no one bats an eye at all of the idolatry that is around us!!
Daniel and I have been talking about statues like this, and we were contemplating that maybe this is what Paul meant when he mentioned not stealing money from idols!
The amount of new-age stories and ungodly, mystical spiritism seems to be getting stronger and stronger.
Pray that the gospel overcomes all of the darkness in our world, because Christ has already won the battle on the cross!
A reason to rejoice...
In the midst of the darkness of the world, God has given us life!
I included these pictures of Taliah, partially because they’re really cute, and partially to explain how important it is to remember the preciousness of human life.
Can you believe that this beautiful little girl was less than a month old when these pictures were taken?
She’s so alert!
She can express herself, she can sneeze...
I strongly encourage you to think about the preciousness of human life, and...of course...I have to leave you with a link.
Ray Comfort’s 180 movie is a must see, and a must re-watch:
Living Waters 180 Movie: https://youtu.be/7y2KsU_dhwI
Daniel sharing the Gospel!!
One major advocate for 180 is definitely Daniel!
This picture shows him getting ready to share the Gospel.
The website on his mask will take you to the 180 movie if you didn’t already click the link.
Daniel has been able to go to Mill Avenue since the birth of Taliah, along with doing evangelism other places! At Mill he has had not only great fellowship, but plenty of conversations.
He has been doing really well through everything, and he is getting more sleep because I’m getting stronger since delivery!
What about this little cute face?
How has Taliah been doing?
She is growing well (note the dried milk on her face).
Everything is going great with her health.
She is such a joy to be around, and I can’t wait for her to reach milestones as she gets older.
I can’t believe how much God has grown her so far!
Two growing Aussies...
Aren’t these funny?
A sweet friend from church gave them to us.
I included it to highlight the fact that I’m married to an Australian!!
No, I’m not gloating over that, I’m noting it to remind people reading this to think about things that happen around the world!
Did you know that Papua New Guinea is just above Australia?
Getting ready to read the Bible soon...
Taliah, the half-Australian, has the Bible written in her language. As noted above, Australia is right above Papua New Guinea - a country with hundreds of unreached people groups in it who don’t have the Bible in their language.
Obviously, Taliah can’t read this Bible, but I wanted to include it because this specific Bible means SO MUCH to me.
This is my Evidence Bible.
I know that it’s quite torn up, but that’s because I have used it for years in evangelism and personal study.
It’s from Living Waters, Ray Comfort’s ministry.
101 Questions and Objections to the faith, Springboards for Evangelism, hundreds of quotes from solid men of the faith, beliefs and Scriptural truth against Major World Religions, Creation/Evolution material...
...these are just a few of it’s many contents.
Here's a link for all that material for free: EvidenceBible: http://www.evidencebible.com/witnessingtool/browse.shtml#questionsobjections
It’s definitely worth buying on Living Waters website too!
Speaking of Bibles...
What is Daniel working so hard on?
He has been helping out at our church with a major project...
It has to do with a previous blog post I did which showed a HUGE slab with Scripture on it.
So...what is this?!?
You’ll have to wait until the next blog...
Taliah waiting to get to the store in the car.
I took these pictures with Taliah in the car on the way to the store!
She seems to like travel, usually calming down in the car (unless she’s hungry).
I could be wrong, but she seems to like being out and about doing things!
I’m so thankful for these times when she is content, and she makes it easy to focus on what we should be focused on - the Gospel - while still having her needs and safety in mind.
Ready for a game of “find that tract”?
Do you see the million dollar Bill tract?
Did you find it?
Oh? You think you found it now?
If you did find it… good job… because honestly… I can’t even find it!
I PROMISE IT’S THERE!
It’s somewhere on the left...
...somehow when I took the picture I must not have realized that it slipped all the way down.
BUT - I wanted to still include this picture just to again display how the world is so focused on New Age thinking that it comes across even in an amoral drink.
It’s so ridiculous!!
Taliah to the rescue!!
That’s why Taliah is here with her million dollar Gospel tracts to save the day!!
Okay...maybe she was just sleeping...
...but I thought she looked really cute in the store!
And you can see how wide awake she was in the car again, on a journey that could be a few minutes away or thousands of miles away...
Time for a PNG (Papua New Guinea) update!
Some people from the Do tribe!
How are the Do people doing?
The team is continuing discipleship with the people. Some are responding well and growing in the Lord, and others are still unsure of everything they believe.
Members from our church who are serving in Papua New Guinea with the Do tribe should be coming to town within the next few months (if it’s God’s will and nothing bad happens in terms of COVID restrictions)!
That will be an awesome blog once that comes out!
Continue to pray for the work of the Gospel to be done to the unreached!
A kind father and his sweet daughter saying goodbye...
Daniel and Taliah! <3
They look so much alike!!
I thought this picture was a nice closing pic for the blog, because they both look so cute!!
Please seriously consider the things written in this blog, and consider what Gospel truths mean for your own family, because I’m sure they’re precious to you like these two are extremely precious to me.
Time is also precious. Be careful to redeem it.
Eph. 5:16, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Interested in donating while there’s still time?
GUESS WHAT...WE HAVE A DAUGHTER?
This is our little blessing from the Lord - Taliah Grace Bruce
She is an absolute joy in our lives! Don't worry, I'll back up and give more details on her...
Yes...I've been pregnant for almost the ENTIRETY of writing this blog! We found out a few months after our wedding in May!
And, I had been SUPER sick through most of it, including both trips to California!!
But the Gospel is sustaining, and I have been completely honest about my joy and attitude about all the adventures we have had!
I wanted the focus of this blog to be on the Gospel first and foremost. (Also, personally, I would be really annoyed with a blog that rants about pregnancy; it REALLY helps to get my mind off of the sicknesses I had through focusing on serving the Lord presently, and preparing for parenting!
As much as I want to go on and on about our little girl, I have some other things to share first. We have had a full month! She didn't come until the end...so you will have to wait (JUST LIKE I HAD TO WAIT FOR SO LONG)...
Beginning of the month: Daniel and I in Prescott, Arizona.
Since it had been a while that Daniel and I have had the time to go on a day trip, when the timing worked out, we headed up to Prescott for the day!
Prescott is about two hours north of Phoenix.
As you can see, it has beautiful scenery, and it has a good amount of people as well!
It's probably one of my favorite places in Arizona now, for reasons you'll see below.
Here's the main place where we got to share the Gospel...
At a courthouse?
We didn't go IN the courthouse to share the Gospel, but we did get to talk with some people around this area.
One notable conversation I had was with a girl named Cameron, who was walking along this courthouse area with her friend.
Cameron's friend seemed pretty mocking and antagonistic to the Gospel at first, but Cameron listened. Her friend told me she was a flaming homosexual, and a liar, among other things, before I really asked her much of anything. She walked away, but Cameron stayed and continued the conversation up to the Gospel. She told me she had tried to kill herself before, and she seemed to understand the seriousness that you could die at any moment. She took the tract, a 'What Time is Purple booklet', and a Living Waters movie gift card, saying she would look into the stuff I gave her.
I was shocked that Cameron stayed to talk with me after her friend left.
Pray for Cameron and for her friend!
You can also pray for some tracts we left in a really old-looking building...
The inside of an old post office (still in operation) in Prescott.
I found a plaque that said this building was erected in the 1800's.
Isn't that cool?
We thought the place needed a little Ronald Reagan...
Can you spot the Reagan tracts in two of the pictures?
These are really cool tracts, by the way.
They have the Gospel on them, as well as an American flag, a picture of Reagan, and an anti-abortion message on them.
The front of the card is a quote from Reagan that says, "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
I can only pray our little girl appreciates that quote as she grows to maturity...
Keep reading to see what else we explored in Prescott...
A better view of the surrounding area of the courthouse...
Here's another side of the courthouse.
I put this in here as a separate picture so I could explain more about what's so nice about this park.
Because of a sidewalk around the courthouse and some nice little shops surrounding the place, people tend to causally walk around this area without much going on.
This is what makes it so ideal when we talk with people!
In the photo above, you might also notice some writing in the pavement in front of the big statute...
Here it is a little closer...
Can you make out any of the writing?
It's a timeline, starting with "In the beginning" and then going up to the late 1900's.
I know it's probably super hard to read, but I figured the important part was the beginning of it, shown on the bottom of the left hand side picture.
Suddenly, "in the beginning"...a big bang happened...and...all of a sudden...the next point of the timeline shows 1581.
I wonder if anything happened in-between that time...
I'm pointing this out because I found it ironic that they used the very words that God used to start the Bible and then they put it with a non-sensical explosion thing. It just shows how man can't make sense of anything without the Word of God.
No kidding...man can't make sense of anything without the Word of God...
Time for another round of...
...spot the Reagan!!
See if you can find the tract in each of these pictures. (If they're too small, try clicking or touching the pictures to make them bigger).
These pics were taken inside one of those little shops I mentioned.
Does it remind you of any previous blogs...such as...I don't know...the one about Sedona??
Daniel had asked me if I wanted to go into any of the little shops before we left.
I'm not really into shopping and such things, but the town seemed pretty reserved and friendly, so I figured their little book store might have some nice, Christian books...
...but I'm SO glad Daniel was kind enough to ask me, and sweet enough to endure the some time in there with me.
Because it's SO exciting to put some form of unadulterated truth of the Gospel to shine in places that are SO dark.
On a lighter note...
An update on further preparation for the mission field...
Update on what's been going on in Greek!
My Greek class (the new one I just started) is absolutely amazing!
The students are great! One woman taking it is pregnant too, and we are already starting to become friends!
We are using the book I shared in the last blog, and the book in this picture is a suppliment to that book.
In addition to that, instead of fully stopping Greek with our pastor, Smedly, he offered to let us continue!
He offered to give us the resources to sharpen Greek skills with materials from a "Greek Readings" class!
That's perfect, because I LOVE it, and because it should help Daniel retain what he has learned thus far in class until he gets to seminary (Lord willing) in August!
Daniel sharing the Gospel on Mill Ave with while others from our church witnessed to others.
Pray for Lee, Krin, and Marecalla.
Lee was very animated and he talked with our friends for probably an least a good hour.
Daniel talked with Krin for about the same amount of time. Praying that conviction gets through through some drunkenness.
I had a great conversation with Marecalla.
She listened to the Law and the Gospel, admitting her sin openly and honestly. She then started crying, I think under conviction, and she said she couldn’t handle it anymore. It was too much all at once for her. She knew she was living in sin. Pray she is truly convicted and that the Holy Spirit converts her!
We have had some great nights on Mill Ave...and I'm so thankful that our little surprise came within about 24-hours of being there one Thursday night!
Ready to see her?
This was our last time at small group before she was born.
Our shirts have our church's mission logo on them!
We were so excited to be matching, and to be together, and we both knew what was coming!
But first! A quick Do update...
Zach, a missionary sent out by our church to reach the Do tribe.
The Gospel has been preached in Do!
Discipleship, church planting, and translation!
In this picture, Zach is discussing translation of key biblical terms into the Do language with the team.
Such a careful task!!
Some of the Do tribe, ones who graduated from their literacy classes, complete with their primers!!
One of the steps in the process of evangelizing tribal people is teaching them literacy.
This picture shows some tribal students who are now able to read in their own language!
It's so exciting because this is a huge stepping stone for the Gospel to get to them.
I LOVE the way this picture looks, like a classroom setting, but even MORE exciting!!
I CAN'T WAIT TO HOMESCHOOL!!
I know there are some steps before homeschooling though...
You need to start out with pictures!
These are some of the pictures that the Do team has to show the tribal people what biblical concepts look like.
The people learn better through the pictures, and it helps clarify to them concepts they might not understand otherwise.
Continue to pray that the people are truly regenerated by the Spirit and that they understand the Gospel in its fullness.
Now...related to that...
...it becomes a problem in the tribe when you're trying to teach/translate concepts that the people are unfamiliar with, but the more pictures you have (in various formats), the better...
Multi-use Bible animals book!
That's why I'm so excited about this little book!
This book is a little touch and feel book that will help our daughter better understand the original context of Scriptural animals from an early age, as well as teach her facts about what she needs to learn regarding animals!
ALSO, this very book could be used in the tribe!
Making the sure tribal people understand, for example, that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, is CRUCIAL to understanding the depths of the Gospel.
We don't want to cut corners with our tribal teaching. We have heard of substitutions being made for concepts, such as, the "pig" of God referring to Christ, because they don't have lambs over there.
I don't feel like I need to explain too much how confusing that would be to a tribal person, not to mention when you get into teaching animal sacrifices and such things...
Just because the people don't know something, doesn't make them stupid. I can think of so many things the tribal people would need baby picture books to explain to us Westerners.
And I'm so excited at the thought of them teaching our daughter useful things she would never learn through living in America her whole life.
OKAY...you can see her again now...
Here she is!!!!
Taliah Grace Bruce!!
She was born last week at 12:07am Arizona time.
Everything about her delivery was normal. She came out healthy and adorable!!
She looks a lot like Daniel to me.
SHE'S SO CUTE!
Living Waters for kids!
I know Taliah isn't old enough to read yet...don't worry...
...but I'm so excited when the day comes where she can comprehend the Gospel!
That's why we think this book, Way of the Master for kids, will be helpful for her to understand biblical concepts as she grows!
We are so excited to be able to have constant ministry on our hands at all times now, along with our already constant ministry of marriage and our other responsibilities.
I know we have a ton of work (and not much sleep) on our plate, but God has blessed us so much this far, and every day He continues to do so!
More pictures of our sweet one!
Isn't her face just the best?
Taliah has quite a personality already.
Sometimes she's calm and normal like her mature father, Daniel...
...but most of the time she's CRAZY and full of energy....
...not that I'm crazy or anything...
Little outfits for her in the near future!
Aren't these adorable?
We got this really cool gift opportunity from when I did my first ultrasound, and here is the result - self-designed little outfits for Taliah!
I can't wait until she can wear these to church, and out in public so that people might ask us questions about them...
...and if people don't, I'm sure they still will be interested in her, so we might just tell them anyway...
Okay, okay...I'll let you see her again...
Why the name Taliah Grace?
Wondering about her name?
Taliah in Hebrew (or Arabic), means "lamb" or "dew from Heaven".
In Australian aboriginal (she is an Aussie...), it means "by the waters".
The way Daniel says it is the best!!
So...in other words...Living Waters!
In all honestly though, we picked that name for many reasons, one of the main reasons being that the Gospel is literally all-sustaining, more than physical water can ever be.
And it's God's grace that reminds us of that - Taliah Grace!
Speaking of some water...
One more quick thing to highlight...
Answers in Genesis!
Daniel and I are so excited to teach our daughter the truth of biblical Creation from the beginning!
This book looks SUPER helpful in explaining the Flood, and how it is a picture of the Gospel!!
Alright, one more picture of Taliah...
Our little girl!
Say bye to Taliah!
Thanks for reading this!
As for prayer requests, please pray that Taliah's health continues to be good, that we are good stewards of her, treating her rightly and biblically, loving and teaching her as we should, and that she eventually comes to saving faith through the transforming work of the Spirit.
Also, keep praying for Do, for the other works in progress in the Finisterre Mountains, and for us to recover well, continuing in the work of evangelism and ministry without growing weary!
Okay...maybe now that I haven't bombarded you with links, you've seen our daughter's cuteness...you'll want to donate: https://www.finisterrevision.org/donate/
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.