Jesus Is My Superhero

By Guest Blogger Susan Markloff, C.E. Mission Weeks Assistant Director

I’ve always been what you would call a nerd. I’m all about sci-fi, fantasy, and superheroes. My other fantastical loving friends and I have had our fair share of arguments over who our favorite superhero is and why. And these aren’t just small conversations; they’re hour long debates that go into not only the abilities of our favorite superheroes, but also their morality and general ties to humanity that lead them to the status of “superhero”.

It’s conversations like this that have made me ask the question of myself: What more could Jesus do to be my favorite superhero?

Talk about a sucker punch to the gut.

Here I am sitting debating with friends about why Batman is far superior as a superhero than Iron Man or Superman, when the truest definition of a superhero sits in the midst of the conversation and never gets mentioned. Why? Because he doesn’t have graphic novels that have sold in the millions? Because his stories aren’t “relevant” or “epic” enough for our visual craving minds? Because it’s cliché? Because if I say Jesus is my favorite superhero, people would roll their eyes (and maybe even decide to not be my friend anymore)?

I mean, yeah, Jesus doesn’t have heat vision. He doesn’t wear spandex and a cape. He doesn’t have a utility belt and he doesn’t drive a fancy car that has rockets strapped to the back. He doesn’t have a suit of armor or a hammer. He doesn’t turn into a giant hulking rage monster.

But y’know what? He never needed any of that. It’s kinda fantastical if you think about it. He was a nondescript person. A simple carpenter from a no-name, tiny town. A blip on the radar. He wasn’t even given a proper place to be born, instead legitimately only having animals around him as he entered this world. And what did he do?

He healed the lame, the leper, the sick. He brought the dead back to life with a simple command. He made food miraculously feed more mouths than it should have (and had more to spare). He spoke wisdom and changed lives with a simple sentence. He saw the worst of a person and still chose to see them with love. He punched death in the face and gave Satan the smack down of the ages.

Our superhero took imprisonment, lashes, a slow walk to death’s mountain, and a humiliating, criminal’s death on a cross. He took all of that, all of the things we should have endured, and took that burden for us. And then he conquered it. Not for his own sake, but for ours.

It kinda makes it stupid that I’ve never had the courage to say Jesus is my superhero.

The 28th World Christian Endeavor Convention EXPERIENCE

by guest blogger, Emmanuel Adomako

Hi, my name is Emmanuel Adomako from Ghana, West Africa. I am a graduate student at Lancaster Bible College/Capital Seminary and Graduate School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

To put words to thoughts in describing my personal experience at the 28th World Christian Endeavor Convention, I would say, “Truly, the time to Open Up and Go Out is now!” Although the World Christian Endeavor Convention has been going on for many years now, this was my first experience attending one. It was a blessing to serve as a speaker and small group leader during the event held in San Diego, California, July 25-29, 2018.

One reminiscence moment of the convention that will stay with me for a long time in ministry is when I literally saw “heaven opened” during worship time and felt the kind of hope and joy that is found in Christ alone, raining over God’s people like the dew of heaven. Yes, my heart was filled with inexplicable joy when I saw delegates from all walks of life singing Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch’s song: “I’ll fly away. To that home on God’s celestial shore. I’ll fly away. I’ll fly away, oh glory. I’ll fly away in the morning. When I die, Hallelujah by and by I’ll fly away.” Instantly I knew with every fiber of my being that the banner of our Lord Jesus is rising among His people across the nations of the world with no fear, no regret, and no shame and with no apology. We are standing for the cause of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with no shame.

Now, by a careful observation, I realized that God is using Christian Endeavor around the globe as a discipleship tool and a strategic catalyst to bring young people into a relationship with Jesus, build them up with the Word, and release them out to fulfill their unique Kingdom mandate. A scripture that best describes my kind of experience during the convention is Matthew 28:19-20. In this passage, we are inspired, encouraged and charged to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (NKJV). In the last two verses of Matthew, Jesus instructs His disciples to carry on the work He began in Israel. They are to go throughout the world just as we were equipped and encouraged to share the word of God beyond our small group meetings, workshops and open-air night gatherings at the convention. We are to share the word of God to “all nations” and spread the truth of His good works so that everyone may know and be saved. The last phrase in the scripture reminds me of our General Secretary’s message titled: “Go Out Now!” because “I am with you always, to the end of the age” says Jesus and preached by Dr. Dave Coryell. This is tremendously comforting to me as a child of God and a young Christian leader who is currently preparing for the Gospel ministry in Africa. I feel super-excited that God willing, in the summer of 2019, I will be heading back home with my family to start and lead a new wave of Christian Endeavor in Ghana for God’s glory. Yes, it’s refreshing to know that no matter where God leads us, we will never have to doubt that His presence is and will be with us.

Dr. Dave Coryell with Emmanuel at the
World C.E. Convention.

In light of my experience, I would like to intentionally pause and say thank you to Madam Etta Barner who generously and sacrificially supported me and a host of other Christian Endeavor volunteers to serve at the convention. Also, I would like to say thank you to my professor, friend, and mentor in Christ, Dr. Dave Coryell for inviting me and stretching me to think and live biblically as I serve Christ in the church and society.

Overall, the 28th World Christian Endeavor Convention in San Diego, California was inspiring, encouraging, educational and practical. There was no doubt that God was present with His people in the midst of all the high and low steams. I left inspired, encouraged and better equipped to lead. I would like to personally challenge all young Christian leaders to attend the next conference in Germany, 2022. I definitely plan on being there again to serve the body of Christ in whatever capacity as the Lord would use me for His glory. Blessings!

Are You Living on the Edge . . . Or Taking Up Too Much Space?!?

3 Ways to Evaluate and Act

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director of Christian Endeavor USA

My kids have endured learning various leadership and life lessons from me. The one I call my second Leadership Law is, “If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!” Translation: look to God for His leading and go after it with all your might. Here are 3 ways to evaluate where you are and act!

#1 See a Better Future

While recently on an equipping trip to Nepal, I was able to hear stories about people who have trekked the Himalayas, the world’s largest mountain range. No one wants to be the person who dies or experiences “extremis”, a condition where the body is taken to extreme circumstances and flirts with death. However, this is a distinct possibility for people who choose to make the climb to Mount Everest or the world’s other highest peaks. I learned that people in extremis have a far greater chance of survival when their horizons are formed of projected images that their mind can envision, instead of being limited by what they can physically see. By believing that a better future is possible, a person can be pulled through their current challenging circumstances. Now, before people write me off as a “self-help” guru, pause and realize what we know as Christians. The future that we can envision is promised. We are promised eternity with God in heaven with the inexpressible love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are even told by God in Ephesians 3 that He will do more than we can hope or imagine through the Holy Spirit’s power. This requires us to imagine a better future for God’s glory. Are you living a life on this kind of “edge” or are you taking up space with everyone else? People taking up space are seldom encouraging. The negative news causes them to be swept along towards doom and gloom instead of remembering the promises of God and the calling we have as believers in Christ. Live on the edge!

#2 Life’s events do not surprise God.

Whether it’s news of deteriorating health for yourself or those close to you, job loss, relationship challenges or financial woes, God is not surprised. Natural disasters, political turmoil, shortages of important resources: God is not caught off guard! The question is how will you react to the news? You can shriek and cry out in woe. You can also join the people who will line up to blame or complain about the situation. However, you can also trust that God is in control with full knowledge of the situation. The way to the edge is through trusting God and that He is in control.

#3 God brings good out of challenging circumstances.

Across the pages of the Bible, in worldwide events and even in the simple day to day, we can see God’s power working. As humans we grieve with discouraging news. Remember, in John 11:35, even Jesus wept when he heard his good friend Lazarus died! However, the God that grieved for Lazarus . . . ALSO BROUGHT HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD! God can heal the lame, bring sight to the blind, rain down manna from heaven, and you better believe that He can take your challenges and turn them into blessings. Moving from taking up too much space to living on the edge does not ignore your emotions. Living on the edge means being real with your emotions while maintaining an expectancy that God is going to work.

Action

Has complacency crept into your life? Evaluate and Act! Into the lives of those you love or those you serve? Evaluate and Act! See a better future, know that your situation does not surprise God, and expect Him to bring good out of your challenging circumstances. Peace!

TWO ANSWERS THAT TRANSFORM

EASTER THOUGHTS ON JOHN 10 AND GALATIANS 2 & 3

By Bruce McMordie, former Member of the C.E. Board of Directors

Who killed Jesus of Nazareth? Who died with Him on Good Friday? Correctly answering these questions will transform Easter and your life.

Think for a moment about Jesus’ death. Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross where He died. Pilate unleashed those soldiers on Jesus. The crowd cried “Crucify Him!” This prompted Pilate’s action. Pharisees and Sadducees incited that crowd. Judas betrayed Jesus into the custody of those conspiring leaders. My sins and your sins inspired God the Father’s just wrath that filled the “bitter cup” Jesus embraced when he yielded to Judas and his mob. So, who killed Jesus?

Everyone is complicit in the death of Jesus, but the correct answer is no one killed Jesus! “No one takes [my life] from me,” Jesus says. “I lay it down of my own accord.” Jesus is Life incarnate. No one can deliver a fatal blow to Life!

God the Son gave up heaven to be Jesus of Nazareth. He became a man like us, finite and limited by time and place. On Good Friday, Jesus gave up the last remaining essence of His heavenly nature. Having suffered every last bit of God’s wrath for our sins, Jesus said, “It is finished,” bowed his head and gave up his spirit. He laid down His life.

Now, consider who died with Jesus. Two thieves died with Jesus that day. More importantly, the power of the Law died with them. From Sinai to Calvary the Law rightly judged every man, woman and child guilty of sin and condemned them to death. Then on Good Friday, the Law cursed an innocent man. Leviticus declares, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” In the moment the Law cursed Jesus of Nazareth, its power was broken. Christ redeemed all who believe in Him from the curse of the law and gave us the Holy Spirit! The power of the Law died that day.

I also died that day, so did you, if you’re a Christian. Put yourself in this passage. “I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Every believer died with Christ that day.

Jesus took His life back again at His resurrection and all of His people came to new life with Him! “We were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4).

All this happened because Jesus laid down His life. No one took His life. All who trust Him died that day as well. The Law’s power over us died too. And all who died with Him have been raised with Him! Walk in the glory of your new life in Him! Happy Easter!

4 Easy Ways YOU Can Help to Make C.E. Better

by guest blogger Colleen Ossman

Hi everyone! Our golf outing is coming up soon. Now, don’t click off and stop reading just because you don’t golf. Ha, caught you, didn’t I? Last year we had a record (for us) 87 golfers at our 6th annual tournament. SEVEN of those people golfed all six years, and FIVE golfers were there five of the six years. Our goal for this year is 100 golfers, but Honeybrook Golf Club will allow up to 144. So, how can YOU help to make C.E. better?

1. Would you be willing to print this half page flyer to put in your church bulletin, hang on your church bulletin board, or the community bulletin board of your local post office or gym or YMCA to help us find more golfers? We host some fun competitions and hole-in-one prizes, including a shot at $10,000 on the 10th hole. And the dinner after golfing is always superb!

2. Do you own a business? Or know someone who does and might like to try a different way of promoting their company to a new audience? We have six levels of business sponsor options. Their financial support will help us provide quality work camps for teens & their youth groups, as well as encouraging churches to unleash teens for leadership. The business partner will also receive promotion with the hole sign, name on our website, in emails & social media, as well as the program each golfer receives.

3. Are there any creative ideas out there for prizes and door prizes for the golfers? Can you donate a movie themed gift basket? Gift cards from chain restaurants would also be great (our golfers travel from Lansdale and Philadelphia to the east, to Lebanon and Chambersburg to the west). Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Penn State items are popular with many of our golfers.

4. Do you have connections with businesses who could donate snacks or coupons, or even their company brochures for goody bags? As noted above, our goal is 100 golfers this year, so please supply at least that many items. We give goody bags to our event volunteers and staff too. If we end up with any extras, we give them to our summer staff and volunteer site directors at C.E. Mission Weeks.

All the info you need to help make C.E. better through this event is found at bit.ly/Golf4CE or you can contact us at golf [at] ceworks.faith with any questions. Our deadline for golfer registrations and donations is April 18.

Thank you for helping C.E. provide a great tournament, but also for helping us to Inspire, Equip and Encourage churches to Biblically develop youth as Christ-centered leaders.

Solo No More

by Susan Markloff, Mission Weeks Assistant Director for Christian Endeavor U.S.A.

Every year at Mission Weeks, we strive to choose a theme that is relevant to youth, and can be an easy reminder for both campers and staff of what the Lord will teach us during our time at camp. My dad, Paul Markloff, is the one who has had the great insight into our themes the last two years. He likes to talk about how he came up with Solo No More, because it was in a place where Jesus can sometimes be absent from our minds.

In August of 2018, we as a family found ourselves in San Diego, California for World Christian Endeavor’s convention. By the end of it all, we decided to head north and join my brother and his family in Disneyland for a day to unwind from the marathon to California. While walking around Tomorrowland, there were posters and banners advertising the new Han Solo movie, the word “Solo” plastered everywhere.

As we traversed the crowds, my dad honed in on the word “solo” and began to think about how contrary that is for a Christian. We aren’t solo. We’re anything but solo. When we become believers in Jesus and saved by Grace, we instantly are brought into the family of God, adopted and rescued. For the rest of our lives, we have a defender, helper, healer, Almighty God at our side through all of life’s trials and tribulations. My dad turned to me and said, “Hey, what do you think of ‘Solo No More’ for our camp theme next year?”

We chose Romans 8:38-39 as our theme verses; “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Take a look at what’s referenced there in the “Things that can’t take us away from Jesus” category. It’s a stream of consciousness kind of list, where the Paul starts listing things only to go, “Y’know what, it’s pretty much everything in all of creation. None of it can take you away from God’s love. Not even death.” Mic drop.

This is such a comfort! Do you know how often I mess up and cave to sin? Daily! Whether it’s my actions, my words, or my thoughts, it’s a good day if I’ve only sinned once. And none of the days behind me or before me (that will undoubtedly be littered with my failures in life), none of those could make God not love me because of my faith in Jesus. Does that mean I’m going to skate through life because God “has” to forgive me?

Not a million years.

I refuse to let Satan get the better of me and just sit there and wallow in my sin. As though my sin were a muddy puddle, I won’t continue to let the mud and grime soak into my clothing and skin when I fall down. Instead I will quickly get back to my feet and run to my Father for help. And I know that He will receive me with open arms and swat Satan away like the bug that he is.

We all have this blessed assurance, and I cannot wait to explore the theme of Solo No More at Mission Weeks this year.

Three Things Christians Can Learn From Muslims: A Trip to Pakistan and Back

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

I recently returned from Pakistan. There has been great discord between Christians and Muslims because of our differences and our history with each other. I thought my readers would enjoy a positive spin on the relationship so below you will read three insights Christians can gain from Muslims before I offer one parting word.

Insight #1: Generosity

I had numerous encounters with Muslims during my stay in Pakistan. Since this is the country’s dominant religion and the country’s name is “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” you should not find this surprising. Uber drivers, hotel workers, vendors and people serving at tourist attractions tended to be Muslim people. When introduced to these people I was unsure how they would respond to a tall, white, bald foreigner. First I met a family that owns several manufacturing plants including denim clothing, rice mills, bottled water and confectioneries. Following my tour I was given numerous pairs of jeans, boxes of candy, water and many smiling selfie pictures. When I inquired with my host his comment was, “In my experience the Muslims out-give the Christians.” Another day I met a Pediatrician from a local hospital. He learned about medical missions being run by a local Christian pastor. After going through a screening process he began volunteering his time a few times a year to do eighteen hour days, seeing one hundred children patients, and writing numerous prescriptions. This young Muslim doctor was willing to do this alongside Christians because people needed help. A generous spirit runs through the hearts of many Muslim people.

Insight #2: Devotion

The news media has taught us that Muslims are all fanatics lurking at our doors waiting to bomb our public places and fire machine guns into the air. My experience in Pakistan was that Muslim people are very kind and devoted people. Please understand, I believe their devotion is misplaced. They pray five times a day and carry out other behaviors because they believe they need to keep the vengeance of Allah at bay. However, it was encouraging to converse with a taxi driver who gave all the praise to his god for providing his taxi. He also discussed how after he dropped me off that he would be pulling into a parking spot so he could do his afternoon prayers. I silently prayed for this man because I realized that a proper understanding of God could make this devoted person a great asset for Christ and the Church. It is imperative that we look at Muslim people as people. Yes, there are fanatical Muslims just as their are fanatical Christians, but the people I met were kind and devoted to the god that they know.

Insight #3: Innovation

Many people believe that anyone living in a country ending in the letters “stan” must wear a turban, veil, ride a camel, and daily avoid dust storms while giving the middle name Ishtar or Muhammad to all of their children. This is so far from the truth! While I was in Pakistan I walked through three story malls with hundreds of brands. I sat in a food court with most of the fast food chains from the USA. I went through a store that would have rivaled any of the Walmart, Target, or Costco superstores in my home country. Along with this there are trampoline places, mini-golf courses, large cineplexes, amusement parks and more. I walked through a seven story electronics mall with 900 computer stores. Yes, contrary to your thinking, these people communicate with smart phones and not just carrier pigeons and falcons! Our media has caused us to have a false impression of the innovation of places like Pakistan. I am interested to see where this innovation takes them in the next ten years.

Final Thoughts

Now, before I receive countless emails and “unfriend” requests, let me part with this statement. Muslim people do not know the way to God. They believe by doing enough good things that their god, Allah, will be appeased. We worship different gods, but our approach should follow 1 Peter 3:15 where we are always prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ and we will share this with gentleness and respect. Pray for Muslims to have visions of Jesus in their dreams. I have one friend that came to Christ in this way from a Muslim background. May God grow us in our ability to love all people as God’s creatures and then lovingly direct them toward Him with our attitudes, words and actions.

Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 2: Three Insights

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

*If you didn’t get a chance to see last week’s blog, check that out first for a better understanding of this blog.

While in Kathmandu, Nepal, I observed individuals practicing their spiritual rituals in hopes that doing just enough of the right things in the right way, they could appease their god.  Looking back, here are three insights from that experience.

Insight #1

I have been thankful for God’s grace displayed through the death of His Son and co- equal Jesus Christ since I was a boy. I have grown in my understanding of what it meant for Jesus to come, die, rise again, and prepare to come again, but the fact that grace is integral to Christ cannot be avoided. Ephesians 2 says we are saved by grace through faith, not by all the stuff that we do! No amount of chanting, spinning, painting or jumping is going to bring me closer to perfection. Thank you God for your grace through Jesus Christ that saves those who call upon your name!

Insight #2

I do not have to “Do” in order to meet God, but it is wrong to think that once I know Christ that I am supposed to do nothing! My love for Christ compels me to act. I do not need to scrub lime on an ungodly altar, but I do need to live my life in a way that the world can see me and fully recognize that there is something different about me.

Insight #3

Finally, I came to a much clearer understanding of Acts 19. In this chapter we read about Paul’s work building the church and God’s Kingdom. Miracles occurred and people began coming to know Jesus. Demetrius, a Silversmith, recognized the economic impact Paul’s ministry was beginning to have on their business. People traveled great distances to worship at Artemis’ temple on of the Wonders of the World. Silversmiths made a great profit by fashioning idols and artifacts required for this pagan worship. Suddenly, Paul’s work was bringing the worship of Artemis into question which also threatened their livelihood. Walking around the Boudha Stupa, I was able to picture Acts 19. What would happen to Nepal and specifically Kathmandu if Buddhism was exposed as a truly empty religion? Poor vendors would go out of business. Revenue from tourism would dry up. A country with little income would face an even more impoverishing situation.

Good news! After a week in Nepal and many great conversations in the morning with my waiter, I learned he was a Christian converted by travelers a few weeks before. I was able to guide him in how to read the Bible and connect him with a contact who began taking him to church.

In the Land of many gods- there is still only one God whose grace guides us, gives us life, gives us hope, and surprises us when we least expect. God, YOU, are the one and only true God!

Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 1: Observations

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

Stories. I thought they were just stories. Tales have been told in books, movies and legends of men and women reaching mid-life crisis only to part with worldly possessions in order to journey to Kathmandu, Nepal or neighboring Tibet, China. The goal is “finding oneself” or discovering some inner peace that had remained unapproachable or at best impossible to attain in the western rat race.

I rose early and ate breakfast. I had an outstanding conversation with an especially joyful waiter at the hotel restaurant before heading into a temple touring day. Each temple had just a few westerners that matched every stereotype my brain had been trained to picture. The majority of the people, however, were sojourners from countries where the Hindu or Buddhist religions are strong. My experience at the Boudha Stupa was especially telling. The Boudha Stupa is a World Heritage site and is the destination point for Buddhists wanting to trek to their most sacred site in the world. I paid my fare (which was significantly elevated for foreigners) and walked toward the large round white structure with eyes painted on top.

I observed a huge festival in process. People were going around Stupa in a clockwise fashion which was apparently important to know. Hands were reaching out to touch and turn numerous prayer wheels that were inset into the temple walls. At a key point I found an entrance into an inner temple ring. I walked through the entrance and saw where lime could be purchased to rub on the temple’s inner ring wall. Just beyond the lime shop I came upon the place where I could pay to write my prayers on colored flags that would be pulled on a string close to the eyes of the Stupa. Large vats with incense were waiting to be purchased so these pungent leaves could be burned in temple fire places for a small fee. I began to walk the inner ring, whispering the name “Jesus” toward any person who walked by.

Reaching the Temple front I looked down upon a special section set apart for people to do spiritual exercises. When I say “exercises” I mean it! Yes, a few could be seen with criss crossed legs and a meditative pose. The ones who surprised me were the ones who were doing what I could best describe as a spiritual burpee (burpees are physical exercises used for intense training). People were going up and down, up and down, up and down.

Physical posture, breathing incense, spreading lime, prayer pennants, spinning prayer wheels with incantations along with groans and moans by monks in orange robes made for quite an experience. Religion- the hope that doing just enough of the right things in the right way while making a god appeased, approachable or even, attainable in a microscopic way. People go through all these steps and celebrate with exuberance when they claim a minuscule amount of calm.

How is the way of Jesus more fulfilling? Be on the lookout next week for part 2 of this blog, which will explore three insights from my observations in Nepal.

CE Partner Update – Nepal and Pakistan Trip 2019

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

On January 28th, I left for a sixteen day trip to Nepal and Pakistan. This was my first trip to both of these Asian countries. I thank the Lord for this experience!

Nepal– A mountainous country with an estimated thirty million people, Nepal has world fame for its temples. People from Hindu and Buddhist religions make pilgrimages to these temples while others look to trek the mighty Himalayas. While the Nepalese government says less than one percent claim to be Christian, rough estimates within the country put the number closer to ten percent or three million people. Proselytizing is illegal under the current government. Six months from now changes could occur which will open the doors for the gospel to spread and Christian Endeavor to make significant advances. Please pray for God’s hand to direct the governmental affairs in Nepal!

After a day for my body to adjust to new time zones, we toured the greater Kathmandu area. Seeing some of the world famous temples left me even more grieved for the souls of those who trek to these places. They try to do the correct incantations, burn the proper incense, write their prayers on flags, spin every prayer wheel, scrub lime on the walls, and do the exact spiritual positions for the recommended amount of time . . . all in hopes of capturing a little peace. I am so thankful for God’s grace through Christ and that our lives can be free from doing the right “works” in order to have hope.

Churches meet on Saturday in Nepal. We enjoyed a two hour worship time where I shared the morning message. After a short snack we gathered for a two hour worship time with the Christian Endeavor group where I was also the featured speaker. The next morning we began a two day Leadership Academy. The event was attended by close to sixty people representing fifty pastors and youth workers from the 52 churches connected with Christian Endeavor in Nepal. There are great plans for additional churches to be planted in the next ten years. This step would further open the doors for the spread of the Kingdom and the use of Christian Endeavor across Nepal. Two strong translators were identified to assist with taking core C.E. materials and preparing them in the Nepali language. One person was also identified to join the C.E. Under Thirty Advisory Collective (a group of people under thirty from countries around the world that advises the WCE board and executive council.)

Pakistan– Nearly two hundred million Pakistanis live to the Northwest of India. I learned how Pakistan and Bangladesh had once been part of a British colony that was connected to India. Today there are many encouraging economic signs. Large malls with brands from around the world are located around Lahore. Because so many clothing items are manufactured within the country, the cost of these items is considerably lower (often times only 20-30%) than the prices I am used to seeing in the USA. The government broadcasts that Christianity represents a fraction of the population but it is believed that a more accurate number would be five percent.

Our first three days were invested helping me understand Pakistan during the day before participating in worship celebrations and conventions in the evening. People were incredibly generous and incredibly kind no matter where I traveled. I had the opportunity to tour a denim factory that develops 2.4 million clothing units annually. They showed me every step in the manufacturing process before giving me some complimentary jeans. I later learned that the owners were all Muslim people. A few days later I met a Pediatrician that has done several eighteen hour medical mission days with my host, Pastor Ashknaz Silas. During these days over one hundred patients are examined and given prescription medications. This doctor is a Muslim man doing humanitarian aid work with Christian leaders because of the great need.

The next two days were the C.E. Leadership Academy. I was thrilled that fifty church pastors were registered for the event. A total of over eighty people attended the equipping sessions with many people being youth or young adult age. Pastors do not receive any salary in Pakistan. All of them maintain other jobs as well as having families. The Academy, especially Day two, had an enthusiastic audience with hunger to learn and grow. I received word that a Saturday night C.E. worship experience will be launched in the next few weeks. It will be a collaborative church effort where numerous churches send their young people and potential adult coaches to one site. Along with this, there is already interest in some additional cities to take C.E. to these locations. Pray for the leadership in Pakistan as it begins to form a board and executive team. The group hopes to apply for National Union status later in 2019.

A huge thank you to my hosts Dr. Mahendra Battarai and Pastor Ashknaz Silas for all your efforts in hosting me and coordinating the ministry opportunities while I was with you in Nepal and Pakistan respectively. Amen!!