Dear Friend of Missions,
The Lord our God reigns … His Kingdom endureth forever … blessed be the name of the Lord!
Urgency is what I feel at the moment! I write this while leaders from our Movement in Eurasia as well as European nationals meet to pray, plan, and propose. The Eurasia Decade of Harvest meeting has been called to face head-on the overwhelming challenges of stagnation, deception, blindness, religious hardness, resistance, AND spiritual hunger facing us all in Europe, both east and west.
Apart from quotes, statistics, or an update of eastern Europe (it changes daily), the times we live in trumpet out the message of urgency. Apart from detailed prophetic time charts and interpretations, the season speaks of urgency!
“When you see these things come to pass … look up for redemption draws near!” The key to the prophetic timetable is not in east Europe, but in the Middle East. The “fig tree” has “budded” and the “times of the Gentiles” has been fulfilled. “This generation” speaks to the urgency of the hour!
God blows the trumpet IN Zion before He will blow FOR Zion. Ultimately, He will blow the seven trumpets of judgment to the world that is left. Urgency! It speaks of priority, discipline, vision, and labor.
God’s love streaming down in crimson red cries out through His servants for the souls of the damned. Hell also beckons with the veiled glitter of gold, perverted passion, and the empty baubles of aspired glory and vain religion. Urgency!
Scriptures vibrate with clarity on Zion’s place in world mission—from the Abrahamic Covenant to “bless all the families of the earth” to the last day of Jesus’ earthly pilgrimage exclaiming the “Great Commission”. Calvary calls for the Church to “rescue the perishing” and “care for the dying.” Even the damned in hell petition the Guardian of the gates to send someone to tell of sin’s awful judgment and God’s full and complete Remedy for hell’s escape and heaven’s gain (Luke 16).
Urgency! The time clock is ticking away. If John wrote of the “last hour”, surely, we must be in the last seconds of that “hour”!
The Stone, “cut out of the mountain without hands” is preparing His descent—the rumblings on the Mount are being felt worldwide. The shaking of man’s kingdoms, be they religious, political, or financial are a further indication of man’s last-ditch effort to stem the tide of God’s judgment, through legal, political, and religious hypocrisies, deceptions, rebellion, and pride.
The question still nags us, “… when shall these things be and what shall the signs be …” (Matthew 24:3). After Jesus’ detailed explanation, the disciples asked again (still not understanding the prophetic timetable taught by the ultimate Teacher), “Lord wilt Thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” Jesus’ response is as appropriate then as now, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons … but ye shall receive power … ye shall be witnesses …!” (Acts 1:6-8).
May the “times and seasons” only heighten our spiritual sensibilities. The “day” is far spent and the “night” is fast approaching. We must not sleep with indifference or carelessness while men sow tares. We must “watch and be sober”—full of God’s Answer to human impotency in the power of the Spirit—and with boldness, clarity, and urgency proclaim with all authority the only eternal Remedy to deliver man from his just deserve of hell to be part of the Bride of Christ.
“Watch”, “pray”, and “work” were and are the Master’s words (Mark 13:32-37). “Arise and shine,” God speaks to Zion, “for thy light has come … awake, awake, and put on thy strength … shake thyself from the dust … arise … loose thyself … flee, follow, fight” … put off the “old” and put on the “new” as well as the “armor of God” … “declare His glory among the nations” … He comes again … soon! Then shall He reward His servants for faithfulness in their labors of “gold, silver, and precious stones”. All other labors of “wood, hay, and stubble” will be burned with the fire of His all-searching eyes of Whom we all have to do. Let us “lay aside every weight” to get on with the joy and privilege of knowing God and making Him known in “this generation” for “then shall the end come!”
Urgency! Priority! Obedience! God grant it for each of us individually and in our Church!
Open doors of utterance since our last communication made ministry available in a town outside of Genoa, Italy, where I preached in the church, street, and homes.
In Portugal I preached a minister’s conference at Mount Hope Bible Institute as well as a church on Sunday. God ministered His Word and Spirit to these servants of God. It was special to “practice” my Portuguese again. Our schedule is to return in September for a week of meetings with pastors.
Easter Sunday I preached in Athens, Greece. What a joy to proclaim the resurrection of Christ and its redemptive and mission implications. Fall meetings for Greece are in the planning stages.
Near Zurich, Switzerland, I taught students at the European Student Conference sponsored by our College Ministries. I have been asked to return in the fall.
We have a dedicated team of missionaries serving the Lord. In a couple of weeks, I will be in Denmark for ministry. Because of her responsibilities, Carmen is not able to travel with me. Also, in September is our annual ICI World Congress.
The meetings planned for Russia in May have been cancelled. However, our representatives from ICI are now in Russia making plans for future ministry. Many people have asked if I have been in Eastern Europe for ministry. I have not yet been given permission to do so.
God has blessed our family in so many ways. For the past 3 weeks, Reuben II has been with us before his return to the States. Carmen’s mother has been with us for a couple of weeks. What a joy to have part of our family with us!
Carmen, Nathan, and myself celebrated our birthdays overseas for the first time. We received so many cards and calls. Thank you for your thoughtfulness! Some even sent me condolences for reaching the mid-century mark.
We wish we could send each of you a personal note. Be assured you are in our hearts and in our prayers continually. We urge you to continue to pray for us! We thank you for your faithfulness in your prayers, support, letters, and phone calls. We miss you! Your partnership with us is deeply appreciated! Keep in touch!
Nathan & Stephen