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A Red-Eye Flight Leads to a Gut Wrenching Encounter

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As I boarded the plane for my red-eye flight from Peru back to the US, I would have never imagined the encounter I was about to have. As I was getting situated in my seat, I noticed this very tall gentleman board the plane. After some time getting his luggage stowed, he sat down in the exit row directly in front of me. The space to the left of him was empty, so at a quick glance I could see almost anything he was doing. 

When he was finally situated, I noticed him pull out his phone and immediately started looking at scandalous photos of women and started inquiring about them via chat. 

I thought I was going to vomit!! 

My stomach churned and my heart ached for this situation. It grieved for those precious girls and honestly, my heart grieved for this man! 

As I sat back in my chair as the plane took off, I knew that I had a responsibility in this situation. A responsibility to do what I could to protect those girls if that was at all possible. A responsibility to share Christ with this man. 

I could not sit by and do nothing. 

Over the eight hour plane ride. I processed and prayed over the situation. I earnestly leaned into the Holy Spirit and asked His guidance in the matter. 

I knew at some point I was going to speak to this man, but I was just unsure of how to initiate the conversation. It was very intimidating to say the least. He was a very large man. I would say nearly 6ft 5′ and 230 pounds, solidly built. 

So much of me wanted to shrink back and simply pray for this man and this situation, but I knew more needed to be done. 

As the plane began its descent into the DFW airport, I made up my mind that I was going to approach this man at the baggage claim. 

After landing, we slowly made our way to the baggage claim where God opened an opportunity for me to approach him. 

I at first just struck up a normal conversation with him. I told him that I had overheard that he was going to Guadaljara, Mexico and asked him about the city and what he liked about it, etc. As we talked, I felt the conversation was going well, but I knew I needed to shift the focus at some point. 

Then the Holy Spirit led me to share with him that while we were on the plane, I was praying for him. He looked at me very suspiciously, but replied, “Thanks, I’ll take what I can get.”

I then shared with him that I felt God wanted me to tell him to read the book of John in the Bible. He then turned to me with an intrigued look on his face and said, “What does that book talk about and why would I need to read it?”

This was my open door to share the love of Jesus with him!

I briefly told him the story of Jesus and how this book clearly illustrates the restorative plan of Christ for all humanity. 

As I was sharing these things, he was considerate, but distant. Either way, he accepted what I said and thanked me for the conversation.

As he walked away, I immediately felt relief but also doubt. To be honest, I did not feel like what I communicated was enough and it was by no means eloquent. 

How could I be sure that what was communicated would lead to him to the Lord and would also spare those precious girls he was perusing and communicating with on his phone?

As the days have passed, I’ve prayed many times for him as well as for those girls. As I have now had time to reflect, the Lord has spoken to my heart about sowing seeds. How He is the harvester and we are the planters. 

I pray that someone else will come along after me and take a stand and pour water on those precious seeds.

I write this article about everyday life so that everyone who reads it will stand with me!

Stand with me to bring light to darkness.

Stand with me to share the gospel in the face of intimidation and fear.

Stand with me to love this world and give our life as Christ gave His.

Will you stand with me!!??

By: Marvin Slaton, Modern Day Director

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Bold Prayers: Healed From A Tumor

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Have you ever been in a situation where you know you should do something, but you’re afraid of what someone might think of you if you did? Maybe they’d think of you differently, be offended or even write you off as someone they want nothing to do with.

I’ve heard it said before, that what you fear the most has already happened to you. And rejection is usually at the top of the list. It’s the first voice of reason from keeping us from doing the most loving act believers can do for others.

Pray.

And to be even more specific, I’m implying something deeper than the typical “Hey I’m praying for you”. I’m talking about praying for someone who is clearly hurting from emotional or physical pain. In doing this, we remind people that they are not alone and we get to help usher God into the midst of their storm.

I previously worked with a gentleman who was a freemason. He was a very quiet man with tattoos all over his body and neck. Most of our conversations were about cars, but he would periodically keep me updated on some of his heart related issues as well as a cancerous tumor that was found on his neck.

One day, I had overheard that his wife was trying out a local church and she loved it! The next week I came to find out that he was wrestling with this strong desire to renounce his oath as a freemason.

And he did!

But after renouncing his oath, he came face to face with many questions.

Where did this conviction come from? Why was it so overwhelming?

I couldn’t believe it and I felt like God was nudging me to talk to him. The next day I found him during his break and asked him about it. We talked for a bit and it was still a surface level conversation until I felt convicted to pray for him.

So, I just point blank asked the question that popped into my head, “I know you’ve been talking about church and Jesus lately, but have you fully given your life to Him?”. He paused and began to look straight at the floor and when he looked up, tears began to pour from his eyes.

He told me that he wants Jesus, but is too afraid. I asked what he was afraid of and he replied,

“If I give my life fully to Jesus, the Devil is going to kill me! I know it! When I became a freemason, I took an oath where I held a knife to my heart and a knife to my throat and said If I share any secrets it would be the death penalty. I shared them with my wife and that’s when the tumor on my neck formed and started eating away the bones to where I have metal rods to replace my neck bones. And it keeps coming back!”

The Devil was literally decapitating him with this tumor! A fire stirred up inside of me and I wasn’t going to allow the devil to interfere with his life anymore. The devil’s time was done. I told him,

“The devil lies and wants you to believe those lies to keep you from the One person Who can save you. Jesus. He’ll take care of all of this! The creation cannot be more powerful than the creator. God has given us the authority as sons and daughters to tear down the works of the devil. “I’m going to pray with you and then I’m coming after that tumor in prayer and we are going to see it go away and not return!”

We then prayed and he accepted Christ as his Savior! With tears flowing, I knew it was time to pray for his tumor. In full faith, I prayed and commanded the tumor to leave and for him to receive mobility back into his neck despite the rods he had in it. We prayed twice, he checked his neck a couple times and it suddenly popped! He could previously only turn his neck 10 degrees, but now he could move it 45 degrees in every direction!

I’ll never forget the look on his face! He couldn’t believe it!

About a month later he went to the doctor to follow up on the growth of his tumor…

The tumor was GONE!

Jesus did it! My co-worker was healed! The plans of the enemy were over! But the most amazing miracle? He surrendered his life to Jesus!

That’s what we get to do as believers! We get to introduce them to a loving God that can heal their physical pain, emotional turmoil and bring breakthrough and peace into their soul. All because He loves them!

As we begin 2020, I challenge you to ask yourself, what if I weren’t afraid anymore? What if I chose to believe in who God says I am and stopped listening to the voice of fear?

Scripture tells us that miraculous signs follow those who believe. One of those signs is placing hands on the sick and they will be healed. You may think, what if someone doesn’t get healed? My response to that is, “but what if someone does?” We must be rooted in TRUTH and not in our experiences when it doesn’t happen. We keep praying for the next one and the next one after that. If we can take the pressure off of ourselves and build our faith with the expectation that God is going to move, we would be unstoppable in our pursuit to pray for everyone.

Let’s begin this decade unafraid. Go share the good news with your neighbor, with a stranger or coworker and don’t forget to pray. Believe in who you are in Jesus and carry that authority with you wherever you go! And when you do that, I propose that you will begin to see miracle after miracle after miracle.

#Unafraid2020

By: Taylor Shaw

 

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Homesick–Being A Missionary During Christmas

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Living on the mission field during Christmas is often a two sided coin for many missionaries. There’s an excitement in being able to share the Good News of this season with the locals your ministering to. But at the same time there’s an overwhelming sense of loneliness. 

Loneliness is a challenge most missionaries face on a daily basis. But on Christmas, it just seems to hurt more. You know that your family and friends are getting all together, but you’re not there. In a way you feel almost forgotten. 

And to be totally honest, it’s just part of the deal. When we left family and friends, comforts, and even our favorite snacks, Christmas — as we knew it — was gone too. 

And even though it can be very difficult, most missionaries wouldn’t trade it! We are compelled by the love of Christ to be exactly where we are and that’s where we want to be. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have moments of being homesick and yearn to be surrounded by the people we love. 

So as Christmas approaches, don’t forget your missionaries! Reach out to them — let them know that you’re thinking of them and even find a way to bless them! 

Don’t know of any? We can help! Modern Day currently has over 500 missionaries in 59 nations. Click here to see a map of our missionaries all over the world! 

 Here are a few ideas of ways you can bless and encourage them in this season.

  1. Make them a short video wishing them a Merry Christmas
  2. Reply to their holiday newsletter – They most likely took a lot of time putting their Christmas newsletter together. Let them know you read it and are praying for them! 
  3. Pray for them – Create a prayer card and place somewhere you can see it daily. Pray for it every time your eyes catch and reach out to them and let them know your doing so! 
  4. Consider the missionary’s children – If they have children, do something special for them! Send them a package with little goodies. 
  5. Bless them by supporting them with a financial gift – Missionaries’ needs often stretch beyond their regular support. Ask them what you can give towards. Most likely, they’ll have an idea on the tip of their tongue and it might be one of the most meaningful things they receive this year. 
  6. Share encouraging books or blogs with them – While on the mission field you are constantly pouring out and are in desperate need of resources that feed you spiritually. 

By: Keeton Storts, Modern Day

Born With No Hands

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Mr. Banda lives in one of the poorest countries in the world.

With an average daily income of less than $1 USD, Malawi residents, like Mr. Banda, do all that they can to prevent going to bed hungry. 

Job opportunities are extremely limited to non-existent, so Malawians are forced to develop trades that can hopefully put food on their tables. For many, that looks like driving a bicycle taxi, growing and selling crops and even doing a form of carpentry. 

But for Mr. Banda, these circumstances are even more dire because he has a rare disability that eliminates almost all hope to provide for himself… 

He was born without hands.  

Not only is he unable to do these physical tasks, but he is identified by his disability within his culture.

In many parts of Africa, individuals with disabilities are viewed very poorly and are not given the same rights as other people. In fact, some African cultures view people with special needs as a curse, so their families will hide them out of shame. They are mocked, ridiculed and at times, treated as if they weren’t even human beings. 

I share this with you, because this is all part of Mr. Banda’s story… Ashamed of his disability, his family deserted him at a young age. But by the grace of God, a missionary couple spotted him one day, while he was begging for money and placed him in the care of their ministry.

Their goal in bringing him into their ministry was not only to give him a warm meal, but to help build him a future. They wanted to help him develop a skill or trade that he could one day use to support himself. Because they knew that one day he would need to step out on his own and he would have culture and a poor economy working against him. 

The odds wouldn’t be in his favor. 

Over time, these missionaries noticed that Mr. Banda was fascinated with art. Each day while the children were out playing soccer, they noticed that he would always be inside drawing.

How you may ask?

By using his feet and his mouth! And his work was absolutely amazing!!

Word quickly spread throughout Malawi of the beautiful artwork of a man who had no hands. Over time, many foreigners sought him out to hear his story and purchase his artwork. I’m very pleased to tell you that today, at the age of 53, Mr. Banda is one of the most well known artists in all of Malawi.

AND he is known for the beauty of his artwork, not the limitations of his disability.

God has given us all unique gifts and callings. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Never forget that! 

God, help us to see people as you see them. As unique, valuable and with purpose. And when we encounter those who cannot see it themselves, may we speak over them! 

By: Keeton Storts, Modern Day

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