May 2016: The Storm
| FRM News
View the full May 2016 newsletter here.
Over the many years that I have been in ministry, I have watched many believers be stumbled when a brother or sister in the faith acts no different from someone in the world and speaks bitter, jealous, or insulting comments behind their back. Jesus never deviated from honesty, integrity, mercy, and generosity, even when doing so meant personal sacrifice. He lived in love and expects us to do exactly the same. We expect the same standard from others in the faith and so does an unbelieving world. Sadly, as hearts wax cold in these last days, too many believers are living in grave compromise and no longer seem to care how it taints their witness. We must stay vigilant and not interpret negative comments as coming from the Lord. It takes His grace to look on weakness with compassion while denying ourselves the right to act on slander within our own hearts, or react to it when it comes from others.
I was on my way to South Sudan, when my general manager informed me of a missionary who was speaking ill of Far Reaching Ministries (FRM). A supporter of ours learned that this missionary was working in a country close to South Sudan. When our supporter asked if he knew of FRM, this individual’s face hardened into a disapproving look. He further revealed his heart by saying, “FRM exaggerates about everything they do. They sit on huge amounts of money and do not share, spending it all on themselves.” He attempted to validate his accusations by saying his organization once asked FRM if they could use our airplane and he was told, “It is only to be used by the chaplains.”
Why am I writing this? Is it to bring shame to this individual? No, I will not reveal his identity. In truth, I’ve never met him, nor did I ask his name. I do believe we must be careful when speaking of another. The Word warns us to call your brother a fool puts you in danger of damnation. This includes tearing down or destroying another’s character.
Over the years, I’ve faced numerous negative comments. Sadly, the majority are from the household of faith. God taught me firsthand how to respond to evil with good and as missionary, Amy Carmichael, said, “To see in these things, a chance to die to myself.” Anyone who is going to be used by the Lord will encounter slander at the hands of fellow believers at some point and it can be painful. It is important not only to know how to handle this, but to know how to overcome it as Jesus did. It is easy to let the enemy discourage you. But fight the good fight and rise to be more than conquerors. As doers of the Word, our example of righteousness shows a lost world how to rise above what so easily stumbles others.
God has called FRM to focus on helping those surrounded by danger: brothers and sisters in Christian persecuted and closed countries, women and children in the Nuba mountains, orphan mothers, or ministries who are so seemingly small and insignificant no one has noticed them; that is where He sends us. In the last year and a half, God led us to raise close to $500,000 to support other ministries working in hostile territory. We also began supporting 500 pastors in the Middle East. My hope is that you will see that doing the Father’s work is the key to living a victorious life.
While I was at the chaplains’ base recently, I explained to the men that we could have been further along in developing the Citadel if we had not taken so much time to raise money for other organizations. How could we, as a group of men, stand before the Lord ignoring our brothers and sisters who are being crucified, murdered and raped, choosing to do nothing but care for our own needs? Even other ministries we are supporting are taken a-back that we would, as a mission organization, raise money for them. When we raised this support, we did not withhold a percentage for ourselves—it was a gift to the Lord to honor what we saw as the heart of God.
In the last two years, we have flown over 16 metric tons of medical supplies to the Nuba Mountains to bring relief to the suffering people. The Nubian commanding general came to our base, in Nimule, to thank us and said, “What our own government has failed to do, you have accomplished. You have touched over 279,000 lives—many who would be dead had you not cared for us.”
It’s been our privilege to help other ministries over the years. God directed us to give many new vehicles to other organizations; including five new cars and one used car in the first three months of 2016. Six cars will be used to further the Gospel in closing Christian persecuted countries and five different international newspapers are praising FRM supported humanitarian efforts in feeding the elderly, including several letters of thanks that have come from cities we’ve worked in. When we are about the Father’s business all the glory goes to Him!
In addition to the Lord opening doors for FRM to work in hostile territories, we began to support an orphanage for handicapped children in Mexico this last year. We are raising support to pay the wages for six full-time staff members, and are providing for the physical needs of the children. Most of the children have severe disabilities that are not able to be addressed for financial restraints, so FRM’s support is having a tremendous impact on the quality of life for the children. They are thriving!
God sees kingdom work as a team effort. He called FRM to practically live this out by leasing our aircraft to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) at no cost. With the use of the airplane, MAF is able to provide transportation to over 40 organizations serving the needy in Uganda, Congo, and South Sudan weekly (and other areas on a charter basis). We have been honored to partner with MAF since 2006. Anyone is able to contact MAF Uganda to request services; the plane is under their full authority and has been since we placed it in service. Moreover, we have never told anyone that it was just for chaplains.
As an organization, we are 17 years old. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to serve with numerous prominent pastors, evangelists, authors, senators, congressmen and music artists who are well known. All of these experiences were positive and God honoring. We have never sought out such opportunities, the Lord brought them to us.
If you find someone speaking ill of your labor in ministry, pray for them and do not return evil for evil. We must be patient with those who are young in the faith. Often young believers experience jealousy. In due time, if they seek the Lord, they will grow out of this jealousy. We, as mature believers, are not to seek vengeance, this belongs only to the Lord. I have also been slandered by men who truly love Christ. They may have been misinformed, or another individual has purposely misled them. King David would not come against God’s anointed and neither will I. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, should have been held in high esteem in his life but in truth, he was greatly criticized. In the end, it all comes down to spiritual warfare. The enemy wants you out of the battle. He will send a storm to shatter your faith. If he can accomplish this by people speaking ill of you, then he has won. If you want to be one of the chosen ones, there is a price to pay. So what is the answer?
Far Reaching Ministries
A tree is known by its fruit.