June 28, 2011

A Night Walk in Thailand

Awakened by Easton at 12:30am this morning, we were told Morgan wanted to Skype with us.  We shook off the sleepiness and logged in to share some minutes with her.  She wanted to share with us her experiences during their “Monday Night” (11 hours earlier) prayer walk.

Walking and praying as a group through the main street in Phuket, Morgan saw a girl along the side of the road and sensed God telling them to stop and talk with her.  They were to continue on as a group; Morgan along with the rest.  Then a YWAM gal walking with them stopped to begin talking with that young girl and quickly asked three of the others (Morgan included) to come pray with her.  This began an amazing night of following the Spirit’s nudging to pray for, share with, and show God’s love and power to those whom they came into contact.

Deep sadness in many eyes…

Girls who wanted to talk on the streets, but knew they couldn’t say much out of fear and the need to get back to work…

Seeing the sad possession in the eyes and praying against a demon-possessed “magician” and another woman…

Praying over a cripple, asking for healing… he wasn’t ready to trust in God and leave his only source of income (fortune telling)… but he asked for them to come back again and he would try to stand…

Overwhelmed with all they experienced, Morgan was ready to fight against the spiritual darkness of this world again tonight and tomorrow night and whenever God opens the door while they walk the street and pray for God’s power to reign supreme.

Pray with us against all the darkness around them in Thailand that God will keep them strong and arm them for the battle they are experiencing each night.  They are 11 hours ahead of us, so your prayers are most directly beneficial between 10am – 1pm (Eastern Time) as they are on the streets praying and sharing God’s love each week night.

Eph. 6:12-20
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  (NIV)

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.  (The Message)

June 25, 2011

Did you know?

  • French is spoken officially in 33 countries; second only to English, which is spoken officially in 45 countries
  • France is geographically the largest country in Western Europe
  • France’s total population is 62.5 million; 32.5 million French people
  • 101 different people groups live in France
  • 77% of the people groups are either unreached, least reached or nominally reached
  • 78% of the population lives in urban settings
  • Lyon is the 2nd largest city in France, behind Paris.  1.8 million in metropolitan area; 1.5 million in the urban area; 500,000 in the city of Lyon
  • France is a post-Christian, post-modern society
  • Islam is growing in France, now over nine million
  • Catholicism has been declining for decades; many Catholic churches are now simply boarded up
  • Many French will say they are both Catholic and Atheist
  • There are only 0.2% Evangelical Christians in Lyon
  • Less than 10% of the people own a Bible and 80% have never even handled one

Despite this challenging environment, missionaries have made a difference in France.  The number of evangelical churches has doubled over the last thirty years.  Pray with us for many in Lyon who are lost… that their hearts are softened, minds are open, and lives– with Christ’s saving work – will be transformed!

June 20, 2011

Are we living intentionally or unintentionally?

We are now a couple weeks into an online training session called Intentional Living, which is another step of training required to complete prior to ministry overseas.  Already it’s been a great challenge and quite thought-provoking.

Do we just live life as it happens?  Or, do we act intentionally as God would direct us to in working with Him in His kingdom?  Through practicing intentional living, we can become more fruitful and productive in our lives and ministry.

We’ve been reminded of a few key passages:

Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:  everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits… All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God.  He decides who gets what, and when. (I Cor. 12:7)

God has gifted each of us with a special gift, natural talents, a unique personality and our own history of experiences (good and bad) that helps us to be used by Him to do what He has specially gifted us to do – for His glory.

“Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.  Saving is all His idea, and all His work.  All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it.  It's God's gift from start to finish!  We don't play the major role.  If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing!  No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.  He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”  (Eph. 2:7-10, The Message)

It’s not about our talents or our own “doing”… it’s all about God.  He created us, He saved us, and He has asked us to join Him in the work He’s doing. 

After enough years putting off, rationalizing our choices, dragging our feet, and giving excuses, we are now willing to intentionally use all the gifts, talents, strengths, and experiences together to do what God is calling us to do – “the good work He has gotten ready for us to do” – in Lyon, France.  We are in awe of how He is using our failures as well as our successes in what He is calling us to do in France.  How good is God??? 

“His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.  This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you.  He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”  (II Cor. 9:8-9, The Message)

God is extravagant… generous… and requires the same of each of us!  Are we being intentional with each day God has given us?

June 8, 2011

June Days for the Dahlgren Clan

Our June schedule, already eight days into it, is filling up quickly… prayers would be appreciated for our family as we tackle the delicate balancing act of work, family time, support team building and kids’ schedules.  Here is a rundown of what’s on the horizon:

·         June 5 – We had the pleasure of hosting many friends & family for Morgan’s graduation open house… it was like a family reunion/church friends’ get-together/kid bash all rolled into one.  Thanks to everyone who supported & prayed for Morgan and our family over the past 18 years - You are a true blessing!

·         June 15 (thru July 16) - Morgan leaves with a team from Adventures in Missions (AIM) for one month in Thailand ministering to the women caught up in human trafficking.

o   Pray for safety, amazing ministry opportunities, and that God’s love would be evident in & through them as they reach out in love to these young girls.

·         June 27 (thru July 2) – Bailey & Spencer will be heading to Chicago with other Nappanee Missionary Church youth to serve & learn about missions through the ChicaGO/SEMP program.

o   Pray for safety & God’s special working in & through their lives!

·         Easton finished up his spring soccer games while beginning his baseball league games.  He loves sports and has great fun playing all of them.

o   Pray for God’s protection during each game.

·         4-H projects for all four kids need to be completed; Bailey, Spencer & Easton will be working with their sheep to prepare them for show day in July.  Bailey is completing her ceramics project.  Morgan is completing her salon print project before leaving next week.

o   Pray for healthy sheep. (We’ve had 3 out of 8 sheep die in the past 2 years due to various crazy health issues… we need God’s protection on those little baa-baa’s!)  Also, that they would continue to learn responsibility, faithfulness and patience through the completion of these projects.

·         Steve and Chris will be taking an online class, Intentional Living, for continued training with ReachGlobal throughout the month and into the first week of July.

o   Pray we find quality time to study & learn about living intentionally in every part of our lives.

·         Steve and Chris are meeting one-on-one with families and churches to share more details about the ministry they will be involved with in Lyon.

o   Pray for quality time with many people.  Pray also that we will have the time needed to schedule these meetings while working full-time and supporting our kids’ activities.

Thanks, in advance, for all your prayers!  We know…

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (NIV)