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For more information about our work or how to join our team please check out http://www.jessenfamily.info/
Can you believe our transition to Thailand is only 48 days away! When God laid this transition on our heart less than 5 months ago, we were scratching our heads. So much to do, so many places to go, before the move! Well, God has done some pretty cool things in the past few months and we just want to take a moment to share some of those with you with this short video.
Through your prayers, support and God knitting it all together:
3022 people heard of Jesus,
970 made Him their Lord and Savior,
18 churches were started,
11 churches were built up,
493 believers were discipled and trained.
All for His fame and glory.
In His grip,
the Jessen family
for more information on our work check out www.jessenfamily.info.
For more on our work check out www.jessenfamily.info.
With dinner finished and tea still flowing we were joined at the fire by the village chief, the village shaman, the local area communist leader and Missy’s parents. The communist leader was an older man who had served in the army and fought many battles and lost an eye in the service of chairman Mao. With his face glowing in the fire light, he began to slyly attempt to discredit Americans, Christians and Jesus. The conversation was in a different language so we were getting updates on what was happening on the side but I was overwhelmed with God’s presence and the need to pray. I began praying God would do something big, reveal Himself and hard hearts would be pierced. As the communist’s propaganda increased, Missy’s father spoke up. In a calm, quite, yet strong voice he began to defend Jesus. He said he had been reading the Bible and believed Jesus did exist, did live on earth and did die. Our American contact jumped in and shared the gospel of Jesus. What an amazing privilege to see Missy’s dream come true and to see God glorified. I believe and pray it will only be a matter of time when Missy’s father begins a personal relationship with the Jesus whom he defended.
Villages of unreached people are scattered all over the mountains of East Asia. Many are friendly, many are open but they have not yet heard.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15
*(Names, location and people group have been changed for security)
After a long cold winter heading to the jungle of Peru was a breath of fresh air. Okay, maybe fresh is an exaggeration... more like 90 degree 100% humidity air. Our sports team of 10 joined a medical team to work with four mother churches to help each begin a new church. The four areas were in squatter villages where living conditions were very poor but the people were friendly and welcoming.
One of my favorite moments on the trip was our second location, where during our time of sports, a massive downpour started. That didn't stop the young men playing soccer which turned out to be a hilarious slip fest. However due to the large amount of rain the roads were flooded and that meant only the faithful showed up to the evening service. The delight was that the 12 that were there were hungry to learn how to use the Evangecube so I had the precious privilege of teaching how to do evangelism. After the end of the time the very humble pastor asked the group to stay later to begin to strategize how to use their new evangelism tools to reach their neighborhood during the upcoming Holy week.
As a leader of many short-term mission trips I always like to say that the trip is usually just as much about the people that go as the people we reach. It was very cool to see a mom and two teenage sons be stretched into obedience and by the end of the week serving boldly. Or the young married couple on their first mission trip who wanted to serve together. Or the young man who is pursuing a career in missions. God is always at work in each of us so that ultimately He'll be glorified.
In the end our sports team did 361 in home visits where 145 people gave their lives to Christ. We also had a great time building relationships, sharing Christ and beginning discipleship in our sports clinics with 510 people in attendance. With the Holy Spirit guiding us we were privileged to see Jesus build four new churches who are now well on their way to making disciples and reaching their neighborhoods.
That is certainly not the mindset of many people these days but as missionaries that is what we are called to do. The Lord has given us the privilege to train and equip national pastors and their churches. Through Leadership Development Conferences (LDC) we, by God’s grace, train them in prayer, evangelism, making disciples, developing leaders and multiplying new churches. Shortly after an LDC our short-term teams arrive to provide on the job training and walk alongside our national brothers and sisters as these activities are MODELED. As the week moves along we slowly begin to turn it over to them by ASSISTING them as they do the work of disciple making. Then we step a little further back and WATCH providing praise and suggestions afterwards. As they embrace the Great Commission and begin to personally get involved in reaching the lost in the community we then LEAVE them to continue the work while we move on to start the process all over again in a different location.
When we are in Lima, Peru our home church is Eterna Roca. We have been in relationship with this church for the past 4 years. We worked in their local area, they’ve come with us when our North American teams have come, we’ve prayed with them as they moved to a cell group model and we’ve helped train them in evangelism and making disciples. We love this body of believers. As we were returning home this past August, the pastor said he appreciated the heart we’ve shown to reach the lost and they were going to begin praying about going on mission to reach their country….on their own. Not without Christ of course, but without the assistance of North Americans. They began praying. A couple months later I got an email and the pastor mentioned that they had been praying and the Lord had led them to a location in the jungle that would take a 30 hour bus ride each way. So they began raising funds for the project as they continued to pray. Then the day came to ask who will go? Of this small church of 100 people 30 members raised their hands and committed to going. 30! Almost a third of the church! They continued to pray as they prepared, made plans and trained. Last week Eterna Roca took that mission trip to the jungle where they did evangelism, made disciples, encouraged the local believers and made a difference for the Kingdom in that area by helping to start 6 new cell groups! You see that’s the goal, train and equip then let them go. Following Paul's model we do stay in touch, provide additional training when needed, encourage them, but we’ve removed the mindset that it takes North American involvement to do missions work. We love Peru, we hope the Lord allows us to continue to work in other areas, but He has also allowed doors to open where we can begin working among unreached people groups in Asia. Once we, the Church, reach all nations then Christ will call us home and we’ll be out of a job. I’m good with that.
With your help, we saw 263 national leaders equipped in 2009 with the training, materials, Bibles and sports equipment to reach their own communities with the love of Christ.
Your support allowed us to work with teams in 6 locations in Peru and Ecuador, seeing 7354 hear the amazing good news of the Gospel.
We became first hand witnesses as Matthew 16:18 came to life. Truly, Jesus built his church! In 2009 we saw 32 new churches spring to life. Thank you for being a part of reaching the lost for our Father’s glory!
Can't wait to see what He does in 2010!