Namibia 2017 day 1

August 19, 2017

Hello New Hope,

Most of the N17 team has successfully arrived (sans Becca who will join us on Monday) in the beautiful country of Namibia in the continent of Africa.  We have already begun to see God working in the form of traveling mercies for the team.  The day started with a minor blip with Dan Sin having to wait 20 minutes for a below average ice coffee only to be rewarded by a slightly cold but still delicious Shake Shack burger at JFK.  Then Kate was almost not allowed entrance to South Africa because of a new law requiring her to have her birth certificate in addition to her passport.  Luckily, Alex’s mother was able to come to the rescue waking up at 4 am to locate the certificate and send a photo via iMessage.  Disaster averted.  Finally, in the excitement of being in Namibia and seeing Steve, Seoyeon, Jen Chon, Pastor Kim, the team left Sharon’s back pack with many valuables including (MacBook air, kindle, gifts/supplies) on the front sidewalk of the airport.  4 hours later Steve, Pastor Rob, and Alex returned to the airport looking for the back pack with little to no hope.  Then a very nice Namibian security officer (whose name happened to be Alex!!) escorts us to a back room, opens up a safe full of guns and M-16 rifles and pulls out Sharon’s back pack with ALL of the items perfectly intact!  What are the odds of a back pack filled with expensive electronic devices being left at a busy African airport sidewalk and then being retrieved 5 hours later with all items intact?  Praise God!

Then on the drive home from the airport, we were again greeted by some local baboons on the side of the road welcoming us back to Namibia.  The day ended with another beautiful night filled with the beautiful, dark, star filled sky, then a delicious home cooked meal from our dear sister Jen Chon and finally a wonderful night of Prayer, focusing on Acts 11.  Steve reminded us of the great example of the short term missionary, Barnabas,  and how…he came and saw the Grace of God…full of the Holy Spirit and of faith…and a great many people were added to the Lord.

Our theme verse this year is Psalm 8; O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth….The Majesty of God is so easy to see as we gaze at the stars in the beautiful African night sky.  Thank-you New Hope for your prayers!

I have recently completed a book on parenting by Paul David Tripp titled Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and I give it my highest recommendation. Paul has written extensively on the gospel and other issues which I also recommend, but this latest edition on parenting takes the cake.

Now before you dismiss this topic as irrelevant depending on your stage in life, I must say the principles laid out in this book are not only applicable to parenting, but to anyone’s life as a Christian. The fascinating aspect of this book, is that you can substitute almost every situation with parent for the word Christian, and still arrive at a principle of Gospel truth that can sincerely change the way you understand relationships.

With that said, this book convicted and challenged my approaches to Christian parenting despite some other titles I have read. I found the examples engaging and relevant and his writing style is easy to read. You can easily finish this book in under 2 weeks, as the chapters are concise and to the point, making reading a chapter a day extremely feasible.

Each chapter takes a Gospel principle and unpacks how parenting relates to our understanding of each. A principle that most affected me was the chapter on Mercy. “No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that he desperately needs it himself”. This book really helped remind me of my need for mercy, and in response not only give my wayward children mercy, but others who I encounter.

This book also helped me realize I cannot save my children, only God can. I am unable to do the regeneration in my child’s heart, much like I was not able to regenerate my own. This frees me to love generously, and trust in the process God has in the power of the Gospel.

While the book does use situations to illustrate a concept or point, this book is far from a how-to. Rather, learning these principles will enable growth in every situation on how to think about yourself, God, and your child. This way, the principles guide all situations and not just isolated scenarios, so the book continually delivers.

Another area I believe most parents get caught up on is Authority. There are 3 chapters on law, grace, and authority, that really helped put into perspective how I ought to communicate these truths to my two kids. I began to see a change in the way I approached my children right after chapter 1.

If you struggle with confusion, burnout, despair, failure or inability, I can not recommend Tripp’s newest book enough, it will not only transform how you parent, it will transform how you relate to your Father in heaven. There is a freedom in seeing our heavenly Father love us, so we can properly love our children with passion and joy. Do not hesitate on picking up a copy! I sincerely believe I will be reaping the benefits for years to come.

-Dan Lisa

Dear New Hope,
This Saturday we had our second Agape Youth Purity Seminar. The purpose of the seminar was to give the youth a biblical understanging of sex, marriage and purity. We had 9 boys and 15 girls make the pledge “Purity Code” to keep themselves sexually pure for marriage. They were given purity rings and necklaces and certificates as a reminder of their promise to God. This kind of teaching on purity goes so far against everything that is experienced in Havana, where sex outside of marriage is the norm. Not only that, where young girls give away their bodies for some bread or alcohol so easily. Our prayer is that the youth will be salt and light as they live lives of purity in devotion to Christ, shining the light of the gospel in the darkest places in Havana. Please pray for these kids to be given grace and faith to stand against the culture and resist temptations that are all around them.

God’s love,

Steve

Dear New Hope,
We had our first evangelism outing of the year this Saturday in an area called Samora Machel. God provided a great turnout of kids who were eager to share God’s word and they were able to find many kids in the neighborhood to share the gospel with. We use a gospel tract called “Two Ways to Live”. It’s an amazing thing to see God using these kids to bring the good news to other youth in Havana. What we’ve seen is that these evangelism outings really bring kids into Agape Youth and they end up staying, becoming regular members. Today, about 10 new kids came to our service through the evangelism outing. Praise God! Please pray that these new kids may experience the love of Christ at Agape Youth and have their eyes opened to see Jesus.

Other prayer request:
1. One of our boys we’ve been discipling for over a year in worship team decided to quit abruptly and is not even coming to services anymore. Please pray for God to soften his heart and give him a heart to come back.
2. Please pray that we can get our Koinonia groups started soon. (Kids leading groups during the week to read the bible and pray)

God’s love,

Steve

Hi guys,
I wanted to quickly give you an update on our first service back with Agape Youth on 2/5/17.  It was really great to be back with the kids. We had about 60 youth worship together today. The passage today was 1 Peter 3:18. The main message was that Christ suffered and died for us to bring us to God, so the way is wide upon for us to go to God this year. We had 15 new graduates of King’s Kids who joined us (see picture). We’re really excited about what God will do in raising up future leaders and saving many kids who are lost and without hope in Havana. Please keep us in your prayers, that the word of the Lord would spread rapidly and be glorified.

God’s love,

Steve

some more pics #2

August 22, 2016

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Some More Pics

August 22, 2016

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