The Reformation doctrine of Sola Gratia (Grace Alone) teaches us that forgiveness and acceptance with God, along with every other Gospel blessing, are a gift from God. It’s all just unearned favor for undeserving people like you and me. As Ephesians 2:8 puts it, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” How much clearer could the word of God be?

Ephesians 2 goes on to tell us that the saving grace of God comes to us in only one way — in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God himself. It’s by receiving Jesus by faith that every “spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3) becomes ours. Praise be to our Triune God!

Here are some questions to help you respond to and apply the truth of Sola Gratia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

 

The Reformation doctrine of Sola Fide (Faith Alone) teaches us that forgiveness and acceptance with God come to us not by working for it, but by faith in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul puts it in Romans 3:28, “We hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

This past week, Dan Lisa delivered a message to New Hope on the topic of Sola Fide. More specifically, it was a message on the nature and effects of true faith in Jesus Christ. You can listen to it at NewHopeFellowship.org. Here are some questions to help us apply and respond to that message.

Read the rest of this entry »

In my home we’ve got lots of Bibles. We’ve got different translations, study Bibles, Bibles for kids of all ages. Via our devices, we’ve got access to even more versions of God’s written word.

When most western Christians think about engaging God’s word, they usually think of reading one of their many Bibles. And so it should be! But for centuries, God’s people didn’t typically read God’s Word at all. They heard it. That is, they listened as it was read publicly. Read the rest of this entry »

The Reformation doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) teaches us that the Bible is uniquely authoritative, sufficient, and necessary. In other words, the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice; it tells us everything God requires us to know about how to be saved by him and worship him; and we need the Bible if we are going to live as God has created us to live.

If all that is true, then shouldn’t we be willing to let the Scriptures shape our thinking on everything? Shouldn’t the Bible inform the way we see not only God, but ourselves, everyone else, and the world as a whole? Read the rest of this entry »

N17 wrap up, but more to come

September 3, 2017

Dear New Hope,

The N17 team is BACK from our time in Windhoek, having had an incredible experience of seeing God powerfully work in the lives of the Agape Youth kids, and among our missionary partners serving there so faithfully.

To be sure, we are still in the midst of processing our time there, and will be doing so for some time to come.  We will be meeting several times in the coming months to debrief, and have plans to share stories from our experience with you all, our broader New Hope body.  Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, here are some preliminary thoughts from the team members on ways in which we saw God work, places we were stretched, and specific areas that you can join us in praying for God’s continued working through the faithful service of the We Love Africa Foundation and it’s teen-focused ministry, Agape Youth.

Ways we saw God at work:

  • From year to year, real, visible, heart and life change in the Agape Youth group.  Joy and happiness in children that did not make sense given their life situation, injustice and abuse.
  • I saw the Lord pierce the hearts of young people with conviction and I saw him strengthening the faith and resolve of his Namibian children — our young brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • In the powerful forward movement of the Gospel against oppositional undercurrent of false teaching, fatherlessness, and tribal disunity.
  • No matter what tribe, what poverty, what abandonment & abuse the youth identified themselves with, once the power of the Gospel preached by Steve transformed their hearts, they were filled with deep repentance & true joy they had never known.
  • Witnessing the richness of true joy and hope stemming from the impact of the gospel in the lives of the youth.
  • In the softening of hearts (my own included!) and in the forming of friendships that will, Lord-willing, last into eternity for His glory

How we were stretched:

  • Fully trusting in God and in sufficiency of prayer when things went wrong or were not going well.
  • The needs of the Agape Youth members are manifold, and their experiences are different from mine in so many ways. So I was deeply challenged to lean on the power of the Holy Spirit to serve them. Thankfully, the Spirit works through weak instruments, and God’s Word is powerful and effective, regardless of cultural differences. I’m convinced of this now more than ever.
  • In this third year, I felt God asking me to be genuine with the children in ways that I had not been in previous years.  This was tough.  The novelty of knowing someone for past two years had to mature into deeper understanding and engagement.  I felt God pushing me to use all that God has done in my life & surrender my agenda and pride.  This wasn’t easy for someone who is so task-oriented.  It was hard to let-go of my agenda of getting to know every single kid in my group deeply.  But when I did, God answered and directed me according to His will.
  • Fighting off physical sickness. I would have been regretful if I let it affect me and did not give my all.
  • Trusting God to enable connections to form within my group, when I don’t feel like youth ministry is a particular strength; the risk of reaching out in love to cross barriers and meet people as Jesus did – where they were at – and feeling quite inadequate to the task if relying on my own strength and wisdom

Area for which we are committed to pray:

  • Long term health for a very powerful ministry that is creating a youth movement in the poorest children in Windhoek, Namibia.
  • More laborers for the harvest! The Hongs and Jen need more people to come alongside them and help in the short term and over the long haul.
  • All the saints serving Agape Youth: Steven & Seo Yeon Hong, Jennifer Chon, who pour out all that they have and then some.
  • All the saints serving We Love Africa: Sr. Park family, Jr. Park family, Kim family who often work without much needed encouragement and man-power to carry out the arduous tasks of ministry of Kings Kids & frontier missions of the Himba Tribe.
  • That the team will effectively share and report on what is happening and what the future vision of this ministry is, and in result garnering even more support and awareness from the church.
  • For continued unity, encouragement, and growth in God’s Spirit among our brothers and sisters serving tirelessly in Windhoek, with incredible long-term vision and Christ-like, faithful servant-hood: Steve & Seoyeon Hong, Jen Chon, the Kim family, and the two Park families.
  • For growth and maturity of faith among the teens of Agape Youth, and especially that God would continue to raise up leaders from among them to shape this beautiful youth movement for His glory and their great gladness!

 

Dear New Hope,

Our team of SEVEN – Alex, Sharon and Kate Lee; Rob Freire; Dan Sin; Chris Yoon and Becca McAteer – have now all arrived and are at work in Windhoek, Namibia, Africa where they will be serving for ten days as part of New Hope’s annual mission trip.

Before leaving, they were each asked to respond to a few questions, in order to help guide your prayers as they are sent forth in God’s Spirit and care:

During this year’s mission trip to Namibia, I’m most excited to see God…

-in the eyes of the weakest, most poor, hungry children of Africa

-fill children (and our team) with a deeper realization of his majesty and mercy.

-save

-work in the lives of the youth throughout the camp.

-uniting us to serve together as one body of Christ.  I’m especially excited that Rob Freire, our pastor is joining us this year!

-at work among the Windhoek youth and missionaries, and to see the kids experience the love and joy found in knowing Jesus.

During this year’s mission trip to Namibia, I’m I’m feeling a little apprehensive about…

-physical health of everyone on the N17 team including the missionaries already there and our ability to work together well.

-leaving my family for a week-and-a-half and about serving in a context that is new to me.

-fighting off the enemy.

-leaving our two sons at home in the care of grandparents.

-connecting with the youth

-making comfortable, natural connections with the kids in my group, and also about leaving my family behind in the midst of some instability/ medical concerns

During this year’s mission trip to Namibia, I could use prayerful support for…

-my heart and any lingering feelings of bitterness, irritability, and judgmental feelings towards others.  To have the fear and love of God become much bigger than the fear of man.

-the development of a humble, listening heart that is ready to learn and be changed by the young people we will spend our days with.

-To leave the current worries of my life behind, and instead devote myself fully to serving Him.

-The peace to leave all my distractions behind and being fully patient and understanding in any problems that may occur

-patience & discernment required to walk in step with the Holy Spirit and not let my eager excitement to produce impulsive actions and words.

-diligently pursuing regular, sustained time in God’s word (and also in memorizing all of Psalm 8!)

Thank you for your faithful support and prayers as the team serves, learns, grows and experiences God’s hand at work in powerful, beautiful ways for His glory!

 More updates to come…

N17 Day 3

August 22, 2017

Hello NHF!  We hope y’all had a great day of Sunday worship with Pastor Eric.  So much to update you on.  Sunday we went to 3 worship services: 1) Kings Kids (Windhoek toddlers), 2) Agape Youth (our kids that we will take to bible camp), 3) Korean Missionary service.  Dan Sin was brought to tears as he listened to the toddlers sing God is so good in English, Herero dialect, and then in Korean!  Then for Agape Youth service, Steve gave a powerful, biblically faithful sermon from Romans on glorification and how it ties into justification and sanctification.  Heavy stuff!..yet stated so simply and clearly and the kids all were locked in and absorbing!  We were all floored at the scripture drenched prayers of some of the children during the service.  The last service was with the Korean missionaries at a local reformed Baptist church, and Rob delivered a beautiful message on the same text from Romans!  Not pre-planned but just so happened to be on similar themes.  Rob wonderfully adapted suffering endured by the Apostle Paul and greatly encouraged the missionaries and Steve/Seoyoen.  The day was closed by a nice braii (Namibian BBQ) at Senior Pastor Park’s home and we had a nice 30th birthday (Dan Sin) and a belated birthday for Jen Chon.

Monday was a busy day visiting the homes of the Agape Youth worship team members who live in Ehambo (town in Windhoek), seeing up close how they live.  We met some of their families, and Pastor Rob was able to pray for them whilst in their homes.

It was so encouraging to see the faithfulness of some of these kids.  Their homes have so little in terms of material items, but some of their homes/rooms had scripture written on the walls and one even had pictures of our Linda Yoon and Steve/Seoyeon.  As we walked through their town, holding the hands of children (9 and 10 years old but the size of a 4 or 5 year old), it was so encouraging to hear some of their stories….. of recently coming to Christ, having transformation of lives, and of being involved and loving the ministry of Agape Youth in Windhoek.

New Hope, please pray for the team; for physical health, spiritual protection and team unity especially with the Korean missionaries.

IMG_2714Today, we will continue to prepare for the Agape Youth Bible camp (which begins on Thursday), have a return visit to Hope Village orphanage, and then another visit to more homes of children in Agape Youth.

Thank-you so much dearest brothers and sisters.  We are blessed and thankful for your continued prayers.

In Jesus, N17 Team