Yeah!!!….Oh no…. :(

11 08 2010

It’s been now six days since I arrived in The Netherlands. What a joyous experience, but not that joyous when I found out  that many of my loved ones are not living up to what they profess to be. It also didn’t take less than a day till Satan started hitting me with trials. Enrollment issues, financial issues, church members indifference. But most of all, what really devastated my mind was what I learnt that my loved ones have been doing to others and themselves when I was not around and even now. I want to help them! But what should I do? I teach them, and they listen, but they don’t put into practice what they learnt. Lord have mercy on us! We sinful human beings, we know what is right, but we do the contrary. Lord please help us, change us! Please! We need the prayers of those we love. But I know whom I believe!

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 23





My soul pants for you, O God

9 07 2010

Have I given much more of myself?

Oh Lord God, You are searched me and known my heart even long before I came to this L.E.A.D.S. 2010. You have tried me and known my thoughts. All You wanted to do oh Lord, is to reveal to me what You had already found in my heart, and now You are leading me in the way everlasting.

Lord You started off yesterday by directing me to Revelation 2:1-5. And then You pointed me especially to verses 4 and 5. “4Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

You went ahead and pointed me to the example of Peter in the book of Luke how he was struggling with self. How he thought to know everything better than His master (Luke 5:1-10) and how he was quick to answer things he didn’t know of. (Luke 22:31-34). He had a partial lifestyle. Sometimes he was directed by You, many times he allowed self to take over. Oh Lord, You were so merciful to even clarify this through the Spirit of Prophecy in Steps to Christ, page 58:

“It is true that there may be an outward correctness of deportment without the renewing power of Christ. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions. By what means, then, shall we determine whose side we are on?”

Lord, You didn’t stop there but You went ahead and asked me the following questions:

“ Who has your heart Rock-Ange?
Who has your warmest affections?
What do you think about when you have nothing to do?
What are you earnestly seeking when you save up your money?”

Well…Lord… to be honest with You I have to confess that I identify myself with Peter. You know that many times I have sought my own will and despised Your directions. It is both ironic and intimidating to realize that I thought myself to know everything better than my God! Lord have mercy!!! Oh Lord, I can’t even count how many times I went ahead and did things on my own and ended up coming back to You crying and heartbroken, just because I didn’t follow Your counsels. And yet, You never turned me back when I came to You. You always accepted me and You were happy that I was back.

Oh Lord God, the comforting thing You showed me in Your word is found in John 21:1-11. There You asked Peter a question, and this time, he wasn’t quick to answer. This time he wasn’t arrogant. But this time, He allowed You to decide what was in His heart. And in The Desire of Ages, page 811-812 you inspired your servant to write:

“Peter’s denial of his Lord had been in shameful contrast to his former professions of loyalty. He had dishonored Christ, and had incurred the distrust of his brethren. They thought he would not be allowed to take his former position among them, and he himself felt that he had forfeited his trust. Before being called to take up again his apostolic work, he must before them all give evidence of his repentance. Without this, his sin, though repented of, might have destroyed his influence as a minister of Christ. The Saviour gave him opportunity to regain the confidence of his brethren, and, so far as possible, to remove the reproach he had brought upon the gospel.
Here is given a lesson for all Christ’s followers. The gospel makes no compromise with evil. It cannot excuse sin. Secret sins are to be confessed in secret to God; but, for open sin, open confession is required. The reproach of the disciple’s sin is cast upon Christ. It causes Satan to triumph, and wavering souls to stumble. By giving proof of repentance, the disciple, so far as lies in his power, is to remove this reproach.
While Christ and the disciples were eating together by the seaside, the Saviour said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?” referring to his brethren. Peter had once declared, “Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended.” Matthew 26:33. But he now put a truer estimate upon himself. “Yea, Lord,” he said, “Thou knowest that I love Thee.” There is no vehement assurance that his love is greater than that of his brethren. He does not express his own opinion of his devotion. To Him who can read all the motives of the heart he appeals to judge as to his sincerity,–“Thou knowest that I love Thee.” And Jesus bids him, “Feed My lambs.”
Again Jesus applied the test to Peter, repeating His former words: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?” This time He did not ask Peter whether he loved Him better than did his brethren. The second response was like the first, free from extravagant assurance: “Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” Once more the Saviour put the trying question: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?” Peter was grieved; he thought that Jesus doubted his love. He knew that his Lord had cause to distrust him, and with an aching heart he answered, “Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” Again Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
Three times Peter had openly denied his Lord, and three times Jesus drew from him the assurance of his love and loyalty, pressing home that pointed question, like a barbed arrow to his wounded heart. Before the assembled disciples Jesus revealed the depth of Peter’s repentance, and showed how thoroughly humbled was the once boasting disciple.
Peter was naturally forward and impulsive, and Satan had taken advantage of these characteristics to overthrow him. Just before the fall of Peter, Jesus had said to him, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31, 32. That time had now come, and the transformation in Peter was evident. The close, testing questions of the Lord had not called out one forward, self-sufficient reply; and because of his humiliation and repentance, Peter was better prepared than ever before to act as shepherd to the flock.
The first work that Christ entrusted to Peter on restoring him to the ministry was to feed the lambs. This was a work in which Peter had little experience. It would require great care and tenderness, much patience and perseverance. It called him to minister to those who were young in the faith, to teach the ignorant, to open the Scriptures to them, and to educate them for usefulness in Christ’s service. Heretofore Peter had not been fitted to do this, or even to understand its importance. But this was the work which Jesus now called upon him to do. For this work his own experience of suffering and repentance had prepared him.
Before his fall, Peter was always speaking unadvisedly, from the impulse of the moment. He was always ready to correct others, and to express his mind, before he had a clear comprehension of himself or of what he had to say. But the converted Peter was very different. He retained his former fervor, but the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. He was no longer impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, but calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ’s flock.”

Lord, if You can change Peter who was blessed with Your direct physical presence, You can change me. I know You are alive, oh Lord Jesus, even though I have never seen You physically, I have seen You work in my life. You have revealed Your mercies to me ever since I was born until now. The fact that people change because of Your word is more than an argument to me that cannot be refuted by any other argument in the whole universe. Thus oh Lord, trusting in that word which never comes back to You void, I know that You will turn this selfish heart into the humble heart of Christ. I praise Your name oh Lord God because this reality of the desire for a change of heart is confirmed in the Spirit of Prophecy in Steps to Christ, page 64:

“There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. And do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance.
The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. This is evidence that Satan’s delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you.”

Oh Lord God, I thirst for Your presence in my heart Oh Lord. “As the deer pants for streams of water,  so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1) Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, Oh Lord!

Amen.





Unrealized potential? What is this?

8 07 2010

Based on 2 Chronicles 25

Oh Rock-Ange, born by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who brought you up to serve the Lord with all your heart, strength, soul and mind (Deuteronomy 6:5) and now are still encouraging you to go all the way to serve Him who formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), what would have become of you if you would have hearkened to the voice of the Lord when He first called you (2 Corinthians 6:2).  Oh Rock-Ange, instead of listening to your parents, whom God was using to protect you from evil and disasters that result from not fearing the Lord, you went ahead and answered them in the way the king Amaziah answered the prophet “Art thou made the king’s counsel” (2 Chronicles 25:16) (In other words Amaziah told the prophet, “Let me do what I want!”) You despised the counsels of your parents, and went ahead and defiled yourself with the pleasures of this world. Why did you do this to yourself Rock-Ange? Why did you bring wounds and ugly scares to yourself? If you would have listen oh Rock-Ange, you wouldn’t be lamenting for your unrealized potential. You have  now been asking yourself, “What is this? Why am I not progressing/developing quickly?”

Oh Rock-Ange, remember what the Lord inspired your earthly father to call you. By His inspiration he called you “Iranyeza” meaning, “He Cleanseth me”.  He, the Lord Jesus Christ, cleanseth your earthly father and you Rock-Ange! Despite all you’ve done, the Lord promised “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18). Remember Rock-Ange, that He promised, and when he promises, He is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Rock-Ange, now the Lord has called you to be a life long missionary. Even though you think yourself to be unworthy, yet has he called you. Rock-Ange, these are questions that I’m asking you today:

  1. Do you understand your calling (2 Chronicles 24:27; 25:1—Do you understand your divine calling)
  2. Do you serve the Lord with a perfect heart? (2 Chronicles 24:2; 16:9—Do you have a divine perspective?)
  3. Are you consulting God before you do anything in your life? (2 Chronicles 25:3,4—Do you seek the divine will?)
  4. What motivates you to serve God in this ministry? Do you focus on what God has in store, or do you focus on the here and now? (2 Chronicles 25:5-8—Do you have a divine incentive)
  5. Do you understand what God can do for His servant who fully trusts in Him? (2 Chronicles 25:9—Do you understand the divine gift?)

Rock-Ange as I, The Holy Spirit, have asked you these questions, I am going to seek the right answers for you if you let me search your heart so that I can direct you in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23:24). You know that your heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and that I’m the only one able to search it and reveal what is in it (Jeremiah 17:9,10). So please let me.

Another thing Rock-Ange when you find yourself approaching the precipice of mediocrity, ask yourself, “What is this?” Remember these question that I’ve asked you today. And if you allow me at that moment to search your heart, I will give you the right answers that will lead you in the way everlasting.

Take care Rock-Ange, I’ll be working on you this L.E.A.D.S. 2010 (Jeremiah 18:6). If you let me you will not live this place the same. You will be changed according to my will! I will give you MUCH MORE than you could ever imagine in your whole entire life. I love you so much Rock-Ange Iranyeza! Remember Jeremiah 29:11!

The Holy Spirit.





God’s Work

15 06 2010

“God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 117

Through this canvassing experience God is building my character in the way He wants it to be. Praise the LORD!





Preparation for any line of work.

11 06 2010

Canvassing is a great discipline that prepares you for any line of work. It breaks you, molds you and strengthens your character. It is a great experience for a “Thomas” like me. Jesus said to Thomas: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” I’ve had a Thomas experience:

First day I didn’t bring out any books;
Second day I brought out four;
Third day I set a goal to bring out six books. And guess what…. I sold NON!
Fourth day I was really praying and so I set the same goal, and guess what….. I brought out two books!
The fifth day, that’s when I brought out six books! And yesterday I went back to three books! And now it is down back to two. 😦

I’m confused…..

BUT all I’ve come to realize is that ….

“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6





A Synopsis…

28 05 2010

So what happened between March and now? Well, read on!
The beginning of March was devoted to the Spring Break Mission Trip. You can read about that in my previous posts. As for the rest of the month and the subsequent ones, it was all about class and outreach on the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. Next to that, I had been thinking and praying about what will happen when I get back in the Netherlands. I’ve been praying and brainstorming about ways to impact my University with the three angel’s message. The Lord has led me to get to some clues and to contact some SdA students at my University back in the Netherlands. With earnest prayer and research for idea’s, I’ve been asking God for the leadership of Nehemiah. The Lord is blessing increasingly as the day of my departure to the Netherlands draws nearer and nearer.

The progression of my experiences between March and the end of MTP (April 26) was as follows:

Christian History

Apologetics

Ecumenism

Worldviews

Discipline Week

Spirit of Prophecy

Alumni

Examination

Chicago

Since the MTP was almost coming to a closure, I began reflecting on how my year was in terms of reaching out to students. Just to give you an idea of what I discovered during my reflections, I started off with four contacts which went down to one. I’ve remained corresponding with two of the four. One of them is a good friend of mine, with whom I spent most of my time with. He came out to meetings, hang out with me at the CAMPUS house, expressed himself to me in a very candid way. Later on (in April), due to personal businesses, my communication with him diminished extremely. I called him continually, but he could not return my call. This experience affected me. I began to speculate about some possible causes of this decline in communication. I ended up convincing myself that I had done something wrong. So I prayed to God asking him for forgiveness! And I surrendered the case to God. I realized that the guy was working very hard and thus wasn’t able to contact me. Later when I was almost going to Canada, he called me and expressed how he valued our friendship and that he would keep in touch with me. At that moment, I praised the Lord for giving me another chance.As for my other friend with whom I’m corresponding with, I met him on facebook and we started chatting. He expressed how sorry he was of not being able to connect with me during the year, because he had set school and other activities as priority.
In the mean time, I was working with two other missionaries on a small group at Eastern Michigan Universtity. The Lord has led, and we are still praying for decision since our communication has now changed from one-on-one to correspondence via internet.

I’m currently in Canada visiting my uncle whom I didn’t see for 14 years! So it was really a honor to have someone offer to pay my ticket to go and see them. Coming up is canvassing for two months! It will be full time work to train my character for leadership. I have no idea what to expect. But I give all into God’s hands.

Plans:

May 30th depart from Canada, reach Michigan; Go to Warren church to canvas in the area;  June 25-27th conduct a Youth gathering in Watervliet Church;  August 4th  depart from Detroit; Reach Brussels on August 5th . September proceed with Med-school.





A Trip that lead 2 lasting Mementos

8 03 2010

Reflecting on the road-trip, I marvel at how God has protected us during the trip to New Brunswick, New Jersey. The roads were very bad! There was a snowstorm and we saw nine accidence along the way. Cars were up side down, some rolled over in the bushes on the side of the road. And I thought: “That could have been us!” Every time we saw that, we prayed for the people involved in that accident.

Another thing I praise God for is that His mercies endure forever! He has allowed us to have favor in the sight of the local church here in New Brunswick. Their hospitality is great and they were really happy to receive us! We are stayed in an extremely nice hotel, which they paid for, and they were providing meals for us daily! When I looked at all this materialism and provision, it seemed to me that this wasn’t a mission trip, but a vacation! BUT, we as a group prayed that God would keep us focused. I personally prayed that “carnal mind may not be risen from the dead” as a result of this. Meaning…. I prayed that I stay focused and not be blinded by the luxury and ease of the mission trip, but to stay focused to my mission! Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow!! The LORD has been good to us!

Concerning the outreach, We’ve had a blessed time and personally, I have learned a lot! Sunday we did GLOW scavenger hunt: meaning that a group of missionaries hid some piece of literature around campus and described the places where we could find them; after finding the literature, we had to give them to the people in that area before reading the following instructions.
Monday we did the Great Controversy challenge and flyering: meaning that we asked the people to help us out with a question concerning the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan; we asked the people to show us FROM the Bible where the observance of Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday.
Tuesday we did surveying and flyering. The Survey consisted of simple question to guide us in talking to people.
Wednesday we did surveying and flyering again plus follow-up on the contacts we made during the previous encounters with people.
Thursday, we went site-seeing in New York City. We visited Time Square, Ground Zero (The place where the World Trade Center stood), took pictures at the Bull, M&M center at Time Square and an Indian Restaurant near Time Square. During all this, we all found excuses to talk to people so that we could hand out some literature. I personally to some random people from the Netherlands who were doing some tourism in New York City and talked to a lady who lives in New York, but is originally from Eastern Europe. In both occasions, I had a chance to hand out some GLOW.
Friday, we had a question answer session and a continuation of follow-up. There I had a chance to also prepare my last seminar for Sabbath.

Speaking of the Seminars, as previously mentioned, I did Friendship Evangelism and Follow-up. The first seminar I did it with a student from Eastern Michigan University. The Lord blessed us with a message on how to mingle with people without being affected by they ideas, interests and deeds. This was truly a blessing to me. Further more, I also had the privilege to share the reason why follow-up is important, what type of follow-up one can choose, which type of follow-up is effective and some results of follow-up. It’s amazing to see how the Lord can use me to impact other people’s lives. The Lord has been so gracious to me. And blessed be His name forever and ever!!!

Finally, the Lord protected us tremendously on our way back. He blessed us with good weather and traveling mercies. I drove the first half of the journey and another missionary drove the remainder of the journey. We left the Hotel at 6:30am and arrived home at 6:30 pm.

Okay, what have I learned? The first thing that I’ve learned is that in God’s work one aught to be very humble and maintaining a continuous prayer to the Father in Heaven. God cannot use proud people who think they can do everything on there own. I had to prayer continually claiming the promise in Matthew 11:29.

Furthermore, I pleaded with God daily to fulfill what’s written in Psalm 139:23,24. And he has done it! I’ve come to realize that I’m more worried about what people think and say about me, instead of what God thinks and says about me. This is very crucial! And I praise the LORD for the way He made me realize this in the previous week. He allowed me to mess up big, being honestly mistaken and then He led someone to rebuke me for what I did. I sincerely thought that I was doing the right thing, but because of what that person said, I came to believe that I sincerely that I was wrong.  Also, when I was being rebuked, instead of taking the rebuke humbly, I tried to defend my conduct to prevent humiliation in the presence of the other two people attending the meeting. I was prideful!

Understanding this, I went back in my room, and started meditating on why my spirit was low and why I felt dumb and stupid. I started comparing the way I feel when I receive rebukes from God’s Word and this rebuke I received from this person. I discovered that there was a great distinction. And sadly enough, this distinction has led me to seek more mercies from God and a spirit of true conversion than before! So I really praise the LORD for humbling me and revealing to me a problem to cooperate with Him to solve.

Another thing that I have learned is: The power of prayer! The Lord is in the business of answering prayers as long as they are according to His will. Our group had been praying for this mission trip for two months and during the mission trip, we’ve been waking up 5:30am as a group to pray. And the Lord blessed us with marvelous experiences and dedicated students! Praise the Lord that some of them are going to do colporteur work this summer. Praise the LORD!!

Overall, this mission trip has been a tremendous blessing to me. And I hope you’ve been blessed after reading the short mission report. May the good LORD keep on blessing us with His presence. May we all work hard to hasten his Second Coming!