This Month's Letter
This Month's Letter
Dear Friend of Insight for Living:
Of all the questions I get asked about my spiritual pilgrimage, one stands out as the most-repeated: Chuck, what helps you stay on the mission?
The answer may surprise you. It's keeping a prayer journal. When I take time to record my prayers—as well as what God is teaching me—I'm better able to sustain a life of balance and obedience. Journaling allows me to identify God's leading in my life and ministry. More than ever, I'm confident in God's direction to follow Christ's final command:
"Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Thankfully, I'm not alone in this passionate pursuit.
My friend Dodi Sasongko was born into a Muslim family. By God's grace, his father became a Christian, and afterward, Dodi also accepted Christ. Dodi later attended and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary while interning at Stonebriar Community Church. Today, he serves as our Insight for Living Ministries pastor in Indonesia, translating my messages for future broadcasts.
Dodi calls his wife, Elsje, "a passionate prayer warrior," and what great stories they have! On more than one occasion at his ministry's original location, certain angry Muslims circled the building, screaming, cursing, and throwing objects because Dodi was teaching from the Bible and training pastors for ministry. Eventually, an opportunity arose for his ministry's office to move. Dodi and Elsje prayed and sensed God's guidance to relocate in an unusual place—right next to a cemetery.
Near the new property stood a century-old Beringin tree (a Ficus tree), which is a species of fig tree. As is common in Indonesia, this Beringin tree had been used in witchcraft as a site for casting spells and sacrificing chickens to demons. What's more, a hostile Muslim cleric threatened to personally burn down Dodi's new office! Dodi and Elsje took those threats to the Lord, and something amazing happened. Somehow, while Elsje and Dodi were away on a trip, that Beringin tree caught fire . . . and completely burned down—including its roots deep in the ground! And, the significance of the tree burning has been great.
That old Beringin tree, once used for witchcraft, casting spells, and other dark purposes, is now gone and destroyed. Today, the road that passes along the cemetery is constantly used by local people, and the new ministry building continues to be a place for training pastors, as well as a haven of refuge, safety, and peace. The community is thriving with new houses being added each month, and the local Muslims now have respect for the ministry, which continues to flourish in that area. . . . This is amazing!
To help further the work of the gospel among the Indonesian people so that they can hear God's Word, be freed from sin's evil control, delivered from demonic darkness, and live productive and peaceful lives, Insight for Living Ministries will soon be opening an office in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This story reminds me of 12 of my heroes whose lives were forged in fiery tests and shaped on the anvil of prayer. These women and men have inspired me in my spiritual journey. Their lives are highlighted in Passionate Prayer, a prayer journal we've created to help you stay on the mission in your own spiritual journey.
Keeping a record is important, because we all pass quickly from one experience to another, and too often, we fail to capture the lessons God teaches. To keep that from happening and to thank you for your financial support, I'd like to send you a copy of Passionate Prayer when you send your gift this month. I so want you to enter into this experience that has been mine for all these years!
This month, we begin our 35th year of ministry. Looking back in my journal, I'm reminded of how God has provided. Over the next year, I can't wait to share more amazing stories—like Dodi's—of what God has done and is doing at Insight for Living Ministries through the support of our friends. I urge you to be a part of His answer to our prayers this month. And in faith, I look forward to recording the wonderful ways God will provide again.
Through your prayers and your generosity, you can help us stay on the mission, and we can help you follow Christ's Great Commission to: "Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."
Praying with you and for you,
Charles R. Swindoll