Prayer Lifeline Spreads Light during Spiritual Warfare in Honduras

This month’s #GoGrowChange theme of sunshine is all about the importance of prayer support. This story by Tim Rickel, vice president of International Ministries, makes it evident why there is such a great need for prayer. 

Photo credit: Tim Rickel

I sat behind the wheel of my truck, heart pounding. As soon as I felt the right rear dual tire slip off the road and start to slip down the six-foot drop to the stream bed next to the road, I hit the brakes and stopped the truck. How had this happened?

The F-350 was tilted at a crazy angle—left front tire off the ground. I gingerly got out to survey the situation. A large clump of grass was all that prevented the truck from going over the edge and likely flipping upside down into the stream below. In the next few minutes, what had happened would come into clear focus. This was spiritual warfare!

I was on the island of Roatán, Honduras, right in front of the clinic where people were seen for medical care throughout the week and where a church was being born. We were building a house across the valley, and that’s where the events leading up to this accident began. I was working that morning with three young men, and I needed a chain that was back at the clinic to pull start our Jeep that had a dead battery that morning. To save time, and because the chain was heavy, I drove the truck over to pick up the chain. Just as I was getting into the truck to return, there were my three workers walking down the road toward town! What were they doing? So instead of turning right and going back over to the house, I turned left to catch up to them and ask them why they were walking off the job. As they came back into view, one of the three turned and looked back at me and then turned and kept walking down a small side path; they were gone. I slammed on the brakes and threw the truck in reverse. Forget it! As I backed up along the familiar lane to the spot where I could turn back around, the wheel suddenly dropped off the roadway. I hadn’t realized it, but the night before the government road grader had graded the road, leveling off clumps of dirt that had formed a sort of curb on the drop-off side of the narrow road. That was the first time that road had been graded in the seven years we had been in Roatán.

I now had to walk over to the house to get some rope and plan how I was going to extricate my heavy truck. When I got to the house, there were my three workers! I asked them how they had gotten back up to the house; they looked at me like I was crazy.

“We’ve been here working. Where’s the truck?” was their response.

And as in other occasions in this small village of 1,500 souls, where the message of Christ was unknown and where we just had a fledgling church starting, I could definitely see how the enemy of our soul was trying to defeat us using every trick at his disposal. Nothing in my Christian background had prepared me for the spiritual warfare we faced in Roatán. When things would get to a certain point and we needed help, we would call WGM headquarters and ask for a request to be put on Prayer Lifeline. This was before email when the only way to get the Lifeline was by calling an 800 number. Every time, we would feel the oppression lift right around noon on Tuesday when the new Lifeline requests were being recorded. It was like the soldier on the frontlines of battle calling in an airstrike on an enemy position.

I was able to use ropes and a jack to winch the truck back up onto the road that morning, tying off to some coconut trees across the road. But the real help came the next Tuesday when the Lifeline went live. Prayer is still the main weapon in our arsenal against the enemy. Satan would like us to forget that.

ACT: Missions work can be dangerous, and the enemy is always on the prowl. We are God’s army, and we can make a difference today! Will you take up arms and join the Prayer Lifeline team (www.wgm.org/lifeline) to support those under attack and on the front lines?

An Unexpected Journey

Len and Betsy Phillips are missionaries who have served in Honduras; Bolivia; and Norcross, Georgia. Recently, God has guided them to a new ministry. They shared in a past ministry blog post entitled “Praying for Clear Vision” about how God was directing them in a new way and asked specifically for prayer in making a decision. God answered prayer, and Len and Betsy share this praise and an update in their latest ministry blog post. Check it out and learn about the #Sunshine God provided through prayer supporters.

“Not long ago we asked for your prayers for clear vision and direction. Thank you for praying! Your prayers, and ours, have been answered. God is leading us to Albania!

“Jesus has provided an exciting opportunity for us to serve at the GDQ International Christian School in Tirana, Albania. Len will put his almost-completed Masters of Education to use through administrative duties as Middle School/High School Principal. Betsy will step into teaching Middle School Bible classes and will also coordinate Lower School Chapels.

“GDQ was founded in the fall of 1993 to support the efforts of the evangelical Protestant missionary community in Albania by providing a Christ-centered, academically enriching international education. Currently, about 75% of the student body are the children of missionaries serving in Albania and the remainder represent expatriates involved in the international business sector. Students and staff represent more than fifteen different mission sending organizations and come from Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America. The vision of the school is to instill in students a God-honoring Christian worldview so they might have maximum influence for the glory of God in and through their lives.”

The Backfiring Car Defeats Bandits

The mission field can be dangerous, and WGM equips missionaries for those types of situations. However, sometimes only God can intervene to help those in need. Read this excerpt from The Best of the Story: Miraculous Answers to Prayer to learn how God used a car to save those who were in great need as they served Him on the field.

“And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.” Genesis 35:5

“When World Gospel Mission had missionaries in China, frequently bandits took possession of cities to rob and plunder. Missionary George Warner, later president of the WGM, wrote of the time he rescued two young Chinese school teachers from a town occupied by robbers.

“After locating the teachers, gunfire forced Warner and his companions to abandon the car to seek shelter in a nearby building. On returning, they discovered five or six bullets had smashed the windshield, penetrated the car, and hit tire treads, but the car immediately started.

“As they were fleeing across plowed fields trying to get out of gun range, the engine began to backfire. Warner had noted earlier that the carburetor was cracked and had tried to fix it with soap. While backfiring, the radiator began to boil, and fire started beneath the hood. Fearing an explosion, they fled and sought refuge in a ditch. Suddenly the radiator hose burst, and the car was enveloped in smoke and steam. At the same time, the shooting from the bandits ceased.  Warner returned and reattached the burned hoses while others found water for the radiator. He was amazed when the car started and they were able to escape without injury.

“Later, he saw that the fire in the engine had welded the cracked carburetor, and the exploding water lines had put out the fire. Everything had been “fixed” by the backfiring of the car. But why did the firing from the bandits cease? The backfiring car with the sound of exploding water hoses accompanied by smoke had caused the bandits to think that well-armed men were in the car and were firing in self-defense. The bandits fled.”

“Our God has the ability to distract the hearing and vision of the enemy so that he thinks we are well defended—which indeed we are.”

Will you pray for missionaries on the field? Pray that they will be protected in miraculous ways in the face of danger. Use www.wgm.org/praycal or www.wgm.org/lifeline as resources for your prayer life.

Needs are Met and Seeds are Growing

This month in our theme #GoGrowChange, we have been focusing on the topic of “seeds”—ministries that have started in the past year or few years and are beginning to take root and grow. I encourage you to listen to Jade Metz, WGM missionary to Uganda, as she talks about the Diginity Project. Nathan and Jade serve in pastoral training and compassionate ministries. 

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Dignity Project AGM 2016 Report by Jade Metz

“Shortly after our last AGM in December 2015 Caroline Ouma, Winnie Mugisha and I distributed 75 Dignity Project Kits to new and expectant moms on the maternity ward at Naguru Hospital and the Kisugu Clinic. We prayed with the families and even got to name a couple of babies!

“In January Caroline Abbo and I were invited by Rev. Martin to put on a Dignity Project training at his church. The ladies had been using the products for a few months and were eager for us to teach them how to make the reusable pads. Twelve woman attended the training!

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“In February Chalapi Uganda hosted a Dignity Project training in Kasese. Fellow missionary Meg Rambo, visitor Andrea Vinluen and I trained 50 men and women. Chalapi aims ‘to see a better living environment and dignity for prisoners, ex-prisoners and the underprivileged population.’ It was a perfect fit! We trained the attendees as well as distributed 50 Dignity Project Kits. The following day we went with a group from Chalapi to distribute kits and Bibles to 16 inmates in prison. On that day God showed me that this project is not about the pads, it’s about teaching vulnerable women about Jesus! The pads are a way for me to get into places to meet with women who feel like they are too far from God’s reach. Twelve women gave their life to Christ that day! May God be glorified!

“From April to June I spent nearly every Thursday volunteering at Butabika Hospital training 4 patients. The director shared with me that the women were using cotton wrapped in gauze during their periods and that he wanted the women who were mentally able to use our products. Every Thursday the women and I would work on one step of the pattern and perfect it. I read my Bible to them while they worked on the pattern. They loved listening to me read and would ask many questions about the Scriptures. One of the patients that I taught was Anita, Idi Amin’s daughter. Once again, God put me in a unique place to share the love of Christ with women who felt hopeless,
ashamed and outcast. What an awesome God!

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“In May I distributed 150 kits to expectant and new moms on the maternity ward at Naguru Hospital. The moms and nurses on these maternity wards love these products! In June four of the women from Reverend Martin’s church came to my home to celebrate! They had been practicing their sewing skills for 5 months and wanted to show me their completed pads. We enjoyed a meal together and played yard games. They shared with me that they are now making the pads to use as a ministry tool for the
young girls in their community. God is good!

“God is so creative! I’m so grateful He uses simple things like reusable sanitary pads to reach His children!”