Author Archives: Brian

About Brian

I am a follower of Jesus, blessed with a wife, two children, and a call to serve God as a missionary journalist sharing stories of His work in Southern Africa.

The National Day of Prayer 2019

https://mailchi.mp/42f1b2c94158/x2vipm43zx-1493865

 

Friends and family praying over us at our commissioning service at Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in 2016.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.

— Romans 8:26 (Berean Study Bible)

National Day of Prayer

Dear friends, family, and partners,

The verse above has always been one of great comfort for me: that even when we don’t know what to say or ask in prayer, it is enough for us to reach out to Him, and He will do the rest.

“…the LORD does not see as man does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

The Lord looks at our hearts, and He calls us to immerse ourselves in His. Yes, He is a god of holiness and of commandments, but those are because He is a god of love. “Love one another, just as I have loved you,” Jesus instructed us in John 13:34.

When we approach Him in prayer, whether broken as sinners or grateful as saved or joyful as children, He delights in our hearts, in our love. Prayer is spending time with Him, sitting in our Father’s lap, so to speak. Enjoying the blessing of His love, and offering ours in return.

Today was the National Day of Prayer, an event held annually since 1952 but harkening back to our nation’s founding moments and through its times of great trial and triumph. Its theme this year was “Love One Another,” drawn from that verse in John 13:34.

I was glad to be able to attend an observance at a local high school, where dozens believers of different denominations prayed together for the good of our country and all the people within it. We prayed for all those in America to love one another, for the church in America to be united in love even when we disagree on doctrine, for the families and workplaces and communities in America to love one another, for all ethnicities and people to love one another, and for all of us to pray for and participate in a great spiritual awakening in America. The full list of prayer points can be read at https://nationaldayofprayer.org/prayer-guide.

Whether you were able to attend an event today, whether you knew it was the official day of prayer, and whether you prayed those things or others, I hope you were able to spend some time talking with God and feeling the warmth of His love for you. Today and every day.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and encouragement, and may God bless each of you and all you hold dear.

In Christ’s love,
Brian and the family

In case you missed it…

Last fall, I (Brian) was appointed to a new position: media coordinator for a ten-country region in Southern Africa. Working primarily from home, I continue to help gather and share stories of what God is doing through and in the people and ministries of SIM.This position change moved me from SIM South Africa’s office in Cape Town to SIM’s Southern Africa Service Center (SASC) in Johannesburg. SASC provides various administrative services for SIM teams in Angola 🇦🇴, Botswana 🇧🇼, Madagascar 🇲🇬, Malawi 🇲🇼, Mauritius 🇲🇺, Mozambique 🇲🇿, Namibia 🇳🇦, Réunion 🇷🇪, Zambia 🇿🇲, and Zimbabwe 🇿🇼.

Praises and Prayer Requests

We give praise:
•    for the privileges and opportunities that come with being Americans.
•    for the ways He has blessed this nation and its people, including making a nation out of people from many lands and cultures.

We ask prayers:
•    for those petitions listed by the organizers of the National Day of Prayer, especially for love to heal the divisions rife within our land and people.
•    for God to guide and protect people around the world, including leaders at every level and in every endeavor.
•    for the Lord’s love to be shown brightly through His followers.
•    for people to be touched by today’s event and drawn closer to Him.

How can we pray for you?

PARTNER WITH US

You can help us continue to show God’s love to others by continuous prayer and through monthly or one-time financial donations.

We appreciate each contribution – we could not do this without you!

Make a one-time or monthly donation

LET’S STAY CONNECTED!

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
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Listening with the love of Christ

This was one of many Facebook posts I made from South Africa during my first trip back. Originally posted March 18, 2018; time references date from then.

“All meaningful relationships start with a conversation and not a presentation,” (source unspecified, quoted this morning by the preacher at our old church in Cape Town).

I want to tell you about Sandile Dlomo, the young man whose picture I shared last Wednesday, and how God put him onto my heart. Continue reading

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Sharing the gospel at our digital doorstep

“No offense, Chuck, but I’m not sure you’re you. Remind me where we met.”

“Lol
“What do you mean by that ?
“This real me.”

The Lord is good, and faithful to meet our every need. He demonstrated that again last week by bringing me a cross-cultural ministry opportunity.

Continue reading

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A funeral, a wedding, and a battle — one day’s three studies on love

Karla was truly a fixture in our town. She was born and raised there, got married and raised her own family there, helped all those she could, and served faithfully on the Sauerkraut Festival committee for decades.

One of her boys, Chad, was a classmate and friend of mine. He was always one of the most gracious and loving members of our class, and I remember often thinking how that was an extension of her overflowing love. She welcomed everyone to her home and table, even letting many stay a while as they needed, including many of her kids’ friends for a few days or weeks, and even some folks she’d not known much before giving them room. When I was a reporter and would visit her every year about that Sauerkraut Festival, she would pour out love and hospitality on me like I was one of her own kids.

She had so much love for all those around her that it was the overwhelming theme of her funeral Saturday morning. Cars were parked far down the street, and the church was packed, and love just filled that room and the many whose eyes welled with it.


Becky was long a coworker of Tracy’s at one medical practice and is again at another. Her daughter was a friend of ours at daycare, and although I have never known Becky well, I have always admired the love and dedication she demonstrated as a single mom. She always had joy, a friendly greeting, and a glowing smile whenever I saw her, and her daughter was always clearly well-cared for and surrounded by her mother’s love.

She and Selly married Saturday afternoon, and it was touching to see them show and others speak of how much they love each other and how that began. He seems a very good man, and we pray that their love continue to grow and deepen for many years.


Private First Class Desmond Doss was a man whose love of God made him promise to never touch a gun but whose love of his country caused him to enlist as a medic for World War II. His true story was told in the gritty 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge, which I watched tonight.

Harassed by his fellow recruits and the officers above them for his beliefs, he was nearly forced out but persevered.

“It isn’t right that other men should fight and die, that I would just be sitting at home safe. I need to serve. I got the energy and the passion to serve as a medic, right in the middle with the other guys. No less danger, just, while everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it. With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to me to wanna put a little bit of it back together,” Doss said at his court martial for refusing an order to use a rifle at training camp.

Viewed by others as a coward, at Iwo Jima, he stayed on a battlefield to help the wounded who hadn’t been able to retreat. Working alone but for God’s help, he saved 75 men while Japanese troops continued to patrol the area, shooting everyone they found alive. “Please Lord, help me get one more,” he kept praying. True to his beliefs and his promise to God, he never harmed anyone and even treated three Japanese soldiers he encountered.

For his actions on Hacksaw Ridge, Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was the first conscientious objector to receive it.


“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”—John 15:9-17 (NIV)

 

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