Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Please Pray for the Beakleys

Here are some ways that you can pray for the Beakleys as they serve in South Africa:

  1. Please pray for our incoming students and that the Lord would provide even more "late applicants" for beginning January 2020.
  2. Please pray for the conditions in South Africa.  There is a drought, and many farmers are losing livestock.
  3. Please give thanks for the Lord's work in Christ Baptist Church.  There are many new visitors coming to church, we see excellent spiritual growth in many of our members.  The Lord is at work!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Please Pray for the Empower Life Center

Here are some ways that you can be praying for the Empower Life Center in Peoria, IL:
  1. Prayers for a staff member and a volunteer who both have cancer. They both have shown dependence and strength in our Father and His goodness.
  2. Pray for staffing decisions.
  3. Pray for the provision of size 3T and 4T clothing.
  4. Praise for all the donations we have been receiving! They are very appreciated by us and our clients.
  5. Pray for our many parenting clients who have had their children removed from their care for various reasons…that they will have ears to receive not only parenting instruction but their need for Jesus.
  6. Pray for all of our clients, guests and residents across the ministry try as we enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. This time of year is difficult for them because of their need and broken family relationships.

Please Pray for the Esther House

Here are some ways that you can be praying for the Esther House in Peoria, IL:
  1. Pray for our guests to have a desire to accept resources/help given and to move forward in their circumstances.
  2. Pray for a couple of guests who are having difficulty finding permanent housing due to their backgrounds.
  3. Praise God for the staff and volunteers who love and serve our guests so well. It can become difficult and tiring but they reflect Jesus well. 
  4.  Pray for them to continue to look to our Father for his strength and love.
Here are some ways to pray for the Renewal Program at the Esther House:
  1. Pray for one of our ladies who recently left the program. Often when ladies reach this point in the program they become anxious and feel they have “learned” enough. It is heartbreaking because often they will choose to go back to unhealthy/unsafe environments. 
  2. Pray for protection for her and the ladies who remain in the program.
  3. Pray for ladies who would benefit from the program to answer the nudging from the Holy Spirit and come so they can know and begin a relationship with their Savior and experiencing healing and freedom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Please Pray for the Peltons

Here are some ways that you can pray for the Peltons as they serve in Chicago:
  1. They would walk closely with the Lord each day.
  2. They would have wisdom and capacity to minister to those the Lord brings across our path.
  3. They would consistently engage in evangelistic opportunities.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Please Pray for Pablo and Judi Perez

Here are some ways that you can pray for Pablo and Judi Perez as they serve in Ecuador:
  1. Wisdom in sharing with those who are on the different sides of the decree political unrest that has been going on in the country, to focus on the Gospel.
  2. Praise/prayer for the leaders of the new and emerging home churches. The recent unrest/strike shows the need for and effectiveness of the home churches when the whole city is under curfew, and there is no way to travel.

A Beautiful Picture of Discipleship

Back in August of this year I was preparing for Care Group Leader training which would take place at the end of that month. During my time of preparation I came across a passage in Acts 18 that includes a beautiful picture of discipleship in just a few verses. The passage I'm referring to is Acts 18:24-28:

24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (ESV)

I simply want to make a few observations from this passage and note some aspects of discipleship:
  1. Apollos had been instructed in the way of the Lord. Someone, at some point(s) in Apollos' life had taught him about God. Someone must have intentionally sought out Apollos and instructed him (25a).
  2. Apollos didn't keep what he had learned to himself. Rather, he took what he had learned, albeit incomplete, and shared it with others. Having been made a disciple he was looking to make disciples (25b) (cf. Matt 28:18-20).
  3. Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately (26). They intentionally discipled him. They took the things that they had been taught and passed them on to another believer.
  4. Apollos didn't stop, having "arrived" at this greater knowledge of the way, but instead he kept on proclaiming the truths he had learned from others (27-28).

In these few verses we see a beautiful picture of biblical discipleship, one that we may seek to imitate, by God's grace.

Blake Gerber