Memoirs From A Missionary Who Ministers To Victims Of Human Sex Trafficking In South Asia


The following articles are edited in order for the serve of this missionary to remain secure.  Her name, the city she comes from, and the country and city she serves in, are all changed.  The area she serves in, South Asia, is mentioned.

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Fwd: Testimonies from trip to South Asia
Missionary Journal

Susan Howard   12/14/17
2:41 AM (5 hours ago)

Sahiba hugging Kajal (Miriam’s Daughter) after receiving Christ! Her Mom is behind her
Wednesday, December 14, 2017
Dear Friends and Family,
Wow! I’m blown away! This was, by far, my favorite mission trip ever!!! Honestly, when God first asked me to go on this mission trip, I was a little bit reluctant. I did not have PTO at work, I have many other priorities in my life right now, it was inconvenient and it did not make a lot of practical sense for me to go. But, God … I will tell you this: On my last day, I sat watching the sunrise awaken the dawn with tears of gratitude at God’s lavish love poured out on me and the people of South Asia.
So, where to start … It all begins with a wedding. One of my good friends, Sahiba invited us to join her bridal party and we were honored to celebrate with her and share God’s love to the many lost people who attended. We felt the Lord tell us that Sahiba’s marriage to Askash was a picture of Psalms 45 and how Jesus is pursuing His bride in this nation: “Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty, honor him, for he is your lord.” Vs 9-11.
Everyday Sahiba asked us to worship and pray over and with her. In her nation, only 2% of people follow God. And Our presence was such an encouragement and blessing for her. On the day of her wedding, her friends arrived and she asked me to share a word from the Bible with them as they are unbelievers. I shared how the love Akash has is a glimpse of the deep love Jesus Christ has for His bride and many of the guests were moved as I continued with the gospel message. Praise God that four people became believers at the wedding. And through a divine appointment, I was able to share the Good News with Akash’s father, who is not a Christian. We had an intense conversation … and honestly, I was a little bit intimidated. He was wealthy and intelligent and he had just lavished us with kindness and love. And I know I have Good News, but it’s not easy to tell someone that their faith is wrong and that they are going to hell. Slowly, slowly God gave me grace and the words to share. And he listened intently to the full gospel and at the end, he thanked me for the conversation and actually gave me a Bible. LOL!
Sahiba has a call of government on her life and an Esther anointing. She plans to run for a political office, so I am praying that God will raise her up for a such a time as this to move and shake her nation.
From the wedding, we continued to the Animal Fair where they traffick children. We were amazed to hear that God began to answer our prayers to shut down this horrible event! This Fair has been going on for over 500 years. But, I truly believe, this year will be the last! The event started 6 days late as the police refused to give permission to the human traffickers. Then, as we met up with some of the traffickers, they told us that business was horrible and that many of the girls had returned home as they weren’t making any money. The police put up security cameras in every trafficking venue and they prohibited alcohol. Additionally, the event was scheduled to close down the day I left! So, what should have lasted a month was whittled down to 10 days and they weren’t getting any customers!!! All through the power of PRAYER!
When we went behind the theaters where they hold the girls, the traffickers gave us favor and permission to minister openly. Many gathered around as we gave small gifts and shared the Good News and it was amazing to see traffickers praying genuine prayers of repentance alongside of the girls they traffick! Truly the name of Jesus is the most powerful name on earth and His blood can cover any sin! Almost 50 people received Christ as we shared His love in the theatres. God gave us words of knowledge for many of the girls and they found freedom from depression and shame. Many of the girls want to leave this lifestyle and Miriam, our national partner, wants to visit at least once a month to neighboring Red Light Districts and help young girls escape. Please be praying for a team and resources for this new ministry God is launching.
We met one girl, Sahiba, and she is engaged to a police officer who is going to rescue her and her mom from this Red-Light life. I love that she shares the same name as my friend who got married. It’s such a beautiful confirmation of the picture I had that Jesus is going to save His South Asian Bride – mind, body, soul and spirit! Sahiba and her mother received Christ. And her mother was amazed, “I just feel so light and so amazing! I feel like a new person!” Their countenances were transformed by the light and love of Christ.
Later, I travelled to another village that also had a small Red-Light District, where Miriam and I had invested a lot of love and time when I lived nearby 3 years ago. I was amazed that on the same exact day that I visited, the believers had their very first meeting for a new fellowship plant and I was honored to pray over the congregation and the believers that we had helped lead to the Lord. I was so happy to hear that some of the girls who were trafficked had been rescued and were now married and living far from this place. We supplied this fellowship planter with a projector and a generator and he has 30 villages ready to see the film about God’s Son! Can’t wait to hear stories of revival in this region.
Towards the end of the trip, we showed the Jesus film in the village where Miriam was born. There is a lot of trafficking in this village as well. Miriam and I had been praying and serving in this town when I lived there. On the night of the film, over 40 people were saved and Miriam is going to continue to visit this place to start a fellowship. Additionally, many of the woman who were trafficked in the past came up to me for healing prayer and counseling. It was amazing to see the Holy Spirit move powerfully in their lives.
Lastly, I’m really excited because Paul and Julie have a call from God to serve long-term in the nations. So, I’m looking forward to see God launch them from this short-term trip into their destiny. As for me, I feel called to keep taking those who have a calling on their lives and training them up and propelling them to the nations. I know that we will continue to visit this mission station and I’m looking forward to see how God will move in and through these beginnings. But, 2 new churches, almost 100 people saved and a Red-Light Animal Fair practically shut down after 500 years!?! Really, you out-prayed yourselves! Glory to God! Life with Him is ALWAYS an adventure!

In Christ and with many thanks from a grateful heart,
Love, Susan

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Lily of the Valley Spring Edition
Missionary Journal

Susan Howard
3/19/15

 

Dear Friends and Family!

I love you! Thanks for all your prayers and support. I’m enjoying my time back in the states. My training with my mission’s agency, YWAM, was rescheduled from April to October. So, I guess God wants me to rest, reflect, minister, worship, encourage, bless and be blessed in USA for a little longer than expected. God’s new plan of rest makes sense since to me since this is the Sabbath year on the Jewish calendar, so I’m just along for the ride as usual and trusting Him to lead me and guide me. However, it’s kind of hard for me to think about being in USA for 6 months, because I’m just wired to be out where the action is and where people have never heard the name of Jesus. But, as I was kind of complaining to God about the delay, I sensed Him asking me, “Can you just hang out with me for 6 months?” Soooo, yeah … I can. He’s enough!

If you want me to share testimonies about God’s miracles and our work to stop human trafficking and ministry in South Asia with you over lunch or coffee, Bible Study group or church, then please let me know. It would be my honor to share what God has been up to at the end of the earth. Just email or call me … and I’ll do my best to meet up with you or your church! Along those lines, I do need a car if you happen to know someone that has an extra one I can borrow until June. I also am looking for a temporary job if you know of any positions available in Dallas, TX. My mission’s agency, YWAM (Youth with a Mission) training is 3 months long and starts in October, it is followed by 2 months of international team outreach. The cost of the program is $8000. So, please be in prayer for God’s provision in this.

I really enjoyed time with my family in Florida! Dad and Mom were super supportive and helpful with my ministry and raising awareness about stopping human trafficking and furthering God’s kingdom. We enjoyed sharing on the radio, newspaper, rotary and churches about God’s work in South Asia. I definitely look forward to partnering together with my parent’s church, the First Baptist Church of Bradenton in the future as well! I was also really grateful to spend time with my oldest brother, who I haven’t really had relationship with for 20 years (that’s a longggg story). But, I just praise God for happy endings! Ned and his wife Beverly and children are AMAZING and I’m enjoying getting to know them! From fishing to evangelizing outreaches to late nights of spades and Rumikub to throwback Thursdays of dancing to Footloose, we just had a really, really good time. I cried many tears when it was time to leave and I look forward to seeing them again soon! I’m sooo blessed to have such a loving, kind family.

One of my favorite American testimonies so far is a day when I decided to go for a walk in our small fishing village in Bradenton, Florida. The sun was setting as I felt compelled to talk to a young woman, Tiffany, who was fishing on the pier. My back has been hurting due to driving on really bad village roads in South Asia on my scooter. I’ve been praying for a chiropractor. And as I talked with Tiffany, I found out she just happened to work for one! She arranged to get me free chiropractic service! I was so grateful. She asked me about my story. I told her how I used to turn to men, power, money, alcohol, work and more to make me happy. But, all the things of the world only made me sad, empty and angry. Only when I reached rock bottom and really surrendered my life to Jesus did I become happy. He changed my life and gave me joy and His presence and love and everything I ever wanted in my soul! Tiffany started crying. She said, “are you kidding me? I was just googling last night, ‘how to be happy?!’” She cried as I prayed over her. I love divine appointments and how we were able to mutually bless each other!

There are many people who are so hungry for love and for Jesus. All we need to do is share the reason for the hope that is within us! The harvest is truly ready! Also, I think it’s a season to press in for breakthrough and healing in relationships! I’ve seen a lot of healing among my friends and family. It’s a time to forgive and be forgiven. In the Jewish culture, the Sabbath year is time a time to release people from debts and rest from hard labors. Next year is the year of Jubilee. In Biblical Israel, this was a time when land was restored to people who sold it and slaves were set free from bondage – a season of joyous celebration! So, I think it’s good to press in for the blessings that God has for us in the spirit of this season.
The work in South Asia continues to blossom. Miriam continues to start new Bible Studies and minister to the lost and unreached and love on her 4 orphaned nephews and children. She needs more financial support as she registers the children in school if you feel called to help scholarship their education then contact me for details. Miriam prayed for one child that couldn’t walk in their whole life and Jesus did a miracle and now that child can walk!

Thanks for praying for our sewing center in the village red light. We needed a new instructor. There was one young woman, Reema, who is a strong believer and we wanted her on our team. However, she was not a talented seamstress. Well! God just decided to do a miracle and give her some downloads from heaven and in 3 months, she acquired more sewing talent than a local teacher with 6 years of experience!? So praise God for Reema. Please pray for her as she transitions into this new post!

Love and prayers to you,

Susan

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A Pastor’s Memoirs And Journal On Personal Brokenness And Suffering

Below is a pastor’s personal testimony about suffering, sacrifice and brokenness in the ministry.  It is his story from the school of hard knocks and his autobiography.  In order to grow into Christlikeness, suffering is not an option, it comes with the turf.  As we grow in the image of Jesus, we count the “fellowship of His suffering” as gain.  Blessings, Pastor Steve  <><

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Written by a dear pastor and friend who chooses to remain anonymous:

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in the book of Isaiah 66, verses 1 and 2:

1 “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

As I attempt to write this essay on the subject of broken things, I write from the perspective of one who ministers to those who have been broken; and in this exchange, those who have been hurt can often hurt those who are trying to help them.  As one who has spent the majority of my life thus far in the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I can tell you at times, sheep will bite the hands that feed them.

During times of conflict or even confrontation, I must remind myself of the words of Christ when He Himself said:  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34  Those who answer the high calling of God to minister to the broken must also be broken themselves.  I am not implying that the ministry is to be depressing or desponding, but the man of God is also not to present himself as a Lord over God’s heritage, as one who is puffed up, arrogant, or proud, but we are reminded of this command by the half brother of our Lord.  James, who shared the same mother as that of Immanuel, instead chose to identify himself as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…  [James 1:1]  He continued to remind us of the necessity of humility and brokenness in James 4:6  “But He giveth more grace, Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.”  I personally have had to guard from allowing others to exalt myself to something greater than I am.  I have had to decline offers of pastor’s parking in the front of a new building addition we built on our church property in Punta Gorda – I chose rather to suggest we use that spot for visitors.  I also had to respectfully decline for a church in Jacksonville to hang a large picture of my wife and I in the foyer of our church, so the first thing the visitors and members would see would be me.  I plainly told them if you want to hang a picture of anyone, hang a picture of Jesus there.

However, just as a minister must know how to guard himself from being exalted by those he leads through the service of the Lord, a minister must also know how to conduct himself in the times of brokenness and injury from those he is trying to love.  Often times a pastor can find himself in the middle of a conflict or dispute that truly has nothing to do with himself.  I recently found myself trying to bring peace between two families within my congregation who are united by a marriage that neither family wanted.

I find myself very often claiming the promise found in the humble brother of our Lord who was known for his knees that were as a camel, when he declared:  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”  [James 1:5]  I have stood on this promise through prayer in every one of the five churches where I have been blessed to serve as their pastor.  During times of great difficulty and brokenness I have asked our precious Father to anoint me with this wisdom that He promised to give to those who ask him.  In the early years of my pastoral ministry, I had to depend on the Lord to guide me through traditional divides, and try to include members and leaders who we in times past would not use.  This included faithful members who had been divorced and remarried before I was even born.  I also had the blessing to allow our wonderful female members the ability to have a voice in business matters whereas for decades before they were not allowed.  I also had the lot to fall upon me to allow the incorporation of newer praise and worship music like Hillsong’s “Shout to the Lord,” and Jack Hayford’s “Majesty,” to a congregation who prided themselves in holding solely to the standard of the hymnal.

I will never forget when one of our members who himself was a retired senior pastor, who I greatly admired in my childhood, sat before me and told me that because of my going against his traditions, he could make it happen that I would never pastor again, and furthermore he could make it to where I would lose my home, and my wife and young daughter would be homeless.  I could not believe my ears, but instead of mistreating this man who was old enough to be my grandfather, I chose to continue to show him respect and honor.  The old retired pastor watched as the small church that he had founded in Brooksville, Florida, next to a junk yard and across the street from a crack house, had gone from an attendance of eighteen on our first Sunday to one hundred and sixty six, when we left to go to Fort Myers five years later.  Even after we left, I continued to love him and his wife, even inviting him to preach in various churches that I pastored throughout the state.  I will never forget shortly before he passed away and years after I left Brooksville, this once pastor of pastors, and leader of leaders, came to me with tears in his eyes at our International Assembly in North Carolina, and asked me to officiate his funeral when he died.  Several months later I stood before this man, who had built many church buildings and pastored many churches, and was able to lift up a life, that he too, had to go through a period of brokenness as the Lord lovingly allowed a change in his heart to guide him from the traditions of the past to the truth we find in Malachi 4:6  “And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers….”  I will forever be grateful for the lessons I have learned in times of BROKENNESS.

Memoirs From A Short Term Mission Trip To Guatemala

This trip was taken in late August, 2016.  The members of this venture served small children in an orphanage:

 

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Sometimes the above link will not open the memoirs from this mission trip.  If that is the case, you can open them in the seven links below.  They are August 20 (2), August 21 (1), August 22 (2), August 23 (1), and August 25 (1), making up a total of seven pages.

 

 

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be63d09c0e2cb&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_NnqYZLpt4Q9qnheS2JzzfVuOOY4Zqw7q2ruV3yH48DDhEHBFBVvgnaKmNeXCquGP2m1UGaSJMik14zJPwQzwCTyX7AXGdcrFJTYkoy_sHe_Z_CRhHp8dRGT4&ats=1473257180452&rm=156be63d09c0e2cb&zw&sz=w1366-h643

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be63d09c0e2cb&attid=0.3&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_UUqNORmebz7PvqghwaVKX2YS3BsMdBBMssflncT0PSoGWP_9OLFrdNMSkYeH7_V9hSZ4tPSeIi8eKg4PLzbAViIB2xWKgt0NnxBRapDc3w42Z4tlGWqLVsHs&ats=1473256451936&rm=156be63d09c0e2cb&zw&sz=w1366-h643

 

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be63d09c0e2cb&attid=0.5&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_qDujbpZnIjC6TmraQUSrcL_BS4_tApSzYM95aAs2mTPmPYA3pQ4pZYewvdB03BTbrS-g3gyh8GPSe4j6paFHyazrN-um9qQNAtlG5nxkey-B2wgQPm-Md3Cc&ats=1473256724954&rm=156be63d09c0e2cb&zw&sz=w1366-h643

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be63d09c0e2cb&attid=0.7&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_2SvEn8NdLO0Olo3GdErdtrDmuuXrYPHE2qB4WHS_Pbq7W9mIqY0a3LkHOCc9sCyYEHnL1M7v_UgGohTnpsJ-kGlIBkZqXycBOMaOe4ZJzRrBCyDALqDTxumk&ats=1473256875439&rm=156be63d09c0e2cb&zw&sz=w1366-h643

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be63d09c0e2cb&attid=0.9&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ8ty431HRrFXAHZWwrEh0oYnHBa0Y5WbGHPZPuh1-JFnTrZKhLvn-vMd0oABud-35JPEhDZ5fQntqdSuFRaAs-iMsJGKm3aurUe33VdlFLtiXUs_o5Ka-_Iizk&ats=1473257025668&rm=156be63d09c0e2cb&zw&sz=w1366-h643

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=156be22689e5577e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ8-82icUsSSmBvx3aDe2VdpnQcGXM03SDSz8Hs4RwZvgVIhrSw4X7ad1-mCHzxLylKrunIvis0rVDNrRfD7wvGWE_P781psGk0p9ziXuupNSC82dbOlym1AlvU&ats=1473257339161&rm=156be22689e5577e&zw&sz=w1366-h643

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=28db4f37a8&view=fimg&th=15721056cdd209cd&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ8favSkKjIURV949H8KGf3Fa7gzfWXbxwmFe2WCeLDlBlI9gqpdWyU-xd3lMPPZTVob-Y2fUlN91LRQMvIuedejMSRB-HF2BNSjkrtHasMTX7qUWBOPArfncLM&ats=1473764300785&rm=15721056cdd209cd&zw&sz=w1366-h643

Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) Missionary Joseph Manchester

Northern Conchucos Quechua Of Peru

IMB Missionary Joseph Manchester

IMB missionary Joseph Manchester takes Christians on extreme backpacking trips into the mountains of Peru to share the gospel with the Northern Conchucos Quechua people.  Read his first-person account from one of the trips.

Cooking on the ground with an ultra light stove and supplies found in each village, patching tent leaks during midnight rain storms and gasping for oxygen while walking up 35 degree grades over 12,000 feet in altitude, this team pushed their bodies to the limit to shape future ministry in the Peruvian Andes.

Our goal was to go where truck or bicycle cannot to meet people who live along narrow paths.  We searched for the best route in order to meet believers and Great Commission Christians (GCCs).

Crosshaven Baptist Church in Hanceville, Alabama, sent committed believers to share the truth with the people along these trails and encourage existing Christ-followers as well.  Some pastors of existing churches could not read and welcomed soon-to-come (oral) stories from God’s Word that will be available in their heart language.

Encouraged by what we shared and excited about future trainings for leaders, the local pastor said to the congregation, “Do not let what was taught go in one ear and out the other.  We have to put into practice what these missionaries shared with us tonight.”

We are thankful for the prayers of faithful partners who covered us as we traveled.  Those prayers helped us blaze trails for future backpacking teams that will serve alongside us here in Northern Conchucos.

To join the prayer team, go to missionbasecamp.com and click on the “contact” tab.  Discover strategic ways to pray, give, go, and send missionaries at imb.org/send.

Missionary Testimony And Newsletter, Article 2

The IMB missionary’s second testimony and newsletter will be delayed.  The missionary(s) are suddenly under great stress (no, not life threatening) and in the midst of an international move.  I can share more in person with those who attend prayer meetings at church, but due to security reasons I cannot share on line.  Pray for these missionaries who have given their whole lives for the cause of Christ.  As soon as I receive the next installment of the missionary(s) testimony and newsletter, I will place it on this site.  Blessings, Pastor Steve

Missionary Testimony And Newsletter, Article 1

I grew up as one of those kids you’ve warned your own kids about: don’t hang out with those kind of people – they’re a bad influence. Alcohol became my friend at an early age of 13 and marijuana came within the year. By the time I was a senior in high school, amphetamines (speed) was the choice for the weekend. I found I could make some extra money in college selling it and even came to understand how cocaine can become addictive; fortunately, the Lord intervened before things got worse.
A friend came across my path who finally shared the Gospel with me, something I’d never heard in my first nineteen years of life. The message had a draw to it, but I couldn’t pull myself away from my old life. I did, however, find myself over at this classmates dorm room asking questions. I thought it odd that his roommate would sit at his desk mumbling over what I thought was his Biology textbook only later to find out he was actually praying Scripture into my life. Whenever someone is praying for you, give up!
It was a Friday night later in the Spring semester when I’d surrender my life to Jesus and that came from a reading of Scripture. I shared what happened with my friends and they challenged me to read the New Testament. Not knowing any better, I read the whole thing in a week. When I told them that, I was asked, “So what do you think is its main message?”
 “Oh, that’s easy: take the Gospel into the whole world the way the early church did!” I said only to be asked, “What are you going to do about it?”

“Me?! I’m new at this! That’s for real questions!” I objected. I was then handed the first piece of Christian literature that I’d ever read outside of the Scriptures and it was “Keith Green’s Final Message: Why YOU Should Go To The Mission Field.”  No objection remained. During Easter Break, I found myself at what turned out to be a Southern Baptist church close to my parents’ home. What the pastor there asked me came as a surprise

 

Missionary Newsletters

This new category will feature the newsletters from an active missionary currently serving on the field.  We cannot share the name of the missionary(s) and country(s) serving in for security reasons.  The newsletters will periodically show up on this blog site entitled Missionary Newsletter #1, #2, etc., etc.  Information from missionaries on the field can give us a fresh perspective and added impetus and incentive to sacrifice and serve our Lord in ways we have never done.  It also opens gives us the opportunity for intercessory prayer.