Mission Update 8.30.2019

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What He wants, when and where He wants (part 3) 

When God opens a big, powerful door (1 Corinthians 16:9), it is always an opportunity to do what He wants, when and where He wants. What He wants is always connected to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:27-31, Matthew 28:16-20, et. al.). That’s how we give Him Glory. It sometimes involves struggle, trials, and sacrifices. But that’s OK because He is always with us. What He wants, always leads to a kind of peace that is almost impossible to explain (John 14:27)

The door He opened to us in 2015 required sacrifices to be sure, of our home and possessions, my job and livelihood, friends, FAMILY. Practically everything we knew and were comfortable with about life had to go, and there were many adversaries. But in saying “YES”, the result was peace and other blessings I can’t count.

No matter how much you prepare for it, Ministry in any context, especially a foreign context, is hard and scary because there are so many adversaries. But in saying “YES” the result has been peace and still more blessings. Each time we were led to a new place or a new kind of ministry, it involved giving something up to move deeper into the big and powerful opportunity God had opened up. But every time we said “YES” to giving something up, there was something better waiting. Peace and blessings are always the result because He is always with us according to His Word.

And now we’re being led still further into the opportunity to give Him what He wants, when and where He wants. It’s time to say “YES” again.

The ministries that we have started as well as the ones we have partnered into in the Philippines not only remain, but are increasing (1 Corinthians 3:7). The adversary now has become one of finance. To sustain what already exists and provide for continued growth requires more than the mission can handle from our support as missionaries on the ground there. So I and our mission board have decided that I need to remain here in the US to conduct fundraising indefinitely. All funds raised will go toward sustaining and growing the mission in the Philippines.

Additionally, I am seeking job and business opportunities here so I can be a significant contributor to this cause as well. My being here in the US will help in 2 ways. First, 100% of the funds normally used for my support can be used to meet the ministry need. Second, I can add to fundraising efforts from a regular household income the way our supporters are doing now with one-time and monthly recurring financial gifts each year. The hope is that one day, in God’s time, I will be able to return to full time ministry in the Philippines. But for the foreseeable future the priority is the needs of the ministries God has used us to help build and possibly being able to  make annual or semi annual short term mission trips there.

For the upcoming year, the (known) one-time and monthly recurring financial need totals significantly more than the $33,000.00 goal we’ve had in each of the previous years that included my personal support. I can’t share the itemized details of those expenses here on social media, but I will be sharing those details with the churches and individual donors who currently support the mission as I give my testimony during normal fundraising efforts. As much as possible, everyone will have an opportunity to adopt a particular item on the list and determine how they want their gifts to be used. Please be watching my personal and mission facebook pages to see when and where those testimonies will happen and plan to attend. Im also available via email and my personal fb messenger to discuss those details with potential supporters who want to become involved.

One-time and monthly recurring gifts can be given via check or money order to

Rooftop Covenant Mission, PO BOX 587 Prairie Grove, AR 72753

Or via gofundme links on the Rooftop Covenant Mission FB Page and on the website:

http://www.rooftopcovenantmission.com

Everyone is also invited to pray for the continued fruitful success of this mission. Your prayers are highly valued and coveted because prayer works (1 John 5:14-15) Please remember that your prayers and financial support are not in vain (1 Corinthians 3:8).

Whatever God calls you to do in your life, my advice is to Say “YES”. Make the sacrifice. Suffer the trials. Walk through the open door. Peace and blessing are waiting somewhere on the other side, and He is with you.

-Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Update 8.27.2019

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What He wants, when and where He wants (part 2)

God opened a very big and very powerful door (opportunity) to us with this mission to the Philippines in the summer of 2015. Since that time, with all praise and Glory to God, this mission has seen more than 1,300 souls saved and lives changed by Jesus Christ. His means of accomplishing this was primarily through these activities through May of 2018:

  1. house-to-house, face-to-face evangelism and bible study
  2. church partnership ministries
  3. addiction recovery ministries
  4. police and jail ministries
  5. military ministries
  6. young professional, youth, and children’s ministries
  7. food, clothing, and medical ministries

Those who follow the mission regularly on social media and those who hear our testimonies each time we return to the US rejoice with us as all of the blessings of this big and powerful opportunity unfold almost daily.

The thing this mission rarely shares on social media or by personal testimony is the work of the adversaries, which also stand against us almost daily. I won’t speak about those now either. It’s enough to say that they were, and still are, big, powerful and innumerable in in form.

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

God is sovereign over all of life including this mission. I believe God’s sovereignty reigns to the extent that He is able to use even the work of our adversaries to accomplish His purpose and plan through us. He does that in big and mighty ways, and through events and circumstances that year, He began leading and guiding us deeper and deeper through the open door, and into the opportunity. 

From May 2018 until July 2019, although the 7 ministries above continued, we focused more and more on discipleship and mentoring, being involved with 2 particular churches. One more modern and westernized church in a populated city, and one more rural, cultural church out in the province. Spiritual growth results look like this:

  1. FELLOWSHIP – These 2 churches are now connected through their Pastors, young professionals, and youth.
  2. MULTIPLICATION – Bible study participants used to accompany me to various places for outreach, soul winning, and bible study ministries to act as interpreters and translators. Now they go out in groups to do these things independently.

God gets what He wants, when and where He wants.

Those things and more are happening now as this update is being posted while Im back in the US again to testify and begin fundraising for the coming year. The results can be seen and measured not only in salvations and baptisms, but also in growing church service and fellowship attendance, bible knowledge, and life application of scriptures.

God is good!

So, to my friends and church families in the Philippines who continue in the work of “going” as well as to those here in the US who support the ministry with prayer and financial gifts, I want to say THANK YOU, and DON’T STOP. All of you are eternally connected in the great commission of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the LORD.

Please be watching for the 3rd and final part of this mission update for August in the next few days. I promise it will be worth reading.

 

Mission update 8.24.2019

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What He wants, when and where He wants (part 1)

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

In a spiritual sense, open doors represent opportunities. A big door leads to a big opportunity. A powerful door leads to a powerful opportunity. I think we can all understand the idea behind that thought.

We face all kinds of adversaries in approaching and walking through those open doors, and especially in living within the opportunities on the other side of those open doors. Adversaries come in all forms. People oppose us for different reasons, circumstances like finances stand against us. The cycle of temptation, sin, and addiction distract us. The burdens of fear, guilt and shame hold us back. The list goes on and on because our adversaries are innumerable and they manifest themselves in innumerable ways. We can also be sure that the bigger and more powerful the opportunity is, the bigger and more powerful the adversaries will be.

But we must be obedient to God’s will if we truly belong to Him, and if we truly belong to Him we must believe that He is with us.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 16, it seems that Paul really wanted to go and be with his friends and church family in Corinth, and abide there for a while. But God had a different idea. It seems that God had “opened a big and powerful door” for Paul to live and share the gospel in another place where there would be many adversaries. Can you imagine passing up the chance to go to the place you really want to be, doing what you really want to do, with people you really want to be with? Can you imagine passing all that up for the “opportunity” specifically to serve God His way,in His perfect will, in another place of His choosing, where at least some of the people and many of the circumstances are against you?

Obedience puts us physically, emotionally, and spiritually in the place God wants us to be so He can use us for His Glory. That should be our goal.

I believe one of the lessons in the context of this tiny little verse is that every open door and every opportunity set before us by God must be connected to HIS purpose, not our own. It must be connected to HIS glory, not our own. We’re supposed to focus our lives on Him and walk in His glory and serve His will (not our own) not only by living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but by doing what has to be done, where and when it has to be done in order to accomplish the His purpose.

We can be confident that our faithfulness to Him is well placed because He is faithful to us. Once we belong to Him, He is with us. Period. He never leaves us. He is always with us even in circumstances we don’t understand or agree with. His faith remains even in the face of the biggest and most powerful adversaries.

(special thanks to Pastor Richard Koonz for an uplifting phone call today)

Mission Update 6.30.2019

The past few months have been filled… With the heat of the summer months, with preaching and teaching, with fellowship and outreach, and every other sort of activity one would expect of life on mission. I had the honor of filling in as the pastor of a church in Cabanatuan City during the months of April and May – an experience I don’t think I will ever be able to describe accurately. The mission survived 3 Vacation Bible Schools, 1 3-day Youth Camp, and a week-long trip to Batangas City to visit our receiving church. I’m sure most of you have followed the ongoing stories on facebook.

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So far this mission year, 84 souls have been saved. 10 of those have been during these and other activities over the past months since March. (1 of those was just today during services at River of Life Baptist Church in town, and 1 last week during services at Mount Bethel Baptist Church out in the Province)

The church at Mount Bethel has started its campus ministry in the public school system, and we remain involved in that. (CAN ANYONE IMAGINE JESUS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL?) Meanwhile, the church in River of Life has begun some much needed improvements in its building. They added exhaust fans this week to help keep things cooler during services.

The Police Ministry and my relationship with them remains strong. We have devotional time every week, and we also provide goods and bibles for them to distribute to those who need them most in their Area of Responsibility.

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We thank God for His increase and we praise Him for His glorious work.

I had to re-schedule my return trip to the US a couple of months early this year. I coming home on July 17th; just over 2 weeks from today. Because I’m leaving so early this year, I decided it would be best to give up the mission house and store our belongings elsewhere to save money.

You have to remember, we poured our lives out to be on mission here, and this house has been home for more than 2 years now. Seeing it emptied of its contents and abandoned was hard. Walking away for the last time this past week was even harder.

But life is still beautiful in Christ, and I have tons of pictures and memories of this      once-upon-a-time home on the mountain, by the sea.

Everyone be praying for the future of this Mission. I’m not sure what God has planned yet. And also be in prayer for these 3 ministries: Batangas Christ Baptist Church, Mount Bethel Baptist Church, River of Life Baptist Church. All have experienced growth, and all are planing new construction projects.

Be blessed, and I will see everyone soon!

-Tracy

Mission Update 3.7.2019

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The footprint of this Mission and its Ministry seems to be growing and expanding. Recently, personal circumstances caused Teresa to return to the US while I remain here in the Philippines. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was the right thing to do for the Kingdom.

And with that decision, comes the opportunity for us to be involved in more meaningful ways with ministries where we are already connected in the US. Specifically, I’m speaking about the M25 homeless and Restoration House addiction ministries, both of which are based in our sending church in Northwest Arkansas.

Also, Teresa and a few of her close friends are working on a new project in her Hometown of Booneville, Arkansas.

For the next few months, The Philippines ministry will focus on 2 area churches:

  1. River of Life Baptist Mission Church in Cabanatuan City
  2. Mount Bethel Baptist Mission Church in the Municipality of Gabaldon

In Cabanatuan, I will stand in as a substitute Pastor during April and May while the Pastor and his family are away.

In Gabaldon, I will make weekly visits for youth discipleship/fellowship with an emphasis on soul-winning.

Over the next 3 months this mission will coordinate and assist in financing 2 separate Vacation Bible Schools – 1 in each of the 2 churches, and a Youth retreat that combines both churches.

With operations in 2 countries in the works, we need our partners now more than ever:

  1. Your prayers – please be in prayer for this mission and all of these activities. Nothing about this is easy.
  2. Your participation – anyone who wants to join in and help in any way with any of these activities feel free to contact me via the email on this website. If you’re interested in any of the ministries in the US, I will put you in touch with Teresa. Anyone who wants to come here and see what’s going on – COME ON, I DARE YOU.
  3. Your gifts – increases in scope and activity in 2 hemispheres pretty much requires an increase in financial needs. Please give as you are led.

Im very interested in hearing your feedback, so please tell me what you think about the direction we are headed. I will be watching for your feedback in the blog comments.

Mission Update 3.1.2019

In Genesis 27:46 Rebekah reminds Isaac of the need to keep the bloodline pure and she pushes Isaac to do the right thing by providing the leadership and instruction a father is supposed to provide to his son, Jacob. This is something that Isaac had failed miserably at in the past. The proof of this is in the past and continuing errors in Esau’s life choices. By doing this Rebekah is also reminding Isaac of his importance in God’s plan; to build a Nation that God will use to bless all nations. The value of their lives is zero apart from God and His plan.

*Let’s take a minute with that thought and apply it to our own lives.

What is God’s plan for your life? Are you trying to follow that plan? Or are you finding your worth and value in other things? If you choose to ignore God’s plan for you, how will that effect the people you love, and even others you don’t even know yet?

 

 

 

Mission Update 12.31.2018

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Happy New Year and God bless to everyone. We wish you are all blessed with a new year full of growth and discipleship. We also hope that everyone you know who does not know Jesus Christ will come to that saving knowledge by your witness and example this year.

Teresa and I arrived back in The Philippines on December 6th. Slowly, step-by step, ministry is beginning to take it’s form again by God’s amazing grace. We never really know exactly what ministry will look like each year when we return from our annual visit back to the US because it’s always not exactly the same when you return as when you leave. But there are 3 things that are always constant and steady:

  1. Obstacles and problems. There are always issues with the house and vehicle that have to be overcome. Jet lag. Language adjustment. Jet lag. Cultural adjustment. Jet Lag. There are all kinds of issues that arise that bring fear and frustration, worry and doubt. Especially when you’re doing your annual reset. But those things always smooth out because…
  2. Your real friends and ministry partners still love you and are glad to see you. They are always willing to help where they can. Unity in Christ is such a wonderful thing.
  3. Most importantly, God is good, all the time. When He calls you to a task, He never leaves you unable to handle the challenges. When He makes a promise, He always protects it. And He always lets you know when you’re headed in the right direction.

In the 3 and a half weeks that we’ve been back, we’ve seen church ministry exploding with new opportunities, a chance to renew and expand local and regional recovery ministries, and new opportunities for discipleship ministries. But the best part is that in that short amount of time (25 days) we’ve seen 26 souls saved. All you have to do is say “yes” to God and be willing to do the work He gives you and use the resources He provides, the way He wants it done.

It’s gonna be a busy, beautiful, stressful, wonderful, tiring, awesome, worrisome, blessed year! I can’t wait!!!

PAGBABAGO

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“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:6

The third tool of intimacy and growth in relationship with God is prayer. It’s the third tool to be used to stay close and in striving to grow closer to God through your salvation in Christ. Prayer can do anything that God can do. Prayer connects you to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Some people don’t realize that you can pray about [any need] in your life. God is a loving Father. You can pray about a financial need, a physical need, relational need, a spiritual need, emotional need. He will take any need.

Prayer is this: to make a request’ as from one who is inferior to one who is superior, for specific needs. Always directed toward God, whether stated or implied. Strongs #4336

I can’t stress the importance of prayer enough. Prayer is key to everything. Self-evaluation and meditation must happen in an attitude of prayer.

How to pray? Don’t worry about that. Just pray. The Holy Spirit will translate the thoughts of your heart into good and acceptable prayer. That’s the power. Just pray. But still, Jesus taught us how to pray.

Read Matthew 6:7-15

My challenge for everyone is to read, study, and meditate prayerfully on This passage. It is a teaching from Jesus himself on prayer. Please note in verse 9 that Jesus did not say “this is [what] you should pray”, He said this is [how]you should pray.

“After this manner therefore pray ye”:

Underline, circle, and highlight that sentence in your bible. It’s a model. It is not a ritual to be prayed. Notice a couple of verses right before this prayer, Jesus says don’t repeat a ritual prayer, don’t make vain repetitions. This was not a prayer to be used as a ritual, it is a model. This is not what you should pray, this is how you should pray.

Do you want to keep and even grow your relationship with God? Pray… Prayer is communication… Communication is necessary in any relationship.

Meditate on this passage. Spend time with Your God meditating on these scriptures according to the last devotional, and then continue to spend time with Him in prayer.

We will be talking about each aspect of “The Lord’s prayer” in the coming days.

PAGBABAGO

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8

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Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night. – Pslam 1:1-2

A changed, healed life – a transformed life – requires us to be in a relationship with our God and Savior. The only way to have a real relationship with anyone is to spend time with them. It’s the relationship that keeps us from falling away – back into our old sinful ways. There are basically 3 parts of that relationship. Recently we spoke about self-evaluation. Today let’s talk about meditation on the scriptures.

Meditate: A verb meaning to growl, groan, sigh, mutter, or speak. (wow) Figuratively and by implication it means to ponder, imagine, and study. – Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary #1897.

 So to meditate on God’s Word simply means reading it, studying it, understanding it in context, but it also means to ponder and imagine what it means in your life and how to apply it to your life. In other words it means to slow down and actually hear what God has to say to you in the scripture you are studying.

  • seriously think about what you read in the Bible for a little bit then think about what it means to your life. That’s meditation. (and yes, you’re allowed to repeat it over and over as many times as you want in line with the literal definition)
  • When you do that He says, “You’re like a tree planted by the river and when the heat’s on you don’t wither away and when the drought comes you don’t dry up and blow away.” – Because your supply of living water is eternal.

You don’t fall away.

How would you like to succeed and prosper in everything you do? According God, it’s pretty simple. Just meditate on His Word.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”. – Psalm 1:3

The reason (I say) this is necessary: When we were first saved, our response to the love and mercy and grace that God offers us in the saving work of Jesus is largely emotional. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Love is many things, and emotion is one of those things. The bible is very clear that we love Him because He loved us first –1 John 4:19. But we can’t rely on our own emotions any more than we can rely on our own strength. If we try to do that we will eventually fail. His word says that we are saved by His grace through FAITH – Ephesians 2:8-9. Transformation born in Real faith may begin with an emotional response, but it becomes ROOTED in the scriptures. It’s not meant to eliminate our emotions. As a matter of fact, the more we come to understand through meditation on the Word, the stronger our emotions should become. He loves us and values us very much!

Finally this: Lots of people think they don’t know how to meditate on the scriptures or anything else. But I say if you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate. Worry is taking a bad situation or thought and thinking about it over and over. It’s trying to work out a solution to a problem in your mind and heart continually even when there seems to be no solution or resolution. We’re all expert worriers. Meditation is the same. You just do it with scriptures trying to understand God’s intent for your life in each passage you read. Let’s do that.

Go and be with God in His Word today. He will make you like a tree planted in a never-ending water supply.

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PAGBABAGO

Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven; – Lamentations 3:39-41

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For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?         – 2 Corinthians 13:4-5

We have to set aside time to spend with God every day. Self reflection, bible study, and prayer. These are the ways of the relationship He wants with us. These are the only ways we will ever be able to know God’s will in our lives. And these are the only ways we will ever have the strength to do His will. These are the ways we “watch and pray”.

SELF EVALUATION

Look honestly at your life everyday. Separate the good things you did from the wrong things. Be happy and be grateful for the good things and praise God for His Grace because of those. Then look at the wrong things you did today. Be honest about them. Do not only look at the sin you made. In your evaluation, come to understand about WHY you made that sin. (if you spoke in anger today, maybe it was because of something simple. Maybe you were “hangry”) 

  • physical –  what is your body telling you?
  • emotional –  what are you feeling?
  • relational –  are you at peace with everyone?
  • spiritual – moment to moment, are you relying on God?

Then confess to God and repent. He will forgive that. Every time you do it in this way, He will forgive because He is a good God. Ask for His help to understand and correct the problem(s) that led to this sin.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;”         – Psalm 139:23-24