The Lord is your Refuge and Strength
Friends, I want to encourage you during this season of unease, uncertainty, and anxiety, that the Lord is your refuge and strength. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says: "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". What a good God we serve who doesn't want you to be feeling low, tired and weak, He wants to carry you through this journey in His arms. You are loved friends, please remember that. We can clearly see how this world is decaying quickly, and how many are turning away from the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, having been blinded by satan and living a confused and unhappy life. So, I plead with you friends, to come to Jesus wholeheartedly, and may our service to Him be our goal and focus each and every day He gives us.
It's with great pleasure to share with you what the Echo Team has been up to since the last update, and how God has continually used our team to move mightily in blessing His children across many nations.
In Pakistan the team has continued to free families from brick kilns, setting slaves and captives free. There are so many testimonies that I can share with you, but I wanted to share just one in particular, of a 38 year old man who was forced to work as bonded labourer making bricks since he was 5 years old!! Can you imagine being a slave for 33 years of your life and forced to make bricks each day of your life? This man never had a proper childhood and never got to experience a normal life. He also has heart issues and stutters when he speaks, which caused him to be teased and bullied. His wife, and two children aged 3 and 4 were also freed. They were so happy and couldn't believe that God sent an organisation, who cared for them and fully paid their debt! Our team shared with them how Jesus covered all our debts and paid the price in full. Glory to Christ for all the work in Pakistan, as Echo continues to set free two families each month from different brick kilns.
Nepal has been affected so much by Covid that people have been taking their lives due to anxiety and stress. This breaks our hearts to see suicide be the last resort for thousands of people in these towns. Our team is busy feeding families in different villages, towns and preaching the Word of God and bringing hope to them. Please pray for Nepal and the people to have a relationship with Jesus who takes away all burdens.
Pastor Marten in Taiwan has been seeing so many testimonies of people coming to Christ. They have been busy baptising many people in public who are making declarations to follow Christ forever. The pastoral training is going well, as well as traveling to churches all over the country and training them on site. Also, we have supported a basketball camp where over a thousand athletes came to compete in. Ps Marten also ministered to the attendees and everyone enjoyed the competition. So proud to see that the last eight months have been so fruitful for Marten and Sandy in Taiwan.
In Philippines, Pastor Eric has and his team have continued to serve not only Manilla but other areas outside the city. They have seen so many new souls come to know Christ and bible study groups continuing to grow in different areas as they travel and minister there. The work of feeding families, providing groceries to them and paying medical bills in hospitals for people is also still ongoing. As the Holy Spirit leads, we shall not stop and use this opportunity to bless people in the Name of Jesus. Friends this is the season we are in, so let's be as fruitful as we can be.
Brother Geoffrey in Ghana is still running the two sites and training leaders in Oti and Peki region. Things have been so good there, The Lord has really blessed the team and protected them. Doors have opened with other church groups and denominations due to the results and hard work of the team. The fruit is seen and pastors want change in their congregations, so they have made contact with Pastor Geoffrey and asked him to come and train them onsite - how good is our God!
Malawi is on fire! God stirred the hearts of the team to help the elderly, disabled and widows whose homes were at risk of collapsing and built them new houses. This is such a big blessing for the recipients of this blessing. In fact, when we do the handover of their new house, the whole community or village comes out to listen and see why this has happened. The team then preach the Gospel and tell everyone of the power of Jesus and His love for the people. So many people come to the front to receive Christ in their hearts, and many repent from witchcraft or other demonic beliefs. Also, the team in Ntcheu continue to find villages with a lot of orphans and bless them with blankets, food, school items etc. The joy and happiness expressed by these little angels puts a smile on our dial all the time! The three locations are all busy working for the Lord, as the harvest is ready right now and so many are hungry for Jesus.
Burundi also is busy with crusades and pastoral training. The many souls coming to know Christ has been excellent news! Soo many young and old believing in Christ and publicly declaring Him as the Saviour has been so encouraging. Over the last two months, the team have run crusades in different regions and blessed the community with live gospel music & preaching. In one particular village, they had over 100 people of the islamic faith declare Jesus as Christ and Saviour of their souls. This also caused issues with islamic leaders, so please pray for our team as they put their lives at risk all the time doing public evangelism. Also we have been building water drinking systems in remote villages so people can have clean drinking water, and not have to walk for miles to get water. This also helps the children to go to school and not spend hours getting water and missing out on education.
Finally, in New Zealand we have been busy helping prisoners as they come out of jail with food parcels, furniture and counseling services. Many have given up their gang associations and entered into church now, which has been encouraging to see the transformations take place in their lives. We have also blessed women's refuge homes with sanitary & hygiene packs, working with families on drugs and helping them come out of addictions. One testimony is of a man who was a well known standover drug dealer, who spent 12 years in prison, has done a lot of bad stuff, hurt so many people, come to know Christ and make a full change. He also got rid of his lounges, fridge, tv's, tables, washing machine and dryer as they were all purchased with drug money, and he wanted to show his partner and five kids that Christ is the real deal. Holiness and righteousness are what he's seeking, so unbeknown to him, we replaced all the goods that he got rid of, with new, Christ purchased items.!
Friends, I wish I can share hundreds of other testimonies, but there would be no space! All I can say is that it has been a privilege for Chris, Heidi and myself to be part of this and experience what God is doing. If I can leave you with one more thing - keep focused on the Word and may your heart keep beating for what God desires.
God bless you friends.