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Need your assistance for some important work...

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by BosonMichael, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    As many of you know, I am a Christian. Ever since I joined a new church about 2 1/2 years ago, I have been encouraged by my new church family to grow in my faith and to become more obedient to what God wants us to do as Christians. Most recently, God has placed upon my heart the calling to take a short-term mission trip to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    God's hand has been on my life, sometimes without me even knowing He was in control! When I joined the Army, I thought I might have a future as an intelligence analyst... but God had different plans for me. When I started my Chemistry degree, I thought I might become a chemist... but God had different plans for me. When I became a computer tech, I thought I would someday be an IT manager or a CIO... but God had different plans for me. Now I am a writer of technical training products, which enables me to interact with many people on technical certification forums, such as this one... some of whom I have been able to speak with about Jesus. When our church offered classes about the importance of missions and how to more effectively share my faith in Jesus Christ, I was encouraged to take them. So when our church offered a short-term mission trip opportunity to an area of the world that I had previously researched, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life has been spent in preparation for sending me to share the Gospel.

    Although I cannot give many details about the mission trip, it will take place before the end of the year. We will be interacting with an unreached people group, almost all of whom have no access to the Gospel. 99.9% of them have never even heard of Jesus.

    There are two ways in which you can help, both of which are extremely important:

    • Prayers - First and foremost, I seek your prayer support for myself, for the mission team, and most importantly, for those who we will have the opportunity to reach. Spiritual battles are won because of prayers and lost because of the absence of prayers. Without prayer, we are relying on our own fallible human selves to do work that only God can do. Therefore, I ask that you would consider supporting me with a commitment to pray during the days leading up to and during our mission trip - prayers for safety, prayers for strength, prayers for encouragement and boldness, and prayers for salvation.

    • Finances - Secondly, I seek your financial support. The total cost for the mission trip is $2000, primarily for airfare. To date, I have raised $750 doing computer work on the side, but I still have to raise the remaining $1250 (plus the cost of immunizations). I am confident that God will provide for this need through faithful giving.

    Please prayerfully consider whether God is leading you to provide prayer support, financial support, or both. By providing support, you will be investing in eternity and helping us do work for God's Kingdom.

    If you feel led to offer financial support, please contact me via private message or e-mail. For those in the UK, or anywhere outside the US, I can accept donations to my PayPal account. For those in the US, you can write a tax-deductible check directly to my church.

    For those who offer either prayer support or financial support, send me your e-mail address, and I will send you updates regarding the events leading up to, during, and after the mission trip. If you have any prayer requests, please send them to me - I would be honored to pray for you as you pray for us.

    I am excited to see what God will do as a result of our obedience to Him!

    All for His glory, not for my own,

    Michael

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28: 18-20

    "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14
     
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  2. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Very interesting and heartfelt post BM. When I get paid I'll be sure to throw some cash your way via paypal :)

    Hope it helps.

    Qs
     
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  3. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    PM on its way.
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    PMs replied to. I appreciate you both for your willingness to assist... I am both humbled and honored that responses have come as quickly as they have.
     
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  5. Finkenstein

    Finkenstein Kilobyte Poster

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    Mike,

    That is an awesome thing! PM is on its way.
     
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  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Good post and work Mike, let me know how I can send you some funds via paypal. May God continue to bless your efforts and endeavours in spreading the good news and hope.

    Hey, am all I am today because of God's favour and not certs or experience gained:)
     
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  7. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Mike, if i had got that in an email i would have thought Scam. As its from you and on here i can tell its not.
    However as a complete atheist / agnostic ( that the right term?) I do not believe in religion, for many reasons. This means that as a matter of principle i do not give to any religions when im aware of it. It also means i cant actually pray for you.

    However, i am not against giving praise to people who dedicate thier lives to something they believe in. I think it does take a special kind of person to give up thier lives to help others in any way. you have my respect as a human being for being caring and giving of yourself, and i wish you all the best in your endeavour.
     
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  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thank you all. :) I was somewhat holding my breath, wondering how my post would be received. As it seems, I should have simply held fast in the belief that the Lord will provide if I put it in His hands.

    Twizz, I wouldn't blame you one bit for thinking it was a scam. That's why I'm posting it only on forums where people truly know me. Plus... I'm somewhat verifiable... it wouldn't be easy for me to hide from you guys, would it? :) In any case, I thank you for your words of praise; they are an encouragement to me. :)
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Dude during my my hiatus I have had time to look in and as you will probably remember I am more in tune with Twizzle in my beliefs, but helping someone who is less fortunate and less well off than us is worth helping regardless of what they or us believe in.

    BM drop me an email about debit card donations and I'll send you some cash :)


    Anyway I'll be back probably at the end of October.:blink
     
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  10. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Mike, firstly let me applaud you for doing something which you believe in and trying to make a difference in this world. I am certain your intentions are all good. However, i am interested to know whether you have considered the possible repercussion's of your actions? Clearly this group of people have survived until now without outside interference and presumably they already have their own faith that has held them together and created the foundation of their society as it stands today.

    Pete
     
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  11. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I wholeheartedly support your right to believe what you wish. And if you are prompted by that faith to reach out and help people (and im not talking in a theological sense here), all the better.

    I cannot, I'm afraid, support you in your endeavour to convert others to your faith. Whilst I believe that everyone should be able to freely choose their religion, without force or incentive, and by extension believe that everyone who seeks it should be permitted to learn more about any religion, I cannot condone the unrequested acts of any religious group to 'educate' others to the faith.

    I'm not going to get into a theological debate about whether your god has told you to do so or not (most mainstream religions seem to have exactly that tenet anyway).
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yes, I have. Their "survival" is not the issue here.

    Regardless, I have been commanded to go out and preach the gospel to all nations. So I'm being obedient to what He wants me to do. He deserves no less.
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    My endeavor is not to convert others to "my faith". My endeavor is to share the gospel of Jesus, which, as I mentioned, 99.9% of them have not heard before (statistically proven). How can they choose when they have not even heard? If they choose to follow Christ, then great! If they choose to not follow Christ, then that's fine; that's their decision. I can't force anything. That's not my job to do.

    Whether one person's faith is changed as a result of my going is irrelevant. That is not the reason for me going. The reason I am going is to tell people about Jesus. If they want to hear, they will. If not, they can tune me out. Either way, I've done what I've been asked to do.

    But ya know what? I'm not doing it out of obedience. I'm doing it out of gratitude for what He's done.
     
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  14. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    I firmly believe that the mission field is right where you live, and helping those less fortunate than yourself is definitely a blessing. Regardless of your location, you don't have to look far for a brother or sister in need. However, to walk out of your comfort zone, and help others that you have very little connection to (other than a creation by God, which admittedly is pretty amazing), by sharing your love of Christ, is truly courageous. No one is paying, and you stand to gain nothing earthly, yet you do so anyways, simply because of the joy that God has given you. Not to 'kill the infidel', or to convert through fire, but simply to...love.

    This is not about conversion. It's *never* about conversion. As Christians, we are not smarter, or more clued-in, or hold a secret over others. I once had the opportunity to share the gospel with a guy much more affluent and wealthy than I was. He had it all -- looks, the right car, plenty of toys, and any woman he wanted. Yet, he wanted what I had. Huh? People that know me personally know that I am rather gruff, and somewhat rough looking. What did this guy see? Joy, love of others, and truthfulness. This guy always felt compelled to compete with others, to always try to be something he wasn't, and he was weary. I merely informed him that I was content, and that I knew that my debt in life was paid for by Jesus on the cross -- so I felt no pressure, and I was guilt free. Did he drop down right then and there, and commit to God? Nope. Did he even buy what I was selling? I say that because his life experience taught him to look at me that way. To this day, I don't know, but I pray that God put him in my life to affect a change in his.

    Any others' commitment to Christ is not my responsibility, nor is it Michael's. We just spread the seeds, and if it is meant to grow, then it will grow. Maybe now, or a week from now, or even a year from now. Possibly, even years later. Regardless, we are commissioned to share, love one another, and be apart of each others' lives. Period. Not a bad thing to do, even on a superficial level.

    God bless you bro. Mission work is never easy. Whether you are helping to build a house, work a soup kitchen, or just teach a class, it's an incredible journey. Whatever the chore, let the love of Christ reflect in everything you do, and surely those seeds will do somebody some good, some day.
     
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  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think helping others is a very laudable aim, however I do not agree that spreading your religous beliefs to foriegn countries necessarilly helps in this matter. I agree with fortch, better to clean on your own back yard before you tell your neighbour to clean theirs.

    In some cases spread of end time belief to Africa has resulted in mass murder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWKiP6Qfflo

    "more than a thousand people committed suicide" because of belief in the book of revelations, men, women and children.

    For years catholic preists have preached not using condoms in Africa, helping to multiply the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    I do not believe that 99% of the world has not heard of some brand of Christianity and I have travelled widely, missionaries have been spreading the word for hundreds if not thousands of years now. Add to that the mass media and you have quite large coverage.

    Spreading your religion is not always the same as helping people. I agree with twizzle, better to help based on Humanism.

    Helping people means helping them achieve what *they* need, not what your god tells you they need.
     
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  16. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Once you become a disciple (not a convert) of Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as Master, he does say a few things. One thing he said is "The Father and I are One", which doesn't mean some sort of fused identity, but rather, that the Father's (God the Father) activities and goals are also the identical activities and goals of the Son. Jesus confirms this by saying "I do nothing except what I see the Father do". Actually, that's Jesus modeling what it is to be a disciple, since a disciple models him or herself on the "original", their teacher who, in the case of the believer (such as Michael and me) is Jesus.

    Another thing Jesus said is "If you love me, you will obey me". Michael is right in saying that believers enact the will of their Teacher out of sheer gratitude, but spiritual development is like physical development. You don't start out at the height of your abilities. Most of us start out acting out our Teacher's will out of obedience, and there's nothing wrong with that. Both Christian and Jewish scholars acknowledge a continuum of spiritual growth that a person of faith pursues throughout their life.

    I'm citing these generalities to get to the specific: Michael's mission trip. I can see the concerns. So can anyone who read James Michener's "Hawaii" or watched the film (I've done neither, but I'm familiar with some of the darkest days of "missionary" work by "the church"). In the continental United States, many native tribes have similar stories regarding missionaries which resulted in the loss of their tribal language and customs permanently. Unfortunately, at least on a historical level, missionary work seemed to mean not only bringing the Gospel but replacing one set of values and cultural mores for another (European, in this case).

    The one thing that fascinates me about the enactment of the "Great Commission" as it's often called, as described at the end of Matthew, is how the concept of "discipleship" is transmitted. Jesus didn't say "Go and make *converts* of all nations (non-Jewish people)..." He said, Go and make Disciples. My particular faith group doesn't do missionary work per se. Most people, both Jew and Gentile alike, come to us after attending a traditional Sunday church for some period of time. Some people still attend a Sunday church with a family member but worship with us on Shabbat as well.

    Our "mission" is more to share the Torah and a Hebraic "lens" or point-of-view of the Biblical teachings of Jesus from the context the "1st Century Church" might have had, without 2000 years of post-Biblical Christian and Jewish theology and tradition filtering the interpretations. Admittedly, it's more complicated than that, but I don't want to write an essay in this thread. I do believe that our "mission" as such, is to help prepare those who are willing, for the Messiah's return. We believe that the Bible hasn't been divided and subdivided and certainly don't believe that one part replaced the other. If we, as believers, become more familiar with what *Jesus actually taught* from the context in which he lived, died, was resurrected, and ascended, we'll have a better understanding of Him, who we are in Him, and what our lives need to be like now, and forever in Him. Ok...enough soap box.

    I don't oppose Michael's endeavors here. All believers are called to "spread the Word". Some are called to far off places while others share the Word with their next door neighbor. Some share the Word by actually approaching others and inviting them to listen, while others start the "conversation" just by how they live their lives and how they act as an example (and in some cases, a true inspiration).

    I'm sorry not to offer you financial assistance in this case, Michael. As part of our mission, we use our funds to support the believers in Israel through a number of worthy organizations (this is just one example).

    May the Almighty and the Son go with you on your journey and guide you in all things.
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    This has nothing to do with telling people to "get right" or "clean stuff up". I simply tell them what I believe. If they choose to believe it too, then great. If not, that's their decision. In no case do I tell people to "live right or go to hell." That's not Christianity, and anyone who says so is misinformed.

    But so you know... I DO go into my own neighborhood and evangelize... so it's not something I'm ONLY doing on the other side of the world. I simply believe that the Lord has equipped me to go over there and do this work based on what has happened to me the past 20 years.

    Not 99% of the world... 99% of the people who I am visiting. They have no access to the "mass media" you speak of. These people haven't even heard. Romans 10:14 says, "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"

    So I'm going to tell them about Him. They can take that knowledge and do whatever they want to do with it; I'm not out to convert them. I'm out to share my knowledge with them.

    You know, it's not much different than how I approach the truth I tell you guys. I share my knowledge of what I believe it takes to build a good IT career. If you choose to believe it and follow it, then great! If not, then that's your decision; I did my part by sharing the truth.

    I am not a humanist. If you want to spread humanism, then YOU go do that. I am a Christian. I am told to make disciples of all nations. You don't have to agree with it... but that's not gonna stop me. I'm going to do what my Creator, Lord, and Savior says despite what anyone else thinks about it. :)

    And again, I do it out of thankfulness for what God has done for me, not out of any sort of obligation or a feeling that, if I don't do it, I'm gonna go to hell. That's not Christianity; I am saved by grace, not by my works.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    My beliefs don't differ much from what you've described, James. :)

    I pretty much fall into all of those categories. I certainly don't go up to everyone and ask... but I have been known to do so on occasion. Certainly not as much as I should... but who does?

    Prayers for safety would be more than enough, James. :) Thank you for your post!
     
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  19. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

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    BM, while religion is not really my thing, I do sincerely hope you achieve your goals with what you have set out to do and wish you well on your journey.
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thank you to those of you who have already donated or offered prayer support - I certainly appreciate it! :)
     
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