I’m struck this week by the number of times in the gospel narrative of the birth of Jesus that I find the words, “Do not be afraid.”
First Annual James Harrison Legacy Award Presented
“Legacy” is more than just a word to us at With Open Eyes. Legacy is a vision, and a way of doing ministry. While by definition legacy emanates from the past, the legacy of James Harrison as cofounder of With Open Eyes lies before us, guiding us in our purpose of accelerating the sharing and teaching of the good news of Jesus Christ among the unreached and underserved people of the world.
“ …. those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” ~ Proverbs 11:25
How do you plan and prepare to minister to men and women who are continuously and passionately pouring out their lives to share the gospel with people who have not heard?
With Open Eyes is pleased to be sending a team to Kenya and Uganda next week to do just that. For the first time we will gather a large group of our Mobile Messengers from across Kenya and Tanzania for a two-day conference. We’re praying for a time of refreshing and encouragement for the true heroes of our ministry – The Mobile Messengers.
The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. It is estimated that there are approximately 1 million Maasia people in Kenya and Tanzania. However, the real number is unknown, as many Maasai see the national census as government intrusion and often miscount their numbers to census takers. Some want to be counted as many as ten times, while many refuse to be counted at all.
The Maasai live in “kraals,” or villages, arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man’s responsibility to fence the kraal, while women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by extended family.
Livestock, such as cattle, goats and sheep are the primary source of income for most Maasai. Livestock serves as a social utility in the culture and plays a vital role in the Maasai economy. Besides livestock, children are highly valued and add significance and worth to the Maasia. “Meishoo iyiook enkai inkishu o-nkera” is a Maasai prayer which translated means, “May Creator give us cattle and children.”
A New Year Begins
Well, Christmas is over and we’ve turned the calendar to January. After the holidays there is a tendency for a letdown. Typically, we feel as if something has ended. Now we’re faced with reality once again. Maybe you’ve already broken those New Years resolutions you made. We simply want to take this opportunity to remind you that Christmas is a beginning, not an ending. The “Emmanuel” of the Christmas story is just that: He’s with us. Not just at the holidays, but everyday. Take comfort in that fact today. Make it your aim in 2016 to spend time daily with Him in prayer and His Word. We’re believing God for great things in this new year. Thank you for loving and supporting With Open Eyes with your prayers and finances. We pray the blessing and favor of the Lord be yours throughout 2016.
In this special time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it’s hard to imagine that there are 2.7 billion people in our world who have never even heard His name. With this in mind, what could be more vital than the work of evangelism among unreached people? That is the mission of our Mobile Messengers. Romans 10:14-15 says it like this: “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”
That’s the work of With Open Eyes. We send preachers to unreached and underserved people. Our mission is to equip them to reach more people and to resource them to do the work effectively. This year, because of the generous support of so many, we have been able to add 37 new Mobile Messengers, bringing the total number equipped and resourced to 257 since 2011. And those Mobile Messengers have recorded over 167,000 people coming to faith in Christ! Now that’s something to celebrate!
You may remember an old television show called Mission Impossible. More recently, it’s been turned into a popular movie franchise. In the TV show and movies, agents receive their orders for a specific mission through a recording that self-destructs after they’ve listened to it. Then the theme music begins setting a tone of intrigue and suspense. Typically, the mission is difficult and fraught with obstacles.
Similarly, our Mobile Messengers have received a call to mission, but not from a recording. They’re called by the the true and living God. They’re tasked with a mission filled with almost constant difficulties and trials. Some face severe opposition to the message of the gospel. Others face ethnic and tribal conflict. Economic hardship is a part of their daily lives.
We need YOUR help! Will you stand with us in prayer?
We have received reports that in the last few days our pastors in the field, our Mobile Messengers located in the southern portion of South Sudan have seen an escalation in tribal conflict. We have 80 Mobile Messengers throughout the country with nearly half of those located where the fighting has intensified. Although conflict and fighting have been seen throughout the years, this situation has risen to new heights in the last few days. We have received word that many have been injured and even killed because they belong to a particular tribe. Many villagers, including Mobile Messengers and their families, have fled to the bush. There they are protected by trees but many have no shelter, limited food and only dirty water. There are other Mobile Messengers who now feel it’s time to escape with their families to neighboring countries for refuge. Yesterday their attempts to escape the area were in vain due to roadblocks by opposing forces, but today they plan to try again. At With Open Eyes, we take these reports very seriously as we have not seen this level of concern from our Mobile Messengers in the past.
Please join us as we pray that the eyes of the enemy will be blinded so that our brothers and sisters may find safe passage if and when they decide to leave. Pray also for protection for the many who choose to remain behind in the bush.
We don’t yet know the entire need but we have begun to provide relief funding for the situation. We are sure there will be additional needs in the days ahead as other Mobile Messengers face similar situations. If you would like to contribute financially for this and other humanitarian efforts that may arise with our Mobile Messengers, please visit us at: https://withopeneyes.securegive.com
To donate by check, please send to:
With Open Eyes
4100 Coca Cola Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28211
All funds raised in excess to this immediate need will be directed to other humanitarian or WOE projects that benefit Mobile Messengers.
We thank you in advance for your support of With Open Eyes and our Mobile Messengers!
The With Open Eyes teamDonate
Still looking for valentines day gifts?
Fashion & Compassion has partnered with WITH OPEN EYES to create a line of jewelry to remind you pray that all people will have the opportunity to hear & respond to the good news of Jesus Christ so that God may complete the good work that He has begun in you. All proceeds go directly to With Open Eyes.
Orders can be made here:
It’s that time of year again! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday! Your donations will help accelerate the preaching and teaching of the good news of Jesus Christ. You can make your “Giving Tuesday” donation here.