Monday, November 10, 2008

JOSHUA FUND UPDATE: Blessing Jews and Christians in Canada and around the world

Thanks so much for your prayers over the past ten days or so. My team and family and I appreciate them so much. The Lord has kept us safe and opened some wonderful doors for ministry.

On November 1-3, my oldest son Caleb and I had the privilege of traveling to Edmonton, Canada. That Sunday, I spoke at a luncheon of Jewish and evangelical business leaders about the importance of mobilizing evangelicals throughout North America and around the world to bless Israel and show the Jewish people unconditional love and unwavering support. That evening, I also had the honor of speaking at Beth Israel Synagogue in Edmonton at a B'nai Brith Canada fund-raising dinner.

At the event, the Jewish community honored Jack and Carol Klemke, a wonderful Canadian evangelical Christian couple who are friends of mine, for their lifelong commitment to building bridges of friendship between Jews and followers of Jesus. It was an amazing evening and I want to publicly commend Dr. Frank Dimant for both the luncheon and the dinner and for inviting me to attend and speak. Frank is the Vice President of B'nai Brith Canada -- the oldest and largest Jewish organization in Canada -- and is also the CEO of the organization's Institute for International Affairs and the League for Human Rights. While Frank and I do not come from the same place theologically, we both share a deep sense of concern that war is coming to the Middle East and that Jews and evangelicals share a common enemy in radical Islam.

Frank also graciously introduced me to MP Jason Kenney, Canada's Secretary of State and a senior advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Kenney was the keynote speaker at the dinner. A strong Catholic, Kenney is a devoted friend of the Israeli people -- as is the evangelical Prime Minister (who was just re-elected) -- and we had a great evening together. Please pray that the Lord would continue to build strong, honest, candid, and long-lasting friendships between Jews, Catholics and evangelicals in Canada. There are a number of leaders who have asked us to prayerfully consider coming back and holding the first "Epicenter Conference" in Canada next year. Perhaps you would be willing to pray with us about this.

This past weekend, Lynn and the boys and I had the honor of attending a conference in Santa Barbara held by Open Doors USA, a ministry founded by Brother Andrew, the famed European Christian leader who has authored such wonderful books as GOD's SMUGGLER, LIGHT FORCE, and his most recent non-fiction work, SECRET BELIEVERS. The times of worship at the conference were precious, led as they were by several talented musicians, including Sara Groves, an amazing young Christian artist who is one of our family's favorite evangelical singer/songwriters.

I spoke on Friday and Saturday nights and gave a preview of my forthcoming book, INSIDE THE REVOLUTION, discussing the importance of mobilizing Christ-followers around the world not simply to bless Israel and her neighbors but also to pray for and strengthen persecuted Christians throughout the epicenter, as well as throughout the rest of the world. I concluded my talk Saturday night by encouraging the business leaders gathered from across the U.S. to "learn, pray, give, and go" --LEARN more about the persecuted church and how powerfully God is moving in dark, war-torn places; PRAY knowledgeably, faithfully and consistently for the Lord to give courage and boldness to believers who are suffering for their faith, and to raise up more laborers to serve in forward areas; GIVE to ministries that are faithfully serving our brothers and sisters in dangerous places like the epicenter; and respond to Jesus' command in Matthew 28:18-20 to "GO ye therefore and make disciples of all nations." Open Doors USA is doing a vitally important job in all four of these areas, and it was a privilege to help them educate those attending the conference and helping them raise funds to continue the critical work God is doing through them.

Such work is central to what The Joshua Fund is called to do: educate the Church and mobilize evangelicals to LEARN, PRAY, GIVE AND GO. We are not trying to build a ministry for ourselves. Our ministry exists to strengthen the work of other ministries.

As always, we will do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, and brief you on how those projects are proceeding. We will also let you know about the kinds of projects we are developing for the future. In no way do we want to pressure anyone to give financially. We fully believe the Lord will provide for the needs of the people we seek to serve. But if you or others wish to help, we welcome your support, and all financial gifts are tax-deductible.

To contribute to the on-going work of The Joshua Fund please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:

The Joshua Fund
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009

Thanks so much and may the Lord richly bless you and your family as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus -- especially at critical moment in history of the epicenter.