Thursday, October 26, 2006

Earthquake cleanup in Makapala

Here I go again, living vicariously through the amazing work of God in the lives of others and reporting on the miraculous hand of God here at the University of the Nations. I received the below email about 2 minutes ago and immediately felt led by the Lord to share it with you. Please pray for Jonathan Stoner and the Compassion DTS. We were so moved by Jonathan's work that we have supported him in the past and I would challenge all my readers to pray about whether they can support his ministry or the ministry of the Compassion DTS. (He is the one standing in the back in the picture above, second from the right.) I would be glad to facilitate such giving (and yes, we rely solely on the support of others for our ministry, too, but God is plenty big enough to take care of us all). Read more about the Compassion DTS here.

Here is the email I received from Jonathan:

Hello friends and family,

This last weekend our Compassion DTS worked at one of the Ironman Aid Stations on the coastal highway. Our job was to supply Gatorade, Cola, Water and food to the athletes as they rode by on their bikes. The difficult part is that the bikers are all going about 20 miles an hour or more so you have to start running before they reach you and then time the hand off of the food or drink properly so they don't drop it. I'm happy to report that I only had two Gatorade drops of the thousand plus athletes. I was so psyched up about the experience that I didn't stop running the entire 4 hours except for a 15 minute lunch break. My calves suffered and for the next couple of days I could only limp around our Makapala base.

This week the lectures have been focused on the cross and the Lordship of Christ in our lives. The whole school has been experiencing breakthroughs in better understanding God's character and nature but most of all in receiving His abundant love and discovering our identity as sons and daughters of the King. Our corporate times together as a school have been overwhelmingly good in every way. We are still building bridges into the Makapala community and helping our neighbors as they work on their houses, businesses and churches.

Then this morning at breakfast I felt compelled to gather a group together to pray before class. As we prayed the Holy Spirit gave the group Scriptures about sacrificial giving, the one he gave me was 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

During class I shared this passage with the whole school and many others came forward confirming that God was asking us to give to others even as many of us are praying for the funds for Outreach. The rest of the morning resulted in a spontaneous time of giving clothing, electronics, cash, and other possessions that were hard to part with. God told me to give me my iPod to one of our students who had been praying for one for a long time. He just kept looking at me and smiling incredulously. After we gave what we felt we were supposed to give several people reported back to the group what God had done. A funny thing happened as the students and staff shared, I began laughing and weeping at the same time just overcome as I pictured Jesus smiling and laughing at the cheerful obedience of His kids. It was a morning that I hope never to forget. I am still trusting in the faithfulness of God for room and board for December and the 6-month AIDS Outreach to Uganda. Please keep me and the Compassion DTS in your prayers!

God is laughing,

Jonathan Stoner
University of the Nations
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy #5
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

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