Radios for the Quechua in Bolivia

One of Galcom International’s long-time partners is Alex Muir from Pioneers Canada. He has made countless trips to Bolivia to hand out Galcom radio/audio Bibles to the Quechua (see the post from December 8, 2016). Below is an excerpt from his latest praise and prayer letter.

“Reports continue to surface of how lives have been transformed and communities have been impacted. On our last trip in April, great joy was expressed when the people realized they had the Word of God as well as a radio. Now, with the audio Bibles, there is an additional option for them as they can listen to “God’s Story” taking them from Creation to the cross. How exciting!

Leandro in Colquacheca has requested we bring some 800 Bible Radios to the mining town where once it seemed we would not be welcomed. After four years of visiting families, Alejandro was able to provide a list of 32 families who wanted a Bible/radio. We responded and gave out 60+ audio Bibles/radios. Recently Segundino came to Greg (Greg is Alex’s son. He married a Quechua young lady and has remained there. He and his wife now minister amongst the Quechua). Segundino presented him with a shaman’s (witch doctor) bag. This was the indication that he now was a follower of Jesus and did not want to practice evil anymore. The bag and contents were quickly destroyed. How we rejoice that this man of influence is now a new creation in Christ!

PRAISE BE TO GOD:  For the 48000+ Bible/radios have been handed out in Bolivia and for those who give so Galcom can provide our radios.

OCTOBER 2017:  Plan to join us and celebrate…our September team will hand out the 50,000th (Galcom) Bible/radio in Bolivia!”

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Angels, Part 2

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Angels, Part 2 by Allan McGuirl

We started a new topic last week. We will be looking at angels in the Bible and what we can learn about them and from them. Most people are aware that there are angels, and from reading the Bible we know a number of angels made contact with people over the centuries. We will consider some of these instances as we go through this series.

However, there is a lot of information that many people are unaware of, such as: what is the origin of angels? Are there good and bad angels? Can they actually fly? How long do they live? What do they actually do? Perhaps you are thinking right now of some questions, so let’s get started and learn some basic facts about angels.

Angels are mentioned in the Old Testament at least 108 times and in the New Testament at least 165 times. The word “angel” actually means “messenger.” Angels are not human beings, although they can appear as humans. In Matthew 22:30 it says, “They do not marry and do not reproduce.” As for the origin of angels, we know that God created them before the He created this universe. Job gives some insight into this in Job 38:4-7. In this passage the Lord says to Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together, and all the angels for joy.” God had already created these beings before the creation of this world. How long before the creation of the world, we are not really told.

One of the special tasks of angels is to be ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will receive salvation. Hebrews 1:14 says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” That’s you and me, and I find that amazing.

Next we come to this question: are there good and bad angels? One of the classic passages on this is found in Isaiah 14. This passage has consistently been regarded as referring to the fall of Satan. Let’s listen to these verses from 12 to 15. “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.”

From this passage we understand that Satan once lived in heaven as the highest among the angels God had created, and further Biblical references describe him as a very evil angel, the devil, or Satan. He is also referred to as Lucifer, as a dragon, as a serpent, as the prince of darkness, and the father of lies. The Bible says in I John 3:8, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” In Revelation 12:9 we read, “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” How did this happen? A few verses earlier in the chapter, it says, “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.”

When Satan was cast out of heaven, he took a host of angels with him. There is only one devil. The angels who fell with him are referred to, more correctly, as demons. Now we read in I Peter 5:8, “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.” It appears that there was a point in time when the angels had free will to decide who they would follow. They could follow the righteous and just Creator, or they could cast their lot in with the most beautiful angel ever created, who promised them a part in the power he was seeking in Isaiah 14.  Thousands of angels followed the Deceiver but many more thousands chose to be faithful to God. So we see the battle between good and evil existed before the creation of this world. Satan was cast down to earth and that is why we read in Ephesians 6 that, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

We need to be on guard against the evil attacks of the enemy of our souls. As believers in the Son of God who has ransomed us by His death and resurrection, we know that “greater is He that is in (us) than he that is in the world” – Christ in us, the hope of glory. He alone gives us the victory over that great deceiver and father of lies, the devil.

May the Lord bless you as you walk with Jesus. Until next week, God bless.

Angels, Part 1

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Angels, Part 1

We have spent a number of weeks learning about children in the Bible, and I trust it has been helpful. This week we turn to a new topic, “Angels.” We know that angels are heavenly beings superior to humans who serve as attendants and messengers of God, or as guardians for people on earth.

Angels appear in the Bible from the first book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation. The Bible is the best source of knowledge about angels. We will learn certain facts about angels from the Bible, for we know that there have been many myths and imaginary tales told about angels down through the ages. The image from Valentine’s Day is a typical example of the cherub, a type of angel, being mistakenly characterized as a match-making, cute little baby with wings and a bow and arrow. There are numerous and interesting accounts of angels appearing to individuals in Scripture. In the weeks ahead, we will look at some of these and gain a greater insight into their ways and their work.

The only angels who are named in the Bible are Michael; Gabriel; and Satan, the fallen angel. Satan has a number of other names, including the devil and Abaddon. Others may cite to the Apocrypha, where two other angels are mentioned: Raphael and Uriel. Looking at Michael, Gabriel and Satan, all three of these are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. Angels, in general, are mentioned in the Bible almost 300 times.  Now, maybe you have a question about angels, such as, “What are they like? Do we really have a guardian angel? Or how can we recognize an angel?” It is a subject that is not talked about often, but they do exist and have had an influence on many lives throughout history. Perhaps if you have a question about angels you would like to email us at allan@galcom.org or tim@galcom.org and we will seek to get you an answer. However, we will not deal with questions such as the classic one, “How many angels can fit on the head of a pin”!

There are questions about angels, such as, “Are there good and bad angels? How long do they live? What do we know about guardian angels? Do they actually fly around to different places? What was the greatest honour given to an angel? Are there different levels of angels? What is their main purpose? How many are there? Do they all look the same? What are their characteristics?” As we mentioned, angels are spiritual beings superior to humans in power and intelligence. In Psalm 8 we read, “For Thou hast made (man) a little lower than the angels…” The term “angel” actually means “messenger,” typically a messenger of God who does His bidding. Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the Lord, ye His angels that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.” The appearance of an angel, or angels, most often produced shock, awe and fear in those who witnessed such a manifestation. Although, in some instances, they were perceived as regular human beings and only after the fact recognized for what they really were.

Well, there is a lot to learn about angels and I hope you will find these next few weeks informative and interesting as we delve into the Biblical truths about angels and how this information should affect our lives. Until then, may the Lord richly bless you as you walk with Him.

A Quick Update on Galcom in Africa

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Kenya – A long-time partner of Galcom International, Scott Beigle, with Faith Radio Network, shared this brief note with us:

“We just returned from Kenya.  In some the village churches 98% of the people couldn’t read so we gave them ‘mini Missionaries’.   They were so thankful.”

 

 

NigeriaNigeria – Rick and Martha Bradford, SIM (Serving in Missions) missionaries (see the post from March 1, 2017) have been a partner with Galcom almost since the beginning.  They just returned from Nigeria and had this to share:

“We finish our work in the hospital for the week and we spend our weekend days out visiting bush camps. In our bush runs we find camps of people living in the bush. No electricity, no water and no washrooms. In some of our visits we bring a dentist, and he checks teeth. During that time we give out solar-powered MP3s of the bible in their language. After a few visits we found that they had questions about what they were hearing. So now on Saturday mornings we go to visit the fishing village and we listen to their questions about what they are hearing from the Gospel.”

Children of the Bible, Part 23

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Children of the Bible, Part 23 by Allan McGuirl

We have spent a number of weeks looking at interesting stories of children in the Bible. And we have seen that they have had a great impact on the lives of people around them in various ways. However, today’s child cannot be compared to any of these previous ones. We start with Luke chapter 2 – the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that He came into this world as a child is amazing in itself. Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” The very Son of God humbled Himself to be born as a helpless child.

The one, who in the beginning spoke the Word and the worlds were formed, now lay in a humble manger speechless. The one who upholds all things by the word of His power was now powerless to care for Himself. The one, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was now pursued by a king to be annihilated. By the divine plan of God, He was born in Bethlehem as prophesied hundreds of years earlier. His birth announcement was to humble shepherds on the Judean hillside, and to foreign sages studying the skies He created. The angels of heaven marvelled at His birth and lifted praises to God while most of the world slept. And there He laid in a humble manger – truly God and truly man. I have often wondered what happened to those shepherds who first came to visit the newborn Son of God. Were they able to follow his life in any way? Did they know He had to escape to Egypt and live in exile while wicked King Herod still lived? Were they aware that when He returned from Egypt that He and Mary and Joseph found safety in the quiet village of Nazareth? Did they know it was He who returned to Jerusalem 30 years later to challenge the religious leaders of the day with their hypocrisy? Were they there when He was led up Golgotha’s hill to be crucified? Actually, we are told nothing more of these shepherds except that after they saw Jesus, they were filled with joy and told everybody they met about Him.

And how did Simeon and Anna both recognize this baby to be the promised Messiah when He was brought to the temple at just eight days old? What did people think when this news was shared with them? What was it that alerted them to His true identity?

Then we have the wise men travelling from the east seeking the new King. Jesus was no longer in a manger but in a house when they arrived, so He could have been almost two years old. Did they realize that He was not only a King but the King of Kings? When they worshipped Him and laid their gifts before Him, did they know that He had come to give them the gift of eternal life? What did they say when they returned home about this special child? Again, the Scriptures are silent on this matter.

Of course, there is a lot of speculation about Jesus’ early childhood, but the Bible is silent about this. The only comment comes in Luke 2:40 where it says, “And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.” And then when he turned 12, He traveled with Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. Mary and Joseph, like many others, stayed in Jerusalem for the full seven days of celebration.

Then they started the long trek back to Nazareth. The trip is about 167 km or about 100 miles, about three full days of travel from dawn till dusk. They traveled all day and made their way down the hills of Jerusalem. That is the most dangerous stretch: a rocky, sandy, parched descent with many twists and turns in the road as it meanders down through the hills toward Jericho and the Jordan River. The area is noted for bandits and robbers who easily lie in wait in the craggy outcroppings looking for unsuspecting travellers. However, by moving in the company of so many friends and relatives who are also returning to the Galilee there is little likelihood of being attacked. As they reached the lower level and started north following the Jordan, they found a place to camp for the night. As this point, Mary and Joseph expected Jesus to join them, assuming He was keeping company with their relatives. But He didn’t show up. They started searching for Him among their kinfolk and friends, but Jesus was nowhere to be found.

When they finally realized that Jesus was not there, they had no choice but to return to Jerusalem to look for Him. But first they had to find a place to stay for the night. I suspect that it was a restless sleep, especially for Mary, not knowing Jesus’ whereabouts. First thing in the morning they retraced their steps in search of their son. The trip was slower because now they were climbing back up toward Jerusalem, and, most likely, they were not able to cover as much ground on the return trip as they had the previous day. No doubt they were scanning every group of travellers they passed, wondering if Jesus had realized He had been left behind and joined a later group to travel back home.   I can visualize them questioning the various groups as they looked for Jesus. As night descended, they were again forced to stop and wait for dawn. Two days had elapsed and they had no idea where Jesus was.

When morning came, they resumed their journey and made their way through Jerusalem’s gate. They found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, and listening and asking questions. Luke 2:47-50 says, “Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’  ‘Why were you searching for me?’ He asked, ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what He was saying to them.” Even Jesus’ parents, although they knew that Jesus was the promised Messiah, did not really comprehend all that that meant.

Further, in Luke 2:51,52  it says, “Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Jesus knew He was God the Son, but still He placed himself under the authority of his parents. He was setting the example to all children that the fifth commandment, honouring father and mother, was to be obeyed.

Well, as we said at the beginning, no other child could ever be compared to the Son of God. We are familiar with the rest of His life, but that is a topic for another day.

Children of the Bible, Part 22

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Children of the Bible, Part 22 by Allan McGuirl

We have been looking at children of the Bible the last few months. Timothy is the next child we will discuss, as we draw close to the end of this series. I believe there are some important things we can learn from the life of Timothy, especially as a child, that can encourage our hearts and perhaps help some parents in raising their own children.

Timothy, whose name means “honouring God” or “precious to God,” certainly lived up to his name. Timothy came from a special home setting. You know that at an early age he put his faith in the Lord. The Bible says in Acts 16:1 that Paul had come to Lystra where Timothy lived. His mother was a Jewess and a believer in Jesus, and his father was a Greek. Nothing else is said about his father, but in II Timothy 1:5 the Bible says that Paul longed to see Timothy because he noticed in him the same unwavering faith and the sincere trust in God that was first modelled by his grandmother, Lois, and then by his mother, Eunice. Wow, this is a powerful statement. Three generations of solid believers is a testimony to God’s amazing grace, and it is also a testimony to the way Grandmother Lois and Mother Eunice raised Timothy. Let me ask you grandparents: are you passing on the precious truth of Jesus our Saviour to your children, and in turn, encouraging them to pass it on to their children? You can have a mighty impact on their lives just as Eunice and Lois did with Timothy.

How do we do that? Let’s look at II Timothy 3:14 and 15, where Paul charges Timothy: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  Paul goes on to affirm, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Eunice and Lois didn’t wait until Timothy was old enough to even understand to teach him God’s Word. They started when he was an infant. When we sing “Jesus Love Me” or “For God so Loved the World” to a babe in arms do we think they really understand those concepts? Or if we read Bible stories or Bible passages to them do we think they really grasp all that we are saying? Of course not! But we are laying a foundation from the very earliest years that shows a respect for God and His Word. We are placing God’s truths and familiar phrases within their young minds that will take on proper meaning as they mature. We are sowing the seed that will eventually take root in the virgin soil of their hearts and grow to bring forth fruit. The fruit doesn’t appear until a plant is mature. The plant doesn’t begin to mature until the seed germinates in the prepared soil. The seed can never germinate if it is never planted. So, you see, Lois and Eunice sowed the seed of God’s Word early in young Timothy’s heart. They watered it with prayer and tilled the ground to make it receptive for the seed to germinate. Then, as he grew, they continued to sow the seed.

In Timothy’s life this had a huge impact. From an infant he knew God’s Word, by faith he appropriated God’s grace as taught in His Word, becoming a child of God, and then by faith began to live it out. When children are taught early, when they are led to accept Christ as their personal Saviour early in life, when they are taught the truths of Scripture and how to apply them to their lives, and when they understand that God’s Holy Spirit within them lives out the life of Christ through them, there is no more powerful force for the Great Commission than this!

Paul recognized that Timothy was being molded by God from early on. In Acts 16:3, Paul wanted to take him along on a mission trip. What a great choice Paul made in selecting this young man. He was ideal material for mentoring, and Paul was able to pour himself into this young man with little fear that his time and effort would be wasted. Paul also warned Timothy in II Timothy 3:1-4: I can almost see Paul looking him in the eye and warning him that “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God. So, Timothy, this is the world you are living in.” Paul goes on to say, “But you, Timothy, must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…”

Is this not the world we observe today in North America? Paul encouraged Timothy to be on guard and to recognize that God’s word would be his guide through the hazards of life. And then what did Paul do? He prayed for Timothy constantly. Parents, you want your children to experience God’s best for them. Pray for them continually. Encourage them and affirm them when they do what is right. Set the example. But most of all, pray for them. It is so easy to allow our busyness, our tiredness, our distractions, and our carelessness to keep us from this most important task. Pray that God would keep them in His Word, that they will be able to recognize temptation for what it is, that they will see the consequences of wrongdoing before they allow themselves to be sucked in. Pray for God’s protection around them keeping them from the Evil One, and pray that they will have a hunger to know God better and a desire to serve Him.

Know Before You Go – 5 Things to Consider Before You Go on a Mission Trip

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  1. Obviously the first thing you should do is PRAY! You should seek God’s guidance as you prepare to go, while you are there, and when you come home. Have people praying for you back home as well.
  2. It would be a smart idea to learn about the culture of the country you will be serving in. Learn what type of clothing is acceptable. Try to learn a couple of words in the local language as well: words like please, thank you, and hello. This can be helpful if language is a barrier and is very appreciated by the people to whom you are reaching out.  Google Translate and YouTube should be able to help you with this.
  3. Align your heart with the purpose of your trip. Be a servant while you are there; go to learn about God and more about yourself and others; don’t think you know it all; embrace grace if your flight is delayed or you get bitten by bugs or if you don’t always agree with your team members.
  4. Plan ahead! Get the shots that are necessary for the country you are travelling to. Know what to pack by doing your research. Items that you might want to take with you are: bug spray, hygienic items like toilet paper and stomach medicine, sunscreen, a couple of flashlights, and plastic bags for your clothes to keep them dry. Take along snacks like peanut butter, crackers, and protein bars (as the food may not be to your liking). Another tip is to roll up your clothes when you pack because it will take up less room.
  5. Debriefing after your trip is almost as important the trip itself; firstly, it can help with the adjustment to your normal life; secondly, it can put into words everything you learned on your trip as you return to your daily life. Engage with people when you get back. A short-term mission trip will change your life: it will make you more grateful, expand your perspective on just about everything, and draw you closer to God.

There are many things to think about after you say yes to going on a mission trip. It may be your first time going, or your third, but remember that God is with you always. Also remember that your reason for going is to serve and to tell others about Jesus and His love. Know that this experience will change your life for the better.

If you are interested in going on a short-term mission trip with Galcom, please contact us at 905-574-4626 for more information.