Alyssa Hickinbotham Update
March 30, 2017
- COSTA RICA -
I can't believe my team and I will be headed out to local outreach in just a few short days! On April 3rd my DTS class will be leaving to go to a region of Costa Rica called Telemanca for 9 days. We will be traveling by bus, canoe, and our own two feet, hiking into the jungle to reach unreached tribes. Our primary form of ministry is going to be Bible distribution, children's ministry, as well as supporting a local church with their various needs.
- Please pray for people of peace in these villages.
- Please pray that we will be able to communicate the gospel to the people in a way they can understand.
- Please pray that the people we encounter will find eternal salvation in Jesus!
- Pray that our hearts will be overflowing with love for the people we encounter.
- Please pray for rest and energy, as well as health while we are eating food and drinking the water in the villages.
- Please pray for others to come before and after us to continue to share the gospel to these tribes.
Your prayers matter! A few weeks ago the YWAM SJO base came together and prayed for an unreached people group in Egypt. It was reported to have no Christians. We just received word a few days ago that within a 6 month period there are now 30 Christians in this small group of people! Praise the Lord! He is moving! Your prayers matter! Please partner with us and help prepare the way.
- MIDDLE EAST -
After outreach in Costa Rica we will be departing to head out for international outreach on April 19th! Both of the DTS teams (SE Asia and the Middle East) will be flying to Germany, where we will then split into two teams to travel on to our final destinations.
In the Middle East my team and I will be working with two couples and their ministries. One is working with Muslim college students learning English and Spanish. We will also be working with Syrian refugees, Gypsies and Muslims. We will also have the opportunity to participate in a 24-hour house of prayer and worship in the location we will be staying at for the duration of outreach.
Ministry in this area is difficult for a few reasons. The Muslim culture is very relational based, and this is why short-term mission trips to Muslims are not as effective (this is the reason why we will be staying in one city versus traveling around the country). Also, this is a closed country to the gospel. While it is not technically 'illegal' to be a Christian, you will be met with persecution if you evangelize on the streets. Therefore, evangelism and ministry in the Muslim world is a long process, taking years to develop friendships and gaining trust.
- Pray that our hearts would be overflowing with love for the people we are going to meet.
- Please pray that we will find people of peace everywhere we go.
- Please pray for opportunities to share the gospel and build relationships.
- Please pray that Muslims and others will find their salvation in Jesus the Messiah!
- Please pray for favor while traveling (customs, immigration, visa runs, etc.), specifically for visa issues we are experiencing (people not being able to receive one for locations to travel through and to final destinations).
- THE UNREACHED -
Below is a short video about Unreached People Groups. I found this to be very helpful in clearly defining what qualifies a group of people to be 'unreached'. Basically, an unreached people group is one that has less than two percent of their population that is Christian and that can reach the rest of their peoples. I highly suggest taking the time to watch the video, it explains it much better than I can.
But why go? I've actually had a lot of people ask me this. "Why are you going across the world when there is a need here (insert 'here' to be anywhere, the US, Costa Rica, etc.)?"
Yes, there are needs everywhere: we live in a broken world. However, peoples in a 'reached' nation (North America, for example) have something an unreached people group do not have: hope. Hope for an assurance of salvation, a relationship with a personal God, and access to the gospel, the good news of Jesus. That to me is worth the discomfort of being half-way across the world and immersing yourself in a different culture. It is so others can have access to the everlasting hope that we as believers have.
I love how this one of our instructors explained it. He said, "It's like having the cure to an epidemic that is wiping out the population in another country. If you had that cure, would you go? Would you do everything you could to get that cure to them as soon as possible, and in the most strategic way?"
God desires to have a personal relationship with everyone. He wants to be known, loved and enjoyed by ALL of His creation. He is the cure. And lastly, going to the nations is the way the kingdom will come in its fullness. I would love for King Jesus to come and restore all things, and Jesus said that when when the gospel is preached as a testimony to every tongue, tribe and nation, and (an unstated number of) members confess Jesus is Lord, then the end will come. And not until then.
That is why I am going to the unreached. I want to bring the hope, I want to bring the cure.
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts thought faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
For the Glory of God to the Nations,