Lunow Update February 2011

Exodus 34:14 “You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (NLT)

During our final 6 months in Davao City, it was a pleasure to coach and assist the planting of an organic church fellowship on the grounds of Outland Adventure—a ministry that uses ropes course and team building activities to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It brings us great joy to hear that this fellowship of believers continues to grow in strength and number as they make disciple-makers the way Jesus taught us, plus connecting, when able, with the other organic fellowships in Mindanao Philippines. In fact, it was this group we were worshipping with on our last Sunday in Davao when one of the young men who had recently turned from Islam to faith in Jesus Christ, shared his testimony and was baptized!

Just a few weeks ago we received this update from our colleague in Davao who directs Outland:

24 MUSLIMS ACCEPT CHRIST AT OUTLAND ADVENTURE

“A native Filipino missionary who has been working undercover with Muslims in central Mindanao for the past six years using the strategy of friendship evangelism brought 24 Muslims to Outland for a three-day program. He had never openly shared Christ and asked us to present the Gospel to them.

At the top of the hills surrounding Outland is a large cave that we often lead groups to for discussion. The cave is about 100 meters deep and pitch-black dark when the flashlights are turned off. Several years ago we witnessed significant encounters with God that people were having in the cave as the Holy Spirit began moving in their midst. We have always been very careful not to manipulate people regarding the Gospel message because I had observed it done too many times in my past church experiences. I advised my staff that ours is not the role of the Holy Spirit, but to just give Him room to move as the Lord wants to. We intentionally use the blackness of the cave, not to scare them, but to allow people to expose their hearts. Culturally, for the Filipino, it helps minimize the shame of being open and transparent.

A short time after the flashlights were turned off the Filipino missionary began crying. He asked the Muslims to forgive him for what he was about to share; that he is a Christian and has been intentionally befriending them for those six long years just so he could tell them about Jesus – but he was scared of the consequences if he exposed Christ to them. He proceeded to give his testimony and told them he is no longer afraid and was even prepared to die if that’s what it would take to continue telling them about Jesus. The accompanying Imam or Mullah, which is a local Islamic spiritual leader, spoke next. He confided that his life was a lie; that he appears to others who look at his spiritual position as clean and righteous, but inside he is black and a sinner. He told the missionary that he would continue to be his friend and confessed that he wanted to accept Christ.

Sometimes people sense a very tangible presence of the Holy Spirit during a sermon, retreat or special event. Jonah, who is our senior Outland group facilitator was led to read Ps 103:8 to the Muslims while she lit a candle in the cave. The presence of the Holy Spirit was tangibly evident as Jonah slowly read and expounded on each sentence;

‘The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness…??For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is His lovingkindness to those who fear Him…??Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear His name.’

People started crying, and when she finished the Iman and the Muslims gave their hearts to Christ responding that it was the first time for them to realize God was compassionate and loving.

The Muslims confided to Tata Mina, who runs Outland for us, that a Muslim’s life in the area this particular group is from is only worth P1000 (about $25). That’s the price someone will accept as payment to kill a Muslim who converts to Christianity.

PLEASE PRAY for Tata and his wife, Cherril, who facilitate the Outland Fellowship, and for these many new believers to be protected by God and properly nurtured in discipleship so that they can be The Body of Christ, with courage in their own Muslim communities, giving a clear witness of the Lord Jesus and his love through relationships.

AS WE HEAD TOWARD INDONESIA this remains our passion, to make disciple-makers and plant organic church fellowships the way Jesus taught us, so that “…the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it…” Matt 24:14. More details to follow in our next update regarding our departure date, visas, language study, expenses, etc. Thanks for your prayers & gifts!

Jon & Sherri Lunow

Support: PWM (designated Lunow) / 22 Hemlock Dr. / Franklin NJ 07416 / ph# 973-827-4904

Email: jonlunow1@mac.com / Jon’s cell 803-389-9288 / Sher’s cell 803-389-9392

Address: 6928 Grand River Rd. / Rives Junction MI 49277 / USA (until end of June 2011)