Hi, thanks for being a friend. I need help with my book. The pen is mighty, but I need people to know why their relationship with God is so important and how it feeds the starving, please tell us why by liking and posting at
https://www.facebook.com/Evangelismmakesmissionaries is where you can join the evangelist to hear about them and pray with them. I am writing a book and part of it is how important evangelism and our relationship with God is, please like this links page and comment. Ask me about the book or tell me a story to put in it.
Great topic to write about as I am very much interested in it. I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Growing food is a way of life for me. I love to plant and grow food and take care of creation. I think that we need to teach people how to do this because as the newer generations grow up in the city they forget or don’t even know about this. It is surprising to me that some people in the city don’t even know where food actually comes from and how it gets to the store. People are losing touch with nature which is a big problem.
As we do evangelize and spread the gospel I believe we need to also teach to take care of creation. If we are not caring for creation then we are not living out the gospel. Creation goes for everything, people, animals and plants. I am very passionate about this and sharing food with others is just so natural for me.
I think that lot’s of people try to help others because it makes them feel good. That is kind of the wrong reason for doing something for another person. We should help others in need because Jesus teaches us to. As a result we do feel good because we pleased the Father. Compassion without Jesus is just selfishness because it is for their own benefit. As Christians I believe we could be doing a better job of this.
There shouldn’t be any reason why there is starving people in the world. There is plenty of food to go around. I will say that there is a huge flaw in world food distribution. I have been reading a lot about this and the food really isn’t getting to where it needs to be. This is caused by corruption and profiteering of the food. Things like this is what’s making people even more poor and starving. We need to come up with a system to provide good food at a low cost.
These are just some of my thoughts,
As a youth, his parents taught Jeff to live with integrity and hard work. His extensive involvement in sports helped prepare him for teamwork, and leadership. He trusted Christ as Savior in 1973 through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ while a freshmen at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. During his college years, he was actively involved with CCC. He graduated in 1977 with a degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology and planned to be a police officer but God had another plan.
After college, God led Jeff to work at Midwest Challenge in Minneapolis from 1977-84. MWC is a Christ-centered residential discipleship program for drug addicts, homeless, prostitutes, prisoners and the like. He handled all kinds of ministries like: street outreach, jail and prison visitation, counseling, cooking, cleaning toilets and eventually became program director. In spring of 1979, he was transferred to Willmar, MN to open a new MWC center and serve as the program director.
While serving at MWC, Jeff met Mary Ann Hartzell. She was raised in Minneapolis in a home where her parents led her to the Lord at a young age and were instrumental in directing her toward missions. When she was in high school, she knew God was calling her to serve as a missionary. After taking secretarial courses in college, she worked in the office and was a live-in counsellor at MWC.
Mary Ann left in September, 1978 for 9 months serving with Sudan Interior Missions (SIM) as a secretary in Maradi, Niger, West Africa. During the time Mary Ann was in Africa, Jeff knew the Lord was calling him to commit his life to serving as a missionary wherever in the world God would send him. A few months after Mary Ann’s return, they were married in December 1979. Shortly after their son Amos was born, they were transferred back to Minneapolis in 1981.
Missionaries: the foot soldiers in the trenches
The evangelist couple packs their luggage looking forward to returning home several thousand miles west of Hawaii. Anyone who visited there would be engrossed with its inherent beauty draped in desperation. The people’s dire need for sustainable food and life is obvious, and alarming.
The distant mountainside villages, graced with high cliffs overlooking an azure ocean exist akin to a Tarzan film scene or similar to life hundreds of years ago. Diversely the streets of the cities rife with mean street life monstrously tower like a real-life Godzilla. After almost thirty years on this station, the missionaries are all too aware of the risk and dangers of their work, and Godzilla is kid stuff compared to the realities they have witnessed.
The international flight from mainland North America back home is a twelve-hour trek plus considerable, even exasperatingly long layovers extending the trip, the trick was to pray while you wait, who could feel bad when talking with Jesus. After spending a lifetime serving the Lord, the lead team eagerly returns to their work with the at-risk residents, many are villagers gone to the big city as Pablo did. Growing up in a distant province, Pablo journeyed to the big city to find money and food for his family back in his home providence, up in the mountains.
On the island distant monsoon winds stir the night’s moon swept clouds. Eerily white in the late evening sky they hint at coming squalls. Pablo knew the cycle of summer and its vicious floods and wind. He knew it would be bad, just not how bad. The clouds gave warning; but they did not say how many monsoons this year, which is the difference from months of mud caked life or starting life over once more.
Annually the brutal monsoon winds accompanied by twenty some inches of rain, each storm send makeshift structures floating away; and many lose everything, every summer, to start over when the monsoons retire until the next season. The mud-caked survival is expected, the lack of food and shelter, the lakes of standing water turning city parking lots to mud ponds, the city’s streets transform overnight to waterways of storm water from torrential rains gone putrid, stagnant, and rife with disease. The missionaries knew what they would face every year, and knew God watches over them. They know what a good deed can do, how the word of God can change a life over a bowl of rice and veggies.
The streets are busy with people fighting a true-life struggle and the missionaries who eagerly suffer along side are standard procedure in the war on poverty, and these folks are in the trenches. When it comes to seeing the people, the evangelizing missionaries are hands-on and connected to the needy by feeding and sharing the word of God.
Eagerly the couple load on the plane to begin their international journey home, ready for their evangelistic mission, giving the word of God and feeding the poor, nurturing the needy with salvation of the spirit, and body. They arrived in Manila late that evening in good shape. During the trip from the airport to their apartment the familiar sights, sounds, smells and people revived their weary minds and body. Once back home the nagging feeling that people were in need of their hands-on assistance receded and folks like Pablo were happy to see them back home.
Once home, preparations began for the next Tuesday’s two-day camp for street kids with six churches and two Para-church ministries joining. This camp will be particularly challenging due to weather. The forecast indicated the steady rain was going to intensify and last all week. They plan to have 50 kids but rain causes street work to be difficult and scatters the kids. Although the rain is forecast to continue into next week, they hope the weather clears up for recruitment, so the kids can enjoy fun activities outdoors. Nevertheless, the Lord controls the weather and guides recruitment so they trust Him for His plan, which is best as the first monsoon of the season barrels to them.
The prior camp had 42 kids from the streets/slums recruited by six churches. The ministers relish teaching about Gods love through the Gospel. The kids enjoyed great food, swam, participated in many fun filled leaning activities, and got to know one another. Working with bruised and battered kids can be very frightening and overwhelming but they are like any other child who needs love, guidance, training and their physical needs met. Christ is leading many to minister to the multitudes of children-in-crisis worldwide. The missionaries know what Jesus taught his early disciples “You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37) even though we like them have weak faith and are limited in our resources. However if we obey Him we will see His plan working through us.
The following week Metro Manila and surrounding provinces are hammered by five days of heavy monsoon rain resulting in 60% of the Metropolitan and 70% of central Luzon swamped. Over 1.75 million people are severely affected with over 500,000 now staying in evacuation centers such as schools and churches. ACTION’s Street Impact Team is being flooded with requests from pastors in their network requesting help but the cash in-hand is never enough so at present they able to help only 350 families in three areas where they have ongoing projects in Metro Manila.
Commencing two relief ops with a tired feeling (“low battery”) when they left home, but after the relief op they were “fully charged”, amped by the gratefulness of the recipients when they received help and hearing them say it’s an answer to their prayers. They were also re-charged by the visit to several families residing in a stinky swamp along a river basin and the folks were glad they visited . Preaching Galatians 6:9-10 often, I needed to dig down deep in my heart and practice what they preach. Obedience to the Word brings blessing to others and us.
The street evangelism is limited as the street children are scattered around staying dry on a wet day, how would the already starving kids eat if they were huddled under some trash. Saturday the Street Impact Team did two flood relief ops and Thursday another one. All three were in partnership with churches we work with year-round. Hunger answered the question once the street service proceeded as the kids came out to eat. The evangelizing was met with smiles as the hungry are fed and the word is shared, and the smiles energize the ministers with joy and contentment. On Thursday the Armed Forces of Philippines helped by providing security, logistical support and free haircuts because three soldiers are barbers. The missionaries gave 350 packs to families consisting of 14 food items including five kilos of rice, which were really appreciated because people have little to eat since the floods kept them from working.
Many families stayed in an evacuation center for the week during the height of the storms but are now home cleaning up the mess left behind by receding floodwater. After this, the disaster relief account was depleted, but in the last day, they received donations from the UK, Canada, the US and the Philippines enabling them to continue helping people. This work is draining and back breaking, but the Filipino cultural trait called “bayanihan” in practice which is neighbors helping each other with a major task. This has made a heavy job lighter. The Lord helps those who help themselves.
Mr. Stewart at Action International was kind enough to share his book he compiled with Doug Nichols, a master missionary graced by God to teach, direct, and help young missionaries spread the word of God and love the needy. Mr. Nichols real-life stories touched my heart and soul. Missionaries, you have to love them, they will love you regardless. I posted the foreword, and two of my favorites.
The fact that you are holding this book in your hands is certainly no thanks to Doug Nichols.
What I mean by that is that for years I have proposed to Doug that he combine some of his most inspiring missions messages into a book, but he has never been interested in doing so.
You see, Doug is the type of person who would rather talk about you and your ministry than be in the spotlight himself.
So, while he was ministering in the Philippines in December, 2012, I compiled and edited these stories from all our archives of his writings here at the ACTION headquarters, and sent them off to be printed in a book. This book. I even put his picture on the cover, though I know he won’t like it because he always prefers that the attention be on Christ and others, not himself.
So if you are reading this, then somehow I have prevailed by “sneak attack” and after getting this printed up while he was away, have finally won his approval to distribute it. Sometimes it is easier to get forgiveness than permission! I hate to do this to one of my bosses, but these messages really deserve a wider audience.
This book is also my way of saying thanks to a man who has been a great help and encouragement to me.I have always considered Doug Nichols to be the co-founder of my ministry in Cuba, because twelve years ago when I started out I had no money and very few contacts. It was Doug who initially found the money, found the conference speakers, and found the books for us to print! Perhaps more amazingly, he found confidence in this new missionary and treated me with greater respect than I possibly deserved. Doug surely realized that at the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing, but he never gave a hint of that. Rather, he encouraged me every step of the way and continued to introduce me to his friends and ministry colleagues, which made me feel that he was very proud of the ministry and me.
His faith in me helped me to grow into the leadership role I have, and the opportunities he gave me caused me to grow and learn in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have been blessed to know and work with Doug, and there are now tens of thousands of Cuban pastors and leaders who have been blessed with conferences and books because Doug Nichols found it in his heart to take a young missionary under his wing.
I trust that these brief devotional messages written by Doug will encourage even those missionaries and missions-minded Christians who have not had the privilege of knowing him personally.
—Brian Stewart, ACTION Cuba Director http://www.actioninternational.org/missionaries/stewart-brian
Anyone could do that!
Devotional messages for missions-minded Christians by D o u g Nichols, compiled b y Brian Stewart
Copyright © 2013 by Doug Nichols and Action International Ministries, USA.
PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Printed in the United States of America
Witnessing in a TB sanitarium
While serving with Operation Mobilization in India in 1967, tuberculosis forced me into a sanitarium for several months. I did not yet speak the language, but I tried to give Christian
Literature written in their language to the patients, doctors and nurses. Everyone politely refused. I sensed many were not happy about a rich American (to them all Americans are rich) being in a free, government-run sanitarium. (They did not know I was just as broke as they were!)
The first few nights I woke around 2:00 a.m. coughing. One morning during my coughing spell, I noticed one of the older and sicker patients across the aisle trying to get out of bed. He would sit up on the edge of the bed and try to stand, but in weakness would fall back into bed. I didn’t understand what he was trying to do. He finally fell back into bed, exhausted. I heard him crying softly.
The next morning I realized that the man had been trying to get up and walk to the bathroom! The stench in the ward was awful. Other patients yelled insults at the man. Angry nurses moved him roughly from side to side, as they cleaned up the mess. One nurse even slapped him. The old man curled into a ball and wept.
The next night I again woke up coughing. I noticed the man across the aisle sit up and again and
try to stand. Like the night before, he fell back whimpering. I don’t like bad smells, and I didn’t
want to become involved, but I got out of bed and went over to him. When I touched his shoulder, his eyes opened wide with fear. I smiled, put my arms under him, and picked him up.
He was very light, due to old age and advanced TB. I carried him to the washroom, which was just a small filthy room with a hole in the floor. I stood behind him with my arms under his armpits as he took care of himself.
After he finished, I picked him up and carried him back to his bed. As I laid him down, he kissed me on the cheek, smiled, and said something I couldn’t understand. The next morning another patient woke me and handed me a steaming cup of tea. He motioned with his hands that he wanted a tract. As the sun rose, other patients approached and indicated they also wanted the booklets I had tried to distribute before. Throughout the day nurses, interns and doctors also asked for literature.
Weeks later an evangelist who spoke the language visited me, and as he talked to others in the sanitarium he discovered that several had put their trust in Christ as Savior as a result of reading the literature! What did it take to reach these people with the Gospel? It was not health, the ability to speak their language, or a persuasive talk. I simply took a trip to the bathroom.
Anyone could have done that!
You are not very smart, are you?
On one occasion, I had arrived at the Manila airport after 30 hours of travel. Needless to
say, I was exhausted. I was taken directly to a conference center, where I was to speak to agathering of 300 workers with children in crisis throughout the Philippines. It was a special banquet and celebration that night, and I was trying to stay awake. After eating and during the preliminaries of the program, I was reviewing the notes of my message. A choir from a local orphanage had sung and was standing immediately behind me, waiting to sing again. One of the little boys, named Raffy, about six years old, was an orphan living at the Home of Joy and was standing quite close to me. We began to talk. He reminded me of my son, Robby.
Raffy noticed I was reviewing some notes and said, “What are you doing?”
I said, “Well, I am going over my notes for my message tonight.”
He said, “You need notes when you speak?” I said, “Yes.”
He said, “You’re not very smart, are you?”
I laughed and said, “No, I’m not.”
In his youthful innocence he said, “I don’t need to look at words when I sing. I just memorize them and sing.”
That night during my restless sleep, I thought of Raffy quite a bit. I telephoned my wife, Margaret, the next day and said, “God has given us two adopted children and perhaps we should think about one or two more.”
So, the next day I went to the Home of Joy orphanage and the director, who is a friend of ours, saw me coming, stepped outside and said, “No, Mr. Nichols. You cannot adopt Raffy.”
I said, “How did you know I was coming to you to talk about adopting Raffy?”
She said, “I saw how you and he were drawn to each other at the banquet last night.”
I said, “Why can’t Margaret and I adopt him?”
She replied, “Well, for one thing, you are too old! but seriously, we can’t release Raffy because the new law in the Philippines is that you have to keep families together and he has one brother and two sisters.”
We have kept in contact with Raffy through the Home of Joy over the years. His brother is now a second-year student at the Philippine Missionary Institute and Raffy is in his second year of studying automobile mechanics. Raffy and his brother and sisters are continuing on in the Lord and are trusting Him to use them for His glory.
James 1:27 (nasb) says, Pure and lasting
religion in the sight of our God and Father
is this: to visit [care for] orphans … in their
No, I am not very smart, but I praise the Lord for allowing me to meet this little boy, whom God has continued to care for and work in and through to the blessing of others for His glory!