Personal Note


On Easter around the world Christians gather to worship Jesus, celebrating His Resurrection. Easter is more than bunnies, eggs and candy! But Easter causes us to remember Jesus – who is not dead , but He is alive!

Matt 28:1-9 – After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

 Who is this Jesus that we celebrate?

  •  More than a historical figure
  • Not a philosopher or religious leader but . . .
  • HE IS GOD!
  • He is Lord, He is King, He is Savior, and He is alive!

Why?

Certainly to prove his victory over death and seal our redemption for all eternity, but also so that He can be with us – BE WITH YOU! Since He is risen, He is not just a memory, but He is present – He is with us!

Imagine …

  • What would your life be like if Jesus had never been born, crucified and resurrected?
  • What would your life be like?
  • What would this world be like?

But He IS present,  He is our friend, or King, our brother, or God, our savior, or Lord. He comforts, He forgives, He heals, He restores, He makes us new, He is forever with us.

But how can that be?

He is also at the right hand of the Father waiting to return visibly to us to establish the fullness of His Kingdom.  How can he be here and there?

This reminds me of a meeting we had in our home many years ago when our second daughter Elesha who was then about 4 or 5 years old was asked by one of those there “Where is Jesus?” and she answered; “He is in my heart.” Then she was asked (trying to stump her), “How can Jesus be in your heart and also in heaven at the same time?” She quickly answered with childlike faith and confidence: “That’s why I have heaven in my heart”

Because of Jesus, the world is not the same. Just like he has made a difference in your life, he has made a difference to millions around the world. We are now forgiven, restored into fellowship with God, a new creation, no longer bound by this body of flesh, but now we will live with Him forever!

We pray as Paul did: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection” (Phil 3:10).  That is why we celebrate Easter / His resurrection, every day!

Let us remember and turn our hearts to worship our risen Lord Jesus and experience His heaven in our heart every day.


We just sent out our newsletter, if you would like to read it go to:

http://eepurl.com/bhGugD

You can also visit our new website at:

http://www.goasianetwork.org/

Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday and every day.

Don

 

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Hi Folks!

Just published our recent newsletter. If you would like to read it go to http://conta.cc/IIQOXs

Don

When Jeannie (my wife) and I came to the Lord in 1974 our decision was made with the confession, “if we are going to do this Christian thing, we are going to do it according to the Bible and not religion.” This has been true for most of my life, although there have been times that I preferred to go the way of the crowd. This confession has caused me to be a troublemaker, a rebel, a revolutionary, a dreamer and many times lonely. So I am going to share a few of those scriptures with you. Certainly we are to be led by all of God’s word, but here are a few that stand out.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not sharing these because I have mastered them and I have accomplished perfection, by no means. I must continually remind myself and correct myself. Many times I have found myself going “off the path”. Unfortunately I do not always listen. My point in sharing these is to hopefully challenge you as well as I am challenged.

Here are a few of those verses (from The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 . Zondervan: Grand Rapids):

1 Samuel 15:22-23 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination (KJV says witchcraft), and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.

My goal is to ask the question before I do anything: “Do I do this because of obedience to the Lord or is it due to some religious or traditional obligation.” If don’t obey, then what I do has the potential of becoming a tool of Satan and is driven by the power of darkness no matter how “spiritual” or “Christian” it may seem. Any deviation from obedience is fertile ground for the enemy to deceive, manipulate and even blaspheme God’s intentions. Lord, help us obey your word!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – . “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come

I (and if you are in Christ – you) are no longer bound by the past. That means past sins, past nature, past generational curses, past anything. Therefore I remind myself that the power of Christ to bring victory in these areas has been accomplished and any religious practice, counseling technique, doctrine or spiritual experience that teaches otherwise is suspect of being from a source other than God.

Matthew 16:17-18“Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadeswill not overcome it.”

The only one who has the authority to build the church of Jesus Christ is Jesus. There is no “my, your, or our” church. It is his church. There is his church in many locations, and there are people who are part of his church who gather together in the name of another entity, organization, institution, or incorporation, but it is not Jesus’ church, but contains members of his church. The rock upon which Christ’s church is built is a revelation that comes from the Father and not from man’s attempt to educate, propagate or dictate! That revelation is simple and comes from the Father. (I’m not going to tell you what that is – ask the Father J )

Matthew 18:20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

When we gather in Jesus’ name (and no other) he will be with us. Why? Jesus is talking about the administration of his authority, his kingdom, his will, doing his business and even getting answers to prayer. Why is it that we relegate the actual presence of our Lord to another person when we gather? If Jesus is truly with us when we gather in his name, then let him lead! If we ignore his presence and lead in his stead, what does that say about our obedience to him, or should I say rebellion against him. We have already stated where that leads! This is why the world does not believe us when we say he is with us in our gatherings; we don’t act like it. It also reveals that there is a sickness in the body of Christ, it does not have a real, experiential connection with the head of the church – Jesus. We focus on figureheads and not the real head. Can you imagine a wife only paying attention to the self-appointed representative of her husband and not him when the husband is right there with her?! Absurd? Yes! Then why do we do it to our Lord Jesus? The activity of the church gathered then becomes a parody of the real thing, and it is not funny.

Ephesians 4:14-16 –“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

So much here, but my main point in this portion is that Christ is the head. We grow up “into Him.” The mature are those who acknowledge Jesus as the head, walks in love and does their part. It has nothing to do with submitting to a person who is functioning in place of Jesus, nor does it include aspiring to be in a position like that. But it does include living a life that acknowledges Christ has the head. If there is another head there is chaos, immaturity and lead captive by “the teaching and the cunning craftiness of men.” Unfortunately we have taught that one form of maturity is to lead as the head (senior pastor) a congregation. That is the far from the truth.

1 Corinthians 14:26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”

When I come together with other believers in any context, my goal is that we fulfill this verse. It is the only verse in the New Testament that gives us an idea of what we should do when we gather. They key here is that everyone has a chance to share, and all of these are done. But as we know, most of them time these are put off in place of a performance and spectator format. Those on the platform do and the others watch and receive. The only giving that is expected from the audience is a monetary offering or volunteering for things such as nursery of parking lot duty. But the problem is that we cannot do this if our meetings are too large. Everyone cannot participate. That is why organizations have been deceived to believe that the bigger the meeting, the better. Church growth is being measured by the number of attendees to a meeting and not the number of disciples obeying Christ. Some congregations have tried to solve this with small groups. But if they do not consider these small groups an expression of church, and do not allow Christ to be head of these small gatherings then they are falling short of what God desires.

Matthew 28:18-20 – “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Why are we here? Why don’t we just get translated into heaven when we get saved? Jesus has called us to go and make disciples of all nations. These nations are not political nations, but all ethnic/people groups. I am compelled to examine the ministry I do and if it is not making disciples, if it is not teaching others to obey Jesus, if folks are not getting baptized then I must be doing my own thing no matter how religious or “Christian” it may seem. Note that he did not say go and plant, start, or establish churches. That’s what Jesus does. I constantly fight the battle of losing my first love of telling others about Jesus. But it is more than just getting a “decision for Christ.” Discipleship means we walk together, following Christ together and help one another along the way know what Jesus is saying.

Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Much of my live has been devoted to missions. That is because this verse challenged me when I was a young pastor who had planted a church and served as its pastor for nine years. I soon resigned and moved my family to Southeast Asia to encourage others to reach those who have not yet heard the gospel of the Kingdom. Over 6000 ethnic/people groups are still in darkness and have no one telling them about Jesus and the gospel of the Kingdom. This dilemma that faces the church today is what drives me go, serve, compel others to go to these people groups and preach the gospel of the kingdom to them – as a testimony (a life).

John 5:19 – Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

This has been my greatest challenge of all. It goes against my ambition, my initiative, my “get r done” attitude, my pragmatism, and yes, my flesh. My desire is to see what the father is doing and only do that. But what happens is, there is an increased amount of time that you may do nothing until you learn to see what the father is doing. There are scores of individuals with good intentions who want to tell me what the father is doing, but my responsibility is to learn it from the father first hand. I don’t want to follow retail truth, I want wholesale truth. Not milk, but meat. This is where I am now learning to follow only what the father is doing. I wish I had started with this one!

There are a few more versus and I am sure there will be more as I grow. But for now I will leave these with you to ponder.

Blessings!

Don

[For the sake of full disclosure, I have a selfish motive regarding this subject, I am involved in missions work traveling to Asia from time to time. My wife and I plan to do this in a greater capacity as soon as possible, therefore we are seeking more funding than we presently receive.]

Now with that out of the way, I want to share with you some of my observations regarding missions, money and simple church. (When I speak of simple church, that also includes organic and house churches in varying degrees) ].

One of the factors that convinced us to be more simple in our way of being the Church is that we do not have to raise funds to pay for buildings, big shots, programs, staff or parking lots. What a freedom to be relieved of these burdens. Of course most of our local mission to make disciples takes very little money at all; the cost of a cup of coffee, a meal, or just doing life together. The funds that are now available to us are certainly greater than before and we can be a blessing and help those who are normally forgotten, and left out of typical “church budgets.” Our income that is available in our simple churches and networks can do great things with just a handful of folks who give sacrificially, cheerfully and generously. (see the article: “Assessing The State Of Simple Churches In The USA Regarding Releasing Resources Toward Finishing The Great Commission” by Steve Lyzenga for a thorough look at this subject). So what do we do with our money now? We certainly have needs that arise within our simple church or network that needs attention. I am making the assumption that you are already making sure that no one in your simple church lacks and that you are following the pattern we see in Acts when a need arises. Mission also includes taking the gospel to all nations (people groups), and some of these groups still have no access to the gospel. How do we fund these efforts to reach the nations?

Here are a few questions to ask yourselves as you seek the Lord’s leading in these areas:

In your simple/organic church how are you doing missions?

  • What about those who are connected with folks in the church who have not yet become believers but have material needs, how are you meeting those needs?
  • Are you seeking the Lord regarding how you can now use the funds you have to minister to those in the “household of faith” so that none among you lack?
  • What about the unreached, or out of reach nations? There are over 6000 nations (ethnic or people groups) who are out of reach and have no opportunity to hear about the gospel of the Kingdom. (For more information and statistics about unreached people groups go to: http://www.joshuaproject.net )
  • Since we no longer have up to 90% of our budgets going to serve ourselves, are we supporting apostolic servants of the Lord who have been called to these unreached groups?
  • Are we sending financial support to those who are training others who live near these people groups to reach them?
  • Are we funding apostolic leaders and teams to go into an area to make disciples of a few new believers in an unreached area that will train them to be disciple makers seeing churches planted among their own people?
  • Who is better equipped to go and make a handful of disciples in an unreached area and prepare these disciples to go and make disciples seeing churches planted? I believe it is those who are now function as part of a simple, organic church are prepared for this hour to reach the most difficult nations (people groups) around us. Are you seeking the Lord as to how He would have you do this?
  • Is your network ready to prepare a team to go to these unreached areas and send them with the proper funding, prayer and training?
  • Are you part of a regional network that can link together in order to accomplish more than one single simple church could? If not, are you willing to be a part of one and if there is not one to be the catalyst to start one?
  • If you are already sending teams to the unreached nations and/or serving the needy in your community, are you willing to share your story with others?

I challenge all who are involved in simple, organic churches and networks to seek the Lord regarding what you should be doing regarding taking the gospel of the Kingdom to the unreached nations as well as to those in need around you. Remember, Jesus said: “This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations (people groups), and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14. Let’s remember that the purpose of the church is not for our needs, what we can get out it, but to reach out and serve the lost and fallen world around us. We exist for others, not for ourselves.

I would love to hear about what you are doing or plan to do as well as how you are processing some of these questions so that we can learn from your experience. One way you can do this is to go to www.house2harvest.com and then click on the “Relationship Room” link and sign up to be a part of a network of folks who are simple church folks interested in doing mission and tell your story. Or you could just send me an email and tell me your story (dondavis@house2harvest.org ) I have a feeling that more is going on than we know.

….oh, and by the way, regarding my selfish motives – if you want to partner with my wife and I or want to know more about what we are doing let me know and I would love to share with you what we are doing and what our needs are. Send me an email at dondavis@house2harvest.org or you can comment here.

A few months ago we (several of us in Hampton Roads) held a forum on “Loving Muslims” which became a catalyst for trainings regarding reaching our Muslim neighbors. We then held a training on “Understanding the Muslim Worldview” where over fifty were in attendance. This led us to consider – what’s next? In the scriptures, Jesus gave us some basic instructions; love God with all your heart mind and soul, love your neighbor as yourself and go and make disciples. This includes the thousands of Muslims which are now living in neighborhoods and working all around us.
How do we go about building bridges into the Muslim community and revealing to them the love of Jesus and the relationship that they can have with God the father? No one has all the answers, but we can find out those answers together. So we propose to the body of Christ in Hampton Roads to connect together for this purpose. We can simply develop a “missional community” made up of believers from different congregations for the purpose of developing community so that we can ask questions, share our vision, needs and ideas regarding reaching our Muslim friends. This will allow us to avail ourselves to corporate prayer and missional action in our daily life.

Therefore if you live in the region, we will be having our first meeting on Monday June 20th at 7:00 pm. We will meet at Renaissance Community Church’s facility in their café’ located at 5045 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA. We would hope that this would be a monthly gathering every 3rd Monday night. Our preliminary agenda will be to pray and discuss what the Lord is leading each of us to do in regards to reaching our Muslim neighbors.

Now let me give some clarification regarding what this is, and what this is not:
• This is not a program of one local church or one missions organization. In fact it is not a program at all.
• This is a cooperative effort of believers in our region who want to put action to their burden and call to love the Muslim community in Hampton Roads.
• This is not a program or method, nor will it become focused on some technique or merchandised plan.
• This will emerge out of the daily life of all those who desire participate in this “missional community”.

What is a “missional community”? “A Missional Community is a group of people who have united, in the name of Jesus, around a common service and witness to a particular context.” (Mike Breen and Alex Absalom in their new book, Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide – p. 124). Lately there have been many articles and even books written to clarify what missional is and how churches and small groups are seeing these groups develop for specific missional purposes. Being missional is not something we add to our life and practice. It is not a department or program of a church. It is a lifestyle that is founded on the understanding that we are here for the purpose of making disciples and demonstrating the gospel of the Kingdom. A missional community is a group of believers who are working in concert together to accomplish God’s mission. Our focus of course will be God’s mission to reach the Muslims of Hampton Roads. For a more complete description of being missional you can find further information at http://www.missionalmanifesto.net/ ,and http:/www.friendofmissional.org/.

This by no means is in competition with individual local congregations, but will compliment and equip those who want to focus on reaching Muslims. So why do something separate? It is not separate, but it is the body of Christ in our region working together for a common cause. It will facilitate those involved to mature, be equipped and reach out into areas of life where a formal church program would not be welcomed. Instead we will be doing this as followers of Jesus and not representatives of a religious organization.
Once we gather we will focus in the major infinity groups within the Muslim community in our region such as international students, refugees and prisoners. We will also plan further trainings which may include some mission trips that will be equipping in nature.

If you are interested and need more information you can contact me at dr@goasianetwork.org or you may also contact:
Jerry Smith at jerrys@aims.org ; Steve Lyzenga (on the Peninsula) at mt2414@gmail.com or Doug Chandler at dougchandler1@gmail.com

God is up to something, and we hope to see you there on June 20th so that we can learn and walk together!

For the past twenty years, Jeannie and I have made missions a large part of our lives. We served in Southeast Asia for several years in several capacities. We returned from the field in 2003 and I have been returning about once or twice times a year, and when possible Jeannie is able to go with me.

Now we have come to a major decision. Our calling and vision has been to help, train, equip and mobilize the Body of Christ to reach those who are presently out of reach. These “out of reach” are over 6000 nations – people groups who have no witness or testimony of the gospel in their own culture. These people groups are many times referred to as unreached people groups. Most of these groups are in Asia. We cannot continue to wait on the sidelines any more. Now is the time to return more diligently to the work the Lord has called us to do.

Therefore we have decided to return to more full time role in missions and follow the Lord’s call! This will not be exactly as before, but much of our focus will be the same. We would split our time between the work in Asia and our work in the USA. Our plan is as follows:

In Asia we would:
• Develop and expand the training ministry we have been a part of for many years. This is the training we do for church planters among the unreached. We want to develop other locations to do the training on a more practical level.
• Development of ministry centers in strategic locations of the 10/40 window. These would be “forward operating bases” for those serving in difficult regions amongst those who are out of reach. We would recruit teams and entrepreneurs to run these centers in major cities.
• Conduct strategic trainings in Asia for the purpose of mobilization and reaching the unreached. This would include continuing to teach in regions of Asia where we have established a working relationship.
• Recruit workers to go to were these out of reach peoples live. “How can they hear unless someone is sent?”
• Host Short-Term trips for teams from the USA focusing on the needs of those people groups who are out of reach (UPG’s.).

In the USA we would:
• Develop and expand House2Harvest Network (www.house2harvest.org ) beyond where it is now. Equipping, mobilizing and helping other missionaries get to the field. This would also include reaching the “mission field” that has moved to our doorsteps from other nations.
• Recruit workers to go to were these out of reach peoples live. “How can they hear unless someone is sent?”
• Hold strategic trainings in churches, and house church networks regarding strategic missions (reaching UPG’s).
• Raise funds for specific projects that focus on reaching UPG’s.
• Administrate exposure trips to areas of Asia where the unreached live.

Luke 14:28 says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Therefore Jeannie and I are in the planning and estimating stage of this process. We will need to have enough support to do the work the Lord has called us to do in Asia as well as the USA. Most likely we will not need to set up a household in Asia. Once our support is up to the level we need we will then be able to devote our time fully to the work at hand. In the meantime, Jeannie and I will still be taking strategic trips to Asia as often as possible. Our task at hand is to increase our supporters so that we can devote ourselves full time to the field and also assist with several projects.

Would you be willing to partner with us on a regular basis? Simply, we need several folks to support us at $10, $20, $50 a month or more. Our timetable is to be funded as soon as possible. If you are interested in partnering with us let me know. Also if you would like to receive our regular email newsletter please let me know. You can contact me at dr@goasianetwork.org.

Please keep us in prayer as we take this step of faith.

God Bless,
Don & Jeannie Davis

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April 19, 2010

Dear Friends and Partners,

A few weeks ago I (Don) had the opportunity to take a trip to Thailand and Indonesia. Overall this was a productive trip which renewed vision, renewed old contacts and gave us a fresh look at the ministry the Lord has called us to.

In Thailand I participated in the yearly people group consultation which we helped to start over fifteen years ago. This event is held to allow significant networking and encouragement for the workers on the front line and connect them with those who are supporting and praying for them. There were delegates represented from all over South East Asia. This year we had our largest contingency from the churches of Thailand. This was a significant turning point in seeing the church in Thailand take steps to reach out to the unreached.

It was great to see some of the workers we helped to train such as Bob and Kathy (not their real names) who came from the Philippines to reach the unreached Muslims of South Thailand. They have been faithfully serving their for over ten years and have made a tremendous impact on their area. They are ministering to troubled youth, Muslim leaders and many throughout the town where they live. It was great to connect with them again.

In Indonesia I returned to the Bible School and Church where we lived and served in the early 90’s located in Indonesia. I spent four days teaching the Bible School students (over 150) regarding making disciples, Kingdom of God and the simplicity of planting churches. I then had the opportunity to speak to the 1500 or more leaders of the 2000 cell groups in the local church there. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm and desire to serve the Lord. I also spoke at one of the youth gatherings where twelve young people came to the Lord.  On Sunday before I departed I preached at one of their services. There are over 30 services on Sunday at twelve different locations. What and exciting time to be with them! The leadership has asked me to come back every semester and speak to the students and assist them whenever I can. I would love to be able to do that!

The Results. Although there was much fruit from this trip such as reconnecting and affirmation, the main thing that occurred was that the Lord rekindled the call to missions and to continue focusing on reaching the unreached. The Lord is wanting us to take what we have learned and pass it on to others seeing many devout their lives to serving the Lord. Therefore we are working together with some other folks (including some of our daughters) to establish a ministry that will help believers from around the world partner together to reach the unreached. In a few weeks we will be meeting together with others to pray and seek the Lord regarding how this will be done. I plan to tell you more about this in the future.

Prayer Needs:

  • Pray that we will have God’s plan in our heart and mind regarding our future ministry and plans.
  • Pray that when we meet together regarding our ministry plans, we will have God’s wisdom and well as His plan.
  • Pray that as we step out to do the Lord’s will that we will have the grace and the faith to follow though.
  • Pray that the material needs as well as ministry expenses will be met through those who support us financially.

God Bless & Thank You for your prayers and support,

Don & Jeannie

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