What does that mean? Am I trying to outdo the candy company with one extra M? Do I stutter when I type? Is my keyboard stuck? No, no, and no. What it means is – officially -- May is Motorcycle month!
And what do these three problems have in common? They are all problems that affect our national church planter's ability to evangelize more villages, train more preachers and start more churches.
Speed, time, and distance:
On foot, a preacher can only evangelize a small area. He doesn't have hotels to stay at. So he carries a bag of food and ventures out for the day. Soon, he has knocked on every door within his area. His radius on foot may be five miles, and with a bicycle, he can stretch it out to fifteen, but with a motorcycle, his radius of evangelism grows exponentially. -- If he has one.
It is common in some countries for a preacher to run into angry mobs of fanatic Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, or Animists. They are not content to scream, threaten and hurl insults; they want blood. They want to beat, cripple, cut off limbs and kill the messenger of God who has come to share the gospel with them. Many preachers have long been wounded and now limp and cannot run. Others can, but they cannot outrun every assailant that comes after them. On foot, they are helpless. On a bicycle, they stand a chance if they get enough of a head start. But they can quickly outdistance clubs, machetes, rocks, and flames on a motorcycle and return to preach another day. – If they have one.
An attacking bear:
We have often mentioned this threat, and as time goes by, it is becoming more of a problem. In India, it is tigers and bears; in Africa, it is hyenas (the only beast in the jungle that lions fear) and rhinos. There are dangers to our men, no matter the continent, that they cannot outrun on foot or escape on a bicycle. Their only hope of escape and survival is the speed and distance a motorcycle provides. As they travel further looking for that next unreached village, whether on foot or with a bicycle, they return home later and later. It's dark, and they can easily be seen as a meal or a threat because they unwittingly got too close to bear cubs playing in the brush on the side of a road or path. With a motorcycle, this problem is negated as the engine's sound would alert and frighten the wild animals of their impending arrival. – If he has one.
The Only and Obvious Solution:
Though you have often helped with this need, and though our next issue of the Progress Report will highlight it in greater detail, I wanted to get a head start and let you know that during May, our goal is to provide as many of our men as possible with a motorcycle. One group in Africa needs ten. One group in India needs more than fifty. And there are many groups of dedicated, worthy men like them worldwide. Globally, we can purchase a motorcycle for about $1300 (which can carry two preachers and a box of bibles or three preachers with no boxes). And though you can give any amount at any time, as the need will always be there, we have recently had so many requests that we decided to make May our Motorcycle Month. (M&M's &M)
So, rip open a bag and enjoy yourself for a moment. Then give online below and send an offering so together we can evangelize more people, allowing them also to enjoy Heaven forever. I don't know how much “PLAIN-er” I can make it.
On February 18, we informed you that our men in Pakistan needed five motorcycles (see the original email here). Then, after our email was sent to you, we were told that their need had grown to seven. Rather than send out a correction, we waited to see what you would give, and by February 23, we had received enough for all seven motorcycles. Our marvelous, all-knowing Lord moved in your hearts even though you did not know the entire need. Serving Him keeps getting better and better.
It takes time to process your giving and wire it to the receiver’s bank. Then it takes a few days for them to clear the international wire and release the funds. So, about a week ago, we received a photo of the five motorcycles for the Lahore church planters, and last night Pastor Shaukat sent photos of the two given to desert church planters. Along with the photos, Pastor Shaukat sent this message:
Please keep praying for us because it is a very hard task for us to reach more lost souls and win them for the Lord Jesus Christ.
As of this morning, the entire need was met. When we informed you about their request, we were told they needed five motorcycles, but several days later, Pastor Shaukat informed me that the number should have been seven. So rather than inform you all, we waited to see what you would give, and as of this moment, the entire balance has been pledged and is on the way.
Thank you all for giving. Your generosity will launch their ministry range incredibly, allowing them to evangelize and plant churches in hundreds of villages previously out of reach. It will also save them a small fortune each year from renting vans when they travel. Each trip costs well over $500. That will be a savings of thousands of dollars a year they can apply to other needs.
I am working on the video I promised you. I got home from Pakistan sick and left for a several days conference. Nolin and I returned home about midnight last night. I took some medicine and slept for twelve hours! I'm doing light work today and will jump on the video tomorrow. When my part is done, Joshua Martyn will add photos and maybe video to the presentation, which will take a few days. I expect we can get it to you next Friday and give you a product you will enjoy and learn from. See you then.
Thank you for your prayers; the Lord answered them remarkably. Even before leaving, we saw His protection as we barely missed being involved in an accident on the way to the Atlanta airport. And apart from difficulties trying to leave Pakistan, the trip was smooth as butter. (I should say silk, but I think more about food than clothing.)
In a week or so, I will have a video Debriefing available for you to watch, including photos and probably a little video. My heart was changed on my first trip to Thailand in 1986. God touched me in an unnatural way, and I have been faithful to His calling since then. When I returned, my wife Juanita asked me several days later, "Who are you? You are not the same man I married." The change in my life was radical. But not since then have I felt that touch, and I believe I have been changed again. (New heart but unfortunately the same stomach.) We saw the glory of God before our eyes. I can't wait to tell you all about it.
For now, I wanted to let you know that I am home, safe, and finally well, and eager to serve His servants worldwide. But before leaving, I saw a need that I think you will want to know about, which I will discuss more in the Debriefing.
Pastor Shaukat is perhaps the most remarkable preacher I have ever met. He was born the year Final Frontiers began and has produced scores of disciples doing ministry -- while training for ministry. Among them are leaders, some in their final year of study who have already helped him plant half a dozen churches, and others already serving full time, though without income. These men are each training others to do likewise. But they are hindered in their transportation and have no funds to travel to the desert churches. One of them, a young man of twenty-five, has polio and struggles to walk, but what a ministry he has. I feel they can benefit greatly from each receiving a motorcycle. They can travel and take one or two men with them or carry their wife and a box filled with Bibles. This tool would enhance their ministry incredibly.
The motorcycles (Honda) cost $1,300 each, so for five vehicles, we need to raise $6,500. Can you purchase one for them? If not, can you give an offering to help? Together we can provide the tools, they will provide the labor, and our great Lord will provide the harvest. What a team! Donate here or mail in a check and designate it to "Pakistan Motorcycles".
Thanks so much for your partnership with this and be looking for our Pakistani Video Debriefing. This is something you will want to share with your friends and church. Until then …