When a Plan Comes Together

I love it when a plan comes together. I love it even more when I see God bring together his plan to transform lives through the gospel!

Aung was a Buddhist monk, daily wearing orange robes and living in a monastery. He was famous for his skill in writing Buddhist poetry and music, until he came to a gospel outreach led by Pastor David. Was he there as a spy to report David to the authorities?

With typical boldness, David preached the gospel. Surprising everyone, Aung responded to the call for salvation. He said he “saw the gates of heaven and the gates of hell.” He was converted and baptized and quickly removed from the area before he could be killed for his conversion.

Aung has spent the last few years studying the Bible, growing in faith and serving the Lord through the local church. Now he’s stepping out to evangelize and plant a church in a village where there is no church.

But there’s more to this story.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” While God was preparing Aung for good works, he was preparing the good works at the same time.

God at work:

  1. This is the home village for Daniel, David’s associate pastor. Daniel has traveled here for years planting seeds of the gospel and praying.

  2. Firefall friends provided for a fresh water well in this village to meet a desperate need and open the hearts of the villagers.

  3. Some of the soccer players from the national championship Glory Football Club formed a team with some of the young men of the village and won regional matches. The whole village was excited to win — and open to the gospel.

  4. Now Aung has been sent out and supported by House of Glory Church to continue building relationships, sharing the good news of Jesus and joining those who follow Jesus into a vibrant, new church

  Aung and his motorbike  

Aung and his motorbike  

Because of your faithful and generous giving to Firefall, a used motorbike was purchased to aid in Aung’s work in ministry.

He is also using his redeemed gifts in poetry and music to glorify God.

God’s plan is coming together and you are a part of his plan! 

Please pray for Aung as he follows Jesus in this new adventure of faith.

  Prayer for dedication of the motorbike for village ministry

Prayer for dedication of the motorbike for village ministry

Family Life Conferences in October

For nearly 40 years, Jim and I have been involved in ministry in one form or another. We've known its joys and sorrows. There are mountaintop experiences of seeing God impact lives in amazing ways, along with valleys of misunderstanding and fear about the future.

When a couple chooses a life in ministry, their children automatically come along for the ride, like it or not. The stresses of ministry life on spouses and children don't need an explanation to those of us "in the club." Still, it is a privilege to serve God and His people, one we would never change.

As we prayerfully considered offering leadership conferences in both Vietnam and Myanmar this fall, Jim and I were inspired to develop three-day conferences focusing on Family Life and Balance in Ministry. We will call them "God's Family/My Family."

Minh and Pastor David will gather 35 leaders from each nation. We will spend time looking at God's heart for family, plus healthy boundaries and life stewardship within the demands of ministry. Local leaders will share, both men and women. Group size is small to foster authenticity and accountability.

In both Vietnam and Myanmar, the church is young. These are new concepts. Families get fractured and marriages become frayed. We see it here in the west and also in Asia. We pray our lives and influence will make a difference.

Minh and Pastor David share what these conferences will mean in these short videos:

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The dates for the Vietnam Conference are October 16-18 and for the Myanmar Conference, October 24-27.

How you can help

  • Prayer: We humbly ask you to pray for these conferences.

  • Support: We also ask you to consider investing in one of these 70 leaders with a sponsorship of $70 to cover their expenses for travel, food, lodging and study materials. Some can sponsor one, others can send 5 or even 10 to the conference. 100% of your gift will be used for this purpose. (Just use the button below to give via PayPal.)

*UPDATE: We have all 70 sponsorships filled!

Our goal: 70 sponsorships of $70. Goal met!

Minh and David are inviting key leaders who will take these truths and multiply them in their spheres of influence throughout both nations.

Thank you for praying and for giving so these families in ministry may be strengthened to go the distance and serve the Lord with joy, security and unity. We'll keep you updated on our progress with this campaign in the coming weeks.

With our love and gratitude,
Nancy & Jim

A "House" for House of Glory Church

A new building project for a church is always a challenge. A new building for a church in a Buddhist country opposed to Christianity is almost impossible – almost!

Most of you have prayed for and supported Firefall’s partnership with House of Glory (HoG), a church in Myanmar where David is the lead pastor. Since the beginning of our partnership years ago, we’ve watched HoG rent buildings and be kicked out, sign long-term contracts and had them broken, all because they are Christians and because they are seeing new followers of Jesus every week. They’re not just meeting together, they’re transforming their community.

For years while extending the kingdom of God, they have dreamed of having their own building that can’t be taken from them. They still cannot build a church building. While they have been building bridges with the community and goodwill with the leaders there is now favor to help them serve the community in other ways.

They CAN build offices for their wildly successful (as in national champions) soccer team, Glory Football Club. They CAN also host administrative offices for the Glory Reading Room which is an educational asset to the community.

See the building progress above.

The church members have funded the lion’s share of the property purchase and are now taking the construction step by step.

Jim gives an update of the backstory of how Firefall partnered with House of Glory to purchase land for their facility.

So far, the walls, gates, septic system and toilets are done. You’ve probably figured out that the physical construction is not the greatest challenge. Government permission is the real obstacle. Here’s David’s report about how it’s going on that front.

“Now, we are asking official permission with legal documents from the government to build our main building. The chief of our community is helping us to receive it. He recommended our activities through Glory Football Club and Glory Reading Room. The main key is receiving official permission from the government soon.”

Please continue to pray for the government permission to be granted and the project to be completed. Even more than that, pray for the continued growth of the kingdom through new believers and the multiplication of church plants for the glory of God.

Back to School Blessings at the Reading Room

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them. Mark 10:13-16 (The Message)

The school schedule in Myanmar is different than ours. School begins the first of June and runs through February.

Last month, thanks to your giving, we welcomed 25 students to the school we are holding in the Reading Room. Some of the students are walking up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) each way to pursue their education.

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Pastor David and our two teachers went shopping for a year's worth of supplies for these poor Buddhist children's education. They were each supplied with raincoats, food carriers, a basket, books, pens and pencils, erasers, rulers, stationery boxes and curriculum books. The teachers were grateful to add markers, whiteboards, registration books and teacher support materials to the classroom space.

These items were furnished from your giving to Firefall International. THANK YOU!

Pastor David wrote:

"The joy the children experienced could not be expressed in words. Most of the students have never had such supplies in their lives. I was able to share about the love of Jesus for a few minutes and pray for them. We hope this will impact their family members and parents too. Thank you for helping us share the love of Jesus with these Buddhist families."
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Your prayers and giving sustain this project and so much more. Use the button below if you would like to contribute to this project.

We are grateful for you, Firefall partners. Our family in heaven will be large and varied and joyful to meet! Eternity will reveal the "ripple effect" of our investment in the lives of these students. Let us pray their hearts will open to the love of Jesus for them.

Make a Difference Every Month with Firefall

It is a beautiful thing to receive a gift. Whether it's something you really want or something that just shows they know you and think of you, gifts are rare and special.

It is also beautiful for us at Firefall to use your support and gifts to make a difference in lives across the world, whether it's through equipping leaders to spread good news, playing sport to strengthen a community or teaching English to children to equip them for a successful life. (See below for a larger list of projects.)

And we so value each and every gift.

Our biggest need now is monthly giving to help us support the many projects and needs that Firefall is so passionate about. Any amount that we can depend on each month can help us cover our current projects and even do more in the future.

Here's why some of our monthly supporters choose to give to Firefall:

Excellent stewardship with my gifts and life changing results.
We believe in the work Jim and Nancy are doing and trust them; we want to be a part of what God is doing around the world.

Because I want to support the work they are doing. I can’t go but they can.

We love being a part of something we know is furthering the Kingdom of God.
They have a clear and effective mission. I know that the money donated will be efficiently managed and applied to the mission.
I love Jesus and want to share his good news with un-reached people groups.

I (Grace) made a personal goal this year to start giving monthly to a few different nonprofits and creators that I love and am inspired by. And I was amazed by how easy it is to set up a recurring monthly payment and then just get a monthly receipt to remind me of the good my dollars are doing in many ways and places. And it saves me from having to remember to donate each month.

Watch this video to see how easy monthly giving is!

All you have to do is click the button below, then add in the amount you would like to give and click the Make this a monthly donation box. This means you will automatically give that same amount each month, without any work on your end.

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Here are some of the needs that monthly support to Firefall helps:

House of Glory Church
Pastor David and his family
Bible distribution

Church Planting
Church planter in Myanmar’s “most Buddhist” city
Evangelist in Myanmar

Reading Room
Reading room student materials
Reading room staff
Facility rental

Football Ministry
Firefall Challenge Cup
Eagles boys soccer program
Sports ministry leader training

Work in Vietnam
English lessons with outreach
Microloans
Bible distribution

Community Aid & Disaster Relief
Wells for clean water
Response (food, water, clothing) to natural disasters
Help for refugees

Pastor & Leader Training
Equipping conferences

Will you join us in this wonderful mission by supporting us monthly?

*If you would like to support a specific project monthly, please just write it in the notes section on PayPal.

Reading Room Update

A Morning to Treasure

Our schedule was overbooked with preparations for the upcoming football outreaches and Eagles Team practices. Pastor David and I agreed on a quick drop-in at the Reading Room before a lunch meeting.

The Spanish Team accompanied us. As the van approached the Reading Room, we heard the sounds of laughter and pleasant conversation. In a recently constructed "lean to" addition, Reading Room Host Ko Gyi was teaching English phrases to 20 high school students in a very animated way. These neighborhood students are on summer break now. His kindness and enthusiasm set the stage for a great learning atmosphere. We lingered a few minutes, then moved inside the Reading Room proper.

 Reading Room hostess Elizabeth teaching

Reading Room hostess Elizabeth teaching

 Host Ko Gyi is an engaging teacher of mathematics and English

Host Ko Gyi is an engaging teacher of mathematics and English

To my great joy, I saw four tables full of little boys and girls also learning English! Hostess Elizabeth had brilliantly transformed the space from a library to a pleasant classroom. The children were attentive and focused on their important work. Due to poverty, these neighborhood children have no way to attend regular school. The government schools are overcrowded and understaffed with one teacher to 50 or 60 students. There is a shortage of textbooks. For these 34 students and their parents, this makeshift classroom is a literal lifeline for their future. The fact they are learning not only Burmese grammar but also English gives them a great advantage.

Elizabeth has a quiet grace and authority about her, coupled with a mother's heart for the children. She and her husband are investing in the future of each of these children while demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by their character and work ethic. They are born teachers and lovely disciples of Jesus.

 Pastor David gives a new textbook to one of our 34 students

Pastor David gives a new textbook to one of our 34 students

I experienced many rewarding moments while on this recent trip, but I will never forget the beauty of the students learning in an atmosphere of Christian love. Every dollar invested in this creative outreach is reaping maximum goodwill in the neighborhood while lifting children and teens through loving, quality instruction.

Host couple shares their favorite aspects of serving in the Reading Room in Myanmar.

Please pray:

1. For Ko Gyi and Elizabeth as they tirelessly serve the community by hosting the Reading Room and teaching

2. Open hearts to the demonstrated love of Jesus, both students and their families.

"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

Firefall Football Challenge Cup #4 Recap: Fun & Fruitful

During our last meal together in Myanmar, the Spanish team and I debriefed the mission. Dan Fernandez of Athletes in Action Spain has led the team each of the four years, plus leading training last November for the coaches in Myanmar. He marveled at the ways God worked in our midst. A near palpable peace and joy surrounded all of us during the matches (8 each day). In the evenings, all players gathered for awards (Man of the Match trophies and shirts), silly songs, laughter and a marked increase in hunger to hear spiritual truth through music, testimony and short preaching by Pastor David.

 We enjoyed four days of exciting matches

We enjoyed four days of exciting matches

On Good Friday evening, our last night together, Pastor David shared that this was an important day to Christians. He went on to say he was usually with his own church preaching about what happened to Jesus on this day. Did they want him to tell them what happened to Jesus on this day? There was a resounding "yes" from the 150 young men there.

 Pastor David, a masterful MC for our evening activities

Pastor David, a masterful MC for our evening activities

David shared for about 15 minutes about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. You could have heard a pin drop. I prayed silently, knowing these words of truth were entering hearts all over the room with power. We had set up a table with many copies of the Evangelistic Burmese Bible and Jesus Film DVDs. They were invited to pick up a Bible or Jesus Film as we closed the evening if they had a interest, no pressure. Many moved quickly to take these items. It was holy ground.

Fellowship shared during football matches brought down barriers, connected towns and villages and ushered in an atmosphere where Pastor David sowed seeds of eternal life into hungry hearts. God's Word will not return void. It will produce a harvest!

Thank you for praying for us and for giving sacrificially to sponsor players for the challenge cup. The local coaches will continue to follow up and share the love of Jesus throughout the year. What a privilege to have a small part in what God is doing to bring people to Himself in Myanmar through sport. Thank you, Firefall partners!

 The victors!

The victors!


Eagles Team: physical, relational & spiritual hunger met

 Some of the Eagles pose with Spanish team and Pastor David

Some of the Eagles pose with Spanish team and Pastor David

We had six training sessions and two meals with the Eagles Boys Team while in Myanmar. As I watched the Spaniards interact with the boys from poor Buddhist and Muslim homes, I could not tell who was enjoying the time more…the Spanish team, I think! These athletes are masterful at using football to demonstrate physical affection, teach boundaries, respect and discipline, impart character traits and just show these little boys they are worthy of time and attention because they are created and loved by God. By the end of the first training session, they had given nicknames to each player which stuck with them throughout the week, to their delight.

 After training, the boys listen intently to their sport heroes

After training, the boys listen intently to their sport heroes

 Eagles enjoying noodles and affection

Eagles enjoying noodles and affection

Pastor David invited the boys to attend all aspects of the football challenge, even the night meetings. They sang, laughed and soaked in words of life that were shared. We saw many of them leave with a Bible clutched in their hands to take home. There will be follow-up for them during their weekly meetings with the House of Glory coaches.

As we said our goodbyes after the last noodle shop meal together, there were tears wiped away from the eyes of both the Eagles boys and the Spanish team. The bonds of love formed on a mission like this are unforgettable and life-changing. Thank you for making this time possible through your love, prayers and giving. I pray these boys will always remember the demonstrated love of Jesus they tasted during these very wonderful days we had together.

coming soon

Check back over the next few weeks (we'll email subscribers, too) to read more about our Reading Room updates and how God is expanding its influence in the community. Also, what came of Nancy's lunch with visionary women leaders.

Firefall Challenge Cup #4: March 28-31

We are so excited to announce our 4th Firefall Football Challenge Cup at the end of March. In honor of this announcement, we asked Pastor David, who leads the outreach, a few questions about the program.

Insights from Pastor David

What results and benefits have you witnessed from the past three years of Firefall Challenge Cup outreaches?

Through launching our vision of Firefall Challenge Cup four years ago, we have been able to touch many young footballers by playing together and sharing the good news. We have seen footballers come to Jesus and accept Him as their personal Savior and Lord after they listen to the good news at the outreach. We could see many young footballers' lives are transformed in different cities now. We are still following up with some footballers among those actually interested in Jesus after hearing about Him at the Firefall Challenge Cup!

When we Christians offer this kind of outreach, non-believers see us in a positive way as they realize we are not separated from them, but we are with them by playing together.

You began to mentor 15 sport leaders in your nation last year. What is your strategy in doing this?

Through mentoring sport leaders in our nation, my dream is to touch more young footballers in every city in Myanmar for sharing the good news as networking and equipping events are offered for coaches. Then we would see the great transforming in the lives of these young people, our new generation!

How can Firefall partners stand with you for Firefall Challenge #4?

We look to Firefall for partnership in prayer, provision and mentoring. Thank you for helping the team from Spain to come! Please help us as much as you can to continue our football outreach through Firefall Challenge Cup #4 as we are praying and preparing to touch young footballers by playing together and sharing Jesus effectively. If we include the Eagles Youth team, this time together will reach over 150 players.


Miraculous Conversion through Firefall Football Cup

 New disciple of Jesus, Pastor David and Glory Coach Jack

New disciple of Jesus, Pastor David and Glory Coach Jack

My name is Hein Soe Lat. I was raised in a very strong Muslim home. Though I heard about Jesus since my childhood, I knew Him as just a prophet. I was not interested in any other religions or beliefs, since my parents strictly guided me in Islamic teachings. I graduated from the Law University and started a boarding school as my vocation.

I have been crazy for football since elementary school. My favourite team is Arsenal FC in English Premier League. I play every day until today. I am 30 years old now.

In 2016, I got the opportunity to participate at the Second Firefall Challenge Cup in our hometown as a player on the Glory Football Team. I played in the daytime and I heard about Jesus in different ways at the night time. Though I was not interested in that on the first night, I decided I would actually like to taste Jesus in my own life after I heard about His resurrection and eternal life! Then, I started to read the Burmese Evangelistic Bible offered me on the last night of the tournament.

I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord as Pastor David explained more to me about Jesus. Now, I follow only Jesus as a good disciple. I share about Jesus as much as I can to some of my friends and those who are playing football.

Thank you, Firefall Partners!

How Can You "Join the Team"?

When we divide all Firefall expenses among the 150 football players who will be impacted, the cost is $65 per playerWould you prayerfully consider sponsoring 1 for $65, 3 for $195, 5 for $325, 10 for $650 or even 20 for $1,300? 100% of your gift will go to this creative evangelistic outreach.

Update: We reached our goal!

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Thank you for supporting this outreach program!

We can't sponsor this event without you, so we appreciate your support and look forward to the difference it will make in these players' lives.

Shalom from Israel

israel trip: part 2

Shalom again from Jerusalem, the city of our great King. (Scroll down to see Part 1)

Our tour officially ended today. The days were jam packed with information, joyful discovery and revelation. My heart is full.

I feel renewed and refreshed by God’s grace. I thank our wonderful Holy Spirit and you who prayed for me.
 

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I am sharing a photo of St. Ann’s church near the Pool of Bethesda. The church is elegant in its simplicity and the acoustics are unrivaled. What a special place to pause and pray in reflection of Jesus healing the paralytic.

Our time at the Garden Tomb was meaningful.

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Thirty-seven pilgrims worshiped together and shared communion, people who were strangers only ten days ago. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

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The photo of me standing by the tree honoring Corrie Ten Boom and family is a treasure to me. This tree grows in the garden beyond Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum. The Ten Boom family held a weekly prayer meeting for the fate of the Jews for ten years and risked their lives to aid and house Jews in Amsterdam during World War 2.

As I learned of the heroic and selfless acts of so many to bless the Jewish people, I am amazed and struck to the heart.

I leave you with a lovely view of the Mount of Olives taken from within the Old City. I pray you will join me in faithful prayer for the peace of Jerusalem and for the awakening of those living here.

Peace and love from Jerusalem,
Nancy

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IsraeL Trip: Part 1

This is day 6 of my Israel travels, and what a joy it has been. Thank you for praying. My friend Terri and I are having a wonderful journey, soaking in the land and learning about the history of the time when Jesus lived here.

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I really enjoyed the tranquility of the Jordan River baptism site. Surrounding the riverbank are beautiful tile presentations of Mark 1: 9-11 in many languages.

My heart leapt when I found the one in Kachin language from our beloved Myanmar.

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I chuckled when I saw the tribal language from Eritrea, mentioned to me at dinner the night before from a couple in our group from Ethiopia. They are lovely.

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The languages remind us that soon, those from every language, tribe and nation will worship the Lamb of God forever! Rev. 7:9-10.

Jerusalem is a melting pot and the focus of so many at this time. It is a privilege to be here and to pray.

With love,
Nancy

2017 in Review: Expansion & Innovation

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The word that comes to mind when I (Jim) reflect on the work of Firefall International in 2017 is expansion and innovation. OK, that’s two words, but we’re seeing the Creator give innovative strategies to expand the kingdom of God and bring glory to His Name!

Through your prayer and support the Lord is transforming lives, families and whole communities despite cultural and spiritual resistance to the gospel.

Think about Jesus with the woman at the well, or the woman caught in adultery. To anyone who knew the context, Jesus’ witness was dead in the water with no way to penetrate the cultural resistance to the good news of love and forgiveness. Then (and this is what makes the story engaging) Jesus found a creative way to penetrate the wall of rejection and build a bridge of redemption. The result was life and a transformed community. Jesus wins!

Jesus is still opening hearts and transforming lives, even when it requires penetrating cultural resistance through:

When we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…,” we can thank the Lord for visible answers through Firefall associates and their innovative expansion of the kingdom of God. They are wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

At the end of the day (or year) we enter into the joy of the harvest (Psalm 126:5-6), rejoicing with the angels that sinners repent (Luke 5:7, 10)!

Thank you for your investment in Firefall and the vision to transform nations through compassionate partnership. We give all the glory to God!

Together in the harvest,

Jim, Nancy, Grace and Firefall Associates