Last week we had the last week of classes; that means we are ready to go outreach! Spiritual struggle was the central theme this week. In Ephesians 6 it is described, "We do not fight against men, but against invisible creatures: the demonic rulers and powers that tyrannize this dark world, evil spirits in the invisible world around us." Spiritual struggle is not something that takes place far away in heaven or hell, but is a daily reality to which people are unconsciously or consciously exposed.
Satan was already defeated when Jesus died on the cross for us. But because we have been given free will, we can choose to empower Satan and open our lives to demonic influences (through music, lies, proud attitude, criticism, bitterness, etc.)
James 4: 7 says, "Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Your subjects, surrendering to God, bring you under his protection. That enables you to know who you are in Christ, what your identity is and what authority you have in the name of Jesus and through the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, we have the armor (Ephesians 6), and we are able to rule our thoughts. So we do not have to allow negative thoughts and are able to identify, reject and replace them with God's truth. This prevents negativity from growing in our hearts, which is essential because words and actions flow from it.
We are made to "build God's church," to bring God's kingdom here on earth. Lead people to Jesus and continue to disciple. In the Old Testament, there were only 3 types of people in authority anointed with oil: kings, priests and prophets. But because Jesus died on the cross, we read in the New Testament that as Christians we are all called and anointed, given authority to win people to God.
And that's why we're leaving for Papua New Guinea today! To disciple, teach and provide medical care to people! We moved to another room on Wednesday as the January DTS arrived this weekend. That is why we started packing early. Furthermore, this week I not only made Hannah's hair, but also my own hair outreach-proof by turning my curls into dozens of small braids.
We leave from the base at 10.30 pm with a bus to Cairns, a ride of +/- 5 hours. We will stay at the airport for over 7 hours, to fly to Port Moresby on Monday at 11.30 am. After a 1.5 hour flight, we will take a bus for about 3 hours to Hula, where we will stay for the first 4 weeks. Then we fly to Milne Bay to board the ship for 2.5 weeks. On March 8 we hope to fly back to Townsville for 2 weeks of 'debrief'. Then from April 10 - May 17 I will return to the ship for an extra outreach!
We probably don't have internet in Papua New Guinea, so it might be a while before my next blog is online!