Circuit Riders

Hello once again to everyone!

These past two weeks have been extremely busy so I apologize for the late update. Let me explain a little bit about what’s been going on. On October 1st the Awaken Internship here at THOP began and 9 young adults arrived to begin their season here in Tauranga as interns. We externs have been added on as internship staff so we will be living with the interns for the remainder of our externship. I think I’m finally all settled in here in Tauranga and everything is starting to feel like normal life. It seems as if the romance is beginning to wear off and I’m starting to get into a good routine. These last two weeks have sort of taken a toll on me however and it’s nice to have a break now. 

The same day that the internship started we started an intensive from YWAM called Circuit Riders. There was a girl in Kona at the YWAM base there who had a dream and in the dream the Lord appeared to her and told her He was raising up the circuit riders again. The circuit riders were missionaries during the first Great Awakening who rode on horseback throughout all of America preaching the Gospel. They went into every home they saw and shared the gospel of Jesus hoping to reach every soul in America. Most of the circuit riders did not live past the age of 33 due to the harsh conditions they exposed themselves to. They were completely committed to the gospel no matter what the cost. This was the vision that the Lord has been giving to the staff at YWAM so they have been traveling the world and training believers in the preaching of the gospel and setting a fire in them to see the lost saved. They have done Circuit Riders schools in Orlando, London, Denver, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and now Tauranga. They have seen many conversions as a result of motivating believers to get out and share the simple gospel with everyone they come in contact with. 

These past two weeks we all went out on evangelism outreach and the first day we saw 46 people give their lives to Jesus! The final number of those who accepted Jesus these last two weeks in Tauranga was 120. And about 1,000 people heard the gospel of Jesus. I am so thankful to Jesus that there are now 120 more people in Tauranga who love Jesus! We have been praying a lot in the prayer room lately the prayer of the Moravians, “Let the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” The truth is that Jesus is worthy of every soul in New Zealand and it is an injustice that not every person puts their hope in Him. I wonder what would happen if every church in New Zealand or in America would commit to sharing the simple gospel with unbelievers once or twice a week. What kind of harvest would we see? I have seen many church-growth seminars advertised year after year but I believe the best church-growth strategy we can give ourselves to is preaching the gospel to the lost. It may be an inconvenience or even an interruption of someone’s evening, but let us remember that these people have their eternity at stake. The small potential inconvenience or annoyance is nothing compared to the joy of salvation in Jesus Christ.

I found out yesterday in fact that my grandfather of 8 generations was the first circuit rider to the Mississippi Territory in the 1700’s. I am a direct descendant of a circuit rider. It’s sort of interesting since on the first day of circuit riders the two young men who were teaching at the school immensely provoked me. I said to myself, “I want to do what they are doing. They are my age and look what they are doing for the kingdom.” I want to train and raise up leaders for the next generation all over the world. I believe that if the circuit riders had had access to airplanes they would have not been limited to ministry in America.

Anyway I’m off my soapbox now. I have just been really challenged these last two weeks and want to live my life differently. The Lord has really been speaking to me and teaching me about servant leadership. One of the sayings that came out of the Circuit Riders school was, “Make your bed and raise the dead.” I believe that in order to become a godly leader we must learn how to serve well (I’m on my soapbox again). If we look at the example of Jesus it will teach us much. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I think the best way to learn leadership is to embrace the way of humility and go low. Instead of seeking to be the one to be given the microphone at Sunday morning service and be revered as the great prophetic voice of the century let’s pick up the scrub brush and the 409 with joy and if the Lord exalts us then fine. But let us not seek to be exalted. If we begin with a servant’s heart then we’ll end with a servant’s heart, and our identity will be found in who the Lord sees us as and not in how man sees us. At the end of the day, when we stand before the Lord, the question He is going to ask us will not be, “How big was your ministry and how many times did you preach to thousands?” The question will be, “Did you learn to love me well and did you put the first commandment first place in your life?”

Ok, I’m really off my soapbox this time. The Lord has just really been stirring me lately and I just had to get that all out. Well I guess that’s about it for now. Thank you again to everyone who has sown in financially to this season and to all who have committed to pray. Because of you 120 more people in New Zealand now have their names written in heaven and are known by God. If it hadn’t been for you the near 1,000 people who heard the gospel would not have heard. So again, thank you so much.

If you would like to sow into this season still it’s not too late. Send me an email at gabrielruss@ihopu.org and I will give you details on how to get finances to me.

Farewell to all for now! I will update everyone again soon.

 

From the ends of the earth,

Gabriel

 

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