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The Minister’s Sabbath Example

Not all Christians agree on what the Sabbath means for Christians today.

Does the Sabbath Commandment apply to Christians today? If so how? Is it Saturday or Sunday? What does Sabbath rest mean for a Christian?

I’m not going to try to fully answer all these questions in a brief article, but I want to focus on just one small aspect of the Sabbath that will help us put all those things in the proper perspective: Why did God give the Sabbath to Israel?

One verse explains why God gave physical Sabbath rest to Israel, and its answer is surprising.

So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. (Ezekiel 20:10-12, ESV)

We can make two observations from this explanation of Sabbath:

First, the Sabbath rest identifies both God and his people t…
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What About the Kids?

Many people think twice about becoming missionaries because they are worried about what it would be like for their kids.Will they fall behind academically or socially? Will they be prepared for college in North America? Will they resent moving to another country? Will they be safe and healthy?

Every missionary with children must weigh these legitimate concerns. My parents considered these factors when they took me to the mission field, and my wife and I wrestled through them before bringing our kids to West Africa as well.

So, what is it really like to be a missionary kid (MK)? It’s almost impossible to describe in full because every MK experience is unique.

I was the typical American Christian kid—church on Sundays and Awana on Wednesday nights. All of that changed when my oldest sister came back from a medical mission trip to a country that I had never heard of called Togo in West Africa. My parents eventually decided to become missionaries to Togo, and I was coming along for the ride.

Do ‘Real’ Missionaries Evacuate?

I grew up reading missionary biographies and listening to stories of missionaries who lived and died on their fields of service.Eric Liddell didn’t leave China when the Japanese invaded, and he died in a concentration camp. The five martyrs in Ecuador—Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Roger Youderian, and Ed McCully—didn’t leave when warned of danger. David Livingstone stayed and died in Africa, suffering from malaria.

In light of these examples, we may find ourselves asking this question: “Should modern missionaries leave the field because of war, persecution, disease, or other dangers?”

First of all, I think we tend to only remember missionary deaths that happen on the field. I don’t know if this sort of statistic exists, but I’d be willing to bet that the majority people who have served as missionaries ultimately die from standard causes—such as old age—on regular deathbeds. Even missionaries whom we remember as having died “in action” did not always stay on the field during dan…

Spiders, Snakes, and Civil Wars: How Risky Is ‘Too Risky’ in Missions?

It’s time to have an honest discussion about snakes, spiders, tropical diseases, and all the other everyday risks of missionary life.

Some people may think that missionaries are some special kind of people who aren’t afraid of snakes and spiders, but little could be further from the truth.
MY EXPERIENCES

Personally, I wouldn’t say that I’m phobic about snakes and spiders, because a phobia implies irrational fear. Rather, I think I have a healthy, rational fear of snakes and spiders. I don’t want to touch them, see pictures of them, or have them pinned to a display box on my wall.

Fortunately, though I’ve killed an abundance of spiders in my lifetime, I’ve had few encounters with snakes—unless running them over with my truck while sitting in my enclosed cab counts.

A few years ago, my family and I were staying in a hotel in Ghana, and I decided to go for a walk down the road early in the morning. The grass was high on the side of the road, so I made sure to stand a few feet away from it, si…

Apartment Scam

We do not have an apartment for you to rent in New York, nor do we have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Unfortunately, someone has been using our identities to operate a scam. Someone has been claiming to be Andrew Ward with an apartment for rent in New York and asks for a wire transfer of a deposit to Africa. I’ve contacted the authorities, but as far as I know the scammer is still operating from time to time using multiple apartment listing websites.
I want to assure anyone that we do not ask individuals to wire money directly to us in Africa. Please be wary of potential scams using our names or the identities of any missionaries serving overseas.
We don’t ask individuals to make donations to us directly, but we accept donations for our ministry through ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), which is a registered tax-exempt organization and is also accredited by the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).  This is ABWE’s official link for giving online…

October Already?

The past month has been a kind of blur. A couple of us took turns being laid up sick in bed. We started school hardcore, attended team meetings, witnessed a baptism and a wedding, and celebrated the completion of the Blind School kitchen which was rebuilt after the devastating fire in March.


Togolese schools started mid-September, so we've been visiting local schools and a few schools in Lome. Mary walked the Kindergarten teachers through their new Bible curriculum.  She even had a cute model demonstrate one lesson's activity.


Some of the Kindergarten class sizes are overwhelming. Can you imagine being responsible for a class of 57 three and four year olds? We sure do admire the teachers' commitment and good attitudes. Would you pray for them please?


















3 Marks of a Faithful Missionary

Recently, I’ve seen several articles from famous theologians asking questions like, “What makes a good Biblical scholar?” Naturally, I’ve been anxiously waiting for a famous missionary to explain what makes a good missionary. But I realized that I might be waiting till Jesus returns. So I thought I’d take a stab at it myself. Of course, I’m certainly not a famous missionary. I’ve been blessed to work with dozens of missionaries and have known hundreds of missionaries in my short lifetime. I’ve been a member of a church that is heavily involved in missions and has sent out many missionaries. I’ve also been an MK, missionary, and field team leader in Togo, West Africa. I can’t claim to be a great missionary myself, but I know for sure that I’ve met and worked with some great ones. So—what makes a faithful missionary? 1. DEDICATION TO THE WORD OF GOD How can missionaries make disciples, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), unless we are personally dedicated …