November 22, 2015
Hey guys! This week we were so blessed to have people from the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry (RZIM) come to talk to us about apologetics! It was an awesome week learning all about how to answer people when they have questions about our faith, and obey the verse 1 Peter 3:15! "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect"
Before we got into the actual apologetics we had the school leader for YWAM Maui's secondary school, SBFM, come to speak with us Monday and Tuesday to give us an overview of what apologetics actually is.
Apologetics is the practice or study of giving well reasoned arguments in defense of Biblical truths with clarity and charity.
what does that mean? Well, simply put it means answering the hard questions people have about our faith. Questions such as how do you know that the Bible is true, why would a loving God send people to hell, if God is good and all powerful then why do bad things happen to good people, ect ect. These are real questions, and the answer "because the bible says so" just won't cut it. Honest questions deserve honest answers, and as Christians we're called to know why we believe what we believe, and howto explain it to others, but always (as 1 Peter says) with gentleness and respect.
Apologetics isn't about winning an argument. If this is your goal, wielding apologetics like a weapon against anyone who dares challenge you on your faith, then you can so easily win the argument but lose the soul.
Apologetics isn't damaging to our spiritual lives. It isn't in opposition with faith.We are called to love Christ with all of our heart, soul, and mind. He calls us in Isaiah 1:18 to come and reason with Him. Faith and critical thinking aren't opposed to one another- it's okay to have questions! It's only when you leave your questions unanswered that they can fester and create unbelief. So get all of your questions and go find the answers! God is bigger than your questions. He can handle them.
Apologetics can use the words of God and the works of God to remove some of the obstacles between a person and God. Sometimes people would really like to put their faith in God, but they have true unanswered questions that prevent them from doing so. Apologetics can help to remove some of those barriers by, with logic and reason, answering some of the tough questions.
apologetics can't save people. Only Christ can do that (Romans 10:9-10). Apologetics can't replace faith, it is merely a tool at the service of our faith. Our faith isn't in these arguments, it's in Christ! Lastly, apologetics can't change the human heart- only God can do that!
After this foundation had been laid Monday and Tuesday, we got to come together for the rest of the week with SBFM to hear the people from the RZIM speak to us! They covered apologetics on a range of topics including Islam, the problem of evil, and the Resurrection. They also provided constant opportunities for us to ask them the hard questions we have ourselves or we have been asked, and they showed us how to go about answering them. It wasso incredible to hear from these experts as they answered questions after question. I feel so much better prepared to witness to the Muslims we will undoubtedly encounter in Asia, as well as to any of my friends back home who aren't sure about Jesus. It was an incredible time, but instead of trying to convey the amazing messages we got to hear, I'm going to leave a link to the RZIM YouTube page and you can listen to the experts themselves :) https://www.youtube.com/user/rzimmedia
Apart from lecture content this week we got an awesome opportunity during community outreach! We went to Maui university and were able to do a short presentation on YWAM and what we're going to be doing in each country! I was the only member of my community outreach team going to Indonesia, so I got to represent our team! After speaking to the students and faculty we were given an hour or two to go around the room and answer questions. I got to speak with a student named Kaye. She had a million questions about Jesus and Christianity. I feel like the Lord had really been preparing me for my conversation with her, as I have felt Him calling me to ask certain questions myself and study certain areas of theology the last few weeks, and those were exactly the ones she had questions on! We talked for a few hours about how we know there is a God, how we know the Bible is true, how Christianity is different from other religions, how we now Jesus Christ lived died and rose again, and on and on. She was very interested and open, but she seemed to be just adding this information to her knowledge of other religions. I wasn't sure how to move what I was telling her from head knowledge to heart understanding, but I felt the Lord nudging me to ask her if she believed what I was telling her. She said she did, that everything made perfect sense and felt really true. Then I asked the follow up question, if all of this was true- that the God of the universe who had made the whole world had also made her and longed for relationship with her, but because of sin she was forever separated from Him. He had loved her enough to send His son to die for her sins, Him being the perfect sacrifice that bridged the gap between her and God, and then He had been raised from the dead, defeating death and breaking the chains that sin and death hold over us, and in order to reunite her relationship with Him she would need to put her trust in Christ and give her life to Him- well if all of that was true what would be the rational response. She thought about it for a minute and then answered that giving her life to Jesus would be the only thing that made sense at that point. I felt I wasn't supposed to push her any further, so I left it at that, trusting the Lord to keep pursuing her and continue her along this journey towards Him. I pulled out my journal to write down my number for her and she caught a glimpse of my Bible in bag. She picked it up and began flipping through it. I felt like the Lord told me to give it to her, so I asked her if she wanted it. She hugged me again and again and started reading it right then and there. I got her number and she's texted me a few times since then- she's interested in doing a YWAM herself! I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to move in her life!
This week we also had girls appreciation for our outreach teams! Our guys on the Indonesia team blessed us big time! They took us to a picnic by the beach with sparkling cider and fettuccine alfredo, and then back to the base where they washed our feet and treated us to ice cream and brownies while we watched a movie of our choice (A Walk to Remember- poor guys didn't know what to do when we were all crying at the end). It was such a fun time to enjoy being with our team and feel loved and appreciated! It' so crazy to look around at those eleven people and realize that in less than three weeks I'll be with them and only them in Thailand and Indonesia!
Last night we also had what's called coffee night! our DTS and the SBFM students got together for coffee, cider, and treats while some people performed in a talent show ( Not me.... After last night watching all of the amazing singers, dancers, comedians, musicians, and videographers in our school I'm feeling very untalented...)
I also discovered our prayer room (okay, prayer shed) this week, and now have a new favorite place on base to have my quiet times in the morning! The Lord has really been meeting me in my times with Him, I get to just rest in His presence- those are my favorite parts of the day!
As always it' been a busy and amazing week, growing more in my faith and preparing for outreach! If you guys could continue to pray for me, I would so appreciate it! If you have any questions or any ways I can pray for you please let me know! Additionally, if anybody wants to contribute to our time in Indonesia and Thailand, particularly in the area of kids ministry, we are trying to bring as many little bracelets as we can to wear on our wrists and hand out everywhere we go to the kids! This is something we can wear so it doesn't take up room in our bags, and a little trinket for the kids to remember us by! If you want to be apart of that, let me know and I can send you our address and you can send any that you like! Additionally, if you want to send any money so that we can buy Bibles in their language once we're therefor the people that we meet, or so that we can treat them to lunch or coffee if they want to talk more about the Lord with us, that would be so appreciated! Thank you guys for reading and for your constant prayer and support!