Day one: not by accident
Every one of the five men and their wives had their own story – their backgrounds and their spiritual lives were different. But they had one thing on their heart – sharing the Gospel with the “Aucas”.
Read the following Bible verses:
- Psalm 139,15-16o
- Proverbs 16,9
God has a plan for your life. He wants to lead and guide you through your everyday life. Trust Him!
Your childhood and background
Paul says in Ephesians 2,10: For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Think about how God has led you during your life. Write down the milestones, the points that were central and where you could see His guidance.
- How did your parents bring you up?
- What church background do you have?
- When and how did you become a Believer?
- How did you grow in your faith? What were the central points?
- Which people influenced your life and decisions? Why and how much?
- What are your dreams, your desires, and your vision?
- What are your hobbies? What are your gifts?
Looking at the lives of the 5 friends, we see that God had called them very differently and some of them were very young. God showed them throughout their lives what His plan was with them. He gave them special desires and gifts:
- Jim was a very good speaker; had an early desire to be a missionary to unreached people
- Nate dreamed of becoming a pilot from a very young age; huge love for God; great amateur craftsman
- Pete was known for good knowledge of the Bible; was very sporty; had an early desire to reach the unreached
- Ed was a very athletic person; a very good and famous speaker
- Roger was very musical; was very good at woodwork
God led them so that they came to know each other at different stages of their lives All of them had a huge desire to follow Jesus wherever He would lead them. They reflected on their lives, saw what God had created them for, and used their lives for God’s kingdom.
Youngstars - your Aucas
The five friends had the vision of reaching the Aucas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are also a missionary to your Aucas (the Youngstars can be an opportunity in your area or even country).
What is the vision for your YS-group? How can you reach more Youngstars with the Gospel?
Ask God for His guidance and for His will for your life!
- Deuteronomy 5,32-33
- 2Samuel 22,31-33
- Psalm 37,34
Pray for a huge love for the lost generation! Pray that this week God will show you His plan for you and what you can do to reach kids/teens in your city.
Day two: trusting God
The five friends started their operation by trusting God in this huge challenge. They trusted Him to lead them throughout this time. After they had built their team they started to pray and plan. Every day they grew more by accepting this challenge of how to minister to the Aucas. They prepared for the time when they should face them personally. They grew closer to each other and especially to God. But it all started by trusting God.
Start by trusting God
Sometimes you might feel small and not able to start a Youngstars group or ministry. You might feel the challenge is too great.
Read these Bible verses:
- Psalm 9,10
- Psalm 37,3-5
- Proverbs 3,5
- Romans 15,13
Have you planned your next steps? Do you know you are in God’s perfect time? Then start what God has put on your heart and trust God in it. Everybody has weaknesses, but God is strong and almighty. He will give you all you need to endure these challenges and tasks.
We grow most during hard times. Very often we don’t like these hard times and would like to flee all these challenges and tasks. But to grow is something we need to do and which God has called us to do. He wants to transform us more and more into His likeness. He wants to bring us back to how He created us – in His image. That’s why we need to grow – even if it means enduring hard times.
Read the following Bible verses:
- 2Peter 3,18
- 2Corinthians 13,9
- Philippians 3,13-14
What are the challenges and tasks you face in your day-to-day life?
Ask God to show you where you need to grow, how He wants to help you and how your team or other people can support you.
Day three: conquer
The five friends made the first contact with the Aucas by flying over their area and dropping presents. Every time they used imaginative presents and gradually grew into a closer and closer relationship with them. They even used their language to tell them that they were their friends.
About 10 times (once a week) they flew over and made contact. Then they had the feeling that it was God’s time to face them personally. They asked God for guidance. They planned the steps towards making personal contact, decided what security options they had.
They had been waiting for this moment for years! Now, being so close, they needed even more patience and endurance.
Patience & Endurance
Where do you feel that God is challenging your patience?
Have you ever felt you are soon going to meet your “Aucas”?
Are you close enough to God to know when His time has come?
Do you feel the unity among your team in your ministry to your “Aucas”?
- Romans 15,4-6
- 1Timothy 6,11
Sometimes other people prevent us from putting all our power into ministering to our Youngstars (our Aucas). These five men were hindered by people who said they shouldn’t influence these Indios. They should not destroy their culture and faith – even when it was so brutal. This is still a topic today in other countries.
In our countries it might be the topic of social and spiritual work. How should it be balanced? Should we first feed the people and then share the Gospel? Shouldn’t we first preach and then if there is time also help them in their lives?
=> Talk with your team about these topics. What are the opinions in your team? How would you face these challenges?
These obstacles can challenge your patience and endurance.
Day four: “private conversation”
During their lives, the five friends and their wives were constantly asking God for guidance and to lead them. God put the desire to minister to the Aucas on their heart. But they asked God what steps they should take. They had faith in God and trusted Him to show them the right people for the team, the right place to live, he showed them where the Aucas lived and when to start on each new step of the operation.
Each of them had personal time with God, but they also had prayer meetings and fellowship with each other and God, whenever they met. They knew the power of prayer and unity.
Read the following Bible verses:
- Exodus 17,8-16
- Ezra 8,23
- Mathew 7,7-8
- Acts 2,42
- Romans 12,12
Why is praying so important?
How is your personal life of prayer?
How can you encourage your team for a life of prayer?
What creative possibilities do you have to pray with your team?
Day five: humble yourself
There are two parts we need to look at when working as a team. The team has three angles – God, other team members and I. There are so many things that can separate us, but also so many things that can bind us together.
Humility & humanity
The Auca team of Ecuador were very different in their backgrounds and their gifts. But they used the special gifts of every team member for the whole team. Each and every person had their place and was needed. They worked together, not against each other. That required quite some humility. Every one of them had limits and weaknesses, but they shared their potential on behalf of the team, even their wives: Marilou and Barbara cooked for the team and sent meals with Nate by plane, Marj operated the radio, Roger made the plans for the whole operation, Jim was the security man, Pete managed all the supplies and Ed was responsible for the trade connections with the Aucas.
It was not important what each of them didn’t know or was able to do, but what their input could be for the whole operation.
Read the following parts of the Bible:
- Psalm 25,9
- Isaiah 66,2
- Ephesian 4,2
- 1 Peter 5,6
- Romans 15,1
- 2 Corinthian 12,10
=> It’s very important for you and your team to complement and encourage each other. Every person has his or her place in God’s Kingdom – and so it is in your team! It’s good to have different people and different gifts in a team. Talk about it and then use these differences for God and be humble enough to serve others with just the things God gave you.
Power of the Holy Spirit
God, through the Holy Spirit, was part of the Auca team. The team members had the same vision and goal that they wanted to reach. Got put the same desires on their hearts, so they could work together to reach the God-given goal.
They gave everything they could, but all the rest was God’s work.
=> What do you think? How much does God have to do and how much do we need to do? Think about it and discuss it later with your team.
As in the book of Nehemiah, the people of God were working and also praying with all their strength. They did what they were able to and trusted that God would do the same – and He did!
- Nehemiah 4
We have the Holy Spirit living in us, guiding us in every step we take. He will be the strength you need, the wisdom and the power – let Him do His part!
What should your partners know in order to work efficiently with you?
Day six: independent happiness
Looking at the Auca team again, we see a team full of joy, happiness and thankfulness for even very small things and steps. They looked forward with amazing anticipation to meeting the unbelieving Aucas. God put so much joy and thankfulness in their lives, even though they were living in minimum comfort. But they knew they were at the right place at the right time.
Thankfulness & joy
How do you think about your ministry?
Do you see the small steps God worked out in the past? Write them down and say thank you to God for doing this!
How much do you look forward to meeting unbelievers and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ?
1Timothy 6,12 says: Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
No rights? No comfort?
Very often missionaries are treated like people who can live on “nothing”. They have to be thankful for the very small things. It’s enough if they have just a camping mat or they can use the teabags for a second time. They have to be thankful that God is using them. He will look after them; we don’t need to do that.
Very often in churches the ministry with kids and teens seems less important than ministering to adults.
=> What are your experiences? What is your opinion on topics like that? What do you think is God’s idea?
Day seven: seen or unseen?
Read Revelation 7,9-17
There you see two realities – a seen and an unseen, our reality and God’s reality:
- Godlessness in our countries
- Breakup of couples and families
- Lukewarm Christianity
- Islam gaining strength
o People standing in front of God’s throne wearing white robes
o That is God’s reality
- Here we have the great commission; there we see the people of the different countries
- Here there is sin, there are white clothes
- We are hungry/thirsty, there is the well of life
- Here we have tears, there are no more tears
The Auca team with all its members had a hope beyond death. They knew and had spoken with their wives about “not coming” back. They were prepared. They knew where they would go. They were ready to bring their offering of life, so that others could live.
Read Romans 15,4and Hebrew 11.
In Hebrew 11 you read about such people who endured – the heroes of faith. All of them believed in eternity and were waiting for their homecoming. They knew that they were here for just a short time. They had hope beyond death, because of their faith in God’s promises that He had given them. They knew that the best was still ahead of them – eternity with God.
Our God is a God of hope (Romans 15,13).
- 1 Peter 1,21
- 1 Peter 3,15
- 1 Thessalonians 2,19
What are your hope and your joy, what is your life about?
Do you have this eternal hope? Do you share it?
With whom could you share it for the first time?
Can you remember how it is to live without knowing God?
Very often in the news and newspapers we read and hear about Christians who are persecuted because of their faith. For years North Korea, for example, has topped the list of countries where Christians are being persecuted. Despite this risk they meet secretly underground. They encourage each other, pray and share the Bible verses they have memorised.
=> Take time to pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters!
=> Do you think it’s worthwhile risking your life for the gospel and for Jesus Christ? Do you think it’s okay to send missionaries inside closed countries? Or do you think it’s irresponsible?
Jesus says in Matthew 10,39: Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Are you ready to give your life, everything? Are you prepared to go?
The biggest hindrance is “unbelief” and false satisfaction! You can make the difference in your city and nation! Start today!