We have many different types of devotional readings, Sunday services, etc., to heighten our anticipation for the special celebrations through the days and weeks before Christmas and Easter. These holidays provide opportunities to recapture their significance, and they even allow our lives to be refreshed and refocused.
In the Old Testament, God was the ultimate event planner, establishing seven annual feasts for the Israelites to observe. The Hebrew word for feast means appointed times. Everything God planned and orchestrated was done with the intention of His redemptive work.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]" (Ecclesiastes 3:11a Amplified Bible).
God's Appointed Times
Recently, in a village outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, property for a church was purchased. This land is between two Buddhist temples in the area. In this nation, of less than 2% Christians, a church building would usually just be another structure added to the community.
As our IPHC people there began the ministry, the curious and needy began to come. Medical missions were hosted, and other various outreaches met physical needs. Their vision to start a tutorial center flourished and now overflows with children as the parents begin to realize that the ministry's only motive is to bless a community.
A feeding program was also launched and is another vital aspect of this ministry. Every church on the planet knows a potluck lunch will draw a crowd. As the children gather, there is a time of games, sharing, and, most importantly, the love the children sense during these occasions. These are the appointed times Ecclesiastes is speaking of. Events like these activate hearts to the awareness of an eternal God. Today, many of those children are now teens and actively involved in the ministry of the church.
Our late missionary, Sammy Lamanilao, shared this story with me several years ago. One child told her relative to bring her to church because she heard Jesus was there. As she ran into the church, she innocently asked Pastor Sammy, "Are you Jesus?"
PTP, motivated by God's unconditional love, serves as the humanitarian arm of World Missions Ministries. The outreach ministries continue to bring hope by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and radically transforming societies in the world's most challenging and unreached areas. As the PTP Coordinator for Asia, I personally see, experience, and testify that the various ministry platforms do impact nations. Please check out our short video clips at https://iphc.org/ptp/.
It is comical; as I viewed the videos and looked at myself, I caught myself smiling at those faces. Maybe you'll find yourself sharing a smile with them too. Perhaps you will feel the tug of the Holy Spirit inviting you to help create "those appointed times" in one of these ministries through your giving.
On behalf of the countries of Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Bhutan, Malaysia, and Thailand, our hearts are full of gratitude and thanksgiving for your bountiful love, which is expressed in your giving. I am personally so grateful as well! We do serve a God who allows us to live outside our limitations because His provisions are limitless.
Thank you for your prayers and support,