Sunday, March 17, 2019, 17:33 | No Comments »

When the news about John and Betty Stam leaked out of China, it sent shock waves around the globe. The young missionary couple had only been in China two years before they were captured by the Communist Red Army. Their daughter, Helen Priscilla, was only 3 months old at the time. The brutality and atheism of the Communists were well known. What fate would they suffer at the hands of the Red Army?

What would happen to young missionaries John & Betty Stam?
 

Background

While Helen had grown up in a missionary family in China, John was born into a Dutch immigrant family in the United States. His parents founded the Star of Hope Rescue Mission in Paterson, New Jersey. Both John and Helen accepted Christ during their youth and felt called to a lifetime of ministry. 
 
To train for ministry, they both enrolled at Moody Bible Institute. There, they met and fell in love. While John felt a definite call to missionary service in China, Betty was torn between serving lepers in Africa or working in China. She surrendered her future to the Lord, and He led her back to China.  At the local church’s prison ministries, we want to know God’s will for our lives and follow it.
 

Ministry in China

After graduating, Betty was accepted with the China Inland Mission and returned there to serve as a missionary. A year later, John graduated from Moody and was happily reunited with Betty. They were soon engaged and took wedding vows in October 1933.
 
The happy couple began to share the gospel in the Anhui province of China. In the evenings, they would hold evangelistic meetings in the villages. During the day, they would travel to nearby communities for evangelism. 
 
In September of 1934, John and Betty welcomed a daughter into the world. Helen Priscilla Stam was a constant delight to them. And, soon, when they were promoted to their own mission station in Jingde, their happiness was complete. They were aware of Communist activity nearby, but it did not seem like a serious threat. They were confident that God had led them here and would keep them safe.
 

Capture by the Red Army

One fateful day in December 1934, John and Betty heard gunfire in the distance. Soon, Communist soldiers pounded on the door of the Stams’ home. After eating the tea and cookies that Betty served them, the soldiers arrested the young family and took them to prison.
 
John was ordered to write a letter to the China Inland Mission. He began, “Today at Jingde, my wife, child, and I fell into the hands of the Communists. They demand a ransom of twenty thousand dollars for our release…As for us, whether by life or by death, may God be glorified.”
 
The next day, they were transferred to a rich man’s home, which served as a temporary prison. Annoyed by the baby, the soldiers talked about killing her. A Chinese criminal who had just been released begged them not to kill little Helen. They threatened, “Then it’s your life for hers.” He said, “I am willing,” and was killed immediately. 
 
It is difficult to imagine how John and Betty must have felt that night…knowing that they were staring torture and death in the face. It was not so bad to suffer themselves, but what about baby Helen? Early the next morning, Betty wrapped tiny Helen in warm clothes and pinned extra diapers and two five-dollar bills inside her garments. She hid the baby in a small sleeping bag and left her in the house. 
 
Within hours, John and Betty were marched down the street to face the executioner’s sword. They were taken to Eagle Hill, outside the village, and were ordered to kneel. John was beheaded first, and then Betty. They were the 73rd and 74th martyrs of the China Inland Mission.
 
About thirty hours later, baby Helen was discovered by a local pastor. She was unharmed and safe, and Chinese Christians spirited her away to a missionary hospital. She was called the “Miracle Baby” because of her incredible escape. A Christian doctor examined her and found her in perfect health, and she was taken to her mother’s parents, Reverend Charles and Clara Scott. She lived there for 5 years before returning to the States.
 

A Powerful Legacy

When news spread of John and Betty’s martyrdom, both Chinese and foreigners were appalled. The Chinese governor of their province ordered an official reburial of the Stams, which was attended by both Chinese and consular officials. 
 
Western Christians were heartbroken over the loss of this young missionary couple. Letters, condolences, and donations for baby Helen flooded the China Inland Mission headquarters. Several families even offered to adopt the young baby. Hundreds of newspapers around the world told the story of John and Betty’s martyrdom, thus sharing the Gospel they preached.
 
Seven hundred students at Moody and two hundred at Wilson College offered themselves in Christian service, promising to be faithful event to death. And many people volunteered as missionaries to China. Seven years later, the first 5 converts from Jingde were baptized on Eagle Hill by a Chinese pastor. Where the Stams’ blood had flowed, precious fruit sprang up from barren ground.
 
Only eternity will reveal the untold fruits of John and Betty’s brief, courageous ministry. As Jesus said in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” In their martyrdom, John and Betty brought forth more fruit than they ever could have in their life.
 

What About You? 

God may not call you to serve on a foreign field or lay down your life to the executioner’s sword. But He calls you to take up your cross daily in obedience. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Will you take up your cross today? Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn more.
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 


Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 12:01 | No Comments »

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve probably seen fellow believers quit. Those who once seemed like shining paragons of godliness are no longer sitting two rows in front of you in church. You don’t see their car when you arrive for Sunday night service. Instead of asking for prayer requests, they ARE the prayer requests in the monthly prayer bulletin. “What happened to them?” you wonder. “And how can I avoid that happening to me?”

Here are 5 reasons that Christians quit.
 

Because they get bitter.

In Hebrews, God warns us of the terrible consequences of bitterness in the Christian’s heart.
 
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Hebrews 12:15-16)
 
When bad things happen, you can respond with either bitterness or forgiveness. Your choice shapes your character and influences your future more than you know. Although you might think your bitterness is only against a person, it is actually against God, too. It is saying, “God, You have allowed this, so You are not truly good. I’ve been badly treated, so I have the right to be bitter.” 
 
If you want to stay faithful to God, don’t let bitterness live in your heart.
 

Because they love the world.

In his first epistle, the apostle John warned us not to love the world.
 
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
(1 John 2:15-16)
 
In these verses, John warns us of 3 specific dangers:


1.     The lust of the flesh: the desire for pleasure
2.     The lust of the eyes: the desire to have
3.     The pride of life: the desire for approval and prestige

When we begin to shape our lives after these desires, we are headed for trouble. To satisfy these desires, we’ll have to compromise our standards, ignore the Holy Spirit’s warnings, and abandon all that we know is right. Loving the world will never satisfy us. Instead, it will bring us guilt, shame, and deep regret.
 
If you want to stay faithful to God, don’t love the world. 
 

Because they listen to false teachers.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
 
In his epistle to young Timothy, the apostle Paul warned him about false teachers. Over twenty centuries later, this danger has only grown. Today, false teachers spread false doctrine through books, TV shows, radio, social media, podcasts, and more. How can we avoid accepting their false teaching? How can we discern Biblical teaching from unBiblical teaching?
 
We need to follow the example of the Berean church in Acts 17:11.
 
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
 
By studying God’s Word, we can avoid falling prey to false teachers. Join us at the local church’s prison ministry to study God’s Word with us. This will definitely help us stay faithful to God!
 

Because they start doing “home church” instead of attending a local church.

Sadly, I’ve known some sincere Christians who decided that their local church wasn’t good enough. So they branched off and started having “home church.” They would hold worship services in their homes instead of going to church on Sunday. No longer under the guidance of a pastor, they began to stray from their Biblical beliefs and convictions. Today, they’re not in church, and they’re not serving God at all.
 
There’s a reason why Paul told his readers in Hebrews 10:25, 
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
 
We need the accountability, encouragement, and prayers of fellow Christians. We need the godly, balanced teaching of pastors to instruct us.
 
If you want to stay faithful to God, stay in your local church.
 

Because they won’t submit to God.

If you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour, then He is also your Lord and Master. His commands are always for your good, and His plans are always for your best. However, as humans, we tend to be very stubborn. And we sometimes think that we know better than God. 
 
For example, Peter thought he knew better than Jesus. He reprimanded Christ for His plan to suffer and die. And he proudly said, “…Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” (Matthew 26:33) But, just days after this prideful rebuke, Peter denied Jesus! The Bible tells us that, after remembering Jesus’ words, Peter went out and wept bitterly.
 
As Christians, we need to remember that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. If we insist on having our own way, we will only hurt ourselves. James wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) 
 
If you want to stay faithful to God, submit to God cheerfully.
 

Let’s Consider:

Which of these temptations have you struggled with? At the local church’s prison ministry, we want to stay faithful to God, even when it’s not easy. Join us for practical help and encouragement!
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 


Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 13:37 | No Comments »

“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”
Jeremiah 32:17
 
At the foot of a mighty mountain, people gathered to gaze at the spectacle. A massive cloud unlike anything they’d seen before hung on the mountaintop. Thunder and lightning shattered the sky, and the mountain trembled. The trumpet blew, growing louder and louder as it reached a crescendo. “What is it?” children asked their parents, eyes round with wonder. “It is the Almighty,” their parents whispered. “Moses commanded us to be ready for His coming.” 
 
The Israelites of Exodus 19 had the privilege of seeing God’s glory firsthand. And, today, though we rarely see mountaintop experiences, our God has not changed. He is the same almighty God as He was then. Today, let’s answer the question…

What is God’s omnipotence?

 

What does omnipotence mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, omnipotence means the quality or state of having “absolute power over all.” It means that God holds the keys to the universe. Nothing is beyond His power or authority. 
 
-No army, however great, can halt His will.
-No politician, however evil, can thwart His plans.
-No organization, however influential, can prevent the spread of His kingdom.
 
However, God does allow His creatures to hold limited authority and exercise it as they see fit. A. W. Tozer explains how this does not diminish His own power:
 
“God has delegated power to His creatures, but being self-sufficient, He cannot relinquish anything of His perfections and, power being one of them, He has never surrendered the least iota of His power. He gives but He does not give away. All that He gives remains His own and returns to Him again.”  
 

Why is God omnipotent?

In 2 Chronicles 20:6, King Jehoshaphat called out to God for help, saying, “And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?” 
 
Jehoshaphat knew that, because God ruled over all the earth, He obviously had all power. Nothing less than omnipotence would be necessary to rule the nations. As Tozer wrote, “To reign, God must have power, and to reign sovereignly, He must have all power.”
 
As the psalmist wrote, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psalm 115:3) God’s sovereign rule and His omnipotence go hand in hand.
 

How is God’s omnipotence shown in nature?

Today, man looks at the orderly rhythm of nature and says, “I know the law of gravity is true. I believe in the laws of thermodynamics. And I’m amazed that birds and butterflies can migrate thousands of miles and survive.” 
 
Yet, what he often fails to see is the almighty hand of God, shining through His creation. He has no eyes of faith to see the Creator.
 
Without God’s omnipotent power to sustain it, life on earth would wither and die. As Paul said in Acts 17:28, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” Each life is wrapped in God’s care, and each law of nature leans on His power.
 
As Tozer said so well, “The trustworthiness of God’s behavior in His world is the foundation of all scientific truth. Upon it the scientist rests his faith and from there he goes on to achieve great and useful things…”
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we are thankful that God chose to reveal His power through creation.
 

What does God’s omnipotence mean for me?

To the believer, God’s omnipotence is a source of comfort. Recognizing that we are weak, we rejoice in His infinite power. We lay our weary heads upon the pillow of God’s omnipotence and trust Him.
 
When we are needy, we run to Christ. And, in His presence, we find courage and strength. And we echo the psalmist’s glad testimony, “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3)
 
From these simple truths, we learn that our God is almighty. Nothing is too hard for Him. And, as His children, that means nothing is impossible when we trust Him. May these truths encourage us to trust and obey our Father. Join us at the local church’s prison ministry to learn more!
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com 
 
Tozer, A. W. The Knowledge of the Holy. Harper & Bros. 1961.
 


Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 00:29 | No Comments »

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matthew 6:19-20)
 
With these words, Jesus taught a counter-cultural principle to His disciples. Instead of gathering wealth and treasures on earth, they were instructed to save treasures in Heaven. To do so, they would need to remember that they were just pilgrims on the earth. Money was a tool to be used, but not a treasure to be cherished. Looking forward to Heaven, they were to send their riches on ahead. And, as believers today, Jesus’ command is for us, too.
 

Here are 5 ways to lay up treasures in Heaven.

 
Tithe to your local church.

“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.”
Leviticus 27:32
 
As defined in this verse, the tithe is 10% of your income. Beginning with Abraham in Genesis 14, God’s people have paid tithes. Old Testament Jews gave a tithe to the Temple to provide for the priests and the upkeep. In the New Testament, believers contributed to support apostles, church leaders, and local churches.
 
Today, we believe that tithing is a step of obedience to God’s Word. It helps the church pay for electricity and water bills, upkeep, programming, and salaries. In Malachi 3:8, God rebuked His people for not tithing. And He promised a blessing to those who tithe, 
 
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we believe that God will bless us when we tithe.
 

Give to those who can’t pay you back.

“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”
Luke 14:13-14
 
In these verses, Jesus gave us a model of selfless giving. Each of us can probably name people who are struggling in our community. They may have a disability, serious illness, or financial hardship. When we give to these people, without expecting a return, this is laying up treasures in Heaven. 
 
How can we give to these people?
 
-Invite them over for dinner at your home (or bring a home-cooked meal to them!)
-Take them out for coffee, and listen to their troubles sympathetically.
-Slip an envelope with grocery gift cards into their front door.
-Visit them with a bouquet of flowers, and tell them you’re praying for them.
-Offer free babysitting if they have children.
 
Ask God to show you how you can serve needy people! Besides laying up treasures in Heaven, you will find satisfaction and joy in serving others.
 

Live simply. 

Before He told them to lay up treasures in Heaven, Jesus told the disciples NOT to lay up treasures in earth. How does this apply to us?
 
In order to have the flexibility to give generously, we need to live simply. Here are a few examples:
 
-Not purchasing the latest iPhone, because the one we have works fine
-Living within our means (no lattes on the credit card!)
-Being content with last year’s coat instead of buying a brand new Canada Goose coat
-Not building collections of “stuff” that we will never use- whether that is sporting equipment, books, clothes, or cars
-Knowing how to tell ourselves, “No,” or, “Later,” when we want something.
 
In order to live simply, we’ll need God’s help to develop self-control. It’s not easy in today’s materialistic culture. But this step is absolutely essential. We can’t lay up treasures in Heaven AND Earth at the same time. 
 

Invest in missionary work.

At the local church’s prison ministry, we believe that the Great Commission should be the focus of every believer. Yet we also know that some people have a special call from God to invest their lives in missions. Whether they serve in Quebec, Spain, or the jungles of Brazil, missionaries are doing eternal work. They are winning souls to Christ and discipling saints. When we invest in their work, we are laying up treasures in Heaven.
 

Give of yourself.

Even more than your treasure, God wants to have your heart. He wants all of you….your time, your energy, and your talents. Like the householder of Matthew 25, God has entrusted you with talents to be used in His service. Seek His direction on how to invest those talents. When you use your gifts for God, you are laying up treasures in Heaven.
 

Eternal Rewards

The joy of laying up treasures in Heaven is that, someday, we will get to enjoy them. We’ll get to spend eternity delighting in God’s presence and enjoying His rewards. How much better is this than any bank account, motorboat, or BMW on earth! Friends, let’s live in light of eternity.
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 


Friday, February 22, 2019, 18:54 | No Comments »

From runaway slave to the founder of the first black Baptist church in Canada, David George’s life was one of remarkable courage. He overcame racial prejudice, poverty, and many other obstacles to serve God. And his life blazed forth the light of the gospel on the Dark Continent.

Here is the incredible story of missionary David George. 

 

Early Life and Conversion

In 1743, David was born into an enslaved family on a Virginia plantation. He grew up in bondage, poverty, and oppression. And opportunities for education were practically non-existent. At nineteen, he faced heartbreak as he watched his mother cruelly whipped and left to die. Young David ran away and spent the next ten years in the wilderness of Georgia as a fugitive. 
 
After several captures and escapes, he finally ended up on a South Carolina plantation- a slave again. David realized his sin and need of a Saviour. He later wrote, “Soon after I saw that I could not be saved by my own doings, but that it must be by God’s mercy that my sins had crucified Christ, and now the Lord took away my distress. I was sure that the Lord took it away, because I had such pleasure and joy in my soul, that no man could give me.”
 
By God’s grace, a childhood friend of David’s travelled to his small town to preach. An itinerant evangelist, George Liele was a freed slave who would soon found the first black Baptist church in North America. But, first, he had a burden for David’s soul.
 
After Reverend Liele shared the gospel with David, the young slave brought his burdens to Jesus’ feet. He placed his trust in Christ’s death for salvation and found rest for his troubled soul. (Contact us at the local church’s prison ministry to learn how you, too, can do this).
 

Ministry in the States

Soon, Reverend Liele helped David, his wife, and six other believers to start America’s first black Baptist church. By careful study, David taught himself to read. He became their first pastor, and God grew the church to thirty members.
 
After the Revolutionary War broke out, the British offered freedom to any slaves who would stay loyal to Britain. So Pastor George and his congregation moved to Georgia and cast their lot with the British. The war years were difficult, with sickness, starvation, and food shortages dogging their every step.
 

Ministry in Canada

Three years later, Britain conceded defeat in the face of the newborn United States. However, the black Loyalists were offered land and freedom in Nova Scotia. Pastor George and his faithful congregation boarded a ship and headed north in November 1782.
 
However, they were disappointed to find that conditions in Nova Scotia were more difficult than they imagined. They faced a winter colder than any they’d ever experienced. Housing was in short supply, and black Loyalists were treated with suspicion and outright prejudice.
 
Soon after their arrival, David was excited to begin preaching again. He held meetings in the woods and by a river, and many people came out of curiosity and heard the gospel. However, the European settlers and justices were opposed to David’s ministry and forbad him to preach by the river. But David continued to preach and baptized new converts almost every month. The church members began to build a church, piece by piece, and it was completed by the next summer. 
 
In Nova Scotia, David was constantly persecuted by disbanded soldiers and citizens of every colour. Physical violence, loss of property, and public mockery and cruelty were just a few of the ways he suffered. Yet he continued undaunted, and he even travelled to New Brunswick and across Nova Scotia to preach.
 

Ministry in Africa

In the fall of 1791, the Sierra Leone Company offered free passage for any free blacks who wanted to return to Africa. An abolitionist association of British people, they wanted to help Africans oppose the slave trade and reach their continent with the gospel.
 
After so much persecution, Pastor George and his people looked forward to a new beginning. They sailed on January 15, 1792, and landed in West Africa on March 7. Their new home was named Freetown. It was what William Wilberforce called “the Christian experiment.” English-speaking nations watched to see the results.
 
Right away, David began evangelistic work and construction on a church building. Within weeks, he baptized five new converts in the Sierra Leone River. This historic moment became what we now call the first Baptist church in Africa, and David was its first pastor. He went on to serve his people in Africa for the rest of his earthly life. He campaigned against the slave trade, visited England to plead for more missionaries, represented the British authorities, and preached the gospel at every opportunity.
 
In 1810, David George died in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He left behind a loving family, a thriving church, and a legacy of souls saved in three countries. And his tireless work for Freetown’s success led to the evangelization of Africa and the abolition of the slave trade. 
 
Throughout his life, David faced serious persecution for his faith, in addition to great trials. Compared to his life, our lives look relatively easy. But how often do we make excuses for not serving God or sharing the gospel? Like David, we ought to faithfully share the gospel and stay faithful to the Lord. At the local church’s prison ministry, that is our prayer and our goal!
________________________________________________________________
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com 
 


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