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Greetings from Mongolia…

Peak:
I was honored to speak at a small satellite church plant this morning. A couple things about the experience really stood out to me…
Me and my interpreter, Nada. I told her that her name in Spanish means ’zero/ nothing’ we laughed our heads off!
  • Size really doesn’t matter: It would be easy to expect that flying half way around the globe should warrant large crowds and speaking to the multitudes. After all, it’s got to be worth the while, right? However, I’ve learned that the number of folks who show up is completely irrelevant and insignificant. In fact, the smaller the more significant to me. It means that God cares so much about those ‘chosen few’ that he would fly me half way around the world just because He has something very specific to say to them personally. Beyond humbled that I get to be the voice on His behalf.
  • Raw Worship: Before we arrived the Pastor apologized for their worship. They have all of the instruments necessary for a full band…but no body who knows how to play the instruments? The worship was 3 ladies singing acapella. I’ve been to large churches all over the world with talented, professional musicians. But i’m telling you, the anointing on the simple and raw worship I experienced in this small church ushered in the presence of God unlike any other church I’ve been to. I told the pastor afterwards to never again apologize for his worship 🙂
Pit:
Jesus took the wheel: I’m so glad I spent hours, and hours, and hours laboring (and fretting) over my notes –  creating an outline and ‘perfecting’ my messages. Because, once they handed me the microphone I was ‘off-script’ and barely glanced at my notes. Apparently the Lord had something else to say them 🙂
xo,
Mel
P.S. I’m fighting a pretty miserable head cold and sleep has been rough and very little 🙁
P.S.S. My blow dryer bit the dust. Haven’t washed my hair in 4 days. I need a hair dryer miracle before it get’s real ugly real soon. #firstworldproblems

18th Street Gang meets Suburban Mom

Love at first sight:   We stepped into the isolated area of the women’s prison and the gate locked behind us. We were on our own. No guards. Not in this area. I looked into each of their eyes. About 40 of them. Some looked like they belonged. Others looked drastically out of place. One hour of daylight per day for this special group of ladies. 18th Street Gang Members. And, one hour a week with their “Mama Ty”. My friend. My hero. Who has devoted over 17 years of her life meeting with the ‘homies’ every Wednesday. No other visitors. Not ever.

My mind began to race:

  • How did they all get here?
  • Will they ever leave this place?
  • What do you think about at night before you sleep?
It was love at first sight. I was smitten. I wanted to sit with each and every one. Here there stories. Hug ‘em. Learn their struggles. Love ‘em. Listen to their hearts. Instead I was handed the portable microphone. I began to speak the group …
I shared about how 4 walls does not determine their freedom…
  • Forgiveness is what sets us free.
  • Forgiving ourselves. Forgiving others.
  • Freedom is worth fighting for.
  • It gets complicated.
  • Pursue the peace. It’s a battle worth fighting.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today? I can only pray it brought a glimmer of hope to their broken hearts. I won’t know until I return again. Someday. I’ll be back. Sooner rather than later. Lord let it be.
XO,
Mel
P.S. While I was in prison for the day, Bella was off splashing in the stream with her shoes and clothes on. It was her favorite day of the trip. Hanging out with her ‘Honduran sisters’. The Carrette girls. John and Tarah Carrette are two of our most favorite people on planet earth. This American couple adopted 23 kids! Yes, ‘TLC’ take that and make it into a reality show. The world needs to meet this extraordinary family. But first, you and your family need to join us on our next trip to Honduras. Who’s in?

Greetings from Melissa and Bella in Honduras!

Our 9 year old daughter Bella in Central America
PIT: Delayed flights, waiting around, early mornings, long days, late nights, long bumpy & hot car rides, funny foods, more waiting around…a missionary life is far from glamorous. There is a reason certain countries are deemed 3rd world. They lack modern conveniences and luxuries. Welcome to Honduras…there’s no place we’d rather be.
God in the small places: First stop was a women’s bible study in the ‘hood’. Why would over 30 women cram into a very small room? They were hungry. Not physically. Not for food. But spirtually. For God. I was honored to share with them the possibilities of what God may do in their lives..if they allow God to interrupt their day, their schedule, and their life.
After, I was fascinated with how this bible study came about and inquired about it. I was touched to learn that it was because one woman, Tyanne, allowed God to interrupt her day each week to drive into this hood and take one woman as her spiritual daughter. Tyanne saw the potential in her. She saw her the way God saw her. She loved on her. She spent time with her. She shared her life with her. And she taught her about Jesus. Faithfully. For over 14 years.
Now, I get to see the fruit. Now this one woman is replicating what Tyanne did for her to the women in her community (the hood). When I finished speaking I did an alter call to give the women an opportunity to accept Jesus. It was a bust. Silence. No takers. No need. ALL of them were already saved! Because one woman allowed God to interrupt her day.
Are you making yourself available to God today? God has Big plans and He needs your help to accomplish them.
Love and Hugs,
Melissa and Bella
P.S. Bella got to play with the kids in the hood. All was well until a fist fight broke out between two young boys. Mission aborted. But, not failed. It left her time to wander through the skinny paths between the shanty-houses. She was able to peek into some of the ‘homes’. She now has a new appreciation for her house, bed, washing machine and toilet. Mission accomplished!

Mongolia Update :: Planes, trains and sex?!?!

Hi Friends,

Just a quick update that I made it to Mongolia safe and sound. Phew!
I haven’t traveled overseas in a couple years…and I’m reminded of a couple things:
1)  38 hours from point A to point B is HARD! Traveling is not for the faint at heart.
2)  I absolutely LOVE being here and I may need to do this more often 🙂
Peaks and Pits (the best and worst parts of my day):
 
Peak: We hit the ground running. Just a few short hours after arriving we went straight to the church to speak at a singles conference. Can you say, ‘Disoriented’? Nothing like being the only white girl looking around at a theater full of Asian people who sound like they are speaking Russian, feeling half asleep with blurred eyes, while seeds of doubt dance in your head saying ‘What in the world are you doing here?’, only to have a microphone promptly shoved in your face to ‘preach’. Giddy up, game on, it’s show time! Thankfully we serve a Big God who shows up… in-spite of ourselves! The young folks were so fun, full of energy and super curious with lots of questions. It was a blast from the past to share lessons learned from my good ‘ol single days and bit about my courtship with Brian:
  • Don’t do anything with each other that you wouldn’t do in front of your own father (Gulp)
  • Your past is not your future – God can restore your mistakes (can I get an Amen)
  • Sexual tension is a good thing (Yikes). It’s a gift from God. It’s how you act on that tension that matters.
PIT:  Waking up from a long fit-ful nap on the flight from LAX to Beijing and realizing I still had 6 hours and 45 minutes still to go, the only in-flight movies were Chinese films, and I had to use the restroom but couldn’t get out because the man next to me was out cold (CPAP mask and all)?!?!  With legs crossed, it was almost enough to make a grown woman cry (Ha)!
With a grateful heart and much love,
Melissa
P.S. Talking about sex in church makes everyone giggle, include myself
P.S.S. I’m really glad I’m married!

Man from IRAN

We were teaching in Tanzania on the key role of business men and women in spreading the gospel. This man next to me was raised Muslim in Iran and he was invited by a businessman to hear us speak. At the end of the session the Man from IRAN came to us and asked for prayer to receive Jesus as Lord & Savior!

We are so thankful for all our friends in BUSINESS that are sharing the gospel in the marketplace!

Brian in Tanzania

Obey Your Heavenly Vision

Talminadu, IndiaOver the last few weeks I’ve been meditating on what the apostle Paul said to King Agrippa . . . “I had this vision from heaven and I obeyed it” Acts 26:19. 

God gave me a vision 20 years ago to be a “missionary to the nations” and I’m so thankful that I obeyed it. I just returned from preaching in India and many Hindu’s gave their lives to Jesus, people were healed and believers were encouraged to continue in the faith.

I believe staying focused on your heavenly vision pleases the Lord and it will also help you through the difficulties and challenges in life!

 

 

Brazil Mission Trip

We wrapped up our 2015 ministry tour by visiting our dear friends Renato & Michelle Cassula in Fortaleza, Brazil. Brian trained church leaders for two days and he challenged the believers to put God first in their lives.

Renato and Michelle have planted a new church and also minister to people living in the water drought regions of Brazil. We look forward to going back soon!

The Dynamic Duo in Argentina

IMG_2169A dear friend of ours refers to Melissa and I as the “Dynamic Duo”. We are humbled by that name but actually we are more effective for the Kingdom when we minister together. In June 2015, we both ventured down to Argentina and trained church leaders in two cities for two days.

  WATCH VIDEO FROM ARGENTINA

This was a significant trip because evangelical church leaders in Argentina are being persecuted by the government. New rules are going in effect that requires all church pastors to have formal Bible training. We responded by training their church leaders and providing a certificate of training for their records.

IMG_2150

The church leaders were so thankful that we came to their country. It was a wonderful time of teaching, prayer, prophetic words and fellowship with the believers. We look forward to many more years of ministering together as the “Dynamic Duo” in the nations for Jesus!

Brian & Melissa Chu

Melissa and Brian in Bolivia

In 2013, Melissa and I ministered together in Cochabamba, Bolivia. With our children still at a young age, It had been a while since we traveled alone together without our kiddos. But God’s timing is always perfecto!!!

I was so excited to listen to Melissa teach the Word and watch the Holy Spirit minister through her with boldness, compassion and truth. Many of the ladies stayed after the service to talk to her and ask for prayer.

We also got in some well needed morning coffee dates and evening dinners in the quaint city of Cochabamba. Thank you Lord, for this amazing opportunity to minister in the nations with my beautiful wife.

    Click here to watch video

Ethiopia Miracles

In January 2013, Brian led a mission trip to Ethiopia. Although over two years have passed, it remains one of our most impacting trips to date. Miracles still happen today and we have witnessed it with our own eyes.

Ethiopia mud huts
mud huts in Ethiopia

On this particular trip, Brian was pulled out of his comfort zone. He was asked, on the spot and without preparation, to speak to a group of women. God instantly gave Brian a message to tell them their value… that they were created in God’s image, even as wives and mothers. Many of the women received Jesus and were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ethiopian women
Brian with the women at the church in Ethiopia

But God wasn’t done yet.

During one of the evangelism outreaches, a man was introduced to Brian. He had been blind in one eye since birth. Brian asked the man, “If God heals you, will you bring back all your friends?”

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
if you save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for you alone!
(Jeremiah 17:14)

blind eye opened miracles still happen today
This man’s blind eye was opened!

Miraculously, God healed the man’s blind eye and he was able to see out of that eye for the first time in his life! He then accepted Jesus, and left. An hour later, he returned with many of his friends, all of whom wanted prayer and to receive Jesus. We have a video of that encounter:

Miracles still happen today, but you must be willing to step out in faith.

Ethiopian church
Brian at the church in Ethiopia

Our next trip is in April to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We have been visiting this place every year since 2002, working with 22 adopted children, evangelism, and prison outreach. We need to raise another $500 by April 1st. If you would like to give towards this trip, secure donations can be made here. Thank you for your support and prayers.