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2023 11&12

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작성자 TI 조회 570 작성일 23-11-01 16:29


Go and make disciples
of all nations!

-Matt 28:19 NIV-
November and December, 2023
Tentmaker's story

Traveling with Jesus

               by Steinar Opheim 
           from tentmaking today

    When giving our day to God, we will from time-to-time experience that he creates divine meetings. Lately, I have had many such incidents while traveling, writes the author of this article. Photo: Adobdestock

    The Bible has many stories about people who seemingly meet randomly. When we look closer at things, we do however see God’s finger behind the encounter. It is like God brought the people together without them knowing it. Are you ready to experience the same thing?

    At Tent’s GO Equipped courses participants are asked to commit to starting their days with God. Some of us are morning people and spend time in the Bible and in prayers in the mornings. Others like to sleep in and must hurry more before they head out to work or other duties. No matter your preference, you can always start your day with God, give it to him and ask him for help to meet the people around you in the way he wants you to meet them.  

    When giving our day to God, we will from time-to-time experience that he creates divine meetings. Lately, I have had many such incidents while traveling. One was on a recent overnight flight. The airline I flew with changed my seat after checking in. Instead of getting an aisle seat, which is my preference, I got a middle seat in the window section. Even if I always pray for God to organize divine meetings as I travel, I did not see his hand behind this. Instead, I got upset, started complaining and felt sorry for myself. 

    The following morning, I began talking with the person sitting next to me. Like me, he was on his way back to Europe from assignments in East Africa. We had not been to the same nation. During our conversation we still found out that we have common friends among the East-Africans. This sparked a long and deep talk where he shared about his background. He explained that he comes from a Christian family, but that he has left the faith in Jesus that he grew up with. I also got to share about my life and faith. 

    I do not know how our talk impacted him. I do however firmly believe that the meeting was organized by the Holy Spirit for a purpose. Over the years, I have learned that I can “trustfully” leave the outcome of such divine appointments with Him.

    Leaving the aircraft, I rejoiced that God had changed my seat even if he knew that I would grumble. Hopefully, I will recognize the act of his hand in a better way next time.

Tentmaker's news

The Making of a Tentmaker

              by Wayne Shabaz 
           from tentmaking today

    My wife Cindy and I were ill-prepared, intentional tentmakers headed off to the Middle East just two months after our wedding. The reality is that we were a couple of wide-eyed Midwestern kids eager to see the world and hopeful to contribute to God’s eternal Kingdom. We ended up in Tehran, Iran three months after boarding the freighter in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    Our time in Iran awakened us to the need and marvelous opportunities to do exactly what Global Intent is doing today – inspire, mobilize, & equip tentmakers. It was about the same time that Christy Wilson published his book, “Today’s Tentmakers” from his experiences in Afghanistan. That wonderful confluence shaped our lives and has given us adventures that are in keeping with His promise to do “exceeding, abundantly above all” we could have ever expected or anticipated!

    Our calling came via my aunt and uncle who were ministering to university students in Beirut, Lebanon, many from “closed countries”. Two years out of college, Aunt Esther encouraged me to pursue employment in Beirut where we could assist them in their ministry. After Cindy (then my fiancé) agreed to the venture, we contacted over 100 potential employers in Beirut and received 90 “no-thank-you” rejections. Not a single offer. We boarded the ship anyway.

    We were confident that God would open doors! He did, but not in Beirut. After six weeks of futile Beirut street-beating with no job offers, we decided to visit Iran while in the “neighborhood” before returning to the U.S. (I wanted to visit my Dad’s birthplace from where he fled with his parents due to the Armenian/Assyrian holocaust 50 years earlier.) Visiting the homeland turned out to be all part of God’s plan, surprisingly complete with job offers for both of us.  I was hired to train telecommunications professionals and Cindy taught at an international school.

Ill Prepared

    We were in an ideal “tentmaker” scenario, but we were ill prepared.  Cindy was in a totally new culture, a culture that was often a mystery to me even though my father’s roots were there.  The two of us had barely been out of the Midwest United States let alone outside the U.S.  In many ways we were in over our heads.

    Some of us learn more from our mistakes and faux pas than from our successes. Thanks to the One who works all things together for our good, our learning was indeed life-changing and career-setting. Our ministry in Iran turned out to be more with expat American teens at Community Church than with anyone else. Why would we come over 5,000 miles to minister to North American teens? We could have done that in the U.S. But little did we know that it was all part of God’s master plan.

Mobilizing More Tentmakers

    After an enriching and stretching two years, we returned to the States, secured positions in Detroit’s auto industry, and became actively involved in a local church. But we couldn’t put the Iranian expat experience behind us – nor did we want to. We were gripped with the Kingdom-building possibilities for dispatching North American Christ-bearers especially into “closed countries.” Thousands of positions available worldwide were being filled by godless, hedonistic “missionaries.” Somehow the Church needed to become aware of the vast potential in their pews for everyday believers to be answers to Jesus’ prayer for harvest-field laborers. Thankfully the Holy Spirit was already at work.  He had anointed Christy Wilson to write, Ruth Siemens to inspire, and many others to passionately communicate the tentmaker message.

Equipping Tentmakers to Cross Cultures Effectively

    Meanwhile, He was preparing Cindy and me for another role. Our missionary friends who knew of our tentmaker mobilization passion warned us not to send out culturally unprepared troops. So, we began partnering with cross-cultural curriculum developers at Missionary Internship, now Missionary Training International of Palmer, CO. Our contribution to the tentmaker process was to deliver cross-cultural education and consulting. Ironically, we got our start providing cross-cultural consulting and workshops to major U.S. firms. Our role was to BE tentmakers.

    We prepare North American expats and their families for service worldwide. Thanks to colleague/mentors like Duane & Muriel Elmer, Glenn & Ann Deckert and others, we provide generic cross-cultural skills for clients headed anywhere in the world. We began to see years later why God had directed us to minister to North American families in Iran instead of to Muslim students in Beirut. Since Cindy I had no children while living in Iran, we needed to understand what family life was like for expats abroad. God is amazingly thorough and timely!

The Corporate Genome

    Our award-winning cross-cultural e-learning course, The Corporate Genome, covers three areas of intercultural effectiveness – global, domestic, and organizational.  It has been honored by:

  • HR Executive™ Award for Top 10 Training Products
  • Brandon Hall 2001 Gold Award “Excellence in E-Learning” for Custom Content
  • Winner of the Bronze Award in the OMNI Intermedia Awards Contest