Thank you for praying for me. I cannot survive in the ministry without your "Epaphras Effort." What! You didn’t know you were making the "Epaphras Effort"? That’s OK. Making it is more important than knowing that you are making it. It’s described in Colossians 4:12, "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God."
The "Epaphras Effort" is "struggling" (you will recognize the Greek word: agonizomenos) for someone in prayer that God will make them mature and sure-footed in the will of God. I cannot survive in the ministry without your help in this way. Thank you for the "Epaphras Effort" when I went to speak on Monday, May 26 at OneDay03.
There were tens of thousands of students there – a sea of worshipping young people from where I stood on the outdoor platform on a ranch in Sherman, Texas. The day was for prayer, fasting, repenting, worshipping, God-centered messages, and missions passion. There were five speakers in this order beginning at 10 am, woven together with very loud and very Christ-exalting worship music. First Beth Moore spoke a call to repentance from Joel 2. Then I spoke on "A Generation Passionate for God’s Holiness." Next Kirk Cameron gave one of the most sincere, simple, powerful statements of the Gospel I have ever heard. Then Louie Giglio (the leader of the event) spoke this truth: "God is ‘I AM.’ You are ‘I am not.’ But you should say, ‘I am not, but I know I AM.’" Josh Harris gave a call to sexual purity, and Heather Mercer (one of the women imprisoned in Afghanistan) called the young people to world Christian commitment.
What did God do? Samples of testimonies can be found here. Here’s the one that moved me most.
Dear Louie and Staff,
Our wedding date had been set for May 24, 2003 and plans were well under way when we heard the trumpet blow for OneDay03. As the date approached and decisions needed to be made about a honeymoon, Hawaii was the clear destination. Beaches, sun, five star hotel; nothing but the best for my bride.
Three weeks before our wedding my wife approached me about changing our honeymoon plans and stopping first in Sherman, TX before leaving for Hawaii!! "What?!?!?!" may have been the first words out of my mouth but I soon changed my mind. On Saturday morning I married my beautiful bride and the next day we flew to Dallas to attend OneDay03.
Neither of us had any idea how amazing our time at OneDay was going to be for us both. God met us there in a powerful way! After returning to our hotel room on Monday night it was clear that God had brought us to Sherman for a reason; He wanted us to start our marriage completely and totally focused on Him. That night we cancelled our (credit card financed) honeymoon to Hawaii and returned to the OneDay field on Tuesday morning where together we stood and "volunteered" our lives to foreign missions.
I praise God that this is a lesson we learned at 24 and not 44, and am so thankful for your ministry.
Grace and Peace,
Jonathan, Orlando, FL
In addition, 3700 students filled out the form requesting follow-up and picked specific mission agencies that they wanted to continue talking with. 782 said, "My bags are packed and I am committed to finding the right opportunity." 1469 wanted seminary info. The follow up has already begun with 1000 calls being made since OneDay (as of Tuesday, June 3).
May God give you the grace to make the "Epaphras Effort" for the students. Great triumphs of grace will continue to happen.