Don Goulding - Blog

Fiji Update Mar-May 2016

IMG 9640 1When it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s winter in Fiji. The weather is lovely, mostly—great temperatures, less rain, a few cyclones. Villages are still digging out from Cyclone Winston. 

 

Don’s team at Operation Foundation normally works in the prisons, however they diverted from their usual ministry to help cyclone victims. It was a privilege for him to come along side villages in Tailevu, Rakiraki, and Koro Island and help them process grief.

The activities of the Trauma Workshop included: 

  • Drawing pictures of the worst moment - Children showed their families floating inside the house, with the roof blown off.
  • Writing a lament to God - Teens, grandfathers, and women all expressed what was repressed inside.
  • Burning their pain - Burdens of pain and terror were sent up to God in smoke and replaced with peace.

Comments from the villagers:

“Other counselors came but what they said didn’t help us. Your workshop was different. We are glad you came.”

“Normally we stay quiet. Since you came, we talk about what happened and it’s helping us.”

Don’s team has been teaching and counseling in the prison and seeing God move in hearts. One brother, Joni, was caught stealing and held at the local police station for arraignment. Three days later his parents went to file a missing persons report, and the officer said, “We have a boy in the cell by that same name.”

The parents stepped into the cell block, saw their son with handcuffs and wept.

“They hugged me and Mom said she still loved me. Dad couldn’t get any words out. I could’t stop the tears running on my cheeks,” Joni said.

“Step Out Step Free (the classes we offer at Operation Foundation) helped me see the way I was living and understand what life really means. I was the most precious thing God created in this world. It showed me that the key is to let God be the Master and Leader for all things I do.”

Another brother, Wasaki, confessed that he has been selling drugs inside prison. He wants to stop wearing masks. After counseling he asked to meet with the Office in Charge to confess. That meeting is scheduled for later this week. The only explanation for his change of heart is the Holy Spirit is at work in him. Please pray for Wasaki.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/donjgoulding/

Lots of Love,

Dani & Don Goulding

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Operation Foundation

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Donations go to our forwarding agent:

Goulding C/O Jeanne Hartman

PO Box 2433

Grass Valley, CA 95945

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10123 William Carey Dr.

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Please Memo:

Account no: 132113

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Don Goulding

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Sitting on the Sin-Brat

 

Sin BratFor I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law ofmy mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. (Romans 7:22-23 NET_FL)

Spiritual growth only comes to me with bloody violence. My old Mr. Sin Nature is a wily beast. One of his tricks is showy enthusiasm for biblical head knowledge. He encourages me to memorize scripture, but his slimy goal is preoccupation from living out the truth.


Another Mr. Sin Nature tactic is to read the Bible too quickly. He won’t hold still under the stinging poultice of a few chosen words, and instead, prefers entertainment by the storyline. These and other ploys force me to sit on the urchin.

I begin in a place where I can be alone with Jesus. I ask what heart-work needs the most attention, then read no more than a chapter of Scripture. How I choose where to read matters little as God maneuvers any method to get me where he wants. I find he consistently points me to what I need. Next, I let the Spirit highlight the handful of words on which I’m to focus. Then I wrestle with my squirming old nature, and pin him under those words until he squeals, “I give.” Repentant prayer and brief journaling knock the final wind out of the monster.

I have to repeat this process each morning, because, after years of letting the sin nature run wild, he thinks he can poke his nose into every good thought. Only when I’m methodical and strong-handed is he containable. For now, I have to cohabit with the rascal, but I have another guest who forces him to sit in the corner. I need Jesus in my house at every hour. Not only does he pardon my keeping the sin-brat, he also helps me baby-sit the little wretch.

Prayer: Lion of Judah, this is war. Help me overcome myself.

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Beautiful Gospel

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is Godʼs power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 NET_FL)

“Stomp ‘em boys. You’ll win today because they don’t know what’s in here, in your heart. Do this for your team, your school, do it for the whole town.”

I watched one of those sports movies where the underdogs make their big comeback. The plot is usually the same. At halftime the coach delivers a pivotal speech in the locker room before the players storm the field. However, the pep talks always sound hollow to my ears. No matter how impassioned the coach is, his message is weak. I mean come on, ‘Today is the day to spill your blood for this sport and this game?’ That’s pretty thin compared to the truly inspiring message in the gospel.

In my business days I traveled annually to Washington DC to lobby for our industry. I dreaded it when I was called on to speak to Congressmen and their aides. My voice trembled and I could barely get the facts out.

Now I eagerly stand on a festival stage before thousands of skeptical foreigners and confidently tell them about my Lord. What makes the difference is the message. There is soul-rending, heart exploding power in the message of the gospel, and the delivery can come from any fumbler such as me.

When people are enabled by the Holy Spirit to grasp the truth of the salvation offer, they beg to be told what to do. That’s what happened on the day of Pentecost, and it still happens when the gospel is explained.

To tell someone God loves you and sent his Son to die for you is by far the best possible news to deliver. It’s the message of ultimate love demonstrated through action. No other faith, empowerment seminar, or locker room rally is even in the same league.

Prayer: Holy Lord, allow my voice to spread your golden message.

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