25 Y E A R S
I N PR I N T
C E L E B R ATI N G
The Hope of Albania Kacie Campbell
Looking into Joplin Anne Williams
Healing and Hope Joyce Meyer
You can share the Gospel just like Jesus did!
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What if the one thing they needed was the one thing you had to give? You can change someone’s life when you Live to Share.
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STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART DEAR FRIENDS, Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone who called themselves a Christian would purposely do at least one kind act for someone every day? We’d probably be amazed how much better this world would be.
Or it could be He wants us to support other organizations that reach a greater number of hurting people we will probably never even meet. Maybe we can’t actually go and help, but we can help send someone else.
Every one of us can do something each day to bless someone else. And it doesn’t always have to be some huge thing. Even a smile can help change the direction of a person’s day.
The main thing I believe God wants to teach us is to be others-minded— to reach outside of our own lives. We just need to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead us to others we can be a blessing to in some way.
Just think of all the people we pass on the street, in the store, or even in church who are lonely, hurting or in some kind of trouble. They might not ever say anything to us about it. But if we’ll open our eyes and ears…and our hearts, the Holy Spirit can show us somebody, somewhere, who needs something we can give.
As the body of Christ, let’s begin to be more others-minded—on purpose. Let’s go looking for ways to be a blessing to someone. Let’s reach out to others and be the love of God in action. Just think of the radical change that could happen in the world!
It could even be a family member right in the same house. Maybe God will show you how to get through to a rebellious teenager or how to make an ill or elderly parent feel more comfortable, even more valuable to the family.
LEFT: Meseret carries her baby sister Sara to the feeding program in Angacha, Ethiopia. When they first started coming to the program, baby Sara and her twin sister were on the brink of starvation. But thanks to your support, the twins are now healthy and their entire family is receiving wheat grain and oil—the nourishment they desperately need on a monthly basis.
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Publisher Joyce Meye
Executive E Daniel Meye Ginger Stac
Managing E Mischelle W
Instant answers to every problem.
Editor Susan Hutc
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There are powerful promises in God’s Word, but how often do you speak them over your life? Organized by topic, Joyce’s “little purple book” helps you find the right scriptures at the right time so you can instantly speak the Truth over your circumstances and your life!
Art Directo Jon Richert
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Graphic De Jessica Dav Danny Meh Megan Rior Amy Roff
The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word
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288-Page Hardcover by Joyce Meyer $11 U.S. Funds
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Production Steve Barre Monica Joh Bill Schlick
Photograph Kacie Camp David Dobs Chad Spick
Be part of a life-changing experience. Volunteer for upcoming trips at
Enjoying Every Joyce Meyer M corporation, F Joyce Meyer M Agreement N reserved. Repr without written Enjoying Everyd price and contributions Enjoying Eve preplanned, w unsolicited information (636) 349-0 www.joycemeye
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Throughout the year our medical and dental volunteers travel to some of the poorest areas of the world to provide much needed care. And we hope you’ll join us!
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For up-to-date travel dates and more details, visit joycemeyer.org/ medicalmissions. Schedule is subject to change.
Jesus said to [him], “I will go and heal him.” MATTHEW 8:7 NCV
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Publisher Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.
ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE Volume 26 | Number 3 | MAY 2012
Executive Editors Daniel Meyer Ginger Stache Managing Editor Mischelle Wieczorek Editor Susan Hutchison Creative Director Steve DeShetler Art Director Jon Richert Staff Writers Kacie Campbell Matthew Loomis Roberta Rand Anne Williams Graphic Designers Jessica Davis Danny Mehl Megan Riordan Amy Roff Production Supervisor George Dill
Photographers Kacie Campbell David Dobson Chad Spickler All Bible references are from The Amplified Bible unless otherwise noted. Enjoying Everyday Life® is published by Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.®, a nonprofit corporation, Fenton, MO USA © 2011 Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. Publications Agreement No. 41709522. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Enjoying Everyday Life has no subscription price and is supported through contributions worldwide. Because all Enjoying Everyday Life issues are preplanned, we are unable to accept unsolicited manuscripts. For more information or to order, call (636) 349-0303. Internet address: www.joycemeyer.org Enjoying Everyday Life is a registered trademark of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. [J] is also a registered trademark of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.
D E PA R T M E N T S
12 THE HOPE OF THIS NATION
HAND OF HOPE—Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions
26 A Closer Look
BY KACIE CAMPBELL
For fifty years Albania was a communist, atheist nation. Today, although Christians are small in number, your support is helping a nation grow in their faith and reach others for Christ.
27 Love Walk 29
TV Broadcast Schedule
16 ESCAPING PERSECUTION
HAND OF HOPE—Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions
BY GINGER STACHE
Life for Christians in some parts of the world can seem bitterly hopeless. See how you’re helping reach out to Iraqis who’ve fled their country and are in desperate need.
Production Coordinators Steve Barrett Monica Johnson Bill Schlick
pag e 12
20 WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME? HAND OF HOPE—Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions
BY TERRY REDMON
In Greece, prostitution is legal. This law has endangered the lives of many. Hear how you’re helping rescue girls bound in human trafficking.
Editorial Proofreaders Carolyn Coley Dar Wood
M AIN FEATUR E
GET ANSWERS FOR Y O U R E V E R Y D AY L I F E
24 HEALING AND HOPE BY JOYCE MEYER
Joyce’s story will encourage your faith in God’s ability to do the same for you, no matter what you need to overcome.
PLEASE NOTE: In the February issue of Enjoying Everyday Life, we overlooked noting proper credit for portions of Joyce’s article My Heart…Christ’s Home. Some of the content is based on My Heart—Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. Copyright (c) 1986 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA. www.ivpress.com
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Production Artists Jeff Douglas Robert Houston Jeri Icenesse Stacy Williams
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I N T R O D U C I N G WO R S H I P L E A D E R
Darlene Zschech loves to see people connect intimately with God in worship. She played an irreplaceable role in the planting and nurturing of the worship movement birthed out of Hillsong Church. And her anthem “Shout to the Lord” is one of the most recognized pieces of contemporary worship music in the world today. Darlene and her husband, Mark, pastor Hope Unlimited Church in Australia.
Q: Do you have a favorite song? A: I have so many, but two of my most favorites are “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace.” They resonate deeply in the hearts and lives of so many. I remember my dad singing these with all he had, at the top of his lungs, and with all of his heart.
WAT C H
Q: Your ministry goes beyond singing and songwriting. What else are you passionate about?
Q: This year’s women’s conference is all about hope. What does hope mean to you?
A: Mark and I are passionate about the local church and its ability to shine Christ in our communities. We are passionate about family and what strong family means in our broken-down society. And we are desperately passionate about missions, being involved with helping the poor both locally and globally.
A: Hope is alive; it’s about possibility.
Q: What do you want to share with women at this year’s Love Life Women’s Conference? A: My whole focus is to encourage the women to truly worship Jesus, that He would be revealed to them in a way that changes their lives forever.
FO L LOW
Darlene leads hearts to worship, singing “Worthy Is the Lamb.”
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Hope lifts you from where you are and supports your heart, however timid, with strength. Hope in Christ is not about crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. It is our firm foundation. We hope in Christ, as He is our anchor, our provision and our very present help in times of need. We’re so excited to have Darlene at this year’s Love Life Women’s Conference, and we pray all of you ladies will come and experience the power of hope through worship.
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DARE TO GO DEEP RENEW YOUR MIND & TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
INTRODUCING THE NEW ACTION PLAN STUDY PACKAGE!
12 TEACHINGS ON BOTH CD & DVD Compelling messages that bring Joyce’s book to life.
PERSONAL STUDY GUIDE Features thought-provoking questions and exercises to help you identify false beliefs and start replacing them with empowering truths anchored in God’s Word.
JOEL OSTEEN BLACK
generated at BeQRious.com
12 WALLET-SIZED REMINDER CARDS Featuring the 12 power thoughts, key scriptures and personal affirmations to keep your new attitudes tuned-in to God’s voice!
Watch this video from Joel about the hope found in God’s grace when you have to go through difficult times.
BASED ON JOYCE’S BOOK POWER THOUGHTS
DEVELOPING POWER THOUGHTS An Action Plan to Renew Your Mind and Transform Your Life
$35 U.S. Funds
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How to Gain Confidence in Sharing the Gospel
BY JOYCE MEYER
Jesus began His public ministry in Nazareth. It was the town where He grew up, where all His close friends and family lived—where any one of us would have expected plenty of hugs and hand claps of encouragement. But for Jesus, it was not a good experience.
The crowd was happy with Jesus’ teachings to a point, but when His words became a little more direct and corrective, the Bible says they became so enraged that they actually tried to kill Him (see Luke 4:28,29).
Jesus didn’t stick around to defend the validity of His ministry. Verse 30 says, But passing through their midst, He went on His way. Jesus walked about thirty miles to Capernaum. There, He preached to large crowds, performed miracles and cast out devils from among the people—and they were just so happy. They said, “Stay with us, Jesus. This is Your spot!” Well, who wouldn’t want to stay where everybody loves and appreciates you? But Jesus didn’t hang
JOYCE MEYER is one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written roughly one hundred inspirational books and released thousands of audio and video teachings. Her Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs are broadcast around the world. She also travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, make their home in St. Louis, Missouri. 8 | ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE
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What to Do When Others Reject You Have you ever tried to help someone who didn’t really want to be helped out of their situation? You know, we tend to think that if we could just explain things a little more clearly or be a better witness, they could be helped. But honestly and truly, we’ve got to know when to break free from the burden of false responsibility. In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out His disciples, and He told them that if they went to a town and the people didn’t accept them, they should shake the dust off their feet and go to the next town. What does that mean for you personally? It means if someone doesn’t want to be helped, you can continue to pray on their behalf, but you are not obligated to try and change them. The world is full of hungry, hurting people who would love to get every crumb of love and encouragement you have to give them. So when one
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I think it would absolutely set the church on fire if every Christian would realize they have what it takes to make a difference in the lives of others.
Pursuing Godʼs Wonderful Plan for You Now, if you’re a new Christian, take some time to learn about who you are in Christ before you really start ministering to people. It’s important to reach out to others because you love God and you’re following His lead, not because you’re pressured to do good works to feel good about yourself. And those of us who do know the Word and who we are in Christ, it’s time to step up and say, “Okay, I’m filled up to the brim with the Word. Now it’s time for me to start giving out what God’s given me.” Just as God said to Abraham, “I will bless you and I will make you a blessing, causing you to dispense good to others,” He will also do the same through us (see Genesis 12:2).
Discover more about this American Idol finalist and see how she learned to let God take her flaws and frailties and turn them into something beautiful for Him.
When you go to church, go with a purpose. Think about how you can help others and lift them up. Then go out armed and ready, prayed up and looking for someone to bless. The truth is, if you will regularly reach out to help people, edify them, encourage them, and treat them the way you want to be treated, you will be one of the most spiritually fulfilled and fruitful Christians working in the world today.
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“Jesus wasn’t moved by people’s rejection nor was He moved by their acceptance. He was moved by the Spirit of God.”
Now, there are going to be others in your life who love and appreciate you and won’t ever want you to leave their side. And it’s tempting to stay around people like that because they genuinely care about you. But if you choose to stay in that same small circle, you won’t be able to reach out to others in need—and that’s where God wants our focus to be.
If you can learn how to follow God whether you’re accepted or rejected, you’re well on your way to fulfilling the call of God on your life to reach out to others.
What to Do When Others Ask Too Much
There’s a major lesson to be learned here. See, Jesus wasn’t moved by people’s rejection nor was He moved by their acceptance. He was moved by the Spirit of God.
person rejects you, don’t let that stop you. Do what Jesus did. Move on to the next person and the next person until somebody wants what you’ve got.
REGISTER TODAY! Yellow
around there either because He knew there were others who needed to hear His message.
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THE SWEET MOMENTS
SP EA KE RS
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SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2012
Can you feel it? The excitement is stirring. God is ready to captivate your heart once again. His love and peace are overflowing. And this is your moment. September 20-22, 2012, join thousands of ladies from around the world to worship God and grow.
CELEBRATE THE POWER OF HOPE.
REGISTER TODAY! BLACK
Ladies, this weekend is just for you, so leave the men and children at home and enjoy a few refreshing days away.
U.S. Funds Must register by May 25 to receive Early Bird Price. Registration fees are nonrefundable.
We’ve made arrangements for travel discounts on hotels, airlines and more. Make your plans today! joycemeyer.org/lovelife
MAKE TRAVEL PLANS TODAY & SAVE
early bird price
E D WA R D J O N E S D O M E // S T. L O U I S , M I S S O U R I
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OF THIS NATION A NEW GENERATION OF CHRISTIANS ALIVE IN ALBANIA BY KACIE CAMPBELL
But you can also see a new movement beginning to break forth…the rise of young Christians, on fire for the Lord. They are small in number, but are slowly, surely reaching this nation for Christ. It’s something you’re helping them do through your support of Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions.
Reaching First-Generation Christians Albania was ruled as an atheist communist nation for nearly fifty years…so the country is experiencing a new beginning in their freedom of religion. Many of the Christians in Albania are first-generation Christians—they are young in their faith and in desperate need of spiritual growth and education. That’s why your support is so important in this country. You’re providing Joyce’s books and radio program in their native language, as well as the Enjoying Everyday Life program online in English—all tools Hand of Hope is using to help reach the lost and encourage believers to grow and thrive in their young faith.
Albania. It’s a nation full of oppressive political and religious history. In the same places where you can trace the steps of the apostle Paul, you can see the evidence of communism, forced atheism, the rise of Islam and underground bunkers built because of fear.
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It’s also why our partnership with our friends Hervin and Sedika, pastors in the capital city of Tirane, is so vital. They are responsible for handling the translation of Joyce’s books in Albania. Sedika personally translates the books and then the couple distributes them to Radio 7, a Christian radio station, as well as numerous churches and groups throughout the nation. When their church started eight years ago, there were just five people. Hervin and Sedika knew they needed to do something to help reach the people. That’s when Sedika started offering free English classes.
“You are the hope of this nation. You may not think 10,000 is a lot, but 10,000 Christians on fire with the Spirit of God can change this nation.” Using the Bible as her text, they would study and then talk about what they had just read. They never finished a complete course because people would get converted and join the church. Today there are 120 members in their church. It’s those new converts who are most thankful for Joyce’s books. With few spiritual leaders available to reach this new generation of Christians, her books are used as discipleship tools to take people to a deeper level in their relationship with the Lord and understanding of Christianity.
A Lack of Spiritual Leaders
“Joyce’s books are successful because she’s true. Being a woman and a pastor’s wife, I now see that I don’t have
Many of these young Christians are like Sedika—women mostly from a Muslim background, who for years were taught to be silent and not speak out. Their culture dictates this view of women. And although many groups in Albania are trying to remove this stigma placed on women, it is still difficult for many. “My parents are not Christians. I cannot share what I’m going through with them and don’t have an adult Christian to talk to, to ask if what I’m going through is normal and how to face the situation. Counsel is something we lack.” Sedika says that’s why Joyce’s messages are so important for the people in their nation: “She is willing to come into our lives and say, ‘I’ve gone through things and it’s painful, but you’re going to make it.’”
Debates in the Church Like his wife, Hervin also understands what it means to become a Christian in this nation and experience the great joy of finding a relationship with Christ. That’s what keeps him going week after week—the desire to reach people with the Gospel just like he was reached. Like many in his country, Hervin originally chose Islam, which had its strongest growth right after communism fell. He would take time on Sundays to attend the local churches and attempt to prove why Christianity was wrong. Using the booklet 50,000 Mistakes of the Bible, Hervin would intimidate the youth, make fun of the preaching and start debates.
Sedika herself knows how much these resources mean. Although she’s responsible for translation, she often finds herself lost in the content, studying and learning more about what it means to be a Christian woman.
to hide everything in my life. I felt like I needed to be a model and behave good all the time. Her teachings have shown me that you find strength when you admit it and you try to change it.”
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“Every time I would debate, the people would tell me I was taking it out of context. So I read the Bible to understand the full context.” But when he got to John 3:36, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life… (NIV), his heart began to change.
You can change someone’s life when you Live to Share.
“The people at the church had that life and loved me even through my agenda. The next time I went to debate the preacher, the Holy Spirit tugged at me several times. My next prayer was in the name of Jesus.” In a country once known as Illyricum, the same country Paul spent time walking through on his way to Rome, Hervin had his own conversion experience. He went from being an antagonist, intimidating and mocking the church, to a pastor of a vibrant community of believers in Tirane. And in June 2011, he had the opportunity to be a translator at Joyce’s conference in Tirane.
WHAT THIS CONFERENCE MEANS TO ALBANIA There are many in Albania who haven’t yet embraced Christianity and this conference was an opportunity to reach them with the Gospel message. According to Hervin, there are only an estimated 10,000 adult Christians in all of Albania today—that’s less than 1 percent of the population. The night of the conference, Joyce had a special message for this small, but passionate group who have chosen to give their all to worship and proclaim Jesus Christ.
That number is already starting to grow, because that night the very thing their church had been praying for diligently happened—1,800 people gave their hearts to the Lord.
“You are the hope of this nation. You may not think 10,000 is a lot, but 10,000 Christians on fire with the Spirit of God can change this nation. I could come back in a few years and the number could be 100,000 or more,” shared Joyce.
GIVE TO DA Y!
COMMITTED TO REACHING THIS NATION Hervin and Sedika, along with the many other pastors in Albania, know they have a long way to go to reach their entire country with God’s message of hope, but they are willing to keep going no matter how long it takes.
Hervin and Sedika say it’s a sunny season for Albania. The people are optimistic about the future and the hope of things to come. Thank you for joining with us to reach them with the support they need to continue to reach this nation for Christ.
“Success is small, especially in a Muslim country. Sometimes I get tired, but when one person gets converted, it energizes me for a year,” shares Sedika.
Make a special missions donation to Joyce Meyer Ministries Hand of Hope and help share with people in need all around the world.
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G N I P A C S E PERSECUTION VI NG IN LE BA NO N LI ES GE FU RE I AQ IR NG SU PP OR TI
BY GINGER STACHE
Her beautiful white dress was soaked in blood. She sat in the middle of the road crying and cradling her father’s head as he bled...gunned down on her wedding day.
HE BEGGED HIS FATHER’S PERMISSION TO PLAY OUTSIDE FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES AFTER WEEKS OF CONFINEMENT FOR SAFETY’S SAKE. WHEN HE DID, HIS OWN FRIENDS LURED HIM TO A QUIET ALLEYWAY AND STABBED HIM FIVE TIMES.
Through tears, each one shares their story with us –- stories so horrendous they are nearly incomprehensible. But they are real and the pain these families share is overwhelming. Thousands upon thousands of people with equally heartwrenching experiences have fled their homeland of Iraq to find at least temporary safety in Beirut, Lebanon. They share one common denominator—they are Christians, and that is the root of their persecution.
DENIED MEDICAL TREATMENT Dr. Hekmat provided medical care to all who needed it, Muslim and Christian alike. His own son, Joseph, was quite ill. One day he received a threat by phone...stop practicing medicine or you will be killed. Next, his son was denied his desperately needed treatment.
IT IS THE QUESTION THAT HAUNTS HER THE MOST. ARE HER BELOVED FATHER AND BROTHER DEAD OR ALIVE? SHE HAS NOT HEARD A WORD SINCE THEY WERE ABDUCTED FIVE YEARS AGO. STILL SHE PRAYS FOR ANSWERS.
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See page 15.
Kidnapped and Tortured Sawsan’s husband was kidnapped and brutally tortured for ten days. His captors demanded that Sawsan herself bring his ransom. She says God gave her the courage to go through with the frightening exchange at gunpoint and her husband was returned to her, but the torture he endured was unimaginable. After that, they lived for a long time as prisoners in their own home in fear her husband would be taken again. Until their fourteen-year-old son, Rafil, convinced his parents to allow him to go outside with his friends for just fifteen minutes. Those very friends turned on him, stabbing him five times in the back and hands. Young Rafil survived and Sawsan says, “We were at a point where we could not leave and we could not stay. We had no money but we really did not have a choice; we had to take our kids and leave.”
Safe but Struggling When these families finally take refuge in Lebanon, they find safety; however, the living conditions are still challenging. Lebanon has experienced war and difficulty of its own and the cost of living is very high.
joycemeyer.org/share A ministry called Heart for Lebanon was birthed out of that hardship. Director Camille Melki explains, “We have gone through the persecution, we have gone through these wars. We know what it means to be standing in line asking for food, looking for a safe haven. We’ve been loved by so many caring Christian communities around the world and it’s our turn now to give back.” Most refugees arrive with nothing. Because of the flood of people and the fact that they are illegal immigrants, it is very difficult to find housing and work. Even Dr. Hekmat has found that he cannot practice medicine here. “They do not accept my degree. I tried to work as a hired worker but they consider me an older age. I’m forty-three years old.”
Meeting Their Immediate Needs Heart for Lebanon provides necessities like food and clothing, prayer and spiritual support, and much more to the Iraqi refugees. Melki says that Joyce Meyer ministry partners, through our missions arm Hand of Hope, make it all possible. “Hand of Hope was the first ministry to come alongside us. They said, ‘We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the broken world of Lebanon.’” Families like Sawsan’s are extremely grateful. “It’s the peace of heart that I am receiving from Heart for Lebanon. My mom is away; my sister is away, but I feel loved and there’s family because of their visits.” You are helping us share that love of Christ with people who have felt pain and rejection like few others, and we thank you for making this possible. Dr. Hekmat says, “We’re very happy that there are people that the Lord is sending to help us. We are grateful to Joyce Meyer. We thank Heart for Lebanon for the help they’ve provided. And we love them.”
G I N G E R S TA C H E is an award-winning TV producer and the Chief Media Officer for Joyce Meyer Ministries. She has traveled to dozens of nations, spreading the Word of God. She has an enthusiasm to help the forgotten and share God’s love. She resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Tim.
He had no choice but to go to another city to get care for Joseph, but when he did his car was ambushed in a barrage of gunfire. Narrowly escaping with his life, Dr. Hekmat knew what he and his family must do. “I made up my mind to flee Iraq, to leave my house, leave the furniture, to leave everything and get out,” he says.
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The condition of their homes and hearts, one year after the tornado By Anne Williams
Recovering from a tornado isn’t an easy task. There’s the heartwrenching emotional response; the search for missing loved ones and personal effects; the clearing of debris; finding somewhere to live; dealing with insurance; fighting feelings of fear and helplessness; eating endless meals of hotdogs; and hanging on to the hope that eventually…things will get better. One year after Joplin, Missouri residents went through all that and more, their resilience speaks to us about the strength of the human spirit and the faithfulness of our God.
Their Will to Rebuild About seven months after the devastation occurred, city officials said 50 percent of property owners had secured permits to repair or rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed by the tornado.1 Impressed by their will to rebuild, City Manager Mark Rohr said, “The spirit and determination of our residents has been the driving force in our recovery. The commitment they have made to staying and rebuilding in Joplin is inspiring.”
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The path of the tornado was three quarters of a mile wide and almost seven miles long. The entire strip of land looked like it had been hit by a bomb. Now most of the debris has been cleared away. Trees that shaped the landscape are gone. Now grass is growing there. It’s a prairie of sorts, with a handful of structures rebuilt: a Wal-Mart store here…a gas station there. Some land has been purchased by developers. But residents are rebuilding.
A Resident’s Reflections, One Year Later “Things are coming along well with the rebuilding,” said Shirley, a Joplin resident who lost her home. “But people are hurting. They’re starting to feel the impact of what’s happened and they need a lot of prayer. Our churches need prayer.”
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And through our partners, He also sent reinforcements.
Doing Our Part to Help Along with government and state agencies and so many organizations and individuals who gave generously so that Joplin could thrive again–our partners have made a difference. When the tornado hit, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions immediately partnered with Convoy of Hope, Service International, and IgniteChurch.tv to bridge the gap between our partners and the people of Joplin. In February, Convoy of Hope began breaking ground on six brand-new homes in Joplin, two of which are being built entirely due to funds raised by Hand of Hope—all thanks to the generosity of our friends and partners. These energy-efficient, 200 mph wind-resistant homes are on target to be completed by the one-year anniversary of the tornado. “You’ve really enabled us to have staying power here in Joplin–to continue meeting needs long after the disaster,” said Hal Donaldson, President of Convoy of Hope. “We want to say thank you to Joyce Meyer Ministries and all of its partners.” Our partners helped clean up the mess and comfort families whose homes were destroyed. Our partners brought food, water, sturdy trash bags, and other needed supplies
“Things are coming along well with the rebuilding,” said Shirley, a Joplin resident who lost her home. “But people are hurting… and they need a lot of prayer.” Why We’ll Never Give Up “The Bible talks massively about helping those in need, whether it’s the poor, the widow, the orphan or those who are in prison,” said David. “And Hand of Hope tries to touch every one of those areas. “We have people who go and do medical missions trips and ministry outreaches in the U.S. and all over the world, and we respond to natural disasters whenever and wherever they happen. Sometimes you have to show people you love them before you can tell them you love them.” Ultimately, our ability to really reach people comes from God. And we are always humbled by how His work gets accomplished. “To do this on our own would be impossible,” said David. “God has always worked through our partners to provide the right kind of help at just the right time.” Thank you for helping rebuild and restore hope in Joplin, Missouri. Footnote: “City permits indicates half-way point in residential rebuilding effort,” http://joplinmo.org/article.cfm?AID=1125, accessed January 12, 2012.
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“God gives you so much power and strength and courage to do what needs to be done and you just don’t think about it until it’s over,” said Shirley. “He gives you the faith you need.”
Her rebuild didn’t come easy. Shirley displayed an incredible amount of spiritual endurance to get to this point. And she’s quick to give God the credit.
“Because of our partners, we can get the Gospel out all over the world, and then we can come in with humanitarian help in places like Joplin where people have another kind of need,” said Hand of Hope CEO David L. Meyer. “They need you to put your arms around them and say, ‘You know what? God cares about you. It may not look like it right now, but we love you, God loves you and this is all going to turn out okay. How can we help?’”
“Things are progressing a lot faster than I thought they would be,” she said, “Walls are going up, and a new kitchen stove and refrigerator will be installed.”
to their doors. And our partners helped give them hope to rebuild.
We’re happy to say Shirley’s home is in the process of being rebuilt.
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G I R L S WA N T TO K N OW W H Y Stefania is a social worker who works with The A21 Campaign in Thessaloniki, Greece—a ministry supported by Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions. Her passion is to rescue victims of sex slavery. The A21 Campaign, which was founded by Nick and Christine Caine, stands for “Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century.” When girls are brought to the A21 shelter looking for a new life, Stefania is there waiting for them. Her first offer to them is encouragement, hope and restoration. Far too often their first question is, “Why would God allow this to happen to me?” This small, three-letter word carries so much emotional pain. “It’s the most difficult question I get,” Stefania said. “When one of the girls asks ‘why,’ I think it’s even more hurtful to them because of what they’ve been through to go into a long conversation about good and evil. I assure them their minds are full of horrible pictures that God did not paint.” The images in their minds are dark, twisted and depraved. God didn’t paint them – but the girls didn’t imagine them either. As evil, horrific and damaging as they are to remember – they’re reality. T H E L E GA L I T Y O F PROS T I T U T I O N In Greece, prostitution is both legal and culturally acceptable. Perhaps not just acceptable, but celebrated and promoted. A movement to temporarily restrict prostitution during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens was defeated because the sex workers association argued that the practice was such an integral part of Greek culture that it needed to be put on display for the world to enjoy, not covered up. According to Nick Caine, 96 percent of prostitutes in Greece are non-Greeks. With an abundance of “customers” and a limited supply of local “practitioners,” the industry turns elsewhere to meet the demand. This makes Greece one of the world’s most active regions for human trafficking and sex slavery.
Imprisoned in a strange new place, crippled by language barriers and fear, their chances of escaping are almost nonexistent. In the first few days, they’re repeatedly physically and sexually abused until they lose the will to scream, struggle and fight back. These experiences are so traumatic they cause the girls to emotionally and mentally shut down. These are the pictures in their minds that God did not paint. PA I N T I N G A N E W P I C T U R E Stefania’s challenge is great. In order to leave behind the horrible images, they need new ones, new pictures to replace the old—pictures of hope, love, a life beyond a dark room where clients wait for their turn to abuse them. At the shelter, they’re cared for, surrounded by love, and given good meals and peaceful sleep at night without the fearful anxiety of being enslaved again. Stefania tells the girls she’s so sorry for what they’ve been through as she begins to paint a new picture. It’s a picture of God’s wonderful plan for their life—despite all they’ve endured. It’s at this point Stefania hears the same word again, but this time, in a whole new way. Now the question becomes, “Why are you doing this? No one has ever been this nice to me.” When the girls hear that the safe house exists because of the love of Christian people who deeply care about them— people like the partners of Joyce Meyer Ministries and The A21 Campaign—healing begins in their hearts. And that’s the most fulfilling part of Stefania’s work. “I coordinate their transition after they leave the shelter, and that’s the best part of it…setting up a plan, what they’re going to do, where they’re going to be and getting them to dream again.” It’s a new picture in their mind—but this time—it’s one painted by God.
Terry Redmon traveled with our missions team to Thessaloniki, Greece, reporting on this life-changing outreach made possible by our ministry partners.
See page 15.
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And in even more extreme situations, it’s too difficult to even ask why. Tragically, these situations are all too common among young trafficking victims and sex slaves in the brothels of Greece.
“Why did my mom get sick?” “Why did that hurricane have to hit our town?”
It’s a simple question we all ask at one point or another. But sometimes “why” isn’t simple at all. Sometimes “why” is filled with deep, unexplainable pain.
LU R E D I N TO T H E “B US I N ESS” Poverty and desperation are a dangerous combination that traffickers use to lure victims. Most sex slaves are enticed with the promise of a respectable job and new income to support their families. The possibility of a better life for their loved ones prompts them to trust strangers and ignore caution – sometimes they’re drugged, beaten or threatened, but in each case, the end result is the same. They find themselves trapped in a brothel against their will.
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Jesus Loves the Little Children Sharing His Love with Children All Around the World
When you partner with our ministry, you’re helping reach people of all ages around the world. It’s truly an honor to help people experience the love of God through the Gospel message and simple acts of service. And we’re so grateful to our partners for their love, prayer and support to reach out to those in need. Everywhere we go there is something special about the children we meet. Their innocence and unconditional love overwhelm us on every trip and every outreach. They simply love to love. I can’t go far at a children’s home or feeding program without receiving hugs from many of the children. And the stories we hear of how
God is using us as we work together to change their lives is simply overwhelming. On this page you can see a few of the children you’re helping to reach. Feel free to cut out their pictures and post them somewhere in your home or office as a reminder of the difference your partnership is making. And when you have a moment, say a prayer, asking God to continue to intervene in their lives and make the way for us to reach so many more together. I can’t say thank you enough. I hope you know how much your partnership means to us and these precious children.
BY JOYCE MEYER
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Forgiving people doesn’t feel good at fi rst. It’s kind of like subjecting yourself to surgery. Nobody’s clamoring to go under the knife. But it’s much better in the long run. Why doesn’t God just protect us from ever getting hurt? Why does He want us to do what some people refuse to do? Joyce’s newest book puts God’s heart in perspective and helps you forgive, which always makes you stronger.
NEW BOOK BY JOYCE! NOW AVAILABLE
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GOD RESTORED ME AFTER YEARS OF ABUSE. HE CAN RESTORE YOU TOO
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BY JOYCE MEYER
Abuse is defi ned as “to be misused, used improperly or to be wasted; to use in such a way as to cause harm or damage; to be treated cruelly.” Any time we are misused or used for a purpose other than what God intended, it’s damaging. And I realize many people can relate to this. For some of you reading this article, I’m just telling your story. You know what it’s like to live with a terrible, shameful secret that is eating you alive. My father was a mean, controlling and manipulative person for most of his life. He was unpredictable and unstable. As a result, the atmosphere of our home was super-charged with fear because you never knew if what you did would make him mad or not. We always did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. We watched
I was so profoundly ashamed because of this. I was ashamed of me, and I was ashamed of my father and what he did. I was also constantly afraid. There was no place I ever felt safe growing up. I don’t think we can even begin to imagine what kind of damage this does to a child. At school I pretended I had a normal life, but I felt lonely all the time and different from everyone else. I never felt like I fit in, and I wasn’t allowed to participate in after-school activities, go to sports events or parties or date boys. Many times I had to make up stories about why I couldn’t do anything with my classmates. For so long I lived with pretense and lies. What I learned about love was actually perversion. My father told me what he did to me was special and because he loved me. He said everything he did was good, but it had to be our secret because no one else would understand and it would cause
HEAR THE REST OF
God Can Heal and Restore You It may seem impossible, but God’s truth has set me free from a life of pretense and lies and has restored my soul. I am living proof that nothing is too hard for God. And no matter what you’ve been through or how bad you hurt, there is hope! That’s why I’m telling my story. You need to know how good God is and that your struggle is worth it. If you will give your life to Christ and really trust God, you can be completely healed and restored so you can live the life Jesus died for you to have. Don’t give up!
ONE LIFE 62-Minute DVD by Joyce Meyer
20 $ 15 U.S. Funds $
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What Does “Abuse” Mean?
Feelings of Shame and Loneliness
You may be wondering, Joyce, where was God in all of this? He was there. He didn’t get me out of the situation when I was a child, but He did give me the strength to get through it. It’s true my father abused me and didn’t love and protect me the way he should have, and at times it seemed no one would ever help me and it would never end. But God always had a plan for my life, and He has redeemed me. He has taken what Satan meant for harm and turned it into something good (see Romans 8:28). He has taken away my shame and given me a double reward and recompense (see Isaiah 61:7).
More than anything, I want you to know and really understand that anyone who has been abused can fully recover if they will give their life completely to Jesus.
The sexual abuse started when I was very young, and when he decided I was mature enough, he took things even further. From this point until I was eighteen, he raped me at least once a week. My father, whom I was supposed to be able to trust and who was supposed to keep me safe, was the person I came to fear the most.
problems in the family. It became my burden not to let my pain cause problems in our family. And as long as I kept this secret, I couldn’t get free from the pain of it.
what he wanted to watch on TV, went to bed when he went to bed, got up when he got up, and ate the meals he wanted us to eat…everything in our home was determined by his moods and what he wanted.
was sexually, mentally, emotionally and verbally abused by my father as far back as I can remember until I left home at the age of eighteen. He did many terrible things…some which are too distasteful for me to talk about publicly. But I want to share my testimony because so many people have been hurt, and they need to realize that someone has made it through their struggles so they can have hope.
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A CLOSER LOOK: missions/SHARE
If you take a moment and look around, you can find opportunities every day to help others. Next time you’re at church, work, school or even the grocery store, ask God to show you someone who needs help. It might be something small like giving them dishtowels or a tank of gas…or maybe you can give your time and energy to help them around their home.
A ND DO NOT FORGET D TO TO DO GOOD AN
SHARE WITH OTHERS,
There are countless ways to help others, and you have something to offer. God has given you everything you need to help the people He sends your way. 1. This scripture says it pleases God when we “do good and share with others.” What are some things you can offer to those around you?
SACRIFICES FOR WITH SUCH . GOD IS PLEASED
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:1 6 N I V H E B R E W S 13
____________________________________________________ 2. Think of five people you can bless or ways you can volunteer to “do good and share with others.”
3. Seek God through prayer and ask Him how He wants you to bless others.
R EMEM BER;
When God calls us to love others—to do good and to share—it’s a way for those around us to see the love of God in action, making them want more of Him and the love He has to offer. So take advantage of every opportunity you have to share the love of God!
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Now, I understand why people may feel that way. In the middle of discouraging situations, it’s tempting to think God has abandoned you or He doesn’t care. But that’s when you most need the assurance that He is on your side. Romans 8:28 confirms that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him. Verse 31 reminds us that if God is for us,
no one can be against us. There is no problem that can come between you and God’s love. Here’s what I’ve come to realize in my life and my relationship with God: If we didn’t have problems, we wouldn’t need faith. Faith is what takes you through times when you don’t understand and empowers you with supernatural strength, provision and love to come out victorious on the other side.
I’ve taught, counseled and personally visited with so many people going through difficult situations, and I’ve seen and heard every kind of reaction. But there’s one particular response that’s much too common, and to me it’s the most potentially damaging. It’s when you ask the question, “God . . . don’t You love me?”
Problems aren’t the enemy. Problems are opportunities to exercise your faith and to grow into all He has prepared for you. And you will never fully appreciate how much God loves you until you see Him at work in the difficulties and challenges you face.
CHANGING YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON PROBLEMS
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LOVE WALK Changing Your Perspective on Problems
I’ve found that problems don’t just build character—they reveal it. When you’re facing difficult or impossible circumstances, that’s when you find out who you really are. The apostle Paul had all kinds of reasons to wonder if God loved him. He’d been beaten more times than he could remember, repeatedly thrown in jail, shipwrecked, betrayed by trusted friends and even bitten by a snake. All because he was following the call God had on his life. But instead of questioning God’s love in his trials, he was able, by God’s grace, to really trust in His promises: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-40 NIV).
I love how Paul said “we are more than conquerors.” What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? It means that whatever problems come your way, you can overcome them through Christ who loves you. God is always for you, and never, ever against you. God is never surprised by our challenges. He knows about the struggles we face. That’s why His Word is filled with so many passages that remind us about His love—unconditional, never-failing, long-suffering and constant. So remember: You ARE more than a conqueror. You ARE a child of God. It’s not a bunch of hype—it’s the truth! Always praying the best for you,
Dave & Joyce Meyer
God says you are more than a conqueror through Christ who lives in you. Don’t settle for just getting by. Learn how to shake off fear, step out in faith and embrace the abundant life!
Bold, Confident & Fearless
4-CD Series By Joyce Meyer
$20 U.S. Funds joycemeyer.org
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Brisbane, Australia hurch
June 29 & 30, Citipointe C
s free event. Seating is limited for thi 12. cemeyer.org/australia20 Look for details at joy
a message Come hear Joyce share at this upcoming event! e worship. Bring a friend. Enjoy liv see God move! to ce an ch is th s is m â€™t on D
Also see Joyce at the Hillsong Conference Sydney, Australia | July 2-6, Acer Arena Registration is required. Learn more at hillsongconference.com.
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T V BROADCAST SCHEDULE º
Schedules are subject to change. For stations and program times in your area, check your local TV listing or visit www.joycemeyer.org/tvlistings. Watch the Enjoying Everyday Life broadcast anytime you like at www.joycemeyer.org.
D A I LY B R O A D C A S T
Programs air daily, Monday-Friday.
W E E K LY B R O A D C A S T
Programs air one day a week.
APRIL 30 – MAY 4
Find a Simpler Life
Religion is complicated. Jesus isn’t. Learn this week how a relationship with Christ can make life less complicated and help you overcome your fears. On Friday, meet some of the special people involved with this year’s Love Life Women’s Conference.
APRIL 22 – MAY 5
Free to Be Me
God doesn’t want you to be anyone else but you. Learn how God’s Word can transform how you see yourself, and experience a new freedom in Christ that provides true joy and satisfaction with the way God made you.
May 6 – 19
Learn How to Confront Your Problems
Are you avoiding someone or something that makes you uncomfortable? If that’s you, it’s time to stop running. You can learn how to confront difficult situations with the love of God and His strength.
MAY 7 – 11 Spreading Hope Across Continents
On Monday, we focus on U.S. outreaches with Dino Rizzo, lead pastor of Healing Place Church, and a project in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called The 99, which helps teens make good choices. Tuesday focuses on how God is reaching the spiritually lost in Lebanon. Wednesday, we look at what God’s doing in Ethiopia. Thursday and Friday, Christine Caine shares how the A21 Campaign is helping fight human trafficking in Greece.*
May 20 – June 2
Are You Wearing a “Do Not Disturb” Sign?
Many Christians are missing out on a lot of joy in life because they are overly focused on themselves. Is that you? This week, see how honestly looking at the way we treat other people can revolutionize our lives.
MAY 14 – 18 100% Restored
Most Christians are living halfway between bondage and victory. But Jesus gave His life so we could have complete victory in our lives today. Monday and Tuesday, find the steps to complete and total restoration, followed by victory over controlling feelings on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, Christine Caine shares her experiences from the past fifteen years attending the Love Life Women’s Conferences.
FREE ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE
MAY 21 – 25 Getting Rid of Weariness and Loneliness
Monday and Tuesday, see the exciting things God is doing on the great continent of Africa.* On Wednesday, God wants to give you the answer to weariness. And then Thursday and Friday, Joyce answers questions about Single Parenting and Loneliness.
PODCASTS Joyce shares new messages daily.
www.joycemeyer.org/podcasts MAY 28 – JUNE 1 Overcoming Emotional Wrinkles
Like ironing a wrinkled shirt, see how you can press into God and smooth out painful emotions Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, Joyce describes how Christ took her pain and made something great from it. And on Friday, we visit the L.A. Dream Center.*
*TBN will receive alternate programming.
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YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE
EVERY DAY Throughout the year we give you opportunities to give directly to the outreaches of Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions—like the ones found in this issue. We are so grateful for your generous support because we know it can make a profound difference in the lives of so many.
If you’d like to give on a continual basis to help support these practical outreaches, along with sharing of the Gospel message to two-thirds of the world, we encourage you to become a partner today! Thank you for joining with us to reach those in need!
STAND WITH US—
BECOME A PARTNER TODAY!
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Joyce Meyer Ministries Canada P. O. Box 7700 Vancouver, BC V6B 4E2 joycemeyer.org
Forgiveness inspires. You could go through life hurt and upset, never realizing the harm it’s causing. People do it all the time. In fact, it’s far more normal than opting to forgive. But if you choose to do the unexpected, you’ll be the exception rather than the rule and inspire others to do the same. Get Joyce’s newest book and learn how to live a life that uplifts others and inspires.
NEW BOOK BY JOYCE! NOW AVAILABLE
generated at BeQRious.com
208-Page Hardcover by Joyce Meyer
$20 in Canada
Also available in Spanish (240–Page Paperback) $13 $10 U.S. Only
20% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME Order your copy today!
Also available wherever books are sold.
(800) 727-9673 |
(800) 868-1002 | joycemeyer.org/forgive
Published on Apr 30, 2012