.......Thanksgiving-to-Christmas season is here, and again our hearts are full of gratitude to you who, by your prayers and financial support, are enabling us to pursue this exciting outreach initiative to FOREIGN armed forces personnel transitioning through the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLI) www.dlielc.org, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. To one and all, we covet a special interest in your prayers, as well as consideration of a tax-deductible year-end contribution toward this ministry. These hitherto uncharted waters are proving quite a bit more costly than was tentatively budgeted for! Nonetheless, we know that all of you will rejoice with us in the following:
......."Sir, there is something I want to share with you," a para-commando officer of Middle-Eastern origin addressed me with a sense of urgency. He continued, "I recently had a dream that I was in a sacred Shiite mosque in my country, with other Muslims, washing my hands in preparation for prayers. I looked to the left, and there you were, Sir, with your sleeves rolled up. A voice spoke to me and said 'He is telling you the truth; these others are not!', and then I awoke!"
.......Two weeks later, as this commando was telling us good-bye, he said, with hands pressed to his chest, "Pray for me, as now I have Christ in my heart, and only God knows what will await me when I eventually return home to my country." Assuring him of our prayers, we cautioned him to await God's timing and sovereignty to allow events to unfold.
.......Our second Holiday Season since accepting to lead this first-ever initiative by Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) as an outreach to FOREIGN military personnel on a global scale is truly Divinely ordained, with total access to the vast array of foreign military officers passing through DLI. This year's enrollment surpassed the 1,000 mark, from 90-plus nations!
.......A key to our ministry is the 'Speed the Light' Toyota Sienna van provided by the A/G Youth Departments of Oregon and Arkansas, as our activities are centered around two weekly English language Bible studies, as well as Sunday morning transport to First Assembly of God, San Antonio www.PlugInMyLife.com. Since taking delivery of this van in mid-May last year (2005), we have kept a log of all foreign officer students transported, whether for Bible study, Sunday church, special field trips or shopping excursions, as well as to Jan's L.A.C.E. tea parties! The vehicle log shows that to date multiple officers from 46 different countries have ridden in this S-T-L van!
.......In the words of Jim Bennett, Director, Center for Ministry to Muslims www.CMMequip.org , "Dave - I do not know of anyone who has a greater opportunity to daily meet with Muslims than you; nobody could have dreamed up this opportunity. The sovereign Lord prepared you and put you there. . . . They are the cream of the crop - and are change agents and influencers in their own cultures. . . . Believe me, there are not many people, expecially here in the U.S., who are able to ask Muslims to attend church with them - and they actually go!"
.......One of the first - the first ever from his country - a Lieutenant-Colonel and devout Muslim, with deep scars from a Mujahedin rocket that had been fired into his home, killing three family members and hospitalizing him for four months, after attending First Assembly on a Sunday morning, exclaimed, "In my country they warned me that Americans are evil and do not fear God - but this morning I felt God's presence, and with my own eyes saw American hands lifted in praise to God!"
.......However, not all DLI officer students are Islamic - for instance, there is the French lady army captain, who wept copious tears of repentance on a Sunday morning, as she invited Jesus to forgive her and become Lord of her life. And then there is the Armenian officer, who asked for help in preparing a speech for his DLI English class on "The Resurrection - Key to the Christian Faith," which resulted in a lively class discussion, and further inquiry by Arabic-speaking officer students!
.......This Holiday Season we are looking forward to a repeat of last year, when on Thanksgiving Day we hosted in our home 16 foreign military officers from 11 different countries (sign-ups are almost double that amount thus far for this year!); Christmas Day we hosted 21 foreign military officers from 13 countries!
.......Recentlly, our phone rang at 6:30 A.M. - a call from N'Djamena, Chad (Africa). It was one of our DLI graduates, to tell us that he'd just been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and to let us know that he is continuing in his new-found faith. How well we recall the Sunday morning during worship, when he turned to me and said, "There comes a time when a person has to make a decision - I want you and the pastor to pray with me after the service!" At the close he went forward to accept Christ as personal Savior. Praying in his mother tongue, the tears that coursed down his cheeks bore silent witness to the new-born faith in his heart!
.......In closing as mentioned at the beginning, these uncharted waters have revealed some financial tsunamis whose cumulative effect is producing a short-fall that without your help could produce a year-end deficite of something over $10,000. Your help is urgently needed! To access a secure donation form, please go to the A/G website's secure server. Alternatively, a contribution check designated for Dave & Jan Hall, Acct #AG 2833747 can be mailed to: ASSEMBLIES of GOD WORLD MISSIONS, 1445 Boonville Ave, Springfield, MO 65802.
.......With heartfelt thanks for your faithfulness, we wish you a most peaceful and blessed Holiday Season!
In our Savior's amazing grace and love,
Dave & Jan Hall