I guess I better get busy and update some things! I see it has been a year since I posted the last news!
At the last post, the Tabernacle for a Shadow book "seeds" had been planted in 82 countries. Again, due to Joseph's efforts and determination, by the end of 2017, 4 more countries had been added! They are the US Virgin Islands, Israel, and finally, Paraguay and Uruguay, the last two countries in South America!
There is now a Tabernacle Book "Seed" planted in "The Americas" (also collectively called America) which comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World. Amazing grace! I am thrilled to say the least!
God creates some interesting circumstances - opportunities for seeds to be planted. For example, last December, after Hurricane Irma, a young man named Michael came to my house as a FEMA representative to assess the damage to the siding on my house. I had the opportunity to tell him of the mission of the Tabernacle book and show him the map of its travels highlighted on my office wall. He then asked if he could buy a book!! He was here from Texas, so he would be taking the book back to Texas with him.
This year, although there are not any new countries added yet, Dr. Peter Ndiang’u, Adjunct Professor at FGCU, took a book back to his native country of Kenya** this past May. He gave it to Reverend John Mbari, Parish Minister of Gathaithi Parish in Kenya as a gift and congratulations on being appointed the moderator. Thank you Peter! It is a tremendous blessing to me to see how and where this book goes, blessing others along the way.
**(the first seed planted in Kenya was in 2009 by some missionaries, so it is not a new country added to the map)
Also another book was to be taken to Turkey*** this year, as well as another book would be sent by a local pastor as a gift to his parents who were missionaries and live in New Zealand.****
***(the first seed planted in Turkey was in 2010, so not a new country added to the map)
****(the first seed planted in New Zealand was in 2009, so not a new country added to the map)
I am just as happy to see more than one seed planted in other countries! It has not been dormant in this country either! God is still on the move!
Last Sunday, I learned that a young man from my church, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, will be going to South Korea in March, 2019. He already has in mind the man who he intends to give the book to there. I thank him and I thank God for his continued movement of the book around the world. I will post South Korea on the map next year when I have received word that the book went to its intended destination.
It has blessed many others this past year as well, so I want to thank my church family for their support and prayers for me this past year. THANK YOU ALL!
A car accident in February 2016, a fall in July 2017, and Hurricane Irma in September have prevented me from posting any news in the last year and a half. However, it's time to give thanks for the goodness of God throughout all the trials. Many have suffered in the wake of recent storms, in Texas and in Florida as well as Puerto Rico and the Islands. Mexico has suffered earthquakes and certainly there have been difficult times for many. I thank God for His sovereignty in all these trials. The Tabernacle for a Shadow is a testimony to God's sovereignty over His creation: over all the world.
Now that I am able, I want to express my joy that on July 4th, 2017 a book was given to a soldier to take to Afghanistan! It was the 8th anniversary of the publishing of the Tabernacle for a Shadow book! I prayed that the soldiers there would somehow be uplifted with this book. It was also the day I fell and broke two bones: one in my leg and another in my back. It has been challenging, to say the least, but I see God's grace and mercy throughout it all. So, I praise Him and thank Him for His love and care for me - and for all those whom He has used to provide for my needs.
Another wonderful thing that happened shortly after my release from the hospital was the news that Joseph, while he was in Orlando, had met a couple from Bangladesh. He asked them if they had any Christian friends in Bangladesh and when they said yes, he asked if they would take a Tabernacle book to them. They were enthusiastic about doing so. I asked Joseph if they were Christians. Muslim, he replied.
Praise the Lord!
Although not many books traveled in 2016, a few were purchased by others and given to friends and/or family. Also, my dear friend Hannah arranged for a book to be taken with missionaries to Malawi in 2016, making it the only country added in 2016. Thank you Hannah!
It is also a good time to reflect on where this book has gone: not only to individuals, but looking back, in 2011 we had planted seeds in at least 16 different religious denominations, 34 churches, 32 missions and 14 other outreaches in 42 countries. After that I lost track of the count of churches, missions and outreaches, but continued to keep count of the countries. Now, 6 years later, we have planted seeds in 82 countries. Thank you to all who have helped in this mission!
I received great news today from Reza Karg in Suriname.
He said the Lutheran church hosted a gathering that brought 10 or more nationalities together to discuss various topics such as domestic violence, caring for nature, and people living with HIV/AIDS. At that gathering Reza met representatives of the congregation of French Guiana and he had the opportunity to pass the Tabernacle "seed" on to a sister, Nkuka, who is originally from a country in Africa, but who is now living in French Guiana. Thank you Reza! Here's a photo of them:
What great news I heard in the last two days! On Saturday, August 22, I was standing on a street corner in my neighborhood talking with Joseph when a car pulled up to the stop sign and the woman rolled down her window and said: "A book is on its way to Venezuela!" What a joy to hear that news! There are only 3 more countries in South America that do not have at least one Tabernacle for a Shadow "seed". Praise the Lord for his faithfulness! Then today I just got an email from my friend Hannah who gave a book to a missionary going to Chad, Africa. Thank you Hannah and thanks to everyone who is spreading the good news around the world!
It has been an interesting week! First the meeting with Margo regarding the update of the Spanish version of the book. We spent about 5 hours together looking over the proof reading and discussing the various challenges that come with translating into another language. We want to be sure that we get the message across clearly. Margo did her part. Now it will be my turn to make the corrections needed on the computer pages. I thank God for all He has revealed this week. I am writing some new insights God has shown me, perhaps for future use regarding darkness and light.
Speaking of light, Wednesday evening was a time for some of our church (Grace Life of Naples Florida) family to get baptized in the Gulf of Mexico at Seagate. It was wonderful for us to be a part of this! Here are some photos:
Having met Saul and knowing his Christian background and his desire to read the book himself, AND to assure that he would not forget to give the book to his sister-in-law, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to give a book to him as well. So, the country is put on the map as of today and the book count is upped 2 books to 51 for the year and 1660 to date and 76 countries!!! (Ha! In honor of 1776 as the year of signing the Declaration of Independence, we have 76 countries!) What a wonderful day you have made for me Joseph and Saul. It was such a joy to share this Holy Spirit "threesome" that Joseph and I agreed that no matter what fireworks display there would be this evening, it could not match the joy we had in knowing what had just occurred on this amazing 4th of July morning in sharing God. We will be looking forward to that photo Saul said he would send when the book gets to El Salvador!
Today is the 239th anniversary of the 13 colonies declaration of independence from Britain in 1776. It is also the 6th anniversary of the Tabernacle for a Shadow journey around the world! Praise the Lord for both!
As we often hear, freedom isn't free. Usually people are speaking of what men have done to preserve our precious freedom here in the United States. Certainly we should be grateful for and honor all who have helped to keep our country free. It is not just the known heroes but all the "unsung heroes" that have provided support in any way toward the cause of freedom. I came across a couple of interesting articles in the Washington Post today. Many have given their lives in service in order to bring freedom to our country. But not all were given the same freedom after the fight:
What I seek is to glorify the ONE who gave everything to give us the ultimate freedom from death. Freedom from fear, freedom from the unseen enemy in the spiritual realm, and freedom to have everlasting life. There is only one who deserves the highest praise and honor and glory, Jesus Christ, Son of God, for in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
It is with great joy that I added two more new countries to the map today due to the news from Dellnot and Joseph that books have been received in Zimbabwe and Gambia as well as Sri Lanka (which was added to the map in December 2014). Some books were sent to Dellnot in Africa last year, but it takes a lot of time to get them planted in countries of Africa. The books were added to the number count on the website in 2014, but I do not add the countries to the country count or the map until I get word that they have actually been sent to the countries intended. That is why you may see the country count go up on the "seeds map" page but not the number of books for the year. Dellnot and Joseph, I thank the Lord for your service! I know you two laborers for the Lord are working together to have all of Africa covered with the seeds of the good news of Jesus Christ. God is glorified in all your work! I truly appreciate all you have done and continue to do to spread the gospel through the Tabernacle for a Shadow book! Thank you!
Note: Guyana was added to the map in December 2014, due to another book being sent there at that time. Thank you to everyone who has carried on this mission to get books to other countries!
As a child I only knew Easter to mean baskets with candy and chocolate "bunnies" that were hollow inside. They were fun and tasty, but eventually, hollow is just what you feel if you don't know the reason Jesus came and what this day means for the world. Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Easter is the time that we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Why did He have to die? Because God required a blood sacrifice as the payment for sin. Who's sin? Everyone's. (Romans 5:8) Since God is sovereign, He makes the rules. He says all are sinners and guilty under His law. It began with Adam in the Garden of Eden. He sinned by disobeying God. We are all born of that human nature. All except God's Son, Jesus Christ. He was born of the Holy Spirit of God and so did not have the same sinful nature that all other humans have. He was both fully God and fully human. He came to show us the way to everlasting life. (John 14:6) He died so that we could live. How does his death give us life? He paid the penalty in our place, so when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God sees us through Jesus, who continually intercedes for us in heaven. Our sin is washed away by the blood Jesus shed on the cross. That's great news! Even better, He continually saves us from the evil in the world until He comes to take us to our everlasting home in heaven with Him. Resurrection - rebirth. Jesus overcame death by the power of God. He died. He was buried. He rose from the dead. He is alive and so we have the hope of everlasting life with Him - only through Him. Praise the Lord! Celebrate Him! Thank you Lord Jesus!
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, may I first thank God for the special gift of salvation that came through Jesus Christ as he suffered and died in my place, saving me from the curse of sin and death. THANK YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST. Because of you, I have everlasting love and the hope of eternal life with you.
Christians are suffering all over the world and I want to personally thank each and every person that has seen a need and helped another in whatever mission God has led them. My special thanks to everyone who has helped in this mission of Tabernacle for a Shadow going around the world over these last 5 years since the book was published. It brings great joy in knowing that God is doing what He said He would do through the efforts of others. If you have a story of where a book was sent or who it was given to, I would love to hear your story and perhaps put it on the website. Meanwhile, I want to thank Rick and Debra Rice for their last two books going to the countries of Thailand and Cambodia. Rick’s recent mission trip to Cambodia resulted in his giving a book to Dareth Ly and his wife, who have been missionaries there since 1996. Dareth’s incredible testimony of his survival in the “killing fields” of Cambodia in the 1970’s as a 7 year old child is told on a video on his website. Link to Dareth’s website: darethly.com/
Thank you also to Judi and Scott Price for taking another book to Cambodia as they are currently serving there. The book went to Transformasia. Here's the link: http://www.transformasia.us/
The combined efforts of Joseph Cofield and Dellnot Gardiner have resulted in the Tabernacle for a Shadow books going to two new countries, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka, as well as another book to Nigeria. Knowing that the love of God in the message of the Tabernacle book are going to these three countries that are especially hostile to Christians is one of the greatest presents I could receive and brings great joy to me on this Christmas Eve. Thank you Joseph and Dellnot.
According to the Voice of the Martyr’s 2014 Global Report:
Sierra Leone “has been ranked as the world’s poorest country for most of the last 10 years. By law, Sierra Leone has freedom of religion. Ethnic religions, the occult and witchcraft are common practices, and Islam is currently on the rise, with mosques being constructed in many communities. Christian converts are stoned and poisoned. Pastors have been seriously beaten and churches destroyed.” Category: Monitored Nation
Religion: Muslim 63%, Christian 13%
“The persecution of Christians has escalated in recent years with the rise of militant Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka. More than 250 churches have been destroyed or damaged in sectarian violence. Although the constitution guarantees religious freedom while favoring Buddhism, minority Protestants have experienced violent persecution as well as discrimination in employment and education. Less than 1 percent of the population is Protestant. The country passed an anti-conversion law in 2009, making conversion from Buddhism to Christianity illegal, but there is no evidence to indicate that the government is using it against Christians.”
Category: Hostile Nation
Religion: Buddhist 70.0%, Christian 8.4%
Head of State: President Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa
"Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is divided between a Christian culture in the south and a radical Islamic culture in the north that is characterized by massive riots, bombings and a plan to create an Islamic state. Greed and corruption consume all levels of government in this oil-rich nation, which faces the growing challenge of division along religious and ethnic lines. Nigeria has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the USCIRF since 2009.” Category: Hostile Nation
Religion: Christian 51.3%, Muslim 45.1%
Head of State: President Goodluck Jonathan
These are areas being closely monitored by VOM because of a trend toward increased persecution of Christians. The frequency and severity of persecution do not currently meet the criteria of the Hostile category
This includes nations or large areas of nations where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population, but Christians are routinely persecuted by family, friends, neighbors or political groups because of their witness.
Link to Voice of the Martyr’s website: http://www.persecution.com/public/prayermap.aspx?
For 2015, let’s continue to pray for each other’s needs and for the spread of the Gospel all over the world. May every Christian be blessed and led to show the love the Lord, Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, to others. Merry Christmas!
Joseph Cofield, my Marketing Director for Tabernacle for a Shadow participated in the 39th Annual Marine Corps Marathon which took place on October 26th in Washington D.C.
He was part of TEAM USO, and raised funds of $2,057.00, which were donated to the USO in support of the active duty and retired service members and their families. He says to all who cheered him on: "Your total support and commitment carried me along that 26.2 route around Washington. I could not have done it without your support!"
THANK YOU, Joseph, for your continued service to spreading the Good News with the Tabernacle for a Shadow Book as well as serving the military families and our community!