2023 July Newsletter
“We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.” (Ezra 5:11)
At the time of this Scripture, the temple of Solomon and the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The Jews of the southern kingdom of Judah had been carried away into captivity in a foreign land. God was raising up a remnant to return and rebuild the temple and the city. This would be a historic task with prophetic and messianic implications.
The Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem faced much opposition, poverty, danger, and hardship. They were few in number and had no resources for the task set before them. At times they became discouraged by the relentless attacks of their enemies. They had to reject proposed ungodly alliances and partnerships which were intended to dilute their efforts in reclaiming their national redemptive identity. They had to put away their foreign wives and children. There was much “rubbish” in the streets which needed to be removed, and the walls and gates of the city had to be rebuilt. They were attacked by their enemies as they worked and had to arm themselves with their swords as they labored. Yet, they persevered. In all these challenges, they turned to the Lord, knowing they could not complete their historic task without Him. Indeed, it seems as though their struggles were designed and allowed by the Lord to purify their hearts, ensuring the integrity of their efforts and their redemptive identity as the people of God.
Serving the Lord in these times is difficult. We face much opposition and persecution, sometimes from our own families and loved ones. We may lack sufficient resources to complete the immediate tasks set before us. Yet, the work is sacred and more important than even our own lives. We can take courage from the story of the returning remnant. They knew who they were, and they knew who they served – “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth.” They knew their task – “[We] are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago.” In their suffering and hardship, they turned to the Lord.
Some scholars believe that the first book of the Bible to be written was the book of Job, which is a chronicle about human suffering. God revealed Himself to Job in the midst of his pain. Despite the loss of his health, wealth, and children, Job said, “I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted… I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:1,5). Job’s suffering allowed him to know and experience God in a more powerful and intimate way than he could in his prosperity and success.
I know many of you reading this have endured much adversity in your service to the Lord Jesus Christ. Ministry can be discouraging. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the demands and struggles of life. You may feel that your labors for the Lord bring little fruit and that you have not achieved what you had hoped to achieve. You may even lament that you have not prayed enough. Some of you may be grieved that your families do not share in your vision and work. Let me remind you of who you are – “the servants of the God of heaven and earth!” You have a high and holy calling to rebuild what the enemies of God have sought to destroy. We stand at the precipice of eternity. The Lord’s return is soon. Let us look up, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Even in our discouragement and suffering, we can say with Job, “I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Let us finish the work of the Great Commission, preaching “this gospel of the kingdom in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). In Jesus’ name!
- Please continue to pray for our disciples around the world, especially those living and working in dangerous areas of persecution.
- Pray for students who are applying to attend our training events, asking the Lord to send those whom He has chosen and prepared to attend.
- Pray also for favor as they apply for US visas.
- Pray for the financial success and growth of The Keystone Project and our hotel, The Rushmore Express Inn & Family suites. Please know that the hotel generates only 30% of the total revenue we need to do the work of the ministry, so we need your financial support.
- Pray for our new fundraising effort calling upon our supporters to sponsor an international student to attend our training programs. The cost to train one student is $1200 per year ($100 per month). Your gift will enable us to continue to provide our training at no cost to the students. You can find the details about this on our website (www.keystoneproject.org). Any amount given towards the training will help us continue the work of the Lord.
- Pray for our staff, who work so hard and have sacrificed so much to serve the Lord through the mission God has given to us.
- Please pray also for the following ministry events:
- August 22-September 6 – Trip to India,
- October 2-27 – International Leaders’ Training.
- November 1-15 –Trip to Peru and Ecuador
We have received over 2,500 applications for the October training. This will be a very full training event, so if you wish to attend you must complete the registration process quickly (application completed and approved, secured visa, and purchased air tickets). We are able to accommodate only 80 students and have over half that number confirmed already, so do not delay.
As always, we deeply appreciate your prayers and support for these events, thanking the Lord for all of you and praying for His blessings in all that you do for His glory!
For God’s Glory,
President of The Keystone Project
Christmas In July
This season, we once again find ourselves amongst a gathering of college students from a variety of different faiths and backgrounds celebrating Christmas in July.
For many of these international workers, this will be their first time celebrating Christmas, and for others, it may also be their first time hearing the Gospel!
Every year we create this out of season celebration for international workers and everyone participates in a secret gift-sharing event. It’s an incredible way to bless each other, and to share the gospel through the Christmas story. Every year it is so much fun and a blessing to everyone involved.
We earnestly request your prayers, as we endeavor to share the Gospel with our international guests.
Our unwavering and ever-diligent maintenance crew, along with a dedicated group of volunteers from time to time, have toiled relentlessly over the past several months on the construction of our much-needed future dormitory. This dormitory is intended to accommodate future interns for our summer internship program.
We are so very grateful for the hand of God upon us as He moves in our midst and all around us, protecting us, providing for us, and ministering through us.
Please pray for us as we continue to minister to these international students and that we would begin to see breakthroughs in their lives.
ABOUT THE KEYSTONE PROJECT
The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.