Why am I happy with what I do?

Someone once said, “As soon as I found out my core mission, I forgot about the job title”. I did not realize it in the beginning, but this has been true for me.

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The desire of my heart is to become a missionary pilot. I have a passion for aviation and to fly, as a ministry will be the greatest thing I could ever do. I haven’t reached that goal yet and still my life is good and I have nothing to complain.

I recently came to the realization that my core mission is “empowerment” and when I empower other, I feel energized.

I want to become a missionary pilot because I want to empower ministries and missionaries working on isolated location by providing them transportation and a connection to the rest of the world.

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What brings the joy and satisfaction in what I do is the core mission — empowerment.

So even if I did not have the privilege of flying a lifeline supply to a ministry located in the jungle of Madagascar yet, I had great joy and satisfaction driving ministry teams around the Western Cape in South Africa. I served them so they can have more time and energy doing what God has called them to do – sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Maybe cooking for 100+ students and staff does not seem to be a glorious ministry, but I loved doing it because it was in line with my core mission of empowerment.

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Currently, we work as freelance translator to help with our income and save for our next step – College of Missionary Aviation. Although fundraising is the main focus, I also enjoy doing it because I get to bring my contributions to companies and businesses by opening them up to the rest of the world through translation – once again in line with my core mission.

I look around and I see that people who are not happy with what they do are either doing something that does not lineup with their core mission or are ignorant of it.

Blessings

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Celebrating Independence Day

My family and I celebrated independence day with my high school friend and his family.

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Our kids love to hang out together

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Compare this picture of us now, with…_DSC0008

… picture of us back in the days.

Please continue to remember our nation, Madagascar, in your prayer.

ben.gabryella@gmail.com

Independence day

Madagascar was declared an independent nation on the 26th of June 1960. For the celebration of 56 years of freedom, there are lots of celebrations all over the country.

I had the privilege of taking pictures, while Zanaray Percussion (Gabryella’s brothers’ group) played in downtown Antananarivo in one of the cultural festival.

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Please remember our dear country, Madagascar, in your prayers.

ben.gabryella@gmail.com

How to forgive when you cannot forget?

God has blessed me with a good memory and unfortunately, it includes memory of the hurtful things people did to me. With the famous says «forgive and forget» I am in trouble because I struggle to forget.

When someone offends me, I try very hard to avoid the issue because as a good Christian (trying at least), I am supposed to forget what I have forgiven. Because I do not deal with the issue, resentment and bitterness start to settle. I feel like a hypocrite and guilty because I know I am just pretending to forget, but I haven’t.

The worst thing is when these emotions I try to suppress comes out. It always comes out very ugly and I would feel like all the efforts I made come to nothing. I feel like I have lost all the miles or point I have accumulated.

By the way, I also struggle to forget my own fault and mistakes and as a result I struggle to accept God’s forgiveness. It was like that until God gave me this simple revelation: the book of Hebrews 12:24 says that the blood of Jesus speaks better thing (mercy and forgiveness) than the blood of Abel (condemnation).

Forgiveness is not about forgetting. Forgiveness is accepting that the blood of Jesus responds to those acts, attitude and thoughts that are wrong. It is speaking in agreement with the blood of Jesus and saying «mercy».

So when someone offends me, and the thoughts of that offence comes back to my mind, I can say «what that person did was very hurtful to me. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget, but I accept that the blood of Jesus is enough to cover it. I agree with the blood and I say mercy.»

In the past I would try to avoid it, but the thoughts would torture me and in my heart I would call for justice and speak condemnation. Without knowing I was standing on the side of the accuser in the courtroom of heaven. Now, I do not deny the offence and the hurt, but at the same time I accept the grace that flows from the cross of Jesus. I now stand on Jesus’ side in the court of heaven.

The book of Revelations says that Satan is defeated with the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. When he reminds me of something someone did, I no longer stand with him and testify condemnation. I agree with the fact that there was offence and hurt, but I also accept that payment has been made and I bring a testimony of mercy, forgiveness and grace.

To look at the cross of Jesus instead of dwelling in the hurt and the offence still requires the help and the power of the Holy Spirit. But at least, I am now channeling my effort to the right direction, learning to look at Jesus instead of trying to forget what was done.

So how do you forgive when you cannot forget? You do not have to forget, you just have to accept the truth that payment has been made and agree with the blood by saying mercy. Do it every time the memory comes to your mind and you will see that the hurt and pain attached to the memory will slowly dissipate.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

You can contact us at ben.gabryella@gmail.com

Visa application

Visa application is one of the biggest challenges we have to face when moving to different country.

Coming from a country where authority figures are most of the time abusive, trying to make the people’s life difficult and pushing them to bribe instead of serving, I end up being nervous in front of government officials.

However, you do not want to be nervous or look suspicious when interviewed by the consular officer.

As we are getting ready to join Florida College of Missionary Aviation this coming January 2017, we will really appreciate if you can

  • Pray for our visa application to be smooth
  • Pray for favor and for God’s peace to rule our heart as we apply for our visa, especially during the interview

Thank you very much.

ben.gabryella@gmail.com

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PS. There must be an exception of sincere and honest government official who really have a heart for the people in Madagascar.

I am not called for survival

I want to become a missionary pilot because I want to be part of a missionary group that supports other missionaries working in isolated place by providing them transportation, a lifeline and a connection to the rest of the world with aviation.

I am passionate about aviation, but I also feel called to serve the church, the member of the body of Christ, so they can reach their full potential and excel in what they are called to do.

In addition to the practical things I can do to serve, I also want God to use my life to be an inspiration of faith.

I used to complain about growing up in a third world country and having an expensive dream such as being a pilot. God knew that desire in me and he could have just put me in Europe, in America or in a wealthy family to make things easier.

But as time goes, I realise that the challenge I am facing could be what God will use to inspire others. I thought that when I finally become a pilot, serving in the mission field, I could go and speak to churches, youth groups and men’s bible study and inspire others to pursue God’s dream for them.

In Luke 16:8, a master commended a servant who stole from him, not because he approves theft, but because the servant did not steal and spent like he used to do. Instead he was stealing from his master in order to invest in his future (Luke 16:4).

God is so much into investing, that even a bad steward gets a positive recommendation as soon as he thinks beyond survival.

None of us is called for survival, but with one compromise after another, we end up settling for less than what God dreams about us. Many have even lost their ability to dream.

I thought, I will have authority to speak and inspire others to dream with God once I reach my dream of becoming a pilot. But I realise I do not have to wait until I reach mine to start inspiring others. I haven’t arrived, but I have left. I have tried to get my pilot license the last 10 years. I have 63 hours flight now and I do not have my pilot license yet. It might be a long way still, but I refuse to give up. Survival is not a call, at least it is not mine.

I am not speaking as someone who have made it. I am a fellow traveler who is in this journey of discovering God’s destiny for me and birthing it in my reality. If you are one of those people who lost the ability to dream, then I pray for you right now that God will restore that ability. May he enables you to see your life, your future as he sees it.

Learning to wait

You cannot microwave the call of God in your life. Crash is not the same as picking up speed. Taking the baby before its time is not giving birth, but abortion.

Learn to wait and allow God to prepare you for what he has for you. We are serving an eternal God and time is not a concern to him.
The impact you make in a year after a proper preparation will exceed the change you can bring in five or even ten years without God preparing you. Not to mention the frustration of being assigned, or assigning yourself a job, you are not ready to take.
I see people around me who excel in what they do. I was jealous because I thought God had a favourite, but as I listen to the story of those successful people, I learn that they have paid the price of preparation. They did not give up when things were not going as planned. They did not give God a deadline and took their life back and took the initiative in their own hand when God did not “move on time”.
Like a clay in a potter’s hand, they surrendered to God and allow him to have his way. They have learned the art of waiting on God. Every extra hour, day, month or even year of waiting was not a drag, but an opportunity to learn faith and to know God more.
I have a call, a mission and a destiny. I want to birth God’s dream for my life and through my life. Under the power and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I will wait until this dream comes to maturity and ready to be released as a blessing to the nation. Under God’s grace, I will pay the price of discipline and see for myself the peace that comes after the storm, the victory that comes after the battle.

Life in Madagascar

It’s almost a year since we were back to Madagascar after working with Youth With A Mission South Africa for five years.

It’s been a good time of preparation for what God has in store for us next. We will keep you posted. For now, some pictures…
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Please pray that as a family, we will continue to be sensitive to God’s guidance and will continue to grow in Him.
ben.gabryella@gmail.com

Finally the right homeschool curriculum

Antsa and Ben

Having lived in an English speaking country for the last five years, our children are not familiar with French, the language used at school in Madagascar, yet.

They currently learn French at the Alliance française of Antananarivo once a week, but their education was a constant concern and prayer in our heart since we moved back to Madagascar.

Praise God! We finally found a Christian homeschool curriculum that is suitable for their level, very informative as well as interactive and fun.

Tsanta

Please pray for Tsanta, our second daughter, who has cerebral palsy and is in need of special education. There is no such special school in Madagascar and we do not have the appropriate training to teach her.

Although we are eager to learn, there is no place where we can get such training in the country.

Blessings

ben.gabryella@gmail.com

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More ministry opportunity

Both of our parents are retired primary school teachers and one of the biggest challenges they used to face on a daily basis is to each children that struggle to focus because they were not properly fed.

One Christian organization doing various social works such as clinic and retirement center is helping a school by providing lunch to the children, at a very low and affordable price or free for those who are struggling more.

We have been invited by this organization to help in any way that we can and it was a privilege to be able to see them in action and help a little bit. We feel that there are so much we can share to these children, and the teachers, but right now our priority is to serve, observe and pray and we will see how God will lead us.

They cook with charcoal
This is what they use to cook
The aim is provide a balanced and healthy diet
The aim is provide a balanced and healthy diet
Group photo with some of the kids
Group photo with some of the kids
This is the lady that helps with the cooking
This is the lady that helps with the cooking, on her way to bring the rice for the children
Gabryella serving the food to the kids
Gabryella serving the food to the kids
The kids have to wash their hand before they eat
The kids have to wash their hand before they eat
Giving grace before eating
Giving grace before eating

Kids Eating

Smiling Boys

Kids Playing

Boys

ben.gabryella@gmail.com

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A new school year starts in Madagascar

The last few months we had several tremendous opportunities to share, minister and serve our people here in Madagascar.

One of our favorite topic is the difference between a love relationship with God and the religious activity we do. One starts with the knowledge of God’s love and acceptance because of Jesus; while the other starts with self trying to earn God’s favor.

Malagasy have great zeal for God and are passionate people. Only sometimes this zeal can turn into self-effort and lead the people of God into relying on self instead of relaxing in the finished work of Jesus.

This September, a new school year is starting and it means extra expense for many families who do not have the mean to budget and save in advance.

We were very blessed to be able to support and minister to families in a practical way by helping them with stationery and easing them out of the extra financial load.

We want to thank you for your prayer and support; because you are a blessing to us, we can continue to be a blessing to others.

Please keep us in your prayer as we continue to minister here in Madagascar. Please pray that more opportunities will be opened to us.

Faith of God

I have been in a place where I struggled with a situation for so long while trusting God to move and because there was no breakthrough I tried to find all kinds of rational explanation like maybe God can but does not care enough, or “maybe there is sin in my life”, etc.

The bible teaches us that the mind cannot understand spiritual things.

I have learned that the faith of God flowing from the spirit is creating situation; unlike the human faith coming from the 5 senses that depends on situation.

If I move with the later, my faith is strong when all goes well and weak when the challenge comes.

In the beginning, the world was void and formless but God did not say “oh, the world is void and formless” instead He said “let there be light” because his faith creates and he speaks things that are not as though they were.

If I wait for the pain or the infirmities to be gone before I say and believe I am healed, then I might wait for a long time.

His word says I am healed and I say I am healed despite the pain. I release the healing that was mine on the cross through the stripes and death of Jesus.

I am learning not to challenge the word of God, but challenge the situation that is not in line with the word of God.

I am learning not to go to my mind and look at the situation to define who I am and where I am at. I learn to go to my spirit and allow the word of God to say who I am. If it says I am blessed then I live and act blessed. If it says I am healed then I act accordingly.

Faith that is based on the promise of God challenges situation to line up with the promise. This is the faith that overcomes the world.

Faith that is bases on situation challenge God, his word and his love.

I want to be remembered for something

One beautiful think I take from my time with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is identity. I am who God says I am. I am not what people think I am; I am not even who I think I am. I am who God says I am. This revelation has helped me to be free. You live your life and express yourself in such freedom when you do not waste energy worrying about the opinion of others.

I read in my Bible, Jesus asking his disciple “who do people say that I am?” He was not asking because he was insecure in his identity. It is possible that He was asking in order to get the disciple to think about who He really is?

While I am enjoying the freedom of having my identity in Christ, asking the question of Jesus has helped me to think and evaluate my life. What am I known for? What kind of image am I projecting as missionary, as a husband and father?

Being a missionary, you want to serve and offer yourself for the sake of the kingdom. If you are not careful, before you know it, you are overwhelmed with solving problems after problems; dealing with needs after needs. You end up being everywhere and doing everything and yet going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.

The word of Jesus has helped me to regain my focus back. What do I want to be known for now? What do I want to be remembered for when I leave? Am I doing what God has called me to do? What legacy am I leaving behind?

As we are getting ready to face a new week, maybe this is a good time to back up a little bit and make sure we release our energy where it really needs to go. Let’s learn to be a true disciple of Jesus and live our life with the proper focus.

Have a blessed week.

Jesus lived out of the voice and vision of God

Jesus had three years to make sure he trained the right group to carry on the work after he is gone. Since the sacrifice he is about to make is quite significant, it is important that these guys are properly trained.

Thinking about the size and importance of the work Jesus had to do during those three years, if I was in his place, I believe he should have had a clear plan, objectives to reach every week, every three months, and every year etc. He had so much to do in such a short period of time. He must have been nervous all the time and struggle to take time to rest. He must have been “busy”.

In one instance, they were in a small boat and there was a strong wind, so strong that the disciple thought they were going to die but Jesus was sleeping. This tells me that he was very relaxed.

Obviously, Jesus was successful in training the guys to carry on the work. Two thousand years have passed and we still talk about Jesus and his gift of life on the cross. He was not writing an action plan and weekly and monthly objectives like I suggested. He lived out of the voice and the vision of God. He only did what the Father told him or shew him.

There are times I also feel like I have so much to do in a short period of time. I want to be successful and I do not want to be overwhelmed by those tasks. I have learned that like Jesus I need to learn to master the skill of hearing his voice and seeing vision in order for me to be able to release the anointing and experience the abundant life God has for me. I believe this is also the only way to experience the promise of Deuteronomy 28 of being the head and not the tail; to lead and not to follow. After all, the chapter start with a condition of listening to his voice.

I am happy for the promise of Jesus that his sheep hear his voice. Listening to the voice of God is not just a nice thing to do, it is central to Christianity.

Message for the week

Monday morning is the time we worship together as a base here in Youth With A Mission Worcester. It is a time where we all start the week by bringing our focus back to God and getting a big picture of what we are doing and why are we here? After all, Youth With A Mission or YWAM is not about the activities but about “Knowing God and making Him known”.

Some of my highlights for today’s worship time:

  • God has been speaking to us as individual and as a base that it is a time for new season – God is about to do new things as we step into this new season.
  • Our past hurt sometimes prevent us from experiencing the freedom and the blessings God has for us. It is not saying that the hurt and frustration is not there but we cannot allow those hurt and frustration to stop us.
  • We sometimes ask God to do something because there are so many needs around us. And God in response says “I did, I made you”. It is time for us to stand up and do something.

Have a blessed week.

One of the way you can reach beyond your sphere of influence and geographical location is by empowering the ministry of others. I have done it for the last twenty years and I have seen people blessed and lives being touched beyond what I could have possibly done. You can also do the same by empowering my ministry by taking 3 to 5 minutes of your time to read my page and and share it with 2 or 3 of your friends. Thank you. Please click here: Empower for Transformation

Praying for human trafficking

Human trafficking and modern day slavery is a real problem worldwide that many people / Christians are not aware of.

We know life has been touched and change is happening as we prayed together as Youth With A Mission Worcester base today for the human trafficking and exploitation that is happening in the Western Cape province and the rest of the world. People are not for sale indeed. They are treasure.

Prayer works. Prayer change things. We also know something has to be done but while trying to figure out what to do, prayer is usually a good starting point.

Begin By Taking a Rest

I have always understood Sabbath as the day off one takes after 6 days of work.

Recently, I notice as I read my Bible that Sabbath was Adam’s first day because he was created on day six. So he was taking a rest, enjoying God and enjoying the garden before he started to take up his assignment on the first day of the second week.

I know lots of people who struggle to take a rest and time off. I believe it has something to do with the way they were raised as well as their personality. I am the kind who can take a rest after I feel I have done enough – a feeling that never comes easily I must admit.

With this new perspective, one must understand that rest is not a reward. It is not something you get after paying the price. It is a requirement in order for you to be effective – especially when it comes to working with and / or for God.

The Bible says “be still and know that I am God”. You must do it if you are to experience God in his fullness – who He is and what He can do through and for you. After being in the ministry for several years now, in many occasions I find myself running from one activities to another; losing sight of the big picture; always searching but never satisfied. Moving to a different type of minstry, department or even location thinking if it is not here, it must be somewhere.

I understand now that a big part of the problem is that I never took the time to be with God and seek for his heart first before taking the assignment, the job or the ministry.

Sabbath is not just a good advice or a better option from God, it is one of the ten commandmant. But please do not see it as a reward you get after working hard but see it as a time you invest in the presence of God in order for you to really live your life and your ministry with the fullness of God and his power.

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