Our Missionary Family In Hungary, December 2015

Dear Friends,

I wanted to give you an update on Adam Balogh and his Family who work among the people in Budapest and the surrounding villages throughout Hungary. Wholeness Ministries has been a significant part of financial support for this family for many years and we want to be able to continue that support with your help. It’s exciting to read what they are doing. This is a report from Adam.

balogh-family-2015-600“These months brought huge changes in our lives in terms of direction and ministry. In June we organized an International Christian Leadership Conference where the Lord worked mightily and spoke to us deeply in terms of His present working in the church and the world. There were 90 leaders from different churches and denominations. During this conference it became clear to me that major changes will need to take place in my life and ministry if I want to follow His leading. I took three months to seek the Lord in prayer, to think and to consult with brothers about these things. In September I was able to make a sound decision to leave the New Jerusalem Community where I belonged and ministered in the past 18 years and start a new work.

In September we started to plant a church community from scratch. We are now four families and a handful of single young people meeting to build His Kingdom. I am very excited in this new season of my life. I sense the leading of the Holy Spirit daily as I witness and experience the birth of His new work.

In July I was invited to go to Nurnberg, Germany to an event called Awakening Europe. It was a huge stadium event with over 20 thousand participating. We were able to make a good connection with the leadership team for potential future cooperation.

During the summer I did a mission trip to Slovakia and another to Hodmezovasarhely southern Hungary. Both trips were very anointed and the people were edified and lifted up. At the end of the summer we had a weeklong kids camp that was particularly blessed. God did a remarkable work of change in the hearts of the kids.

In the beginning of September when the recent refugee crisis peaked in Budapest I felt that I needed to get involved in this. As we went out among the migrants and refugees at Keleti train station we experienced remarkable openness to the Gospel. As the border of Hungary gradually closed we made several trips to Serbia and Croatia to help with the crisis. We took loads of items of immediate need like blankets, food, water etc. We also brought Bibles and Christian material in Arabic, Persian, Farsi and Urdu languages. I cannot begin to describe the suffering these refugee families go through as they are stuck between two borders on no man’s land at night in the cold pouring rain with small kids. Unbelievable. This I consider a historic opportunity to share the gospel with all these Muslim families. I think a good portion of them are ready to receive. In some ways this has brought them to a place to prepare them to receive Him.

Recently we had our annual weekend with TJCII young leaders in Hainburg, Austria. It was a very fruitful and blessed time. Many good decisions were made for the advance of TJCII vision among young Christian leaders in Europe.

Well, this is only the outline of the bigger things that have been happening. I do a host of other things weekly – like street outreaches, meeting people and praying for them, teaching Bible study, preaching, translating material and building a church community.

I am very grateful to the Lord that He involves me and lets me see His mighty works.

Please keep praying for us. This is a very exciting yet also a difficult time in our life. We need the wisdom of the Lord each day. With love and blessings, Adam.”

I hope you were as encouraged by this as I was. Thank you for your continued support of our work.

God bless,

Mike

Thank You For Your Generosity!

Dear Friends,

Mike-P1020072-200In last months newsletter I let you know what was going on with Wholeness Ministries financially and the difficult position we were in. Many of you responded with generous donations for which I am very thankful. Your generosity helped us to catch up with our giving to our missionaries as well as the finances to run the ministry on a daily basis. I am thankful for those of you who gave one time gifts both large and small as well as for those of you who agreed to increase your monthly giving. That is most helpful. We believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of these gifts and we are diligent in how we spend the money. Remember that we would not be able to function and reach the people we do without your generosity. Remember that all that we do you are a significant part of making that happen.

FREEDOM WAS INDEED HAPPENING! This last month we held our FREEDOM! Retreat which was led by Mark & Dawn Thompson. They have been doing these retreats for about seven years and they just seem to get better each time they do another one. This one was no exception. In addition to their teaching, which was excellent, Beth Kliewer taught on The Father’s Love. She did an excellent job in communicating how we often miss how much we are loved and how we can move back to that place of intimacy and understanding our value to Him. I taught on Restoring Your Spirit, which is a topic that helps people identify areas where they may have difficulty connecting with God or others. This teaching helps one understand how to heal those areas and bring about a restoration of your spirit in the way God intended it to be.

Mark & Dawn’s teaching on Forgiveness, Healing the Wounded Self-mage and Breaking Curses and Soul Ties was also significant in helping people identify these areas in their life and how to be freed from the wounds associated with them.

Many thanks to our prayer teams that did an excellent job of helping guide people as they prayed through the various issues associated with these topics. Without their faithful participation these retreats would not be as significant as they are. Keep watching our newsletter for the dates of our next retreat. You will want to tell your friends about this and invite them to be a part.

FOLLOW-UP If you were part of this retreat and need further follow-up prayer you can contact me at 661-833-2920 or mevans@wholeness.org for continued prayer.

Healing Prayer Available by appointment. On a weekly basis I have prayer ministry appointments available Monday through Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm. If you are in need of Inner Healing prayer make contact at 661-833-2920 or visit our Personal Ministry link. (Ministries > Personal Ministry) Follow the instructions there and we will contact you and set up an appointment to deal with those issues you may have been carrying around for years.

bygh-eng-book-cover-400Why wait until heaven to be freed of the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you? God wants you to face those burdens now, on this planet, and through the power of specific prayer be freed from them. Mike’s newest book, subtitled Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat you.

While new birth through faith in Christ Jesus is the instantaneous work of a moment, achieving wholeness is truly the labor of a lifetime. The deep healing of our brokenness, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual, is often something we are incapable of accomplishing on our own. It goes against the grain of our cultural training towards independence; we assume that the prayers we lift to God on our own behalf ought to be enough. But we have prayed, and breakthrough has not come. What are we to make of it? My newest book will help identify where you need breakthrough and how to achieve it.

Before You Get Here by Michael Evans is available in our bookstore. Additional ministry teaching products are available in the Wholeness Ministries Shop at www.wholeness.org/shop.

God bless,

Mike

The Freedom of Simplicity

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness
and all these things shall be added unto you” Mt. 6:33

mike-evans-187We live in a complex society and it is not easy to simplify but it is possible. In comparison to many of the places I visit overseas, we live like kings. When I examine my own lifestyle I could easily feel hypocritical when writing about simplicity. I have a nice home, two cars, closets full of clothes, gadgets to play with, etc. I think I live a very simple lifestyle. I also feel that I am rich and blessed by God, not because of anything I do or don’t do, but because He loves me.

“God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his own devising.” (Eccles. 7:30 JB)

Richard Foster wrote, “The Christian discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life-style. If you possess the inward reality of simplicity it will have a profound effect on how you live. Likewise, to attempt to arrange an outward life-style of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism.”

In my life and ministry I am disciplined in spending a significant amount of time with God in quietness, solitude, and what I call “Wasting time with God.” I have discovered that for me this is the key to simplicity. As you deepen your relationship with God by spending more time hanging out with Him you become less enamored with the things of this world.

You also begin to look for ways to simplify your life. You begin to understand your immense value to Him and realize that you don’t need impress Him. You start to love yourself and be at peace with who you are.

We live in a world which is fractured and fragmented. We make a lot of our decisions out of fear of what others will think of us. Because we do not have God truly at the center of our lives we have this attachment to things and a lust for affluence.

“We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.” (R. Foster)

We feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they wear out. We always want the latest fashion. I have enough shirts in my closet I could go ten years without buying another shirt. How many of you actually bought a new car because the old one was worn out?

Until we come face to face with how unbalanced we have become we’ll not be able to deal with this lust for more, nor will we even desire simplicity. I remember well growing up in Bakersfield. I didn’t leave here until I was 20 years old. Life seemed pretty simple and uncomplicated. When we called a store for some help we actually talked to a real person.

We didn’t have Desktops, Laptops, E-Mail, Twitter, Facebook, PDF’s, VHS’s, VCR’s, DVD’s, CD’s, iPod’s, and the mighty cell phone. Many years ago when computers first came out I remember how excited I was by this device that would obviously save me much time. A friend of mine, a former scientist said, “that computer will not save you time, it will create work for you.” I thought he was crazy, but now I look back and realize that that is exactly what computers do, they create work!

Now don’t get me wrong, these are good things. But, we have allowed them to become necessities which control us instead of us controlling them. We have bought into what the marketing media tells us we must have! They create a product and tell us that if we don’t have this product we are out of touch. Since nobody wants to be out of touch we go out and buy the product.

DO NOT WORRY – Mat. 6:25-33
As I was casting about for how to address this topic I read some material from Richard Foster on simplicity. I ended up in Matthew 6:25-33 and realized that here was the key to simplicity. This chapter begins by talking about giving to the needy, then prayer and fasting, storing up treasures and then at verse 25 he says: “Do not worry about your life….if you seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of his kingdom first everything else comes that you will need.”

If you focus on the kingdom of God first, you are moving into a place of intimacy with God that will bring you to a place of trust and peace that in itself moves you into a lifestyle of simplicity. You come to the point of accepting that God will provide!

Suggested Attitudes That Foster Simplicity

Expect God to supply: I have been in full-time ministry for about 38 years. When I was in seminary I was commuting to Fresno 2 days a week. Money was tight and I remember one night saying to Jane, “I don’t think I’m going to have enough money for gas to get back and forth this month.” We prayed and the next morning I opened the door to walk out to my car and there was an envelope on my porch. I opened it and it contained a $100 bill that was exact amount I needed for gas for the month! We had not told anyone about this need. We learned later that one of the college kids we had in our group felt prompted by God to do this. He did not know we needed it but simply obeyed.

Enjoy Things without owning them: We have three children who are now grown. In my position as an associate I didn’t make a lot of money. Over the years we have been given clothes, toys and places to go for vacations. One year we were having an auction at the church to raise money for the school and one of the items being auctioned off was a trip to Disneyland including all meals, a fancy hotel and passes to all the rides for three days. After it was over Jane and I were walking to the car with our kids and the man who bought the Disneyland package walked over and said, “I want you to have this to take your family to Disneyland.” We were blown away!

Freely Give What you Can: We have been able to give away three different cars. At one time we were driving an old Ford station wagon that was on its last round. One afternoon a man pulled up in our driveway with a beautiful used Oldsmobile and said, “Here are the keys to this car, it’s yours!”

After a few years we wore that one out I went looking for a good used car hoping to trade in my old worn out car. We went to a local car dealer and he asked me, “what do you think you can afford.” I told him and he called in one of his appraisers and told him to have a look at our old car and see what it was worth. Then he said to me, “Go look at the new cars and tell me what color you want.” I said, “I can’t afford that and he replied, “That’s okay, I’m going to give it to you.” So I went home with a new car and $1500 in cash for my old car! When I pulled up in the driveway my wife thought I had committed financial suicide.

Be Willing To Take Risks: When I first began Wholeness Ministries we didn’t have much. I was on staff of a large church with a decent salary, and a good benefit package. In obedience to God I took a leap of faith, resigned my position and stepped out not knowing where the money was coming from to pay the bills and put food on the table. At this time Jane and I had three small children. God has been providing now for 21 years!

When my first book was being translated in Hungarian they contacted me from Eastern Europe and said, “We need another $1,000 to get this done and we need it within 24 hours.” I was frustrated and replied, “If I’m going to be able to send you $1,000 God will have to literally drop it in my hands in the next 24 hours.” I don’t even remember praying about this. The next morning I received a call from a man who was in emotional distress and he asked if he could come and talk to me. He came, we talked and prayed and he started out the door. Then he stopped and said, “I almost forgot what God told me to do.” He pulled out his wallet and laid ten $100 bills in my hand and walked out the door. I was stunned. I just stood there and laughed at God’s sense of humor. He had laid $1,000 in my hands in less than 24 hours.

In this passage from Matthew, Jesus makes it clear that freedom from anxiety is one of the inward evidences of seeking first the kingdom of God. There is this joyful unconcern for possessions. I’ve know people who are greedy and people who are miserly and they don’t have this kind of joy. It has nothing to do with your abundance of possessions or their lack. It is an inward spirit of trust. Just because someone is living without things doesn’t mean they are living in simplicity. You can be developing an outward life-style of simplicity and be filled with anxiety. Conversely, wealth does not bring freedom from anxiety.

Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes:
1. If what we have we receive as a gift.
2. If what we have is cared for by God.
3. If what we have is available to others.

(1) We are dependent on God for the simplest elements of life: air, water, sun. We cannot manufacture these for ourselves but we are totally dependent upon them. Life itself is a gift. If we think that what we own is exclusively the result of our own personal efforts all it takes is a drought, a job loss or an accident to help us realize how dependent we are for everything.

(2) It is God’s business to care for what we have. Ultimately, only God can protect what we possess. It is common sense to take precautions, but if we believe that precaution itself protects us and our stuff we will be riddled with anxiety.

(3) When we cling to our possessions rather than sharing them it’s because we are anxious about tomorrow. If we truly believe that God is who Jesus says he is, then we do not need to be afraid. We can freely share because we know that he will care for us.

If we seek His kingdom first above everything else, “all these things” will be provided. You can live a simple lifestyle. Try it, you might like it!

Mike

FREEDOM! Seminar October 16 & 17, 2015

FREEDOM! is Coming
October 16 & 17
freedom-seminar-chain-400FREEDOM! reveals the common “roots of bondage” that the enemy uses to keep us from rising to our full destiny as Kingdom people. Participants are provided material to be read before the Friday evening/all-day Saturday mini-retreat where each of the roots is broken off through worship, the declaration of the Word, exercising our authority as believers, and prayer. The cost is $60 which covers materials and the retreat. Attendance is limited…first 40 paid participants will be accepted. Check out the following video then Register for the upcoming FREEDOM! Seminar today!

When The Money Becomes Tight!

I seldom write about money but I need to let you know that we are in a difficult place. In addition to providing funds for the daily needs of this ministry such as my salary, utilities, and administrative costs, I do many other things that require funds.

I meet with people weekly for one on one-prayer ministry sessions that usually last two hours. Some of the people are able to donate to the ministry but many are not. I don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds. In addition to those that can come to the office I do a number of ministry prayer sessions over Skype, which is a great tool for meeting with people, many of whom are out of state or overseas.

In addition for 4 years I have met with a group of young men in my home each Saturday morning to mentor and in many cases be a spiritual father to them. This may seem like a small thing but in addition to Saturday I meet with them during the week for ministry or coffee or breakfast, etc., just to spend time with them. It is very fulfilling to see the profound impact this has on their lives. They come from a variety of backgrounds, churches and experiences. Many of them are active in their church or some area of ministry directly as a result of this time spent with them.

We also support two missionary families in Eastern Europe for $650 per month. Adam & Orsi Balogh and their family in Hungary. Adam has a significant ministry and travels throughout Eastern Europe. You can read last month’s newsletter for more detail.

balogh-family-2015-600

Eduard & Ibi Rudolf and their family in Romania. They minister among the gypsies in Apata and the surrounding villages in Romania. They also have a profound impact that you can read about in our February 2015 newsletter.

rudolph-family-2015-600

The invitations to travel and speak have dropped off some and I’m not sure why however this has allowed me more time to spend in Bakersfield meeting and praying with people as well as the other duties I have outlined above. My time here was limited previously because of my travels. I honestly think I have more of an impact on people’s lives this way.

We have a bare bones budget and operate very close to the bone each month. The last three months have been difficult. We have experienced a significant drop in donations to such an extent that I only received one full paycheck in August rather than two and September looks as if it may be a repeat of that. There are also bills that we are running behind on that need to be paid. I don’t like being in this position and it is not a good witness to the people with whom we do business.

If you can help one-time gifts are much appreciated but we also need additional donors to come alongside us monthly. We need about $2,000 a month more than we are currently receiving. If you are donating to Wholeness Ministries would you consider increasing your donation? If you are not would you consider becoming one of our regular supporters. We have been doing this for 21 years and from the testimonies we receive many lives have been profoundly impacted.

You can go onto our website under Donate and give one-time gifts or become one of our regular partners in ministry. Go to www.wholeness.org/donate. Or you can mail donations to Wholeness at P.O. Box 80503, Bakersfield, CA 93380.

Thank you for your consideration and may God guide you in this.

Mike