Monday, June 15, 2015

New Season, New Projects... and the Blessing of Isaiah 58

New Season, New Projects... and the Blessing of Isaiah 58

Hey! Chris here.
I wanted to pen a quick note that THIS WEEK celebrates entering our 25th year of service in missions!
I can barely remember Lori, Ruth, Hannah and I standing in the Redeemer sanctuary in June of 1991, being commissioned out as missionaries to Mexico...
So, is it time to slow down, take it easy and put the mission thing on 'coast'... NO WAY!

God is breathing some really EXCITING and NEW directions into what HE would like us to begin work on. Yes, the 'development' project in San Vicente will continue... Yes, we will still be involved in health outreach and education to 'the least of these'.... but a number of new and exciting projects are coming... STAY TUNED.

I have been praying fervently for those who are our PARTNERS in ministry... the ones who give $$$ sacrificially, the ones who care for us and our needs, the ones who have come and regularly worked with us... and the Lord had me take another fresh look at Isaiah 58. This has been a foundational chapter in our ministry; as the Lord teaches us what His 'acceptable fast' is [serving the poor], He outlines clear assurances that HE will care for us AS we sacrificially give.

What He showed me is that this passage is speaking to a group of people, not just a few individuals. He encouraged me in that, as our PARTNERS 'spend themselves' as part of this roller-coaster ministry, HE will be their provider and ever-present friend. For those PARTNERS who take part in this mission ministry, check out Isaiah 58 and BE BLESSED!

Here's to the next quarter-century!

Humbled and Surprised (because you never know at the time...)

Chris here.
Meet Pastor Elim
He is a pastor from Tijuana with a large, growing church. Lori and I were in a recent (2015) Baja meeting where Elim shared how, many years ago, he participated in a series of Tijuana-San Diego Promise-Keeper (PK) events that significantly shaped his ministry and poured the spiritual foundation for his church. The leader of this same meeting, Pastor Jose Luis followed Elim to share that he also was drawn into the Promise-Keepers events, and that God spoke very formative words to him way back then. Both pastors were grateful to the Lord for what He did through Promise Keepers. Memories of 1995 came rushing back, when I was asked to serve as facilitator for the Tijuana-San Diego PK events. There was a clear sense that God wanted to do new works of understanding and restoration between American and Mexican Christian leaders, and being one of the few missionary members of the Tijuana Pastors’ Alliance allowed me to liaison between the two groups. Over the next year, I planned PK Tijuana events, secured 100 scholarships, and coordinated Mexican pastors’ attendance in the week-long San Diego 1996 event. Later that same year, I was able to connect 40 more pastors with the massive Los Angeles conference. Needless to say, those two years were filled with a great deal of work to ‘make it all happen’. We know the Lord led us to take up the PK project as part of our eclectic mission-service, but at the time, we had no clear idea what HE wanted to plant and water in the soil of these pastors’ lives. Now, I am humbled and surprised at what God did, and the role HE allowed us to play in His Kingdom. What a blessing to hear the long-term fruit recounted by Elim and Jose Luis nearly 20 years later. Humbled, surprised and blessed am I.