Tag

Mission

It’s the Eternity, Christian!

By | Envision

While I typically attempt to express myself in a manner that my words would be applicable in any season, I’ve written these thoughts in the wake of the re-election of Barack Obama to a second term as president. And so I have felt free to borrow the title from the slogan of a prior campaign, the purpose of which was to continuously align the proponents to focus on what they recognized as the essential issue.

As followers of Christ, we have many responsibilities. But our essential issue is the Gospel. There are many actions and activities that flow from the Greatest Commandment but the continual refrain of Kingdom proponents should be Christ, Gospel, Eternity.

Each day that we have the freedom to live for Christ, we must take every opportunity to make His priorities our own. His values are own. His focus our own.

Jesus was never distracted from His purpose of redemption, His ascent to the cross, His development of His disciples, His obedience to His Father. Was that because of the cooperation of the Roman Empire? Herod? Pilate? The Sanhedrin? The culture of the nation?

Followers of Christ do not need to bicker about whether the current political or social landscape is desirable. We will pray for the leaders of the land and take our duties of citizenship seriously, but our first allegiance is to God and His Kingdom. Not only is it our priority, it is the only thing that’s going to last.

We could diverge upon a discussion of how biblical heroes led under various administrations (e.g. Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, Paul, Peter, John, etc.,) and perhaps on another day, I will. But these are all subservient to our mission: proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We must be aligned to the Gospel and the timeline of eternity. It will not matter who won which election on the day your friend dies, or your neighbor, or your co-worker. The only decision determining his or her eternal destiny will be whether he or she has trusted in Christ and accepted His payment for sin and His gift of eternal life.

So let each of us be reminded, Christian, that if our allegiance is to the One True God, our eyes must be on Him, and our lives must revolve around His purposes. Let us cry out to the nations that our only hope is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Set your eyes, your heart, your mind, your family, your calendar, your budget, and every decision entrusted to you on the Gospel. It’s the Eternity, Christian!

 

Pass the Gravy!

By | Envision

This is the best gravy I’ve had since Thanksgiving at our friends Rick & Shari‘s place. Ok, it’s not really gravy, let me explain…

My colleague Rick and I are back in Haiti and within hours of arrival the trip has been more than worth it. I turned and said to him, “from this point on, it’s all gravy.” Well, the truth is that we’re now getting saturated in it. God is so good…

In the process of spreading the Gospel to more and more Haitians and training leaders to share Christ and disciple those who have placed their faith in Him, we have included strategies to accelerate the ministry through meeting physical needs of the communities in which we labor.

In the last six months, we have been piloting micro-credit loans to launch entrepreneurship, enabling responsible locals to start business that will feed their family while learning stewardship and responsibility. Our test program has focused on a handful of trusted individuals to explore transportation and communication industries as we look toward a broader expansion of teaching people how to work hard, feed their families, give back to the Lord and save for the future.

Our first conversations on the ground this visit were with these pilots, making adjustments, encouragements and admonishments. It was the result of that dialogue that spurred the “gravy” comment. But within a few hours we were already into more wonderful teaching opportunities, bringing two brothers together to reconcile their differences in a God-honoring way.

Today we will be continuing to disciple our brothers and sisters in Christ here, all the while looking to preach Him and introduce others to the family of God. And we pray that every new opportunity on this outreach trip will be rich and fulfilling, a great spiritual blessing topping a foundation in Christ.

So today as we continue preaching the Gospel, and teaching on stewardship and leadership, working with clergy and the community, it’s my prayer that God continues to bless our labor. I’ll have another helping today, Lord!

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How to Build a Home

By | Envision

Enjoy this brief overview of a church partnering with Hands of Mercy to prefab a home for Mexico in just a few hours!  One Saturday morning to prepare, the next to build (see bottom):

We were finished by 3pm the next Saturday:

loft house

Here we are

By | Envision

I often hear people praying that God will go with us, and while I understand their intentions, the truth is that God has been going before us and has never left us. The reality of that is never more real to us as His followers though as when we are most aware of our need. Leaving home and culture for a new world on a mission trip is a strong impetus for asking God to be “with us.” It’s more a reminder to ourselves as we recognize our inability to be the “everything” we are so used to being. (We’ll discuss idolatry another day.)

Our team of eighteen left from California and Arizona two days ago, and after a day and a night of travel we touched down yesterday and were greeted outside the terminal by many of our friends. We took a pair of Haitian “tap taps”, loaded to the tops with our bags from the airport to our hotel – the base camp for the week. After a nice brunch prepared by our hosts, we left for the afternoon in the community.

A visit to the water project to understand how providing clean water to thousands daily can help bring the Gospel and transformation led to a visit with friends who were leading a children’s bible study, which led to games and a great time playing with the kids, while others took a look at some of the construction projects for the week. After a visit to the church to invite more children to participate in this week’s Romans Road vacation bible school, we headed back to base for showers, dinner and a full night’s rest.

This morning we are fueled up from a great breakfast of home squeezed cherry juice, fresh Haitian coffee, toast, eggs, croissant and more. Now we are getting our gear together for a day with the children of an orphanage, some work projects there, another group of children who are being rescued off the streets of Port au Prince, and opportunities to teach them about the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers on this journey. We are all more aware than ever of God’s presence with us here.