The last 2 weeks have been interesting as we traveled to the Great Northwest region of America. As candidate missionaries we spend a lot of time traveling and meeting new people as we share the vision God has given us. At each stop we find people who are interested in what we are doing as they ask questions and share their own hearts with us. It amazes me how many people have been captured by the same basic call to live the mission of making disciples.
It doesn’t seem to matter if we are talking to people in our home state of Ohio, travel a little north to Michigan, or out here in Washington and Oregon. God is speaking to people about His mission inviting them to join Him on an incredible journey. Through this we experience the joy of encouragement as others join us as a part of our Support Team. We are not alone!
The expressions are different in each situation. Some taking a much more radical approach while others making subtle adjustments to what they are doing. Either way they are being directed by the Holy Spirit to refocus their attention to the basics of the Gospel. As we share about identifying and training missionary church planters to reach the marginalized we get to hear wonderful stories. Stories of support as people tell us about the refocusing of their lives to the call from God.
This trip has brought the joy of seeing our 2 sons who live in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. With each friend of theirs we meet our eyes and ears go to work as we learn about the lives they have lived and views they hold. Wonderful people who experience life in different ways yet hold a similar desire in their heats: a desire for a better way to live that is real, genuine, honest, and worthy of trust.
People like Verlon who are courageous as they lead their church forward in the mission of Jesus. This group of people has set aside the comforts of worship as usual to establish a different kind of church that is active in feeding those who are hungry. About 5 times a week they gather in different parts of the city meeting the need of hunger while leading in worship. Their gatherings are filled with a mix of people sitting around tables sharing love as they break bread, sing songs of praise, and listen to a message. It’s an incredible experience to be a part of. The mission is awake in their hearts and infectious to all who come around them. They are not just meeting the need of the marginalized; they are becoming friends with them.
Wow, what a story!
As we continue our quest to build a Support Team who will stand with us in this missionary venture our hearts are encouraged. We are encouraged because . . .
- the people God has called us to train as missionary church planters actually do exist.
- we have meant them and they have beautiful faces and wonderful names.
- each place we go we discover others who hear what God has given us to do and choose to go with us as part of our Support Team.
Thank you Northwest America for being an encouragement to us as we continue in the journey of faith to the mission Christ has called us to!
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author at the time of writing. They do not reflect in any way those of the organizations to which they belong to or affiliated with.