Monday, September 22, 2008

LMCO & Reaching Out

Jesus e o Senhor. Eu tenho que predicar o evangelio.
Jesús es el Señor. Yo tengo que predicar el evangelio.
Jesus is the Lord. I have to preach the gospel.

This is the extent of my language abilities. I can speak English, Spanish, and a little Portuguese. I have witnessed in two of these languages. How many languages have you witnessed in? The sad part is that many in today’s churches can’t even say they’ve witnessed in one. As the Missions Director at my church, I get to see much more mission material than the average attendee. I just had a chance to preview the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering videos and promotion material for this year. I feel a specific calling from God to go to Latin America, and from my past mission trips to Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico, it really excited me to get to hear the stories from IMB missionaries on the field. As I was watching the videos I got up to get some juice and I looked out my window across the street and saw Bishop Hall, one of the buildings on campus at Ferris State University. I realized that the difficulty lies in translating the excitement I get from watching the testimonies into real actions on my campus. My church doesn’t offer anything for college students. That’s okay because it has its own ministries. If I want to share the gospel and invite people to church, I need to get involved in speaking with others and inviting them to one of the campus ministries.

I was most moved by the video about the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eric Reese, an IMB missionary there, takes the gospel to one of the most dangerous places in South America. The favelas (slums) have drug dealers, paramilitaries, and all sorts of things going on. In the video you can even hear gunshots from outside during a church service. He was so moved by the power of God… it’s hard to describe. You have to have a personal connection there. I want to see the power of God in my life. In the Bible, a lot of times, it was after a person stepped out in faith that God moved. I’m thinking my situation is similar. It’s not that God wants us to take the first step, but rather, God has taken the first step and we have to respond in faith. Those who feel the burden to preach the gospel are not motivated by guilt. Those who don’t feel the burden can’t be motivated by guilt.

But we all should feel the burden.

No comments: