Our first annual Missions Weekend was a tremendous success on so many levels. I hope you enjoyed the time together as much as I did!
Here are a just a few of my personal highlights, all of which are a distinct expression of God’s blessing on our church. This list could be much longer, but for the sake of time, I’ll stick to five.
1. Watching a multitude of KingsWay members serve with joy, including many of our young adults and teens – I had the privilege of attending the Bolivia Missions Foundation banquet Friday night. At the end of the evening, when we honored the wait staff who helped prepare and serve the meal, I leaned over to Aliza and said, “I think the entire Frontline ministry is up there.” The “all hands on deck” trend continued for the next three days. The host families, the band, the tech team, the international lunch team, the admins, translators, greeters…you name it, they were involved. The Missions Weekend simply would not have happened without you!
2. Listening to Josh Kruger Jr. share a clear, compelling vision for the gospel ministry their family is doing in Namibia – I still can’t believe he got up at 3AM to Skype with us. I told Josh this week that I think he spoke with more clarity and precision in the middle of the night than I sometimes have in the middle of the day. His trust in God to provide for their financial needs is a provoking example for all of us.
3. Hearing Andrea Baker share story after story of how God is rescuing and saving some of the most vulnerable women in Bolivia – Charles Bridges once warned Christian ministers against the danger of “looking too eagerly for present fruit.” Patience, forbearance, and a willingness to keep loving people in messy situations over a long period of time are the marks of genuine, Christ-like love. That is precisely what the Bakers have modelled in El Alto for over a decade. Hearing the challenges they face and the faith in God’s power that they exercise in the face of those challenges was humbling to say the least.
4. Learning how God is on the move in Sovereign Grace churches around the world and remembering that the gospel ministry we do in Midlothian is part of a much bigger story – Mark Prater was so kind spend the weekend with us. He’s a capable executive director for our denomination. He’s also a faithful pastor. I felt that at multiple points during his Sunday morning sermon as God used his words from Matthew 28:16-20 to strengthen my faith for not only international missions, but also local missions. I’ve been praying in response the last few days for an increase of Spirit-empowered boldness in speaking about Jesus with the kids and parents involved in my boys’ soccer teams at the Y.
5. Seeing the wealth of generosity that overflowed from the church to support our international missions efforts – We raised $2,434 last Sunday on top of our regular tithes and offerings for our International Missions Fund. That’s the account we use to provide additional missionary support, finance short-term mission trips, and help the orphanage in Bolivia. We also purchased a total of $1,871 in merchandise from SutiSana, which enables Andy and Andrea to provide dignified employment for women coming out of prostitution.
We serve a great big God, friends. Remember that this week. The God who is saving men and women all over the globe is always with us – at home, in the car, and at work. And He’s just as much on the move in our city as he is on the other side of the world. Allow all you rejoiced to hear last weekend to fuel your expectations of how God’s wants to use you this week as you share just how much Jesus has done for you. May the Lord use our Missions Weekend every year to renew our ambition for his glory.