Roughly 2 weeks ago, I sent a letter to our church family at Community Bible Church of Savannah. I felt the LORD impressing upon me to send words of encouragement and challenge to them. As I reflect on the letter and our lives as a whole, I feel that this letter could go out to all of our family and friends. I’ve added some things to the original letter because our journey as a whole has prepared us for now.
As I write this, my family and I are living in the mountains overlooking Guatemala City at a ministry called Buena Vista Sports Academy. We were commissioned out from CBC in January of this year and have been on the mission field for 4 months. Since 2013, we have served on short-term trips at least once a year and sometimes twice with Compassion Christian Church and CBC. We had spent time and had long conversations with wise men like Tom Stephens, Dave Stewart, Brock Johnson, and others. With that said and along with the training leading up to our commissioning, we had a pretty good idea of what to expect or so we thought. God, in His sovereignty, had unique challenges waiting for us that we would have never anticipated.
Over the first 4 months of us being in the field, the Corona virus has severely disrupted our ministry. Also, we have experienced significant change in our ministry and established roles. Not exactly the story-book start that one would hope for. Yet, all of us are at complete peace. It is a peace that transcends any comprehension on our part. This peace is built on the trust in a Sovereign God.
This is not a letter to share with you all the new challenges. Nope, I am writing to encourage you. Despite unforeseen challenges in daily life, language learning that is janky, and newly expanded roles, we are resting because we know that God has fully prepared us for this time. He prepared us through our time learning, growing, and serving over the years. From actively listening to Biblical teaching as well as growing from deep searching of God’s Word to serving as Small Group leaders, on GO trips, in the Middle School ministry, and other adventures, God has shaped us for this moment.
My encouragement to you is to get in the game. God has designed you to be active in your faith. He saves ‘by grace through faith’ creating his chosen for good works (Eph 2:8-10). For a believer, actively growing and reaching for more of Jesus is N-O-R-M-A-L. As a member of the body (both locally and universally), you are created to be active…to be serving…to be running alongside other believers…to bear with others when they need you…to be helped along when you need it…to be, COMMUNITY.
When days have gotten long and language learning is tough, God’s Word, the BIBLE, is there to point us back to what is most important. The dependency and desperation wasn’t born when things got tough; it was cultivated before hand. When someone near us is going through struggles, the desire and ability to help is pulled from experiences God has already had us go through with others. Seriously, we can look back to experiences over 10 years ago that help us today. Experiences engaged with the body and others around us. When unexpected ministry opportunities present themselves, we are able to respond because God has walked us through similar times before. God walks you through hard times in your life so that you can walk alongside others later…we are sure of this.
We leave you with this…get involved. Get in the game. Swallow your pride and offer yourself as a living sacrifice to your Creator. Go be the CHURCH!!