I love the fact that our church is a missions minded church! We are interested in missions because God is a missionary God! Think about it. Jesus was the greatest missionary who ever lived. He communicated the truth of God cross-culturally. That is, He left the grandeur of heaven and came to dwell among us so that He might show us what God was like. In that way, the incarnation was a missions trip! Similarly, when we attempt to share the Gospel cross-culturally, we are embodying the Gospel for the people to whom we minister. We become the hands and feet of Christ extended to people. This is at the same time both a wonderful privilege and an awesome responsibility.
Last month, a team of our men visited our work in Nicaragua. They testified to the same thing that many others have experienced on this kind of trip. They went to be a blessing to others, but what they found was that God used the experience to bless them and draw them all closer to Himself. I am very proud of that group and the work they accomplished for the kingdom. I am also moved to see how the encounter with God impacted their lives. We can never out give God!
On July 1st, we are sending a team of our youth to the same area in Nicaragua where the men worked. I know they will encourage the Nicaraguans, but I am even more certain that they will have an encounter with God for themselves that they can’t even imagine. They will not be in the USA for fireworks celebrations or 4th of July cookouts, but they will have a great freedom celebration as they see lives transformed (including their own) and set free by the gospel! I am thrilled to know that our youth are interested in serving the kingdom of God in this way.
Later in July, we will also be sending a group to Youth Quest in Atlanta, GA. This will be a great time to showcase their talents as well as encounter the Lord in the services they attend together. Pray for this time, as well, that God would use the experience to ignite passion in their hearts.
So, we are definitely a sending church and a going church; however, missions is not just about what we do for people overseas. It is also about how we reach out to people right here in NC. In case you haven’t heard, we will be taking a trip to the beach on July 31st! More accurately, the beach will take a trip to us. The theme for our Vacation Bible School is “SonSurf Beach Blast”. That will be an exciting Sunday as we kick off this ministry designed to introduce children to Jesus. VBS presents us an incredible opportunity to teach our own children, as well as to reach out to those who may not have a church home. The kick-off Sunday will be an event you and your family will not want to miss! Why not consider inviting a child in your neighborhood to come along? What would happen if every family brought one child who didn’t have a church home? What if that child came here and accepted Jesus into their hearts? If that excites you, it means that your heart resembles the heart of the Father!
These ministry highlights reflect the missionary heart of God. As we engage in this activity, we are embodying the love of Jesus for people abroad as well as here at home. Please pray for these ministries, but don’t stop there. Find a way you can help. You may not be able to travel, but you can send someone. Maybe you can volunteer some time for VBS. Maybe you can help with some of the resources needed to pull off this event. Don’t let this exciting work for the Lord pass you by without finding a way to be a part of what God is doing among us!