My prayer before the plane took off the runway that would ultimately bring me to the other side of the world, “Father, I ask that I would be faithful and obedient to you and that I would be a blessing to others that you will have me meet on this adventure.” The Father sure answered prayers in many wonderful ways. Recently, the Lord called me to join a group who were traveling to East Asia for a Cultural & Language Exchange program.
Much of our time was spent at a specific university. Each day was broken up into three sections. Each morning both the American students and university students would take turns to present on a particular topic from their cultural perspective. Topics varied from American and East Asian sports, to culture and worldview. It was fun for both groups to learn from one another. In the afternoon, the university students did different demonstrations for us. For example, there were demonstrations on ancient style of dress, how to make hairpins out of wood, how to tie-dye clothing, how to do martial arts and many more. Finally, the evenings were spent establishing relationships.
It became challenging and frustrating as the weeks went by. The Lord taught us that before we go about our day, we must be in prayer. How we went about sowing was through prayer. If you want to be a good farmer who sows you must be willing to do the preliminary step that is most important.
Prayer paves the way for effective ministry to occur. It is pressing into God so that we can allow Him to transform our lives, deepening our understanding of our identity, His character, and what His Word says. Through that transformation, He equips us with everything we need to share the gospel well with others. Without prayer, our ability to minister will be ineffective and useless. We learned to pray amid spiritual warfare (Eph. 6), and see that people are not our enemies.
My outlook on ministry and evangelism has dramatically shifted since the trip. As I was studying how the Messiah went about ministry here on earth it occurred to me that it was not about all the fancy words, but it was really about love. “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” These famous words incapsulate the heart of gospel-centered ministry. Prayer is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and others.
Before you can love others well,
you must be able to be loved well
by the one who is love.
Having a willing heart to genuinely pray for someone exemplifies a true godly love. Prayer and love go hand in hand. The two most important commandments we are given from God, “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12).
The Messiah perfectly demonstrated what love is by living out these two most important commands well. His love was so authentic and deep for His Father and people. If we want to be like Messiah, we must be willing to mirror Him. Without words we can demonstrate the fruit that is given freely by the Holy Spirit. Love is the fruit that must be far deep in our hearts before we even consider sharing the Good News to others. Before you can love others well, you must be able to be loved well by the one who is love.
Sharing the gospel is not about going up to someone to point out that they are wrong, and you are right; it is about approaching them with God’s perfect love and meeting them where they are at. Since the students were limited due to language barrier, they knew they were loved because of the intentional time we spent building relationships. Through love and how we lived, it sparked curiosity and interest among our new friends. No one came to follow the Messiah on this trip, but the gospel was revealed to them in how we faithfully loved them and planted seeds in them.
Thank you for all your prayers and coming alongside with the finances that aided in making the journey to East Asia possible. Throughout the trip it became more apparent that it was God’s timing for me to embark on this adventure. Many prayers were answered. I look forward to the next assignment the Father has me embark on with Him. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
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Men’s Bible Study Fellowship starts THIS Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30pm in the MCC Library. This year they will be studying “Acts and Letters of the Apostles”. BSF provides an in-depth, international Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church. Contact Tom Young.
Women’s Community Bible Study begins this week; September 10th and 11th! The evening group meets Tuesdays at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall beginning September 10 and the morning group meets Wednesdays at 9:15am beginning September 11! Childcare is provided for the Wednesday study only. Contact Pam Cravens.
The Women’s Peacemaking Study is Thursdays at 10:00am in the Conference Room beginning September 19. This study offers a meaningful, lasting message to lead you out of conflict and into a state of peace where you can live as a representative of Christ to other women and unbelievers. Contact Christine Leggett.
MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.
With winter coming the Wood Ministry is already getting calls requesting wood but we need men, women, and couples to serve as sponsors! For those interested in learning about Wood Ministry sponsorship, there is a training Saturday, October 12th at 9:00am in the conference room. We would love to share what it means to be a sponsor and how sponsorship through the wood ministry changes lives by helping people see their own value and build their own support systems by sharing our time and a few cords of wood. Contact Sarah at the church office.
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Are you interested in being a witness for Christ in a remote part of the world? Have you wondered if a short-term mission trip is right for you? If so, join us for an informational meeting to discuss our Spring 2020 Bolivia Mission trip with Food for the Hungry next Sunday, September 8th after 2nd service in the Youth Hall. Contact Jennifer Ward.
Sisters in Stitches is meeting Wednesday, September 11 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Halll. All SIS and interested women are encouraged to join us to fellowship and discuss on-going plans for this ministry. Snacks will be provided. Contact Davra Clayton for more information and to RSVP .
ABQ Biblical Counseling is hosting "A Biblical Response to Mental Health Conference” September 13-15 at Desert Springs Church. Registrations will be accepted until September 12th! Visit abqbcc.com for more information.