Looking to Jesus - March 2019
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:1-2
Last Sunday, we finished Missions Awareness Week at a church in Leavenworth, Kansas. The theme of this conference was Hebrews 12:1-2. This focus was challenging, refreshing and all-together helpful for us. God has been gracious to show us different “weights” that are taking our gaze off of Christ. Sometimes weights are not necessarily bad things, but if they are holding us back, we need to lay them aside. How good it was to be reminded that our race is not just our role as missionaries, it is not to raise financial support. Our race is to look to Jesus and be transformed into His image.
Our time in Kansas was well-spent. We met some wonderful people and enjoyed some special times of fellowship. One particular blessing was that one of the church members provided some needed maintenance on our vehicle! We enjoyed meeting three other missionary families from Biblical Ministries Worldwide. Two of the families are veteran missionaries with many years in their respective fields. It was so encouraging to talk with them and hear what God has done in and through them.
In addition to Missions Awareness Week, we were able to visit a new church in St. Louis, MO. This church has recently become financial partners with the ministry in Ecuador. Through their partnership, as well as another individual, God has increased our support level to 63%! This is the first increase that we have seen this year, and we are so encouraged by this news.
God has been changing our perspective on our financial partners. We typically refer to them as “supporters.” While this term is accurate, it doesn’t fully encompass the role that they have in our ministry. In reality, those who give financially are not simply our supporters, but also partners in the ministry in Ecuador. In Philippians 4, Paul commends the Philippian church for their partnership with his ministry. In verse 17, he celebrates the “fruit that increases to their credit.” This is true of us and our ministry partners. As they support the work in Ecuador, we rejoice because this is an opportunity for them to bear fruit! Deputation is not about raising financial support for ourselves – it is partnering with churches and individuals who are passionate about missions and desire to see the Gospel reach the people of Ecuador.
This weekend we will be participating in a conference in Massachusetts (Thurs-Sun). We will have many opportunities to talk about the 4World Initiative! Please pray that God will give us wisdom to know how we ought to speak. Next week we will make our way to Brevard, NC for a meeting, followed by the opportunity to spend Easter with our church family. For our full itinerary, please click HERE.
Praise and Prayer:
1. Praise: Opportunities for growth
2. Praise: Car repairs during MAW
3. Praise: Increased support (63%)
4. Pray: Missions Conference and upcoming meetings
5. Pray: Wisdom to speak as we ought to speak