At Mission Connexion 2016 in Portland, Bob Goff, author of Love Does, gave an invitation to join God in His mission. He said to step out and say yes to God. Bob stood on the edge of the stage and demonstrated that when you're standing on the edge of YIKES, you know that you're following God's plan.
Carl Medearis raised his family in Beirut, Lebanon. I recently read his book, "Adventures in Saying Yes to God," which was a story of following God in the Middle East.
As an adult, following God is a balance of obeying and asking God for more. God told me clearly to commit to Sweet Home, Oregon and invest in the lives of those we could touch there. During that time, we read books about missionaries and prayed for other countries. We were 100% committed there. And, at the same time, asking God for more. For the Christian, we can never be comfortable because this world is not our home. We are pilgrims and itinerant ministers. Our King's country spans the globe, and we are not to get comfortable. Instead, we are to be asking God to be part of His plan to bring millions to hope and life in Jesus.
After nine years in Sweet Home, God told me it was time to change locations. As an American, I'm conditioned to dig deep, secure roots. As a Christian, I follow a God-Man who didn't have a place to call home or even to lay His head at night. There is a tension when I am saying YES to God. That tension is between my need to be secure and in control and my responsibility to submit to and seek God's plan for saving the lost from eternal damnation.
As a child of God, I'm eager to show that I can do it. I'm eager to go with Dad to help Him with what He's up to. It's similar with James and Grace. They are excited for what God is doing here in Banaba House Ministries. They are seeing God's work through the matter-of-fact eyes of children. Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Here's a little video showing the mission from Grace's perspective!
My first mission is to my wife and children. Together, our mission is to the lost. Biblical parenting is inherently counter-cultural, so simply living out Biblical parenting is a mission. Biblical family dynamics and gender roles in the family are also unusual in many cultures. A significant part of being a missionary is just living out the Biblical model. (This is challenging!) The other part is to just show up. Pastor Kelly from Crawfordsville Community Church has said many times that there's now secret to this... "Just show up!"
Let me encourage you to chart a course for your family that has a trajectory for living out the Biblical gospel message in another culture. Please pray for James and Grace, as they adjust to a very different lifestyle than we had in the States.
Enjoy this short video of our neighborhood through James' eyes!
"Who will notice them and who will care, if not us?" a friend of mine told me the other day.
This is a question that has confronted me multiple times in Metro Manila. Do I care? If I don't care? Who will?
There is a little boy named Keeghan from Crawfordsville, Oregon who cares. He cares so much that he started a recycling campaign to raise funds for underwear and pants for kids in the Dona Pepeng and Banaba Extension neighborhoods. On Facebook, Keeghan saw pictures of kids at Sidewalk Saturday School who didn't have on any underpants or pants and... he cared. He cared so much that he raised 4,300 pesos in a weekend.
And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded." Jesus Christ
Banaba House Ministries was started by a guy who cared. After traveling the world and seeing poverty with his eyes, when he moved to Banaba Extension, Gary Myers saw poverty with his heart. And, he cares. I want to be more like Keeghan and Gary. I want to see poverty with my heart. I want to care.
If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD--and he will repay you! Proverbs 19:17