Man Camp: Identity

Man Camp: Identity

I always look forward to Man camp. It's a weekend up at Warm Lake Idaho filled with Neature. (If you don’t get the “neature” reference check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm3JodBR-vs

    The theme for the weekend was "identity." John Eldredge says: “Identity is not something that falls on us out of the sky. For better or for worse, identity is bestowed.” I have recently been on a journey of discovering sonship with the Father. Jesus said in John 17:3 that his greatest desire is that we would know the Father. Jesus could have said a lot of other desires for humanity. But Jesus went to the core desire. To know the Father shapes everything else. You will never live beyond your identity. I believe that's why most Christians walk with their head down, defeated, full of addictions. The chief aim of the Villain is to take us away from our identity in the Father. 

Argentina Mission Final Update

[fusion_text]Emptiness stretches on for miles when arriving in La Rincornada. Driving over four hours, much of which of a dirt road, some of the team didn't know what to expect. What we did know is that we would be stretched and uncomfortable, but ready to do what it took to serve and love the people there. A people with little hope of life beyond their township. A people whose teenagers turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the aching emptiness that we all face. Scripture shares with us this, “Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord 's message, "I am with you, declares the Lord" (Haggai 1:13). Even in a place such as La Rincornada, the Lord is with them. How? Through the faithful work and tireless love of Fabian and his wife Marcela. They have an incredible story to share, one in which they wrestled with God, much like us at times, over the call he was giving them to return to La Rincornada.

Despite feeling a constant resistance to the gospel message, Fabian and Marcela represent the fervor of Haggai, declaring to the youth and families of the community that the Lord is indeed with them, and for them, and has promised to fulfill their lives. He has promised to replace emptiness with joy and satisfaction in the God who loves them and has a hope and a future for them.

As a team, we felt blessed to take part in their vision of building God's Kingdom to the ends of the earth. Two years ago, the building where they hope to soon hold weekly services, didn't exist. Now it stands, under the vision and striving of Fabian and friends from Centro Crecer in Córdoba, as a beacon of grace and truth in the community where there was none before. Alongside brothers and sisters in Christ, we dug trenches and drainage pits, shoveled through sand and rocks to make and pour cement as the final touches of the foundation.

A number of team members shared their testimonies with a handful of teenagers from the community and after a restful Friday evening, we woke up bright and early to prepare for the Dia del Niño (Day of the Kid). The event was a success and we were happy we had a small hand in making this happen, but all the glory and credit goes to God, who brought dozens of kids and their families. Watching these beautiful children laugh and play and hear gospel truth was an incredible experience.

We said goodbye to the friends we’ve made and we hold tight to the memories of this place. Just as Paul said tearful goodbyes in Acts 20, we said our goodbyes, knowing that God has a great new adventure waiting for us in Boise. We look forward to being home and sharing our stories with you all. More so, we look forward to what God might have for us in the future, near and far, and how God will use our time here to continue in shaping us for a life on mission, a life to which we are all called.

Would you join the team in prayer throughout the year for Fabian, Marcela, their family and the community of La Rincornada? Pray that God may soften the hearts of people towards the grace and truth of Jesus and His Kingdom. Pray for their ministry to teenagers and the construction of their church building, that the fruit of gospel work might abound in them.

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Argentina Mission Update

Hello Church! All is going well here in Cordoba, Argentina! Everyone that we have had the pleasure of talking to so far has been overjoyed to meet us and make us feel welcome. After traveling over 24 hours to get here, the team is in good spirits and taking in the new culture very well. Every single one of us are being stretched and challenged in new ways. As one team member put it, “Hanging out with these people and talking with them I feel has brought out a new side of me. Usually I’m pretty reserved, but now I feel more open and talkative.” A word that comes to mind when we think of what defines their community is acceptance. Not only do we feel welcome here at the church in Cordoba, we feel like part of the family.
God has already done some amazing things through us in our time here. Apart from meeting new friends and working through the language barrier with many laughs, the Holy Spirit has used the openness and humility of the team to create some great conversations with youth about their friends, hobbies and families. After the high school service on Saturday night, Sasha Rasmussen told us he had a great conversation with a girl who never opens up or responds to anything said in the message. Our prayer is that God will continue to keep us focused on the people and the ministry in front of us, that we might be blessed to be a blessing.
Doing church with the people here is incredibly powerful. Last night, our team had the opportunity to witness ten individuals become members of the church, two of which were baptized that evening. We feel honored to be a part of God’s work here in Cordoba through Centro Crecer and hope you will pray along with us for the families and friends being transformed by the power of the gospel here in Argentina through their ministry.

Guide Canes and Basic Bible Navigation

A couple of weeks ago First Baptist provided some space for elementary aged kids enrolled in the BELL Program through the National Federation of the Blind.  Basically it was a two week day camp where students improve their skills in reading and writing Braille.  Other important activities included navigating with their canes, problem solving, communication, teamwork and practicing some life skills.  It was a really fun camp.  Most of the children used Kiddie canes which is a children’s version of the standard Guide cane.  There are different types of canes for different purposes but we cannot go into that now.

As the students took risks learning their way around the church one of my young friends who was alone walked himself right in the corner of the stairwell between the kitchen and the side entrance near the office.  There was a little humor about his dilemma because there is this huge sign in the shape of a hand pointing to the only way one can travel. He just could not see it.   After my young friend thought it through for a about five seconds he found his own way to the fellowship hall.  It is my guess that he took what he thought to be true in his mind, stopped, discovered the error and then recalled previous experiences and then soughtadditional input before turning left into the fellowship hall.  Ah, success and learning observed!  The additional input in this case happened to be the spoken words of his friends.  My role at the time was to simply watch learning happen and intervene only if this child was going to cause himself or others harm.

As you may know First Baptist is looking at some answers found in the Bible about some tough questions. The topics are both broad and specific and certainly controversial. The Bible seems very clear about some subjects and fuzzy on others.  There is no better time than  to practice our Bible navigation skills.  Let’s look at context, the authors’ intent; let’s go deep.  Yes, you might have to read a little about the Greek or Hebrew to extract its precise meaning.  One hour on a Sunday morning is not going to cut it.  We have to navigate daily.  Find the right “guide canes” as you go.  One thing is for sure.  At some point we will find ourselves in a corner just like my young friend with a cane in the stairwell.  He had to find the answer in about five seconds.  Will you be able to do that when asked a tough question?  

The key is practice, practice, practice.glenn7-17 - 2

Glenn Compton

Director of Pastoral Care