Serving

Should I Go?

That was the question that came to me when I first heard about a possible medical trip to Lebanon to work with the refugee populations.  Certainly I have no medical training, I’ve never been overseas (my passport has one Canadian entry stamp on it), and frankly, I was never drawn to “missionary” work.

I was always that Christian who said “not my gift” and “Lord, ask anything of me, but please don’t ask me to go overseas.” Yup, that was me.  Then God, in all His eternal wisdom, decided I should attend a Perspectives Class (on Worldwide Missions) to open my eyes to what His mission was really about, and how I could be involved in the Great Commission.  Now, here we are almost four years after attending that class, on our way to Lebanon in a few.  Oh, I fought it.  I told God I didn’t have the gifts, I didn’t have the training, I had never been on one of these trips before, but he kept referring me back to Exodus and Moses’ protestations on his inability to do what God had wanted.

What are we doing there? We will serve among the refugee population in Lebanon.  The trip is planned from March 23, 2017, to April 4, 2017, and we will be part of a medical team partnering with the Chettis, missionaries in Lebanon. We will be working with the Syrian and Kurdish refugees in clinic settings, medical team members will be treating patients in medical setting, while those of us who are not medically trained will be helping with patient registration, greeting and talking with individuals, and maybe holding babies as they or their parents await their time with the medical staff.

So you, what about you? Should you go? Consider these ideas from Marti Wade, in the article “Deciding To Go” from Short.Term.Missions.com:

  1. To follow the Great Commission.  Can you do this at home too – certainly.  But consider that God may also want to use you somewhere else for a short period of time.
  2. To walk with God’s global servants. A trip like this can give you the opportunity to learn from these missionaries, learn more about their work, discover how they see their work and their world.
  3. Stepping out in faith. Have you felt a calling to surrender more to Him? By entering the unknown of a mission trip, you may learn how to better walk with Him on a day to day basis.
  4. Personal growth. Most mission trip participants will tell you they receive more than they gave.  Of course, taking such a trip solely for what you get out of it is just wrong, however many find the journey of personal faith to be life-changing.
  5. To encourage others. We know that the world needs more missionaries. However, not enough of us are willing to leave our routines, perceived safety, or comfort to serve the poor and vulnerable. By going, your example may let someone else also picture themselves going.

If you consider these ideas and this upcoming trip to Lebanon and you feel God nudging you, let me know.  We still need medical and non-medical team members, and I’d love to hear from you.

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.
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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.
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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.

Kenya Mission Trip 2014 Update #1

'We made it to Dubai! Our flight from Seattle was close to 14 hours in the air. We were served dinner, snacks & breakfast on the plane. It was a great experience, especially for Ashley who had never flown before (Boise to Seattle was her first flight)--(Seattle to Dubai her second).  When we arrived in Dubai we were slow moving as Arabic is a difficult language to try and figure out. We hoped to spend our first few hours in Dubai inside the city. Some perseverance & patience paid off--we managed to find our way out of the airport--we exchanged our dollars for Dirhams--and we found the train! We also got United Arab Emirates stamps in our passports! YAH! Dubai is absolutely incredible. Dubai is truly a melting pot of every culture-every religion-every people-from the strictest of attire to the most liberal all around you.

We journeyed to the Mall of Emirates.  Along the way we saw KFC, Dunkin' Donuts, Chili's and everything you can imagine in-between.  The Western world has certainly collided with the Middle Eastern world.  The areas in Dubai where we ventured were dripping with wealth.  We saw the tallest building in the world through our train window & in three hours we barely covered 1/4 of the mall. It was ENORMOUS! There is an entire man made ski/snowboarding hill (resort)--I am not even sure what it is called--inside the mall!!!

Things are very expensive here. We bought a few postcards and some food. It was nearing 10pm local time & everywhere we went it was so crowded--the mall, the trains, the city. It was 100 degrees outside at midnight and so I would imagine it is brutally hot during the day--so at night the city lights up.

It's been a great experience. The youngest of our group (Madelyn, Brennan & Autumn) quickly made friends with some sweet boys from Ghana in the airport.  We had an impromptu 5 hour playdate. It opened up a beautiful conversation between Andrea & the Mother of the boys.  It is amazing how children can so easily cross language barriers, culture barriers, & time zones.

Thank you for praying for us.  We feel so blessed to have this incredible opportunity! We have seen beautiful people from all over the world here. Join us please, and pray today for the people of Dubai.  There are many, many beautiful faces that are hidden behind veils of religion and culture.  Pray for Jesus name to be proclaimed in this place for He is freedom & truth.

We are hours away from leaving for Nairobi--and we cannot wait!'

FBC Kenya team

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