Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28: 19-20).
I actually forgot I hadn’t blogged the last few days! I guess I’m still catching up from being away for a couple of weeks!
We had a staff meeting this morning and the subject of my missions trips came up. There were questions and comments about my missions trips; their frequency and length; was it good for me to be gone etc. It was a lively discussion with honest dialogue. It made me think deeply about why I go on these trips.
My first missions trip was to Liepia, Latvia in June of 1993. My second trip was to Omsk, Siberia, with Houston Miles and a team from Evangel Fellowship in March of 1996. There I met Bruce McDonald, and Bruce and I have been going to India together since 1998, and to Africa together since 2002.
As a local church pastor, my primary responsibility is to minister to the congregation at Victory Fellowship. As a church, we have outreaches to our community fairly regularly, and are planning to ramp up out local outreach even more.
I believe that our missions outreaches keep up from becoming too focused inwardly, and keep us aware of the needs of the whole world. We support 23 missions organizations or individuals each month. Since God so loved the whole world, I believe we should help in some way with the evangelization of the world. In doing so, I believe that God honors our efforts and blesses our church in a large way.
We will continue to sponsor short term missions trips to other countries as long as the Lord allows. I’d encourage you to go on one of these trips with me to another country. Just one trip will be life changing.
My next trip is to Ethiopia this January. We have 16 churches under our name there, and work with over 100 more in developing leaders and in community evangelism. We just helped a church build and new building in southern Ethiopia, and we will be dedicatiing it to the Lord on this next trip. We will also visit churches that have been established in the Omo Valley of Southwestern Ethiopia. This is a very rustic area that is still prsitine and undeveloped.
Until Jesus comes, we have a mandate from Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and to make disciples in all nations. I believe that if we continue to do our part, God will continue to shine His favor upon us! Thanks for helping me obey what I beleive the Lord has called us to do together!