What more can I say about our time in Mexico that I haven’t written to you already? As our time down here is wrapping up, and I’m able to reflect on the last five weeks some things stick out as poignant. Other lessons learned are harder to recognize, but will no doubt resurface when needed. We are being prepared for ministry like an outfitter prepares for a backcountry trek. How can you know what you’ll need for a journey you haven’t taken before? The Lord knows, and has added supplies to our pack that we won’t be able to identify until we need them. While I can’t tell you about those things, because they are beyond me, I can tell you about some things that we will definitely use in the future.
We (Alishia and I, and the other students as well) have been instilled with hearts for planting churches and making disciples. I believe that God’s plan for fulfilling the Great Commission is through discipleship, and that a local church body is essential in that process. My vision is to start a bible training school to raise up nationals, but how can they go out and plant churches if the aren’t having church modelled for them each week. So, we will plant a church, and it will be very difficult, but it is what we’re called to by our Savior and so we do it with joy and excitement.
We will adopt the culture of the people we’re serving. Ethnocentricity defeats the message of the gospel. God loves the people He’s sending us to, and they matter enough to Him that He wants us to go fight for their souls. If we are unwilling to become one of them, how can we possibly try to explain that Jesus became one of us. He is our example of what a missionary should be, fully foreign and yet He was fully integrated. We will take the time to learn the language and culture as quickly as possible, because we don’t want to have any hindrances to the gospel.
We will be passionate disciples of Jesus Christ. How can we make what we are not already ourselves? We must follow closer, abide more deeply, and obey more joyfully than we ever have before. We’re not missionaries or church planters, we are disciples first and foremost. We will be sacrificial, we will be relational, and we will be transformational! We will deny ourselves luxuries for sake of the gospel. We will create relationships with those around us that they might see the love of Christ through us. And we will assimilate to the culture around us that we might be able to preach the gospel in their context. We will be committed to prayer and meditating in God’s Word. We will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and we will love others because He first loved us.
There are several other things I could share, and probably will in the future, but these are the ones that first came to my mind. We had the opportunity to attend the Calvary Chapel Church Planting Conference 2020 this week as well. Two days of keynote speakers, church planter testimonies, and specific topic workshops. It was fantastic, we were able to connect with pastors from several countries who share our hearts for planting churches. Some committed to pray for us as we head for Japan, it’s amazing the people that God has put us in contact with the last three years.
Thank you for your continued prayers as well. Alishia and I plan to start language classes this fall. Please pray for the right program to be made available to us and for provision financially to pay for them.
- The Lord continues to lead us one step at a time.
- We have made connections with amazing missionaries and pastors.
- We have been healthy and safe down here in Mexico.
- For Japan to open up soon so we can go on a vision trip.
- For strength, energy, and health to finish strong here in Mexico.
- For financial provision as we continue to follow the Lord’s leading.