Friday, November 16, 2018

Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Eugene Peterson wrote a book by the title Long Obedience in the Same Direction. This past week, I saw this on full display.

I was with a missions team in Santiago, Chile, working on a children's center. This project has taken over eight years now, and it looks like it might be another five, depending on resources and volunteer teams; however, the missionaries are not giving up because of the significant impact this place will have on children and families in this city for generations to come.


One evening, a couple of us went to meet the missionary legend, Paul Hoff. Paul has trained thousands of pastors and leaders in South America through his teaching and writing. For over an hour, we sat and listened to his stories of giving his life to Jesus at age 5, his early years of learning to read the scriptures while working on his family farm in Minnesota, his obedience to the Lord in becoming a missionary, and his vision to start an independent Bible school in Chile to serve the Pentecostal movement.  He is still faithfully serving the Lord at age 94, and serving the school he founded over 40 years ago. This is a life well lived.

I have to admit, sometimes I feel like giving up when things do not happen as I had planned or as quick as I wanted. But then I am reminded by my missionary friends, God is still in control, and I have to keep moving forward. I am also reminded that my calling is more than about me, and the works God has asked me to be part of will live on far past my time here on earth.  

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Keep moving. Keep serving. Keep loving. Keep laughing. Keep obeying.


Thursday, May 03, 2018

Exhausting and Exhilarating

On Monday, April 23rd, 10:00 PM, I arrived home in Virginia; back from a two week trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Esther and I taught at the beautiful campus of Instituto Biblico Rio de La Plata (IBRP), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Esther and I taught over 30 hours and preached 7 times. We taught discipleship, generosity, family life, church leadership, evangelism, coaching, and music (Esther only). Most of our down time was spend in preparing for the next thing they asked us to do. However, we were able to spend a day in town with Rocky and Sherry Grams, our missionaries and hosts. They are very special people to Centerpointe Church. 

It was an amazing trip filled with ministry and encouragement. You can review our video highlights here: 
Esther and I were introduced in every setting, and Rocky tells the students of the gift we gave in 2013 of $100,000, which paid to complete the dormitory that now houses many of the students. That gift goes down as a watershed moment for Centerpointe Church, the school, and thousands of future pastors, evangelist, missionaries, and teachers who will live in those dorms; growing, learning, and developing as leaders. This is a humbling experience because I am receiving thanks on behalf of our people's generosity. I did not make this decision alone; the entire membership gave out of the generosity of their hearts.

I remember someone saying at the time, “We could keep this for our building in the future which will add to our church; or we could give it to IBRP and it will be used immediately to complete their project and those students will reach multiple thousands around the world.” That statement was not only a statement of faith, but it has proven to be a prophetic word.

The school has over 300 resident students and another 500 that come on Saturdays to be trained for Christian leadership. They are sending missionaries around the world and and leaders all throughout Latin America. Romi is now in Paraguay, Aby is in Brasil, Gomez is in Peru, Romi is in Turquia, Adrian is in Espana, Betu is in Colombia, Cony is in Thailand, and the list goes on. Several students we met this week are heading to the northern countries of Africa. This is a place of calling as well as preparation.

The best words I have for this place are "passion" and "hunger." The students, pastors, and professors, are passionate for God, His Work, and His Word. They are also hungry for a new wave of revival in Argentina. 

Thank you Rocky and Sherry for one incredible trip.

I can't wait to go back!

Soooooooo Goooooood