Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ironic yet Refreshing

Our family has spent the better part of 3 years praying about our decision to come down here and help the church here grow. We've talked to friends, family, and elders to get advice and feedback. Jon has preached several times to different churches letting them know our plans and petitioning support. Part of his sermon includes the Francis Chan quote that I've blogged about here before--
"God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if he doesn't come through."

He's talked about how we have felt like we were too comfortable and we needed to go somewhere else so that we could re-focus on serving him and not on what it took to maintain our comfortable life. This involves a measure of sacrifice, and for most, moving to a 3rd world country would be considered a sacrifice of sorts.

Our mission (and this blog) is based on the Great Commission, which tells us to go into all the world preaching the good news about Jesus to people. We have studied and heard lessons on the story in Isaiah 6 about the Lord expressing a need for someone to go minister to his people and Isaiah says, "Here am I, send me!" We have expressed our desire to work with the church here as they desire to plant churches throughout their region of this country. It is our desire to do this work, and we have chosen to come here, to Honduras, to work with the people here.

Tuesday night we went to church and Jon and I were stunned at the material in the lesson. Josue Molina was bringing the lesson, and his topic was "What does planting churches look like?" The discussion was centered around being a reproductive, active, living church that reaches out to plant churches and take the message to places that don't know about Jesus. He read from Isaiah 6. He read the Great Commission in Matthew 28. He lined out the biblical model for mission work and how the apostles went from their home churches, sponsored by the church, into far-away lands to spread the word. They were encouraged by the brethren where they went, and sent back reports to their home church. This material is found in Acts 13-16. Then he told the people in the meeting that they needed to stop being so comfortable and step out for Jesus--being a Christian is not about being comfortable.

He told them to stop being so comfortable. The people we left our 'comfort' for so that we could come help them do their work and attain a better standard of life. We thought coming here was a little bit uncomfortable, and the first lesson we hear here is the teacher telling the people here that they're living too comfortably. Now that's ironic.

What's refreshing, though, is how passionate they are here to spread the word. This church wants to be a reproducing church. He said, "We are a church that has 20 years of history here. How much do we have to show for it?" I think there are lots of churches that might need to ask themselves that question. After 20, 50, 100 years, does a church have lots of 'children-churches' that they have planted and helped to grow? Or are they just a group of people who have met together, all by themselves, and not done much of anything outside of their walls? Reminds me of the parable of the talents. I'm thankful that I've grown up in churches that are passionate about missions.

We are so thankful to be here--to work with the people as well as to learn from them. I am sure that God will bless this work and allow it to blossom and grow because the church here is focused on doing what He wants them to do.

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