Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Pastor Jerry's sermon this week really hit home for me and my thoughts and prayers about our upcoming trip to Kenya. There were many points that spoke directly to those going on the trip and all those who are supporting and encouraging the team. Just as Jerry said in his sermon, we are called to be salt to all the people around us. Salt serves two purposes that apply to those of us going on the trip. One purpose is to bring out the flavor of foods, the point Jerry focused on. The other purpose is to act as one of the ingredients in preserving food. I think both of these purposes speak directly to the reasons we, as a church body, reach out and get involved in missions. Life can be tough and people can easily get bogged down in the day to day grind of trying to make it work. Without God people lose focus on the good things in life, those experiences they should savor, and get lost in the day to day. By acting as an agent we can show people the love of God and introduce them to a new relationship and someone who can bring them into a whole new world. At the same time we can act as one part of their preservation by introducing people to their only real hope and salvation.
The other part of the sermon that stood out to me was Philipians 4:6-7. "The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We have spent some time talking about all the things we need to do to prepare for the trip. Our families and friends are asking more questions about what we will be doing, where we will be going, were will we stay, etc. All this while most of us are still working or going to school and trying to deal with all the normal ins and outs of everyday life. What can we do? We need to pray just as we are told by the verse in Philipians. The people who are going on the trip and those who are supporting us need to remember to pray about the trip everyday. We need to pray for the people who are going on the trip, the travel and all the physical aspects of going and getting home. We also need to pray for the people we will encounter on the trip and the people we will serve while we are there. We need to pray for the church in Kenya and all the people who will be working with us. We need to pray about whatever concerns, needs or anxious thoughts we have about the trip. If we are faithful to take our requests to God he will give us peace to guard our hearts and our thoughts.
One quick personal example, the first time I went to Kenya I knew we would spend part of the trip staying with a host family. I don't really like being a guest of someone else (stubborn and independent but God is working on me). I was really uncomfortable about being a guest in the house of someone from another culture that I had never met. I prayed, thought God will never give me more than I can handle and prepared for the worst. When I go to my host family I found that the father of the family loved playing guitar, one of my hobbies, and had a job that was almost identical to mine. We had so many things in common that we stayed up late into the night discussing music, family and our work. I couldn't have been more comfortable. Why did I waste time worrying. I should have known God would take care of me. So, I encourage all of you to pray and see what God will do.
P.S. The last thing I would like to ask for is a little encouragement from all of you. It is difficult to tell who is reading the blog if you don't sign up as a follower. Creating an account is easy and, my favorite, it is free. If you create an account and sign up as follower you can get notified when the blog is updated, post comments and we can see who is reading. Thanks.