I hope y'all have been enjoying a very good holiday weekend...we actually treated ours as a regular weekend and came back a day early to spend some time together as a family unit, instead of as a huge group of extended family too. But we enjoyed a great time with our extended family...I am truly humbled at how God has been working in my extended family...it's truly unbelievable and a true testament to His love and the power of the Holy Spirit!
I need to thank Jollybeggar who spent time creating an internet-friendly version of our team letter for our missions trip. I know I posted a tidbit the other day, but this is the whole meal deal on what we'll be doing. If you are interested in seeing some pictures of where we'll be going, Jollybeggar was blessed to be able to take this trip last year as well and he has a great blog of his journals and pictures from the trip at www.acts1v8.blogspot.com.
We'll talk to y'all real soon...may God bless you with His richest blessings, love, peace and grace during these summer months!
It is time to share with you how God has been moving within our church's increasingly globally missional heart. In the last year, God has called our church into an exciting partnership with the Free Methodist movement in Sri Lanka. Global ministries experts have pointed out that missions work does not consist only of evangelism, famine/disaster relief or medical aid. For example, in countries that already have 3% or more of their population evangelized, there is sufficient workforce to reach their countrymen with the gospel. What these countries need from a missional partnership is not evangelists but friends who will walk alongside of them, resourcing them as they seek to further reach their own people for Jesus. The population of Sri Lanka is 3.7% evangelical.
The relationship between our local church and the Free Methodist Church in Sri Lanka began with a "Scout" mission that Pastor Jolly was called to participate in back in August 2005. His role was essentially to participate in the blazing of a trail towards the adventures that God is setting up for Canadian Free Methodists from local churches to become involved in Sri Lanka and the world. The partnership continued with a "Diplomatic" mission that Pastor Amigo was called to participate in this past February 2006. On this trip, he built relationships with many of the Sri Lankan pastors, visiting and speaking at many of their churches, as well as bringing moneys raised by our Discoveryland children towards the facility needs of a Sinhala congregation in Colombo. Now this local church's missional odyssey continues with the sending of a four-person team consisting of Pastor Jolly and three others (Cinder and her husband being two of the three) to Sri Lanka in August 2006.
This adventure is especially exciting because it is involving not only pastors but laity...everyday people responding to God's call to actively apply the instruction of Jesus found in Acts 1.8. After all, we all know that there are no 'class distinctions' in God's family...everyone in every station of life is called by Jesus to be his witnesses. The excitement grows further because of the measure of faith required for a local church to send an entire team anywhere to do anything. In truth, when a church sends anyone out, it is as though the whole church is going. However, sending a team involves greater challenges and greater opportunities for the faith of the local church to grow in the process.
Pastor Jolly will be providing teaching and leadership at the Young Adults' Camp in early August, and will be leaving on August 4, 2006 ahead of the rest of the team. They will be joined by the Cinders (leaving August 9, 2006) who will be providing children's programming for the Pastors' Family Camp that is to be held the week following. Pastor Jolly and intern will be involved in teaching and leading at this event as well. In addition to these official duties, our team members will also be 'on call' to, as Dan Sheffield, Global Ministries coordinator for the Free Methodist Church in Canada has put it, "preach, pray or die (with hopefully a couple minutes notice!)" Although Dan was joking about the last one, the team covets your prayers, as Sri Lanka is spiritually diverse (its population consisting of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim resistance to the gospel) and in the throes of civil war.
There are numerous ways that you can participate in this adventure- the first has already been mentioned: fervent prayer. As we seek to glorify God in all things, he often requires us to serve out of our weakness, or at least out of our comfort zones! Please pray for health, peace, and spiritual protection for the members of our team, even in the weeks leading up to the trip of August 4-23, 2006.
The second way to join in is to help with the costs. The cost of this trip for our team will be approximately $10,000 for airfare and other transportation costs plus approximately $1800 for living expenses (about $35/day/person) In addition to this, there is the need for materials for the childrenÂs programming. We know that God is faithful and He will provide what is needed for us to go. The team members are personally raising funds, but would like to ask you for help in this area. Any financial aid, great or small, that you can provide for this trip will be gratefully accepted because it all adds up. Our church is authorideductiblevide tax-deductable receipts for any financial gift.
Thank you for taking time to prayerfully consider how to take part in this adventure that will take us all to the ends of the earth to be witnesses for Jesus there.
*note: if you would like to somehow partner with our team, please email either
cinder at firstname.lastname@example.org or
jollybeggar at email@example.com