Sunday, March 11, 2007

Finally an update!

Alright, so our big church traveling tour has ended. It has been great, but it has also been a whirlwind. Here's where we've been so far in 2007:

January 10-15 Santiago, Chile for South American Church Leaders Retreat.
January 15-17 Buenos Aires, Argentina visiting the church there.
January 18-25 Montevideo, Uruguay scouting the land for when we move there this summer.

If you want to know more about this trip, I wrote a much longer summary on our website: It's called Scouting Trip Report.

After we came back to the US, we've been speaking all around Florida about Montevideo. Here's where we've been:

Jan 31 - Jacksonville Church of Christ
Feb 4 - Tampa Bay Church
Feb 6 - South Miami (South Florida Church of Christ)
Feb 7 - North Miami (SFCoC)
Feb 11 - Broward and West Miami (Spanish)
Feb 18 - Fort Myers/Naples Church
Feb 23-25 - Tampa for Family Dynamics Facilitator Training seminar
March 4 - Orlando Church of Christ
March 7 - The church at Shiloh Farm (Tallahassee)
March 11 - Capitol City Church of Christ (Tallahassee)

Our last speaking engagement (that we know of) will be for our home church, the Gainesville Christian Church on April 1.

We are super grateful that God allowed us to do all of these things and share with all of these people. At every church we have received an incredible welcome and so many people wishing us well and saying they will pray for us. I am reminded of the scripture in Luke 12 when I think about this time in our lives:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

I feel like God has entrusted us with so much by letting us go to speak at so many churches and share about our mission. I know that we are unworthly, but we are very grateful to be God's servants. I feel like God accomplished a lot in these trips. It seems that at least 3 things happened:

1. Relationships were built.
We were able to become much better friends with various leaders and members in all of the churches. I'm sure that these relationships will be invaluable in the future. Who knows where God will take us, but it will always help to have good relationships with people in many churches.

2. The heart for missions was stirred.
All throughout the state, it seems that there is a re-awakening about missions going on. Each church is at a different place, but I think that our visits spurred each church to consider their committment to missions both overseas and at home. Hopefully also, more people will begin to dream to be used by God in this way. Certainly not everyone is meant for overseas missionary work, but I believe that many more in our churches can dream this way than are right now.

3. Sacrifice was encouraged.
As we shared about a church of seven people, some of whom have a very difficult time making it to church because of the $.70 bus ride, people were encouraged to sacrifice. We, here in the United States are so rich. I believe that greed/love for money might be the sin that condemns more Americans to hell than any other. I'm not trying to judge people in our culture, but I know that our brothers and sisters all over the world are living on very small incomes while we are going more and more in debt and acumulating more and more earthly treasures. I think there are many more sermons that need to be preached about materialism in our churches here, but I believe that many were encouraged to sacrifice more. I know that I need to pray more to be more sacrificial "so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified from the prize".

So, I am very grateful to God for the opportunity to share His Word in so many places. Now we're going to get some rest and get ready to make the most of our last 4 months living in the US.

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