I remember as a pastor years ago, I said and even prayed God help us to reach out more. Help us to keep from being one dimensional as a ministry.
I wanted to have a church that was effectively developing and maturing Christians and seeing as a part of that development equipping them to reach the community, and the world. In church vernacular get outside the four walls.
As I sit here in Africa waiting for a pastor friend to carry me to the pastors conference I think of what is going on right now at harvest.
We have a team in central Rwanda conducting a soccer outreach, work projects for an orphans home and a
Team in north Rwanda conducting a pastors conference. Our teams at home are preparing for harvest kids camp which will be a week of ministry to hundreds of elementary age kids in the region. Another team is preparing for harvest foster kids camp. A week long camp geared specifically for foster kids.
Then we start Youth America a great outreach reaching thousands of teenagers for four weeks in the summer. A life changing experience for so many. While we are training a team to leave for cambodia at the end of July.
I say all of this not to say oh we are doing so much but rather to say God answers our prayers.
I am so entirely grateful for our pastors who lead in this direction and to a church full of volunteers who are not going to church but being the church in order to reach those who need Jesus and mature those who Know Him.
It takes all of us and as David Meyer says we are better together.
We have a saying at church of the harvest. Some go, some send, but all are called to be a part. Which part will you play? One way you could help is to attend our global reach experience. November 18, 2011, 7 pm at our Okc campus. This night will be filled with the culture, need and vision we have for each country. as well as highly entertaining and very moving.
You don’t want to miss it. Click here for tickets. http://www.harvestokc.com/global-reach/global-reach-experience/.
You can change the world by going or sending but we all need to do what we can to help those in need.
Here are some highlights of the Rwanda side of our trip. Night of leadership for next generation leaders (college students), concert outreach to kigali high school, Community festival and concert, and Concert outreach at university. 1200 college students worshipped together and heard the word. Work projects on a school.
Well, we only have two and half days before we head home. That seems so fast, but I think everyone will be ready by then. I would say that the key word to this years global reach to Africa is Partnership. I have had so much fun this year in building some new relationships and partnering together to make a difference around the world.
God has partnered us with some great people who have a heart like we do to reach the world. God has put a new friend in my life this last year, that I have grown to value a great deal. A man named John Osborne. He is the director of ROC (Rwanda Outreach Coalition), and works at OC in their program to help Rwandan Students as well as working with Christ Church Rwanda. He has connected me with some more new friends. Brian Hixton a great man, who has a heart like God. He cares for people, and is an exceptional planner and details man. Which just means, he cares a lot. Pastor David The Senior Pastor at Christ Church and His team, Pastor Rusty, Pastor Eddie, and Pastor Moses. What a great team. These men and their wives have made commitments to the cause of Jesus that few have, and it is apparent that God is using them in a mighty way.
We partnered with them in Rwanda, partnered with Watoto in Uganda, partnering through the local church is where its at. The only way to make a long term impact is to partner with long term local church teams. I urge all short term missions programs out there, to take a hard look at the way you are doing what you do, make sure it is connected an partnered with a long term local church partner. If you don’t, you may feel like you are making an impact but in the long run, it’s a shot in the dark. You can know that your efforts are not in vein and have a long term impact through partnership.
I urge you long termers to use the energy, passion, and gifts of short term teams to help train your teams and give you a big momentum bump when you can. Ive always been a partnership person, and now more than ever. Church its time we took the limits off, joined hands, and let God do His thing.
I’m inspired and truly appreciate the power in partnership. Its a divine principle established by God, lets do it, partner.
We have had a great time so far here in Uganda. The team went out and built today at the Watoto village. What an experience. It is so moving to know that building a classroom in a Watoto village can impact generations. I would like to say thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, and for those who contributed to the cause of Global Reach Africa financially. You have made it possible for us to fulfill the mandate God has given us to right wrongs where we can.
There are over 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, and partnering with Watoto is the best way we can do something about that. They are truly the real deal. They are reaching out now to South Africa and looking forward to the sudan in the near future. My world enlarges and dreams get bigger just being around these great people. They are the best kind of dreamers too. Unassuming, humble, and relentless. Let the devil do what he does, let the circumstances be what they may. We will use obstacles as opportunities and see the promise in the problem.
The team is doing so well. The chemistry on this team is so incredible. As I type this up, I can hear them upstairs playing cards together and laughing and enjoying life. Work hard, play hard, its the only way to be. God is so good.
Everyone is doing fine, feeling well, and can’t believe the trip is almost over. We are missing home and anxious to see everyone but God is doing some great things here.
Tomorrow we build some more, then dedicate the building, then thursday we get to visit the different villages, and those who have sponsored Watoto kids get to visit with their sponsored child.
If you are a part of harvest, let me encourage you, that you can change your world right at home right now. We are right in the middle of our summer server opportunities, and their is a mission field in your back yard through our major outreaches that go on all summer. Kids camp, Foster kids camp, and Youth America. Share your faith today, with your words, and with the expression of the Love of Jesus.