Coming to a Close
It’s been a whirlwind tour… and a very meaningful time of ministry. Thanks so much for everyone for following us along the way… reading our blog entries, looking and “liking” pix, sending comments, and just praying. It’s great to know that we can travel together in this modern age, and support each other so specifically in prayer as each team progresses through the mission. It’s not too late to forward this post, or the picture album to others to get them to pray for Uganda!
It’s been such a privilege to travel with two young men of God. I’ve had some very proud moments watching each of them be filled with the Sprit, and stepping out in faith. The both delivered great messages, and many testimonies as God opened up doors around us. Matthew and I definitely grew closer, and I think that he began to understand in a deeper way his father’s heart for missions, and his heavenly father’s passion for his glory in all the earth.
Vic is definitely seeking a knowledge of where God wants him to serve in the world, and it’s been great praying him through that. I’ve watched his world-view continue to expand over these past four years of getting to know him, and having the joy of mentoring him even in small ways. He’s on fire, and it’s great to walk with young men who are filled with zeal, and hungry to see God work in their own lifetime… not just reading about the Acts of the Apostles as an ancient history, but rather as a manual for interacting with God’s missions in the 21st century.
We have met so many amazing people. And, of course we’ve known many of them for years because of our long-term relationship with Juna Amagara ministries, and doing so many mission trips with them in the past. I’ve met Rev. Ben many times in the past, but seeing him on his own turf definitely deepened my understanding of his passion for reaching Ugandans… from the weakest orphan, to the future church leaders who are being mentored in Abide. Godfrey and Roland were amazing guides, and I’m so thankful for new friends. I have a feeling that many of you are going to get a chance to meet them. Both, by coming to Uganda, and also when we are able to bring them to Sugar Grove/Aurora/Indian Creek, and introduce them to all of you in person. Their authenticity as servants of the Lord has been shown over and over. Thanks guys!
Seeing Matt and Crystal in their element also was on of the greatest joys of the trip. Just to relax with them in their home on Monday for Matt’s day off, and then to see ABIDE kick off was really a dream come true. We’ve been wanting to be a church that really supports our missionaries in critical ways, and they expressed just how much it means for us to take time to come and just visit. Doing ministry with them is awesome too, but just being together… in their home is something that is reciprocally encouraging. I hope the videos that I am brining home now of Juna Amagara, and their personal greetings will help all of our campuses at VBC get to know them better, and to deepen our prayers and concerns for them.
Now comes the long road home. I miss my wife and my kids dearly, but I am not homesick. I’m sure I could live here, or India, or Eastern Europe, or really anywhere if the Lord would made that clear. I can’t wait to someday bring my wife into these experiences of mission mobilization. The time for reunions are just around the corner, but these next 24 hours in the van, airplanes, layovers, etc.. will be important times for an inner percolation of ideas, and relfections of all that we have just experienced. Not just the three of us, but of all of us who find ourselves reading this post.
The missions field (both international, and our neighborhoods) is closer than we think. Technology is connecting the world in ways that we could never have really imagined when I was studying missions 20 years ago at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. There will be ways to touch hearts with the gospel 20 years from now that we haven’t even thought up yet. The most important thing is that all of us stay engaged in the mission until our Savior returns. We really ought to be praying daily, and we out to be stimulating each other continually to throw off the things that don’t matter, so that we can impact those souls who will join us worshipping in eternity around the throne of Grace. There will be some from every tribe, tongue, and nation… and WE will play a part in getting the GOOD NEWS to them. The invitation to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb is still open… for now.