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Envy

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Here is a quote that is really resonating with me and our team this week;

Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is-where life & death, sin & grace, Heaven & Hell converge. – RC Shannon

It is hard to put into words the greatness of God and how incredible the display of that greatness has been this week. We landed late Saturday and popped up early Sunday to attend church here in Jinja. We were tired and jet lagged but we went… And I am so glad that we did. We worshipped together with a people that we could hardly understand and have very little in common with on the surface. But in reality we have everything in common in our hope in Jesus Christ. It was a beautiful preview to what it will be like on the day that every tribe, tongue and nation is worshipping together in one accord in the throne room of God!

Yesterday our team went to Serving His Children (@servingHis) and began a project to repair a road so that their team can pass more safely and with greater urgency as they transport children who are severely malnourished. This ministry is a place where children who are malnourished can come with a family member, get healthy, get educated on nutrition and be exposed to the gospel. The ministry embodies the reality of being a place where life and death converge. This week alone, three babies have died as a result if malnutrition. This ministry is a light in a dark place and an incredible testimony of the truth that the greater the call that God places on our lives, the higher the cost to act upon it. I encourage you to check out this ministry’s website HERE

Today the guys on our team went back to complete the work as the remainder of our team went to pack and deliver enough food for 200 families for the next two weeks!!

Tonight we gathered to simply worship God- the perfect way to end a challenging day. The truth is here we are confronted moment by moment with the truth that life is not guaranteed; that eternity hangs in the balance and that it is only the hope of Jesus that fully heals any of us. I envy being here. I envy the urgency and the perspective that exists within this context. Many insignificant and trivial things fade away in the shadow of the gloriousness of the gospel.

-Rob Jr

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On Mission; Africa Day 5

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Stop With The Pity

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”  Mark 15:39

 

Too often we fall victim to pity.  We pity that Jesus had to die on a cross.  We pity the brutality of his death.  We pity and feel sorry for those who have given their lives for him.  But I would submit that Jesus did not die for our pity.  Jesus didn’t die so that we could feel sorry for him because he’s pitiful.  Jesus died so that we would worship Him because he’s so powerful.  We can feel sorry for people and not feel called to submit our lives to them.  We can feel sorry for someone and actually think lower of them.  Jesus didn’t die to evoke our pity.  He died to consume our lives.  As we are challenged by what we see and the brokenness around us let us default not to pity but to worship of the eternal King Jesus.

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On Mission; Africa Day 4

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Serving as Servants

How will you reveal Christ to people today?  How will you meet someone in the midst of their struggle and point them to Jesus?  How will you serve a child, paint a wall or pull a weed and make it about the Gospel?  How will you serve those you are serving with?  What we do on this earth matters.  What you do today matters.

Read Matthew 25:21-46 and reflect on the eternality of our mission.

 

-Rob Jr.

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On Mission; Africa Day 3

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Born and Raised

This mission trip is a serious step in your development as a young Christian.  I cannot overstate this.  You are in Africa. You are on mission, and you are being shaped by God, our Creator.  Let’s think on that:  God molded you, birthed you, placed you in your family, set your experiences and has led you here.  You have been born according to God’s purposes and are in the very midst of being raised for His purposes.  Titus 3:5 says, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

But know this; God has done all this for HIS glory in your life.  You are bought with a price and you are on mission at His command.  How will you develop for His glory this week?

 

-Rob Jr.

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On Mission; Africa Day 2

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The One Thing You Should be Afraid Of

One of the most prominent commands in the entire Bible is ‘fear not.’  Yet we are so often captured by fear — fear of not being loved, fear of harm or sickness, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown.  Nevertheless, the command remains, Fear Not.

But I don’t think we have a fear issue; I believe we have a faith issue.

Faith in God is not the absence of fear; Faith in God is knowing the presence of Christ is bigger than anything we may face.

We are not called to be fearful.  Actually just the opposite – look at 2 Timothy 1:7 –

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

 

But let’s be honest with ourselves, being fearless is much easier said than done.  As this week begins, I challenge you to think not about fear but rather faith.  Let our moments of fear be God’s moments of hope.   Truly, the only thing we should fear is not trusting God in these moments of opportunity.  Fear being out of God’s will.  Let faith replace fear.  Let faith trump fear.  Let faith OUTLAST fear.  Let your FAITH overcome your fear because our God can! What are you afraid of? Write out the ways that faith can overcome those fears.

 

-Rob Jr.

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On Mission; Africa Day 1

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Today (and tomorrow) we will travel.  It will be fun, tiring, smelly.  It will be a long time!  But it will be exciting because we know that at our destination we will find a people in desperate need of the hope of Jesus Christ.  As we travel, ask God to prepare your heart and mind.  Write out your expectations and hopes for the trip.  Be specific.  Write down your prayers of what you hope God accomplishes through you on this trip.  Write verses of significant to you.  Write worship song lyrics.  Spend time meeting with God – it’s a long plane ride.

 

Here is a verse to kick you off …

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  John 15:12

 

-Rob Jr.

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Before We Leave…

 

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ON MISSION: Only hours remain until many of us load up and head to Light of the Village in Prichard, Alabama!  And at the end of July others of us will be journeying to Jinja, Uganda to serve.  The theme for many of us this summer is ‘On Mission.’  As we prepare to be on the go, I would like to share a few last minute tips to help get us prepared and be ready.

 

1.  Dont call it a sacrifice!  Too often I hear people saying things like, ‘I am making a sacrifice to go on a mission trip this summer,’ or ‘We are sacrificing (INSERT ITEM HERE)  to go on this mission trip this summer.’ Doing what God has called us to do is never a sacrifice- it is a calling.  We have been commissioned.  We have before us an opportunity.  Embrace it.  Stop worrying about what you are giving up and start thinking about what you are laying down to go on mission! Obedience > sacrifice.

2.  Be ACTIVE and expect God to do the same!  A quote from the popular World War II martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer reads, “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.”   We will be in the midst of the action this week, on the front lines and in the trenches.  There is no better place for us to be and believe that God has you here for a reason and expect God to move in miraculous ways!

3. Pray.  Simple enough.  But more than just praying for the sake of praying, pray as if your life depended on it.  Pray not as if you want to endure this week but rather that you want God to use this week to change you forever.

-Rob Jr.

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Enjoying the Final Moments

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Our Week (so far) In Pictures

This week has been incredible.  As I sit here on a bench near a creek listening to the waters pass by the rocks I cannot help but be in awe of our masterful God.  And our students have encountered God this week in some incredible ways  and I will soon be sharing some of those stories.  BUT we have also managed to have a little fun while we’ve been here and here are a few visual evidences.

 


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Please continue Praying.  See you all tomorrow.

 

-Rob Jr.

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Camp SWO At Its Best

Today has been a blast.  The teaching theme of the day has been relationships.  The Camp Pastor, Brody Holloway, challenged the students to emulate relationships from the Bible this morning and then the breakout sessions were divided guys/girls and the the discussion was lust and how to deal with it.  Tonight the guys and girls are again divided as the theme of relationships is continuing to be taught.  The girls are hearing about how Christ pursues us and how they should wait to be pursued by a godly man.  The guys are being challenged to step up, take God seriously and pursue Christ before the pursue a girl.

Today was also the day that all of us went white water rafting.  The water was absolutely frigid but the students had a great time splashing each other and throwing their friends into the icy water.  Tonight will end with share groups and prayer.  It truly is a sight to behold to see God working in your students.  The questions they are asking, the prayer requests they are sharing, the hurts that they are opening up about, even the burdens they have for some of you parents are all coming out and being laid bare before God.

Please continue to pray for God to heal and give hope.  Here are a few more pictures for the last few days.

 

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