While I was sitting in a teaching session in SEND last week I had an "A-Ha" moment. Some might call them a Kairos moment, or use the expression "a light bulb just went off." However, this one was really intense. It felt like I was kicked in the gut, as I sat there thinking in stunned silence: "Thank you Lord. Thank you. Thank you Lord." Our teacher was Dan Schilling, who works for Compass-Finances God's Way. He was teaching on the topic of Stewardship, and was stating so much incredible information, testimony, and backing it up with Scripture. Dan is a gifted teacher, one who is dynamic and comes across so real. You can tell when someone has found their purpose in life...and this man has found his! Then he said it: "56% of the population makes $2 a day." Ughh, say again bro? If God owns all money, are we not just a tad bit blessed folks? I sat there. I wrote it down and then just stared at it. I have heard this type of statistic before, but this time it really stuck in my thick nugget. Why? To realize how blessed we are in the U.S., and to then be inspired to do something about it as a disciple and a missionary. Then came the question: "Who really is my master (God or money)?" A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Christ. Why do 95% of all decisions made boil down to money? More stunned silence....chew...chew...chew......
The teachers God has blessed us with in this ministry have been nothing short of incredible. Every week our students are learning, growing, and being challenged. They are being given mind-blowing teaching, advice, and knowledge from experts and pastors. As I sat there, chewing on the above statements about how much people make and live on, I was just overwhelmed by gratitude. My life will be forever changed by the teaching I got on stewardship by Dan. I will now look at this subject with new eyes and then share this with others, including my wife, family, friends, and future disciples. That is just one aspect of how grateful we are to our teachers and the awesome curriculum put together by Dr. Kent Hunter. Every week, we are having such huge "A-Ha" moments in our teaching sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. For that, we say, "Thank you Lord! Our teacher's rock! We Praise You and give all glory to You!"
Romans 1:16 states: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." In SEND, I am incredibly moved at how our students are growing and how real and bold they are in sharing the Gospel and their testimony. This last month of February was quite an exciting and jam-packed month in the area of mission and getting out living as Christians in the world. A couple of highlights: going to downtown Indianapolis during Super Bowl weekend. We were given a tour of the State House by the chaplain and spent time hearing an amazing testimony and praying on him. We then spent all day at the Super Bowl Village, prayer walking, checking out an awesome church, and having a ball while keeping God first in all we did. We had some incredible missions throughout the month, including going back to the Lighthouse Apartments, spending time with the elderly in worship and fellowship at Sacred Heart Nursing Home in Avilla, helping with a painting project at The Wreck (a teen hangout in Kendallville), along with partnering with Warm a Heart Ministries in Auburn, feeding and serving those in need. We also were blessed to share testimony and the SEND story in two Kendallville churches: St John Lutheran and Harvest Community. They both supported us in our mission trip to Guatemala! Thank you!
For all of our prayer support partners, we thank you! To all who have blessed us financially, we thank you as well. We have raised about one-quarter of our trip to Guatemala. If possible, please click on the link to your left if you can help us with a tax-deductible gift.
Till next month: peace and blessings! If you know a 20-something who is looking for direction, searching for purpose, might be lost, needs the Lord, please get ahold of me! We have now started recruiting for this fall's SEND 2012-13 unit! Be a Servant, Equipping, New Disciples!