Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Report

It's become the closing chapter on my mission trips every year. Since going to China in July 2008, my congregation has graciously allowed me to report to my brothers and sisters about the Lord's work in Asia. Several times, I've presented on Sunday AM during worship time but since my missions have taken me to Vietnam, we've switched up a bit. Now, I preach to our Chinese-speaking group on a Sunday morning in September followed by my lesson three days later to our English speakers on Wednesday night. That's what's on my calendar the next four days. My initial effort on this Power Point presentation was a month ago to our WCS faculty/staff devotional only nine days after returning. A little more time reflecting on what I saw is always a blessing, a chance to refine my thoughts. Pray I do well.

I'm not good with technology but I have a new laptop, a nice camera, and some good folks helping me get it all on the screen. Since I've worked with the same church the past six years, the faces have become somewhat familiar to my group in Houston. They've watched the growth of the congregation in Can Tho as well as the school which started as an outreach, teaching English in the community. More personally, my American brothers and sisters have seen my Vietnamese brothers and sisters grow up. Dat and Nhi and Uncle Ten and Ngan and Thuy and the three sisters who make key chains out of beads and Oanh who wore WCS shirts every day- their faces have become familiar to fellow believers in Texas they will never meet. I can't forget what Tom Tune, the missionary who began the church in Can Tho, told me. He said the trend in the US for congregations to support one mission field in a big way led to an unfortunate consequence, in his opinion. When churches helped many churches in many nations on a smaller scale, they had the chance to learn about many different mission efforts. With consolidation of support, those glimpses into other locales dried up. And while Tom understood the reasoning and even appreciated the stability putting all your mission eggs into one basket, he still wished we could hear more reports from far-flung places. As a child, we often had missionaries in our home, many of them who were friends of our folks. I saw many slide presentations and while the details are now fuzzy, I remember their impact in a small town in Nebraska. The New Testament is full of the stories of Paul's missionary journeys.I know the first readers thrilled as they learned of many coming into the blessings of life in the Lord. Just think if Paul had the Internet or a Canon 500 SX camera or Power Point or Facebook- he could have really been something! Or maybe, what could we do now with his zeal for the Gospel and the lost? It's never too late to begin. 

Applicable quote of the day:
“Untold millions are still untold.” 
John Wesley

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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