Alex, a mask, missions and praying hands – how does all that get into one picture and one title? And why put it all together? Well, that’s the reason for this post. So let me invite you to find out why!
Alex – A Mission Face
Several years ago I did a series of posts entitled The Faces Of ROW. Now, Rivers of the World has turned into Mission: Hope. But there is still a great need to put a face with missions. Why?
Experience has shown an unintended consequence of building the largest mission sending agency the world. That would be the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). I support the very important work of the IMB. But in my lifetime, too many SBC churches have lost the personal connection to real missionaries in real places working with real people who all have names.
People in many of our SBC churches hear ‘missions’ and they have no personal connection to the term. ‘Mission’ is something done somewhere by someone. And the participation level for many is simply knowing their local church wrote a check. To them, ‘missions’ and missionaries are anonymous terms. When I work with a church, they get to know me and I get to know them. And pastors of those churches tell me a great benefit of working together is their church has a person and a face to associate with missions. It’s important to say all that, but it’s the long way around to tell you about Alex!
Three Blessings – God Is Good!!!
Alex has participated in other missions with me. I know his family very well. In fact, I smiled when I saw the picture I asked him to send me. I am pretty sure it was taken when his sister got married. A previous blessing for me was getting to perform that ceremony.
So I was not surprised when Alex called me to ask if I could connect him to a mission project. As I write, he is in the air. By the time some of you read this, he will be on the ground in Santo Domingo and on his way to Samana. I’ll join him there in a couple of weeks. And then we will be joined by another young man I know well. And I’ll be sharing more info with you about both of them.
We have a great relationship with St. Peter’s Church in Samana. And last year, Pastor Jerlin asked if we could send people to teach English classes. The idea is to offer an ESL (English as Second Language) class as an outreach to their community. That request was just ‘walking around’ with me until Alex called. His desire was to plug into a mission opportunity but he wasn’t sure what he could do since he didn’t speak another language. I told him he was perfectly equipped to meet a mission request!
It’s still true that God equips those He calls. It’s also true that He most often uses what we already have. My favorite example of that is Moses and his staff. He brought it with him to meet the Lord in the burning bush. But when surrendered to the Lord, that stick became the rod of God. You know the story.
A Young Lady
The third blessing is a young lady who has also been part of previous missions. She is currently in college and studying for a degree that will likely put her in the Middle East. She called a few weeks ago and shared that news. But she didn’t call just to update me. She wanted to know how she could make missions part of her career. Now, I may or may not be able to tell you a great deal about her given where she will be. But I am working to get people around her to support, guide, and train her for missional work. And just so you know I know this, all of this is possible because of you – the many helping hands of this ministry!
Faces Behind The Mission Mask
Alex is one face behind the ‘mission mask.’ He’s a real guy with a desire to do Kingdom work. He needs your prayers. And i have told him that I would publish that need. Some of you know Alex. Others of you only know what I have told you. But a great way to encourage Alex (and me!) is to leave a comment below this post. Let him know you are praying for him. And if you are one of those who know him personally, I won’t suggest you forego a personal or private note. It’s not either-or but a both-and kind of thing. Send the private note, but also use the comments section. It’s a good way to see many responses in one place.
Updates will follow! Please pray and please comment below…
Soli Deo Gloria!