You know the old saying: Seeing is believing. I would counter with this: Believing can be seen! So, this gallery post is about visible evidence of faith. And it’s hard to see faith in action without being thankful.
Seeing What We Believe
The cover image shows me and Pastor Jose. If you don’t know, God opened door of opportunity for us this past April. Pastor Jose and I did not actually meet until last week. But in April he let us know that he would work to encourage pastors in his area to be part of the EquipUs Pastor Training School. Evidence of that commitment was offering the facilities of his church for use as the teaching site. He told us to expect around 50 people to attend and that turned out to be accurate.
We had a great time teaching and meeting new friends. And only God knows where this will take us. I say that for many reasons. At the top of the list is II Timothy 2:2. That verse is our teaching purpose and model. I remind those we teach that we have a very real expectation that they are going to faithfully teach others. When or if they fail to do that, we move on to another field. Where do you see that in these pictures?
Pastor Ramon served as a host pastor when our training school began years ago. He completed both of our required sets of study and graduated twice. Think of it as an Associate’s degree and a Bachelro’s degree. And for the past several years I have included Ramon in our teaching team.
Ramon is not fluent in English, but Wilkyns is. He is also a pastor and a superb translator. What happens when someone translates every lesson for a week – every time we are on site? They learn a great deal and they graduate just like Ramon did. And so you can see why Wilkyns was working last week as translator and teacher.
I share that as visible encouragement. Why? First, we have an enemy. He seeks to distort, destroy and devour. Sometimes he tempts believers into thinking they are unimportant and don’t matter much because they cannot do what others do. Remember, God has individual, unique servants each gifted by the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t have clones! Ephesians 2:10 lets us know good works are ordained for each of us. And Matthew 10:40-42 (I’ve cited this often) tells us that God sees our individual contributions and rewards us equally. It’s Satan’s lie that some of us are more important than others.
Second, you had a part in equipping Ramon and Wilkyns and so many others. You weren’t on the mission team? No problem. You contributed, you prayed and you encouraged. Look again at what Jesus said in Matthew 10. He rewards us equally.
Third, as we all work together to teach and equip Kingdom leaders our work is multiplied – and so are the rewards! Because of our work, those who were enemies of God are now sons of God, new churches have been planted and existing churches are strengthened. New pastors are called and the Gospel is proclaimed. And all of it is possibe because the Body of Christ joins hands and hearts to make it happen. So much to be thankful for!
God’s Mission: People
And God’s method is also people. He uses everyday folks like you and me to do extraordinary things. We make a difference in the lives of boys in the orphanage. That work has been going on for 10 years. It seems like only yesterday we had teams coming in and out to get the structure built. That got done through the efforts of so many. (Donate HERE)
Today, we have young men in the EquipUs Pastor Training School who did some of their growing up in that orphanage. That is a very visible result of faith. At one point, it was my job to find a director for the orphange. It was clear to me that Jodie needed to take that role. At first, he wasn’t convinced. In fact, he didn’t want the job. But God is good and works in His own time and way. The Lord let Jodie know what He had let me know. And in small, everyday ways he faithfully serves the Lord and others. Like all of us, Jodie is God’s method (people) to accomplish God’s mission (people).
James 2:18 reminds us that faith can be seen. Like love, faith is a verb! When these two things are real they produce actions. Those actions can take many forms – like building new churches, water purification projects or medical missions. We believe the Lord has called us to:
- Serve others
- Equip believers
- Grow His Church – physically & spiritually
Somtimes that means joining a mission team, enabling someone else to join the team, or supplying mission needs like building materials or medicine. We must declare the truth of God’s Word but we must also demonstrate that truth. His Word in us makes a difference in how we live and what we do with our time and earthly resources. And don’t think I just dreamed up the connection between declaration and demonstration.
Jesus said our lives are to give visible evidence (demonstration) for people to glorify our Father (Matthew 5:16). And I shouldn’t have to cite the many verses that tell us to preach – teach – declare the Gospel. When we enage with other believers across cultural and racial lines we are giving evidence that our faith is real. We demonstrate the truth of what we say we believe. Then, when we declare that truth, it has been validated by our actions. That’s what you see in last week’s continuing construction of the church in Batey 8. (Get our Newsletter)
Evidence Of Things Not Seen
Many hands have worked on the church in Batey 8. There was faith that it could be built. And now that is well on its way, we have faith for what the Father will accomplish through that congregation. You may not remember that Pastor David (Batey 8) was widowed last year. That has not stopped his desire to lead God’s people who are in his care. So please pray for him and the work that remains on this facility. And I’ll share more evidence of things not seen in the next post!
Finally, the EquipUs Online Auction is coming next week! Please pray and please stay tuned. The purpose for holding the auction is to help us raise funds for 2024 ministry projects – like all the things in this post. None of it can be accomplished by any of us alone – but things beyond our imagination can happen when the Body works together!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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