Experience Creation (Mission Trip Lesson #5)…

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Have you ever seen the beauty of God’s creation and it took your breath away?  Pictures never do spectacular views justice, but at least it serves as a reminder.  Our mission team visited the municipal building in Ojitlan.  We walked up a flight of stairs and were immediately struck by this view.  I couldn’t speak, tears rolled down my face.  I was so overcome with the beauty of it and with the gratitude of being allowed to see it… to feel it.

I haven’t traveled much in my life.  I’ve been more places than some people, I’m sure… but far less than others.  In life, we need to get out of our box and experience God’s creation.  He made the world, yet we confine ourselves to small areas and rarely see what He has done.  I know that there are many places in the world that we may not have the money or ability to see, but with some effort, there are many we can.

I knew that I was going to Mexico, but I didn’t know that we would see this volcano along the way…

I saw some of the most beautiful flowers…

I saw my son in a way that I don’t really get to see at home, in the daily grind.  I saw him as a young man who has listened to things we’ve tried to teach and of whom I am very proud…

I heard the laughter of some sweet friends.  Music to the soul…

You don’t have to go around the world to experience God’s creation.  You will see more of it if you do, but there is creation all around us.  Beautiful flowers, trees, butterflies, people, smiles, laughter.  The key is to see it, to experience it, to feel it. To know that God made all things and that we are gifted with the ability to live amongst it all.  Don’t take it for granted.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

God Can Use Your Circumstance (Mission Trip Lesson #4)…

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About four years ago, our church adopted an “unreached people group” in Oaxaca, Mexico.  My understanding is that this is a group, among many, identified by the International Mission Board as never being reached by the Gospel.  The first team went to start our journey as a church to reach these people.

On their way through the mountains, the horrible roads caused two flat tires.  Now, let me explain that in the car were two, yes TWO, pregnant ladies!  Can you imagine?!  On a mountain highway… in a country where you don’t speak the language… two flat tires… two pregnant ladies… and no tire store.

The group of five had broken down in front of a house.  The ladies of the house invited some to stay there while the others went to the nearest city to get the tires fixed.  These ladies don’t have much, but they offered shade, bananas, and most important… hospitality.

Since then, our church has had many teams go to Mexico.  Just about every team that goes visits these ladies.  We now affectionately call them “the ladies by the river.”  Years have gone by.  Two of those first team members have followed God’s call and moved to Mexico to further our efforts to reach these people.  Garrett and Brittany live in Tuxtepec, Mexico with their two beautiful children (their youngest was born there).

From that first encounter until now (April, 2017) there have been six professions of faith and three baptisms from the ladies family!  Garrett & Brittany continue to visit the ladies by the river every two weeks.  They continue to disciple the ladies so that the ladies can disciple others.  All from two flat tires.  In my book, that would have been considered a bad… or at least scary day.  Instead, it became a story of salvation.

What’s the lesson here?  God will use your circumstance, if you let Him.  I don’t know what your circumstance is… maybe it’s a trial you are going through… maybe it’s just a chance encounter with someone… maybe it’s a flat tire… whatever it is, look around.  See what God has for you in that moment.  Be sensitive to your surroundings…

I encourage you to follow Garrett and Brittany through their journey.  Please pray for them as they follow God’s call to be missionaries in a foreign land.  No matter where you are reading this, you can be a part of reaching these people.  Visit their website to find out how you can give, go, and/or pray… The Knights of Mexico.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10