Good Morning Church Family,
Happy Independence Day week. I know that many of you will be enjoying time away this week and into the holiday weekend and I hope it is an enjoyable time for you. While you are gone away, please stay healthy and remember to pray for nation and our church.
Yesterday at church, Pastor Josh delivered a powerful message that encouraged us to do the things that we are commanded to do as a church in the books of Acts. One of the challenges that he gave us was to be on mission and specifically that we should be on mission to reach the world. I can tell you from the experience of doing foreign missions trips, that is extremely rewarding. I have been blessed to take close to 20 trips to foreign lands and see first-hand what God is doing in places all around the world. I would encourage anyone to go on one of these trips and it is my prayer that soon we will be able to launch a few trips from Hyland Heights.
One trip in particular that stands out to me, is one that I took to Thailand in 2009. I had never been to any country in this part of the world and I was taken back by their devotion to the Buddhist religion. Up until this point, I had only visited countries in which the dominant religion was Protestant or Catholic. It was surprising and disappointing to see people who were so closed to the Gospel. The Thai people were kind and listened to us share, but they were not interested in make a life change. We were told that to accept Christ was to reject all else. They would loose their families, their jobs, and their future opportunities if they left Buddhism. We spent 10 days in Bangkok and after this whole time, we had only seen no conversions. I remember one of the last nights we were there I was very discouraged and thought that I had not accomplished anything. I opened my Bible to this passage
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. - Galatians 6:8-10.
I was convicted by my lack of faith and yet encouraged that our work was not in vain. I wish I could tell you that the next day, we saw many decisions, but instead there was a new realization that we had accomplished God’s mission for that trip. I know that it is easy to be discouraged right now. The world and our nation seem to be going crazy and there seems to be little relief in sight. My encouragement to you is to embrace the message our pastor shared with us yesterday. Be on mission for Christ and do not grow weary as you remember that God is ultimately going use your efforts for His good.
Have a great week -
Pastor Mike Summy