How YouR Support is Working in God's Mission Field
I pray that this note finds you well! Cathy and I (and some family and friends!!) are very excited as we prepare for a return visit to Rorya and Musoma, Tanzania. Please pray for us as the final preparations are made – pray that our wills are set aside and only Our Father in heaven’s will is done among us. We are now in the Church season called Lent. One of the wonderful lessons of Lent is the Christian imperative “to consider the other ahead of yourself.” (Philippians 2) It is brilliant to see how our God is working through so many Christians here in Canada and the United States to bring the Light of Christ to so many in Tanzania.
People have asked about our mission – that of carrying the Gospel into places of poverty and persecution. We are often asked what we “really” do. Cathy, Callum and I visited a new Church plant whose pastor’s stipend is supported by ACrossMission in August 2016. We met in a small stick and tarp structure that literally would have blown away had there been a breeze in that hot dry place. The pastor there and his family were barely hanging on. They were sad. They were sick. They were hungry. The congregation was small – perhaps half a dozen adults apart from the pastor and his wife.
This morning I had the joy to receive a note from this pastor. The congregation has grown to 40 adults. They are studying the Bible together, and preparing themselves for their life in God’s mission. They are learning how to be disciples of Jesus and how to be “makers of disciples.” They are preparing for Baptisms and are praying they will be ready soon in 2018. In the meantime – they are also working together to have a place of worship – a place to “gather and teach” – a place to “prepare and plan evangelism”. Here is a picture of that place today. It is just a building – yes! But it is a building inspired by, empowered by and encouraged by the hearing and receiving of the Gospel. This building, and the 40 adults and their children who fill it, are the work of a local pastor and his wife who “feel God’s love through ACrossMission.” This ministry is no longer a ministry of sadness, sickness and despair – they live in the love of Christ.
Today people will ask “what are you giving up for Lent?” Lent has an ancient tradition of sacrifice; but if we leave it there, we will not have heard the lesson completely. Our Lenten sacrifice is not merely a challenge to ourselves to be overcome and conquered. Christians do not sacrifice for the self – or to prove we can do it - we sacrifice for the other.
As you journey through Lent and as you hear the call of our Christ to love the other beyond the self, I would ask you to remember ACrossMission and its work of loving local indigenous pastors who carry God’s Light into places of persecution and poverty. Please pray for this work.
Rev. Howard Edwards
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