Catching the Vision

For over 130 years the Christian and Missionary Alliance has been taking the gospel message of Jesus Christ to the nations. This passion for reaching lost people with the gospel still resonates passionately among The Alliance family to this day. I firmly believe that our calling here at Circle Drive Alliance still beats with the passion of our founder Dr. Simpson as we seek to make disciples of Jesus here in our local community, there among our region, and everywhere, even to the ends of the earth. This is who we are.

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I want to ask you to stop and think about whether or not you are as passionate for global missions as our founder was or as our Lord Jesus is? I think that if we honestly assess our hearts, we would have to answer that we probably aren’t as passionate for missions as we’d like to be. We often get distracted by the things that we feel in our own lives and forget about missions or put the nations on the back burner. 

To make sure that Jesus’ command to preach the gospel to the nations is constantly before us, we often need a refreshing of the vision. I want to inform you of a wonderful opportunity that I have. I have been approached by the District to be a part of a pastoral vision team that will gain a fresh perspective on what God is doing in the lives of the people of Bosnia and Germany. I am a part of a team of 4 lead pastors from around the district, and we will be there from November 7th-17th.

Our team will interact with international workers in their fields, participate in their work, meet the people whose lives have been touched by the gospel, and to prayerfully consider how we can better engage our churches and district in partnering with these workers and churches to take the gospel to the nations. I firmly believe that through this trip God will give voice to this incredible work and allow me to communicate His heart for the nations to you through this trip. 

Friends, this trip is all about how we can have greater engagement with the mission and our workers. I long for you to join me in prayer over the next months so that I will be able to hear from God in powerful ways. Also pray about how Jesus would have you participate with Him and us as we preach the gospel to the nations. I look forward to all that Jesus will do through this incredible time in our church. May God receive all glory, honor, and praise. 

The Bridge 2017

I am writing this to you from the Resonate Conference hosted by The Alliance. It has been a wonderful time for me to grow Spiritually and to catch the vision of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The president of the Alliance, John Stumbo, reminded the pastors here that we are to be a Christ-centered Acts 1:8 family. This is a great vision but how do we become a Christ-centered Acts 1:8 family? President Stumbo informed us that we do this through “loving, proclaiming, reaching, and launching others.” When you sent the youth to The Bridge Community Center last week, you were doing exactly that. 

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The teenagers were “launched” out last week to show love to a hurting community, and they were able to do this because of your love and financial support. Thank you for investing in the lives of our teenagers, showing them Christ’s love, and for believing in them enough to “launch” them off to The Bridge Community Center. 

Our typical day started at 9 am when we arrived at The Bridge. We worked very hard prepping for crafts, and games, ripping out carpet, taking things off walls, organizing rooms that were in disarray, putting new carpet in, taking out trash, and fixing the ninja rope course. A lot of hard labor was done each morning. The students were exhausted before lunch. After lunch, children from the community would start coming into The Bridge for VBS. The teens interacted with the children and showed them God’s love through opening game time, sitting with them during the lesson, helping them during craft time and then playing with them until their parents picked them up at 3:45 pm. After the children were gone, we would have a quick meeting about the day and then clean up from VBS. I am proud of the teenagers that went on The Bridge Missions trip. They worked hard and showed Christ’s love to the children in the community of Johnson City. 

Our students also experienced seeing children come to know Christ as their Savior. There was one child, specifically that the leader of The Bridge, Pastor Arnie Buehler, was excited about because of the way the child was expressing his Salvation to his parents; how he had come from a dark place to a place where he knows Jesus loves him. 

The effect this missions trip has on the teenagers does not end on our return home. The teens are impacted by seeing and experiencing your love and support for them. It gives them an ownership in serving God in our own church and beyond. This trip gave them a chance to see that they can serve God and show Christ’s love to others. 

This trip would not have been possible without your support. Thank you!