Full-service Christians

21
Aug

Nicaraguan Adventures – For His Glory!

Hi all!

Our missions team got back from our Nicaraguan adventures last Sunday, after an extra day of unscheduled travel (i.e., flight cancellation in Miami). But all is well that ends well, right?

This year’s team was exceptional. They were so open and willing to have God use them that we accomplished much in His name (in just a few short days)! So this week, I just want to share some snippets from the trip! If you follow me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack), I was posting pictures from Nicaragua in real time! If you haven’t seen them yet, feel free to check out those photos as well!

The first stop on our trip was a stay over in Managua. Sometimes we have to stay over in Managua for one night before getting to Puerto Cabezas. However, we were well taken care of by Henry and Elizabeth. They built this beautiful home for the express purpose to house traveling missionaries coming to Nicaragua!

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Then we got to Puerto Cabezas and got down to business!

First up, we went to an extension of the Verbo church in a nearby community and took part in a good, old fashion baptism in the river!

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Then we helped to build a section of the wall surrounding the complex that houses Pastor Earl’s house, the living quarters for visitors, the orphanage, and the church. No small task! It has been worked on for the last 15 months and is nearing completion. We were blessed to work along side the work crew on this very important safety need!

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During the orphanage staff meeting, Pastor Doug and I had the privilege of speaking about caring for self – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.13907080_10210778005714081_2783050050475216337_n 13892260_10210778007274120_4095720760209696609_n

 

 

 

 

 

We spent time at the feeding center and with the kids at the orphanage. So much love, so little time!!!

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Feeding Center – feeds over 600 kids a day!

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Orphanage kids! -just over 100 kids cared for daily by Verbo Church.

 

 

And at night, we would have porch time. The team had some great insights and stories to share.

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One night at porch time, we had the privilege of hearing Ricardo’s story. This 17-year-old is answering the call on his life to be a pastor! He is being mentored by Pastor Earl and others.

 

 

Of course, we took some time to go to the beach with all the kids at the orphanage! Who could pass that up?

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And then, as quick as the week started, it was over! It was my honor to co-leader this great team of people.

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We learn as much from these trips as we teach during them! We see God’s fingerprints everywhere. We are honored and humbled by the people we serve there. And we continue the mission in Jesus’ name!!!

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20 NIV

Until next year’s trip, we pray for Verbo Church and the community of Puerto Cabezas!!!

PS: It is never too late to start planning to go with us next year!!! If interested, let me know!

 

 

19
Jun

Five Practical Ways to Answer God’s Calling

Have you ever thought about God’s calling on your life? Does the prospect of God using you seem so intimidating that you can’t possibly see it working out right? Are you still contemplating how you would even pull off what He has put in your heart?

I can tell you, years ago, I was in your shoes. I clearly heard from God: “You will speak in my name.” And yet, all the details were not truly revealed at that time. He gave me just enough to know that what He was speaking to me was His assignment for me. Not my friends, not my neighbor, but little ol’ 5’2” me.

And yes, I was filled with self-doubt. But my doubts didn’t surround what God could do, rather they were a reflection of my inability to conceive how I would carry it out.

“Lord, my background has been in nursing. I know I lead small group on Friday nights, but that is only eight to ten people, and most of them are close friends at this point. I have no degree in theology. There are still scriptures I have a hard time interpreting.”

So why would a big and powerful God use mixed-up, broken people like you and I to carry out some really great things in His name? Simply put – relationship. God is all about relationship, and we were created for relationship with God and with others.

Relationship doesn’t occur in isolation. It is a give and take, a back and forth, an exchange of thoughts, feelings, and actions. When strong, healthy relationships are in place –us and God, us and others –big things do happen!

Our relationships are the vehicle God uses to help us fulfill the calling on our life. And although everyone has their own specific and unique way to contribute to that calling, our joint efforts help to carry out the overall calling that God has given the followers of Christ:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:19 AMP

I hope some of the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place for you now. And as you are considering all of this, let’s talk about some practical ways we can answer God’s call on our life:

  1. Love God. We can’t be disconnected from the power source and expect anything to happen. So the first thing we must do is check in on our relationship with God.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’” Matt. 22:37 NLT

  1. Pray consistently. If you want God to provide further details on your assignment over time, there has to be an ongoing dialogue with Him. That’s what prayer is all about.

Never stop praying. 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

  1. Know why we do what we do. Several times in the Bible, we are commanded to love. Love our neighbors, love our enemies, and simply to love others. We can do this only within the context of these words written by John:

We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NLT

  1. Be brave. When we go out in Jesus’ name, we never go out alone. One of the most gracious things the Lord does in scripture is to remind us over and over not to be afraid. My favorite go-to verse when I feel dread creeping in is:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7 NLT

  1. And lastly, praise Him for the end result (even if we don’t see it). We don’t always get to see the immediate result of our work for Christ, but we can count on our efforts contributing to His overall plan and that His will – will.be.done!

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever. Ps. 86:12 NLT

Were you expecting something different? Perhaps a more scholarly discussion. Nope! It really isn’t necessary. One thing we need to remember is God simply asks that we ‘do.’ When we obey His instructions, He does all the heavy lifting. None of us can change another person’s heart, only Jesus can do that. But praise Him that we get to be a part of the process.

I heard that sigh of relief you just let out! That’s great!

I hope the weight of the world has been removed from your shoulders, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy. No doubt, there’s a lot of work to do. But when we take practical steps: love God, pray consistently, remember why we do what we do, be brave, and praise Him for the end result, the work goes much smoother!

I would love to hear from you! What has God called you to do? What part of this writing really blessed you? Which area(s) do you need to work on so that the load seems lighter?


Amplified Bible (AMP). Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.