“I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” (John 10:16)
God has a people in every people group. He will call them with Creator power. And they will believe! What power is in these words for overcoming discouragement in the hard places of the frontiers!
The story of Peter Cameron Scott is a good illustration. Born in Glasgow in 1867, Scott became the founder of the Africa Inland Mission. But his beginnings in Africa were anything but auspicious.
His first trip to Africa ended in a severe attack of malaria that sent him home. He resolved to return after he recuperated. This return was especially gratifying to him because this time his brother John joined him. But before long, John was struck down by fever.
All alone, Peter buried his brother and in the agony of those days recommitted himself to preach the gospel in Africa. Yet his health gave way again, and he had to return to England.
How would he ever pull out of the desolation and depression of those days? He had pledged himself to God. But where could he find the strength to go back to Africa? With man it was impossible!
He found strength in Westminster Abbey. David Livingstone’s tomb is still there. Scott entered quietly, found the tomb, and knelt in front of it to pray. The inscription reads:
OTHER SHEEP I HAVE WHICH ARE NOT OF THIS FOLD; THEM ALSO I MUST BRING.
He rose from his knees with a new hope. He returned to Africa. And today the mission he founded is a vibrant, growing force for the gospel in Africa.
If your greatest joy is to experience the infilling grace of God overflowing from you for the good of others, then the best news in all the world is that God will do the impossible through you for the salvation of the hidden peoples (John Piper, Solid Joys Devotional).
Debriefing this week…
This week we had a chance to sit down with the young people who participated on this years trips and challenge them to ask God if they are called to long-term missions.
We like to challenge them even further: If they are called to go, then to go where the need is greatest! Only 2,4% of missionaries and 0.01% of missions funding works among unreached people groups! It is good to go where we are useful, but to follow Christ is to go where we are necessary.
Our last challenge is this: If they are not called to go they are called to send!
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15
We all have a calling! Are you a goer or a sender???!!!
Four people on the church staff have their birthdays this month! Four!
We are so thankful to work with some pretty wonderful people and so I wanted to send them a special birthday wish from us and a thank you for the opportunity to minister alongside of them.
Luigi, the children’s pastor; Sara, the youth pastor, Gianluca, my amazing husband and director of the center, missions ministry and i6:8; and Pinuccio, the Pastor of the church in Modugno all celebrate their birthdays this month!
Happy birthday to all of you!!!
A few other birthday wishes…to my two nieces and my nephew, and our dear friend Aaron who also celebrate their birthdays this month!
We headed over to Naples today to renew Chloe’s and my passport. It is always a long and tiring trip over with a bored 5 year old in the car ;D (1 hr and 15 min just to cross Naples!). But this year we took a walk by the sea and breathed the fresh air and walked to the main piazza to see the church and the Galleria. It was beautiful and a special day with our youngest. It is always a joy as a parent to have a moment or two with just one of your children to make them feel special and give them attention- treasure those moments…
We were able to host another group this last week! It was a joy to host a team from Holland at the center. They came to do some much needed work at the center in order to create two new apartments to host missionaries and missionary candidates.
They worked very hard all week and we appreciate them and their attitude tremendously!
We are also so thankful to have our team members, Ben and Tjits, back home at Ruvo with us. They just returned from a month+ in Holland and we are so happy to have them here working with us.
Our oldest is 9 today. I can’t believe I have a nine year old! We celebrated Indiana Jones style with an archeology party (his passion). We are thankful for the gift he is to our family and happy to take a moment to celebrate his beautiful life!
Happy Birthday EJ
NEW LOOK, NEW SEASON
We started 2 services today! The church we are serving in moved to a morning and evening service. The first time since being in our new facility. We hope that this will open the doors to new growth in the church and we look forward to seeing God fill the seats with new hearts sold out for Him!
Our dear friend finally made it back to Italy! After 16 years!
We were honored to host Dana Erickson and a team from CCV for 10 days at the center here in Ruvo. It was a very last minute surprise for which we were thrilled to have the opportunity and blessed by the contact. It was a great opportunity to meet new brothers and sisters in Christ and to connect with a wonderful church in California. They also blessed us with a super-amazing and much needed gift of a laptop for Gianluca! Praise the Lord for how He provides in unexpected ways! And thank you for kind and giving hearts!!!
We were especially happy to have Dana here with us. It was fun to see him after a few years and we hope next time Denise will come along too!
Thank you Jesus for surprises! You always have special gifts in store for us when we least expect it!