Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Give the Gift of Living Water... literally!


One Benjamin.  A C-note.  One bill.

What if I told you that by giving just $100.00, you could change a family’s life?  Would you do it?

What if I told you that $100.00 could be the single most important ministry gift you make this year because it could save someones life?  Would you make that donation?

And what if I told you that by giving one C-note, you might save a little boy or girl from dying of dehydration?  Would you empty your change jar and instead of turning it into Coinstar, give it to Adventures in Life Ministry?

Here’s the newsflash... it’s all true!

That’s right.  A single donation of $100.00 to Adventures in Life Ministry, in response to this appeal will literally save lives.

Let me explain.

More than 10% of all babies born to indigenous women in Mexico will die before they reach five years old.  I have personally heard from many parents that one of the reasons they have so many kids is that they assume at least one child will die young.

One of the main reasons for these early deaths is lack of quality water.  Many rural parents lack an ability to buy clean water and often, they are living in an area with no potable water source or sewer system.  That means two things... one, outhouses and two, water from polluted wells near those outhouses.

Taken together, this is a recipe for disaster, especially mixed with a lack of quality medical care when your baby does get sick.

So, how can you help?

With a Sawyer Water Filter.  

It really is as simple as that.  

A $100.00 donation will help a family in our little corner of Oaxaca, Mexico have a water filter that will literally change their life.  Pastor Chable, with whom I’ve worked for many years told me in March that his family has not been sick since they got their filter in August.  It is the first time in all his life that his family has ever gone 6 months without being sick!

Incredible isn’t it?

In an age when almost everything we want is at our fingertips here in the United States, our neighbors just to the south are needlessly dying for need of quality water.  And we have within our grasp the ability to change that equation for less than the cost of a few Vente Mochas at Starbucks.

Think about it.  

Every $100.00 will give us one filter to put into the hands of a family in Oaxaca and help support the ongoing ministry of Adventures in Life and Pastor Chable in this challenging area.

Are you able to help us save a life today so that we will have the opportunity tomorrow to share about an eternity with Jesus?  

If so, follow this link to our support page and then drop me a line to let us know you are on board.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Missional Living... is it time to cut the ties that bind?

The house looked like any other pastor’s house you’ve been in.

Neat, clean and comfortable.  Lots of books on the shelves, a computer desk; blender and coffee grinder in the kitchen.

The walls had pictures of the kids and the houses the family had lived in over the years.  There were a few plaques saying thank you from the various churches the family had served over the years.  Crosses adorned the walls in a few spots.

Underneath the television was a pile of Disney videos, an X-Box and a bible or two.

It was as if you were looking at some sort of Norman Rockwell painting of vintage pastoral Americana.

Except this house was not in America.  It was in Mexico, Romania, China, and Russia.  It was in Kenya, Brazil, Japan, and France.  And that is the problem.

US Missionaries living outside our country are increasingly choosing to live apart from the local communities whom they are called to serve.

Out of fear for their safety, both real and imagined, many missionaries who call on others to rely on God and preach a message of God’s provision are living as huddled masses cut off from the reality of the local life and people they are called to serve.

It should not be like this.

Last year I was speaking at a small bible college in Montana and during lunch one of the students decided to share her dreams with me.  Recently married, she told me she and her new husband were going to Latin American to be missionaries. 

When I asked her where, she said their plans were still not final, but that where ever it was, a major airport had to be close by.  I asked her why and she shared that she had diabetes and in case she had an emergency, she wanted to be able to get back to the US quickly for good medical care.  

She was not happy when I suggested she stay home because we do not need more missionaries in foreign lands inexplicably tethered to the US.

Contrast this example with a story shared with me recently about an American missionary serving in Turkey.  He has a serious illness and has decided to stay in Turkey and get treatment.  Will he survive?  Not unless God intervenes and changes the trajectory of his illness.

Yet this missionary, along with his wife and kids have made the decision that there is more to be gained for the Kingdom by staying put in Turkey during the illness and after he dies.  He will even be buried there and his wife will carry on the ministry they built, staying connected to the community they have served.

Which family will have the greater Christian witness over the long term?  The family that gets on the plane back to the US when something difficult crops up, or the family that is so vested in their new country and incarnational living that they cannot conceive of leaving their ministry, friends and the country to where God sent them, even in the face of tragedy?

Jeremy Parks of the Southern Baptist Convention in his excellent blog on this very subject calls it “Living Where You Live” and even connects it to ministry here in the US.

The bottom line is this.  Missionary effectiveness is compromised when those we serve can sense that our hearts reside not with them, but to our home countries and communities.  Effective long term cross cultural ministry cannot happen when we are inextricably bound to our home cultures and lands.

Sadly these tethers often lead to more harm than good.

Your thoughts...