What a thrill it will be this Sunday to commission our short-term missions team to Jamaica, as they will be leaving for their ministry in Jamaica next Thursday, May 28. The team consists of Valerie and Adam Uthlaut, Catherine Mahoney, and Grant Broeker. We will go along with them in spirit and prayer. This is an exciting step in the history of Emmanuel’s ministry – our first-ever international missions team ! The team will be working alongside of, and in support of, the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jamaica. As you know, one of our supported missionaries in that part of the world is Janet Snyder who serves with CEF.
What will the team be doing ?
While Adam and Grant are busy installing windows and doing painting at CEF headquarters in Kingston, Valerie and Catherine will be teaching children in schools and CEF clubs in Kingston and outlying areas. Their theme will be “God’s Creation,” with Valerie teaching about the awe and wonder of creation from a scientific point of view, and Catherine teaching about the beauty of creation through art. Specifically, on Saturday, May 30, there is a CEF kids’ rally that will involve 200 children. Valerie and Catherine will have teaching time with a number of the kids in that large group. Other rallies and classes are also scheduled during the team’s stay in Jamaica, May 28 – June 5.
It will be important that we surround this venture and this team with our prayers !
Why should we care about being “world Christians” ?
Why should people in Missouri go to serve and bless people as far away as Jamaica ? Sometimes God’s work doesn’t seem very efficient, does it ? There’s a great sacrifice of time and financial resources for people to travel with the love of Jesus to other parts of the world. Why not stay and only minister close to home ?
Well, for one thing, the Lord commanded people to go. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you ; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth,” the Lord told his disciples after his resurrection and prior to his return to heaven (Acts 1:8). That command hasn’t changed ; and, in fact, thanks to modern means of transportation it has become easier to go to the far corners of the earth with the Gospel.
Second, God has a great love for the whole world ! The goal of God’s redemption plan is men, women, and children from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation knowing and enjoying him in his kingdom (Revelation 5:9-10). God is calling people to himself, according to his timing and power. An example of this is the Ethiopian in the Book of Acts who just “happened” to be reading the Old Testament scriptures and who just “happened” to encounter the apostle Philip who explained to him the truth about Jesus. The timing and the plan were all God’s – part of the expansion of his grace throughout the world.
Third, some people have received a calling to serve God in other cultures, as well as the gifts and patience to do so. While traveling through Turkey, the apostle Paul received a vision of a man in Greece saying, “Come over here and help us” (Acts 16:9). Others today are still receiving that calling. God has allowed that the four members of our Emmanuel team connect their gifts and hearts with needs he wants to meet in Jamaica. The team will come back changed by their experienced, more alert to needs in Hermann, and able to stir us all on to greater enthusiasm for serving the Lord.
The ministry of CEF in Jamaica is at a critical turning point. Beginning in February 2016, CEF plans to launch “Good News Across Jamaica” which will have as its purpose to multiply Good News Clubs in undeveloped areas of the country. Our team from Emmanuel may be used in some small or large way to bring spiritual and tangible encouragement for God’s plans for Jamaica !
God’s Rx for My Marriage
This Sunday we will continue in the Book of Proverbs and in our sermon series, “God’s Rx for Everyday Life.” We will look at a variety of proverbs that address the topic of marriage and see how God wishes to help and bless our marriages ! Regardless of your current marital state, if you’ve ever wondered what God says in the Bible about marriage, I think you will love and benefit from the message and worship God has for us this Sunday at 10:15.
Romans class for adults at 9:00.
301 class next Sunday, May 31. No 301 class this Sunday.
If you are interested in being baptized as a way of declaring your faith in Jesus Christ, we will have baptisms on Sunday, May 31. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you !
Sweet Hours of Prayer
Our Elder Board enjoyed a Spirit-led time of prayer together this past Monday evening from Psalm 86. We prayed for personal and church needs, thanked God for his work at Emmanuel and in our lives, and we confessed individual and corporate sins. Thanks to the men for taking time to bring the Emmanuel family before the Lord in prayer.
This Tuesday (May 26) we will have our last noon prayer gathering. What a blessing this time has been over the course of the past school year. I hope you will join several of us this coming Tuesday to pray for needs at Emmanuel.
Let’s be in prayer today for those who are battling physical illness – Amy Houston, Martha Ebker, Steve Aldrich, Diane Shoemaker, Claudette Story, Laurie Doyle, Ralph Engelmeyer, and others. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine on you, be gracious to you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).
Hope to see you Sunday !