Thursday, August 6, 2009

Impact 09


In less than two days I will be on my way to Mexico as a part of the "Impact Team" from my church.

Our pastors shared a vision earlier this year that our church would make an impact on the world around us by following the Acts 1:8 plan:

...you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth.
The idea was that members of our church would participate in a a series of local service projects and an international trip. People prayed about their involvement whether it would be by helping with one or more of the local projects, or by committing to serve at all (or most) of the local projects as well as the international trip. I spent time praying and really believed God was calling me to go.

The local projects started back in the spring: We started in our Jerusalem, in our own home town, by picking up trash on the sides of the road. We then moved into "Judea", the city of Camden with a service project aimed at helping the homeless by providing for their physical needs and by spending time listening to their stories and showing them some love. "Samaria" for us is the city of Philadelphia where we spent two different days working with a church plant. One day we cleaned up the old church building, filling a huge dumpster with flood damaged debris, tearing out carpet, knocking down walls, etc. On the second trip, we helped them throw a huge free carnival for the neighborhood. More than 800 people were treated to lunch, games, a moon bounce, face painting, a dunk tank, and more.

On Saturday, the 25 member team will head to Ensenada, Mexico. While there we will be partnering with "The Ensenada Project" (http://theensenadaproject.blogspot.com/), lead by missionaries Rick and Tammie Romano. They are working with a group of local pastors who are reaching the people in the Ensenada area. Our team will have three major "projects" while we are there. The construction team we will be building a home or a church for one of the pastors; the children's ministry team will be leading a vacation Bible School at the local churches; and the prayer team will be going with a local pastor / missionary into homes of local believers to pray and build relationships with them.

I didn't sign up for one particular part of the project. Instead, I am going to "floater" who will fill in wherever I am needed. I am going with an open heart to serve in whatever capacity God wants to put me in.

One of the aspects of this trip that I like the most is that so many are involved. Yes there are 25 people who are GOING. In addition, there are another 50 people (maybe more) who have participated in one or more of the local projects -- and so they are part of the team. And of course there are many who could not physically participate, but have financially supported us. But most important of all are our prayer supporters, for none of this can happen without prayer support.

And so, if you would like to be a part of this great endeavor: Please hold us up in prayer this week! Pray for our safety and health, for team unity and healthy conflict resolution, for our partnership with the Ensenada missionaries and pastors, for unbelievers to come to know God because of our efforts, and for believers to be encouraged in their commitment. In addition, please pray specifically for me that I would rely on God and not myself, that I would be an encouragement to others on the team, and that I would be used to make an impact on the people in Ensenada.

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