What a mission! This group of 38~ ranges in age from 14 to 83. You just won’t guess who’s the oldest or youngest. You certainly couldn’t tell by their actions.
Jeff and I are privileged to lead and work with an amazing group of people–more than just friends–we are family. Each one thinking of the other. That is exactly how the Focus Forward Team viewed this group of people this year. Truly amazing! Jeremiah Campbell, our missionary supervisor, said it best, we “worked like a well oiled machine”. And that so true–it is a decision that is made beforehand and it comes with much love, grace and mercy. Often–we work out the kinks the first go-round, then the next one is better–then the next one is better–then the next one is…. You get the picture?
Each year God has blessed us above and beyond with a great team. Our FFM team commented among ourselves several times at how blessed we are that we have such unity in such diversity. We were covered by prayer and it began early on. Thank You JESUS!
The FFM team have worked together since 2011–before we actually became FFM—God had it all planned in advance what the dedication and love of the FFM could do if we chose to fully-wholly and unreservedly follow HIM. Focused forward.
This year the FFM Team were joined by individuals from 8 different churches:
Carmel AG, Grace AG, Live Oak AG, Medart AG, New Life Fellowship; Open Arms AG, Sneads AG (our sponsor for the church building), and St. Andrews AG, along with the ministry team from Centro Familiar de Adoracion (Family Worship Center).
As we worshipped together with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the two churches we visited–we were overwhelmed with the thought that “this might be a glimpse of heaven”. Different languages, yet when expressing worship to our Father in heaven, we are in one accord. It was beautiful! Faith building.
It was also said this past week- that possibly-in heaven- we would all still speak our same language, yet be fully understood. No barriers. We will know for sure one day! 🙂
I will share more in the coming days–possibly even more tonight–but for now, know that your prayers–thoughts–and donations were critical to this mission being a success. As you prayed for the team–all stayed focused on what God had for them (us). As you donated, we were all able to share and give and go. You made a difference in Bolivia this week! No gift is ever too small!
When the planning of this trip was in its infant stages, Pastor Juno Douglas along with the church board of Sneads AG was so moved by God to further the Gospel–he shared our sentiments– “It doesn’t matter if our name is ever mentioned–we just want to do what is needed”. What is needed is for the message of Jesus Christ to be perpetuated throughout the nations. The love of Jesus Christ is not just for North, South or Central America. It is for the WORLD.
We liked Pastor Juno’s thoughts- and even though much will be shared in the coming days and weeks about the trip (hopefully it will impact far beyond that)–I know that when someone took a “selfie” with a group of children, or a stack of bricks–it wasn’t so that the world would see what they were doing. It was to preserve a memory for themselves–so that when they returned home and the complaints of life snuck back up on them–they could look back and see themselves in the mirror of a “selfie” and see more clearly what life is truly all about. Not to say, “look what I did”, but look BEYOND yourself and see what God wants to do in the world around us.
Pastor Vince Spencer shared a good word one evening in devotion–I wish I had recorded it–but to sum it up; facebook (and life in general) is inundated with a selfie-addicted society. That’s for your glory not His. Our lives are not to shout “Me-Me-Me”, but rather we should be a servant-partner in what God has going on –and work for Him, not for the applause of men here, but for the crown that awaits us in glory.
Pastor Danny Carnely was a joy to be around every day–it was not his first mission trip-but there were so many new aspects of this trip for him, it was like brand new. We learned he and Pastor Vince have great stage abilities! They worked tirelessly on their day with the children’s crusade team while Chase Curti and his wife, Shelly played the part of “Samson and Delilah”. OH I WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THERE!
I have laughed so hard this week at antics of our team and individuals–one favorite that I never realized was so funny–Sis. Carolyn McAllister. I wish I could tell you all the comical things she did–but know this–JOY, FUN and laughter is PART of the Christian life.
I-along with everyone else on this team have cried this week. That’s part of the mission. We WANT each person to be so moved that God breaks the crust away from our lives–and opens our hearts and eyes to the world around us…and there were plenty of opportunities for tears as well as laughter.
I must stop now. I have so much more to share–so stay tuned. And if you want to be sure you don’t miss one, sign up to follow via email.