3 Stories, 3 Opportunities

Luke strings together 3 accounts in chapter 5 that we often read and study as isolated events in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was in the middle of calling his disciples when he healed a man covered with leprosy. He then healed the man who was brought by his friends on a mat and lowered through the roof. Jesus first told the man that his sins were forgiven; then he told him to get up and walk. The next account is of Jesus calling Matthew/Levi to leave his tax-collecting booth and follow him. Matthew was different from the hard-working fishermen whom Jesus had already asked to join his band, and they all ended up at a banquet in his home.

Are these just 3 random stories? Or do they give us an important glimpse into Jesus’ ministry? He healed the obvious, visible illnesses by simply speaking. He showed us that forgiveness is more important than the healing. Then he called the unlikely follower who would then announce “Party time!” and give a banquet in Jesus’ honor that raised eyebrows. His ministry was “all over the place,” as we say, because he constantly saw every kind of poverty that we experience: physical, social, economic, and spiritual.

In a strange way, these accounts reminded me of the places that Jesus has called First Church over the years. We have 3 very diverse places that we are called to do ministry next year. Ongoing relationships have been established in Honduras, Cambodia and Germany which began and developed as only God could orchestrate. Please prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to participate in a short-term mission in 2016. Here are our opportunities:

Loving Children in Honduras

March 5-12, 2016
Approx. cost $1,300*
Led by Christie Wyatt

New Life Children’s Home near Jalaca, Honduras is home to 45 amazing children, and we have the privilege of participating in the care of the orphanage and school. Flexibility is the key as we work on projects around the facility, join the children in providing food and spiritual encouragement in the nearby villages, and develop long-lasting friendships with the children and the community that supports them.

Church Planting in Cambodia

April 2016
Approx. cost $1,600*
Led by Emara & Chiv In

Rev. Chiv In never planned to return to Cambodia after his escape from the Khmer Rouge under dictator Pol Pot in 1978. But God had other plans and Chiv was called to return to his homeland in 2008. Since that time, 6 churches have been planted in rural Cambodia, a nation desperately in need of the love and restoration of Jesus Christ. Chiv and his wife Emara will return to Cambodia in April 2016 to continue encouraging and training the congregations and their leaders. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in this country.

Baseball Camp in Germany

July/August 2016
Approx. cost $1,800*
Led by Dabney & Ludger Grewe

Why baseball? Sports cross cultural boundaries. Someone who might not set foot inside a church might come and play baseball. Americans coming to teach an American sport catches the attention of German youth. You don’t have to know how to play baseball; it’s all about showing the love of Christ to the people at the baseball camp. Last year 4 young adults were baptized that we have known since the camp in 2008. In the meantime, about 20 young men and women from the camps are active leaders at other churches or youth or student organizations. Lives are being transformed by the love of Christ. Won’t you join us next summer?

More Info: missions@firstchurch.net

Apply at: firstchurch.net/GO

*final cost will depend on current airfares

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