Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Missions in the World

“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’  He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times of dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’  After he said this, he was taken up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’”          Acts 1:6-11

So again we see this two-fold mission: to follow Jesus, and to be His witnesses in the world.  He didn’t tell us to stay in our own communities, our Jerusalem, but to go into the entire world, to the ends of the earth.  We have a message of hope we should be spreading to people worldwide.  Each one of us should be involved in taking Jesus to the world. 

There are some easy ways to do this.  We could begin a fund raising effort for one of our ABC Missionaries.  We could do a little research and find something that speaks to us, and make an effort to go beyond our walls to make an even bigger difference.  One possible project we could get behind is the Palm Project in the Congo.  That’s our missions project for the month of March, we’ll hear about it next week.  Our goal is $800, which should help ten families buy about an acre of Palm trees each.  An acre of Palms should support their family for the next 25 years or so, making them self-sufficient.  Last year, we didn’t make $800.  But if we put our heads together and took Jesus’ call to be His witness seriously, and found a way to take this project into the Valley.  We could do a lot more.  And every $80 can help reach another family.  That’s one way we can be involved in taking Jesus to the world. 

Another easy way is to get involved is by taking a short term mission trip.  There were three trips in last week’s bulletin, one of which I found very interesting.  From July 30 to August 5, there will be a trip to Baton Rouge, LA.  We’ll be doing some minor home repairs, helping with community gardens, cutting grass, installing insulation, and encouraging those in need.  Now even if you’re slightly elderly, I suspect you can encourage those in need, so there’s something for everyone to do here.  And the cost is just $250 per person for the week, which covers housing and meals. So maybe you can’t do much, but most can get a way for a week and make a difference. 

If you are  able to do more, there are opportunities to become longer term missionaries.  Opportunities to leave for a month or two, or to even make the sacrifice and make it a longer term commitment.  We have some friends serving in Jamaica who retired from a job in Wellsville, NY, got their pension and social security retirements, and used that money to help fund their ministry.  Now they are full time missionaries in Jamaica. 

I want to close with this thought.  Please don’t think you can’t do anything like this.  If you can dream it you can do it.  This passage ended with the ascension of Jesus.  This is the key. Because Jesus ascended, we can receive power from the Holy Spirit to build His church.  You see, we don’t do it alone! Don’t think you can’t be involved in missions.  God is with you. He can do what we can’t do alone.

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