July 30, 2013

Blessings of Fellowship

Hello from your family across the pond or for those in this hemisphere, a little farther down south. As I sit in my room, preparing for my first Sunday service with our Malawian family and awaiting my immediate family’s return, I am seeking God for a word for my brothers and sisters. Reflecting on the amazing time we had at the Baltimore Convention, I am continually thankful of what I and my family are a part of. It is truly something special. A thought comes... then I listen to a Convention message which seems better than the thought I had pieced together. This is all done soon after both the water and electricity were shut off (only for a few hours thankfully). I decided to browse through the most worn out book in my small library, From Jerusalem to Irian Jay. If you don't have this book, it really is a must. It is a brief synopsis of scores of Christian missionaries from Paul the Apostle to missionaries in the 1980's. I just flipped through the pages until I hit a story that grabbed my interest. I lighted on the chapter of single missionaries in the early 1900's. I was amazed at the great faith they had to risk everything for the Lord, but I was equally amazed at the lack of fellowship and in-fighting that many of them had, many times going through missions alone. This is a stark contrast to what we experience in our ministry. I had the privilege of visiting a number of churches this summer from Montreal to Southern Florida and the word that would characterize all of them was “oneness”. It really is a reflection of Psalm 133 which says how good and precious it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity for there, God commands a blessing. So True! We are truly blessed to be so connected from Malawi to Massachusetts, from Malaysia  to Maryland. God has made us one family. We are so thankful, and it really makes all the difference in the world. 
For the next six weeks before Bible college resumes, we will be having Convention 2. After our Sunday morning services, we will watch one of the evening sessions of the Baltimore Convention. Before the service, we will do our Missions prayer but this time with the help of the new DVD showing each of the head pastors and their wives from around the world in our ministry. These are just a few of the ways we can stay connected with each other.
TIA(This is Africa) I haven’t written one of these for a while, but I thought of a  humorous story from the field. Usually in a new church improvisation is common as you’re getting the church set up. This is what we needed when doing communion for the first time in the church. Have you ever tried to look for those small communion glasses in a regular store, not to mention a store in Africa?  I never knew that grape juice was such an in demand commodity until I got here. Like many other things, you may see it once or twice in the supermarket. When you see it, buy a lot of them ‘cause you may not see them for a few months. But the funny part is what we used, which turned out to be the best communion I’ve ever had. We found a local soda that looked a lot like grape juice – cherry plum soda (Mary Poppins has nothing on us). For the bread we found mini Marie biscuits (Round British cookies that taste like animal crackers). We had many requests for Round 2 for communion, but I didn’t want to get into a Hebrews 6:6 deal. Anyway it definitely was the best communion I ever had and it beat Grape soda and Bacon crackers. Email me back if you have any good ones.
Thank you for all your love, prayers, and support for our family and team here. A special thanks to the churches I visited this summer for your hospitality and love. And a great big Thank You to the church in Baltimore that hosted the Greatest Convention that I have been to and which get better every year.