I’ve been very privilege to use my teaching gifts overseas. This April, I will have another opportunity to serve God in this way through one of our church’s missions partnerships. Beyond on our own local efforts, Crossway also partners with others to make disciples. Through the Cooperative Program, we partner with thousands of local churches to send mission workers around the globe. But we also have two direct partnerships. One is with the Tamashek people of West Africa and the other is with The Philippines. With these groups, we partner in prayer, finances, and personnel.
Upcoming 2013 Trip
This April, I will be leading a small mission team to assist out partners in the Philippines. So, what we will be doing while we’re actually in country? As we prepare for our trip, we have three goals we hope to accomplish:
Encouraging Believers. Fellowship with our Filipino believers will be part of how we spend our time there. This will include teaching and encouragement as we meet with churches, pastoral fellowships, and our church planters.
Witnessing to Unbelievers. Through spending time with people in the areas we visit and a planned week of camp, we hope to display the love of Christ as we preach about the cross of Christ. Our goal is to plant, water, and harvest the seed of the gospel that we might see new believers. This will be done in partnership with our local Filipino workers.
Encouraging our Mission Partners. Our field partners have experienced some unexpected set-backs, yet they continue to serve and minister in whatever context they find themselves, trusting God is in control and his gospel changes lives. In addition to teaching, our desire is serve our field partners by encouraging them directly. While we are in country, we hope to encourage them with fellowship, prayer, and gifts for their ministry and personal use.
With these objectives in mind, our field partners have told me to expect to preach everyday. I’m also taking a couple guys with me on this trip. At least one of these guys has taught classes and led Bible studies, but has never preached before. So, I’m also running a “Preaching Boot Camp” at the church.
How can you help?
First, you can pray! This is often an undervalued part of these trips, but in reality it’s a central part of any ministry. This is especially true for mission trips. From start to finish, we desire this trip and team to be bathed in prayer. When the plans and schedule for the trip are finalized, a prayer guide will be available for download. In the mean time, here’s some thing you can pray for:
- resolve to do all things to God’s glory (Eph 3:20-21);
- boldness and clarity in sharing the gospel (Eph 6:19-20);
- success in fighting sin (Rom 6:12-14);
- reliance on God’s strength, not ours (Eph 3:16);
- team unity (Rom 15:5);
- ministry that glorifies God (1 Pet 4:10-11).
- stability for the country (1 Tim 2:1-6);
- safety in travel and ministry (3 John 2);
- Pray especially for those going through the Preaching Boot Camp.
- Pray for 1) love for God’s Word, 2) time for study, and 3) focus in preparation of sermons.
Second, you can help by giving. Each person going is responsible for paying their way on this trip. But the pattern we see in Scripture is Christians financially supporting each other in times of need and ministry (2 Cor 8:1-15; Phil 4:15-16). Therefore, it’s always appropriate to give as you are able. Some of you might not be able to give anything but your time. Then do that, praying for us! Others of you will be able to give something to further the gospel in the Philippines (even small donations are helpful!).
Now, you can send donations via PayPal from this site. You can also send a check directly to the church (Crossway Church, P.O. Box 1274, Bay City, Michigan, 48706. If you want to donate to a specific person on the team, you can add that as a note on the PayPal transaction or simply write the individual’s name on the memo line of your check.