Bleary eyed I woke this morning only to realize the bathroom light was on and brightness streamed into the room. I noticed William standing over me gently calling my name and telling me to get up but I knew it was too early. The window showed pitch black outside and I knew that full morning had not yet come. Yet there he stood and suddenly I remembered why we were rising so early. We were due to make a very important FaceTime call to Tanzania and our dear friends at Victory Church under Pastor Andrew Mukasa.
For them, halfway around the world, it was already Sunday afternoon and church in Africa was well underway! I could imagine the morning they had already had full of singing and dancing and preaching, excited to gather together under a new roof in a church building that they saw as provision from God alone. Thanks to an anonymous donor playing their part to connect themselves to us and, therefore, to Pastor Andrew, every individual sitting in Kanisa Victory Sunday morning was rejoicing to see God’s faithfulness in answering their prayers to provide a church roof.
We have a saying at our church that “life is better together” and I would say that applies to ministry as well. Ministry is better together. It is when every joint connects together and brings its unique supply that ministry is most effective in the world.
Our strength in ministry has been in joining ourselves with others and aligning our ministry calling to fit alongside theirs, much like the hand connecting with the arm and with the shoulder until one healthy body is completely formed.
Deuteronomy 32:30 tells us that “One can put a thousand to flight but two can put ten thousand to flight.” There is more power when we join together.
In Tanzania we have felt strongly that instead of trying to build a ministry of our own, we are much more effective if we come alongside a national leader such as Pastor Andrew and his wife Esther who already have a vision and a calling but lack many of the resources and strategies to see it come to pass. One of the primary ways we can do this is by connecting them with stateside donors who help fund that very vision. In October we will be there in person to come along side in a different way through teaching and ministering directly to the leaders and pastors in that area and visiting the preschools and church plants that are under Pastor Andrew.
In the meantime we continue with the divine connection God has made for us in Guatemala. Normally our trips find us flying to the Peten where we continue to work with Tim and Doris Spurrier and the team at Hospital Shalom in order to see it thrive as a ministry hub for all of the people in need of both physical and spiritual healthcare in the Peten . But this Wednesday we fly out for a different purpose.Thursday morning we will have the privilege of being present at the Guatemala National Prayer breakfast where we will have the opportunity to meet the president of Guatemala himself as well as network with other businessman, believers and influencers in that nation. This is an unexpected honor for us yet we believe it is yet another example of God aligning us with different organizations and believers in order to produce a synergy that makes our time and efforts even more productive. The organization in charge of the national prayer breakfast is called Guatemala Prospera and they have a heart to train and affect leaders all over the country. They have given us the unique opportunity to take some of their material, produced through John Maxwell's Equip, and take it to the Peten in order to train leaders there.
Before flying out, we wanted to make you aware of these next steps and ongoing connections so that you can pray for us and so that you see how important it is to have connections and relationships in ministry. If you are on this mailing list then we consider you a great part of that connectivity. We believe it is a fulfillment of Hebrews 10:24 where Paul exhorts us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Normally we hear this in conjunction with gathering together in our churches yet I believe there is even more to it related to being the body of Christ.
May the givers and prayers and encouragers continue to connect with the ones who go and preach the Gospel message and may the ones who go connect with those already there in order to make God’s Kingdom message effective and powerful. I believe Paul would exhort us today to not forsake assembling our different ministries, lives and callings together in order that we may provoke one another on to more love and good works. Thank you for provoking us and providing for what we feel called to do through your encouragement, prayers and giving.