International Ministries

Live the word, proclaim the word, be transformed

October 1, 2011 Journal
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An open letter to those who have shared in our ministry.

LIVE THE WORD, PROCLAIM THE WORD, BE TRANSFORMED

These are challenging words. Years ago Jesus walked into my life, or I walked into his. The way I looked at the world changed. He laid a claim on my life and I decided to follow. I did not run to Jesus because of fear or guilt – judgment and punishment never played a big role in my understanding of God. Rather, in Jesus I sensed the offer of unconditional love, of profound goodness, of beauty, of health beyond the physical, of peace and of justice. Jesus invited me to follow him in life, to the fulfillment of God’s creative purpose. Jesus is Lord. He was never tyrant nor puppeteer. He is rather the door to all things good and pure. I yearn to be in the light, long to see the light dominate the darkness that dogs our world.

Many of you have had a similar experience. Jesus continues to lay a claim on our lives. He calls us to follow him. The three imperatives above sum up our lives as his followers. The word that God speaks reveals His heart, his purpose for the world. Living the word means understanding God’s heart and letting God’s will shape and give life to our own actions. As we live the word, little pools of life, hope, peace, dignity, joy, beauty and wholeness spring up in the people and the creation around us. Proclaiming the word means presenting God’s heart and purpose to those around us in language that they can understand. Being transformed is the result of constant humble encounter with God and affirming our desire to follow Him. Sometimes it involves being relieved of the fears or the imaginary barriers that keep us from fully living Kingdom life.

Your commitment to living the word, proclaiming the word and being transformed has led you to extend your reach to Africa, to the Congo. Some of you have been touched, motivated by opportunities to help local churches give illiterate women a chance to read. Others have jumped at the chance to work with Congolese Christians to create sustainable farming systems that ensure that the rural poor can feed themselves. Some of you have joined in God’s program to encourage gifted men and women to become effective lay pastors in rural churches. Thanks to your partnership in prayer, financial support and occasionally direct participation in the church’s mission, Christians here are creating those pools of God’s life that nourish the spiritual and material life of our neighbors.

Many of your churches take the World Mission Offering this month. Miriam and I. and our Congolese colleagues in ministry, want to take this opportunity to thank God for your open hearts, for your desire to serve Him with us. Your generous support though the World Mission Offering and targeted giving now satisfies over 80% of the costs of continuing our ministries in Congo. We continue to trust God for the future.

May His Kingdom come, His will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. All praise and honor be to Him!

Ed