Everything You Always Wanted To Know About St. Paul’s Global Missions—Part 1

Acts 1:8 (NIV):

…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Jesus’ last recorded words to His disciples in his resurrected body.  I guess that pretty much covers “why” we go. (For more on that question see Roy Gonzalez’s post from his visit in July.)

In the next few weeks this blog will address more questions, more specific to our family of faith at St. Paul’s, such as:

     “Where do we go?”
     “How do we choose where we go?”
     “Who helps us get there, and helps us when we get there?”
     “What do we do when we get there?”
     “What does it cost to get there?”
     “How often do we go?”
     “When do we go?”

and any other questions that you ask in the process.  My prayer is that as the picture builds, so will all of your vision, enthusiasm and prayers for this particular aspect of our collective calling.  I also pray that some – if not all – of your hearts are captured with a desire to personally participate in one of our mission opportunities.

Before I go on though, let me confess – I took my first trip because I had to.  My daughter, Katie, had been asking to go on a mission trip since she was 7 years old.  I always figured we’d go eventually, but at that time I had no enthuasiasm or burning desire.  That came later.  We hadn’t been at St. Paul’s for very long when they announced an upcoming mission trip to Panama.  Katie was convinced that this was her time but, because she was barely 16, she needed a parent to go with her.  Long story short, God agreed.

Funny how God works.  I had studied French, not Spanish, and the church that Katie grew up in offered mission opportunities to India and Africa, so that’s where I thought I’d wind up.  What I discovered was that no matter where you go or why you go, when you go God gets a hold of you in a way that just isn’t possible in familiar surroundings.

But I promised photos:

This is me and Katie with our Panamanian hosts, Jonas and Betty

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These are some of the people who came to Christ after one of our afternoon outreaches in a public park:

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In closing this first entry, I invite you all to prayerfully consider being part of the upcoming trip to Guatemala, January 3 – 10, 2015.  For more details join us on Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m. – our address and phone number are in the church directory.  And keep following this blog for the fascinating and unexpected answers to the questions listed above.

Shalom and Agape,

Pam Riddell