Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Advent 2015

"I Will Bring You Home"

 

             At the end of October I traveled to Cambodia to spend a week with all of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries who serve in Asia.  I was there because I serve on the Member Care Team for CBF missionaries.  My job is to offer pastoral care and support to the missionaries.  It is a humbling job.

             Dr. Rodney McGothlin, pastor from Brownwood, Texas, led our time of worship each day.  The first day he quoted Stephen Covey who advised that we should always begin with the end in mind.  For me, that was a call to visualize.  To see what might be.  To picture transformation.  To bring clarity to dimness.  To journey.

Zephaniah speaks to the journey in Zephaniah 3:14-20.  The children of Israel are completing a journey they never wanted to take.  Seventy years in exile, away from home, had been brought about by their own unfaithfulness to God.  Over and over again, God had called them to repentance and faithfulness.  Over and over again, they had ignored God's call.  And yet, through it all, God remained faithful to them.  God's picture for them included freedom from oppression, salvation for the outcasts, and restoration before the Lord.

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries have a vision for God's kingdom, and they are working to bring it about on earth.  Cindy works to free women and children from human trafficking.  Kirk and Susie translate the bible for the Bisu people of Thailand, but first they had to create an alphabet for the language.  Eddie does disaster relief work among people affected by earthquakes and tsunamis.  Tina teaches art in the prison in Bali as a means of building relationships and restoring hope for the condemned.  Sam delivers bicycles to Indian pastors so they can travel to villages to share the gospel.  Larry and Sarah serve the servers in the hotels and restaurants of Macau who are working away from home to support their families.  Bill and Michelle are training pastors for the work of the Church in China.  Bill and Noy are loving the people of Cambodia who survived the genocide of the Killing Fields.  Together, they serve people who are on a journey to dignity, health, and salvation. 

Those who are being served by our missionaries are on a journey they never knew was possible.  They are learning about the living God who loves them and gives them life and hope and peace.  God's vision for them is one for home with God for all eternity.  We are called to be part of that journey that will bring them home.

May God bring our vision in focus with his own, and may we give sacrificially to the Global Mission Offering this Christmas.  Our giving makes possible the presence of Christ in Asia.  Jesus was born for them.  May we not be guilty of obstructing the view.

 

- Carolyn Hale Cubbedge

 

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