October 30, 2008

Intersections

Posted in better disciples, cross cultural mission at 1:52 PM by alexlozada

Bangkok is a city of crazy busy intersections – particularly mid-day as we drove to pick up Burmese language Bible from the Thai Bible Society.  Our mission team dinner at MK Restauarant created some marvelous people intersections, too.  Though the food was both out of the ordinary and extraordinary (which also describes Tom Steck demonstrating his cullinary skills as he & Jim Boyle added the ingredients brought to our table for our do-it-yourself soup) the best part was spending time intersecting biological family w/ spiritual family and seeing how closely we shared the same Lord. I met my cousin Gail in person for the first time – I missed her on my previous trip becaue she was at a training Youth for Christ conference.  Uncle Jimmy (my mom’s youngest brother) talked about his next medical missions trip w/Couples for Christ.

When I logged on to record our team’s ongoing adventures, my cousin Ian reminded me that my Uncle Gil (my dad’s brother) is en route back from India & Pakistan where he was leading a medical missions trip for Bring Good News.  And our team is bringing well-digging equipment and sharing Community Health Evangelism lessons with Burmese refugees — all of these missions intersecting and overlapping in one crazy, busy evening.

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On the far side of the globe to meet family

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:26 AM by alexlozada

True, I’m meeting my Uncle Jimmy and his family, gracious hosts to me & Tom Moen last time we were here in Bangkok in February.  Uncle was the one who referred me to Bangkok Christian Guest House.  Staying here has also provided some great “God’s family reunion” moments.  Riding the lift (elevator) we met two ladies who were from McLean Bible Church from the nieghboring state of Virginia.  They are in the midst of a multi-month mission teaching English & Bible at a Christian school in Mae Sod for Burmese refugees – nope not the same orphanage we’re going to, but still definitely serving the same Lord!  They came on a short term mission trip last year, and felt the Spirit’s call to come back.  For more stories about short term missions, including updates about my Thai STM team, check the new Mountain Short Term Missions blog

October 28, 2008

Today is the day…

Posted in better disciples, cross cultural mission at 6:28 AM by alexlozada

… my team leaves for Thailand.  My fellow MCC pastor Tom Moen sent this to our team yesterday as a reminder:

THE METHOD OF MISSIONS “Go ye therefore, and teach (disciple) all nations.” Matthew 28:19

Jesus Christ did not say – Go and save souls (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but – “Go and teach,” i.e., disciple, “all nations,” and you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples came back from their first mission they were filled with joy because the devils were subject to them, and Jesus said – Don’t rejoice in successful service; the great secret of joy is that you are rightly related to Me. The great essential of the missionary is that he remains true to the call of God, and realizes that his one purpose is to disciple men and women to Jesus. There is a passion for souls that does not spring from God, but from the desire to make converts to our point of view.

The challenge to the missionary does not come on the line that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim, that there is a wadge of callous indifference; but along the line of his own personal relationship to Jesus Christ. “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” Our Lord puts that question steadily, it faces us in every individual case we meet. The one great challenge is – Do I know my Risen Lord? Do I know the power of His indwelling Spirit? Am I wise enough in God’s sight, and foolish enough according to the world, to bank on what Jesus Christ has said, or am I abandoning the great supernatural position, which is the only call for a missionary, viz., boundless confidence in Christ Jesus? If I take up any other method I depart altogether from the methods laid down by Our Lord – “All power is given unto Me . . , therefore go ye.”

Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

October 26, 2008

India and mountain tops

Posted in better disciples, cross cultural mission at 11:45 PM by alexlozada

MCC’s executive pastor Rob Kastens just returned from a Short Term Mission trip to India with Central India Christian Mission.  At MCC this Sunday as part of the closing message in the One Month to Live series “Leave Boldly!”, Rob shared a testimony about a faithfully bold Indian evangelist and his wife that I first heard during this year’s North American Christian Convention from Ajai Lall.

Rob also sent back emails during his trip, describing the Christians he was meeting, and how the Spirit was sustaining them through persecution and trouble.  The highlights are amazing to read by email or hear from him in person, but I’ll choose only one that serves as a call to every Jesus follower to be missional and re-energized me for my team’s upcoming Thailand trip.

[Rob asking Ajai; Indu is Ajai’s wife]

“I asked Ajai what it was like to speak to 100,000 people last Feb. and to see almost 15,000 decisions for Christ. He said it was amazing and for the 100th year of this gathering this year they are expecting even more and they have invited him back which is unusual to have a repeat speaker at this event. He had also been invited to speak at a leper colony for a couple of days after the conference that Ind’s parents had ministered to all her life. Ajai didn’t want to because he knew he’d be tired and coming off a mountain top experience. But he begrudgingly said yes. As the worship service and his sermon concluded (which was just okay he said), they collected an offering (from a leper colony) for a church plant in a neighboring village. Their tradition is to bring offerings to the front instead of passing a plate. In a cracking voice, Ajai said God grabbed a hold of him as a woman who was blind from leprosy, and who had lost her nose and all her fingers and thumbs from her hands made her way to the front she was clutching a $100 rupees bill between her stumps. Most assuredly this was all she had that she was giving to God and church planting. Ajai said, God asked him if he were giving his all for the kingdom. Ajai said he did have a mountain top experience that week but it wasn’t speaking to 100,000 with 15,000 decisions, it was what God did in him when he spoke to the 50 lepers and watched this woman give her all. “

October 24, 2008

Thai mission trip: Water and more

Posted in cross cultural mission at 10:50 PM by alexlozada

I’ve posted before about the orphanages / schools that will be one of the emphases of my upcoming Oct28-Nov12 mission trips; my teammate Tom Steck is very excited about living God’s love to the little ones 🙂

Two other teammates, long-time MCC members Jerry & Sylvia Taylor will use their professional Christian counseling background to equip Burmese and Thai pastors in counseling and conflict resolution.  I’m thankful for their experience teaching “in translation” in other cross cultural settings on similar topics.

My other teammate, Jim Boyle will use his project management background to train the Burmese and Thai in simple well-digging, using materials from HydroMissions that we will give to MCC supported missionary Somchai Panya.  The tools and training will allow the pastors and others to dig wells to provide clean drinking water for their villages, and could be a gateway to self-sustaining micro-enterprise.  This article from Christian Standard underscores the need for clean water, and how Christians can help meet that need.  To answer Greg Taylor’s closing questions “What about you?” – the five of us on the MCC team said, “Here am I, send me.”

October 2, 2008

after The Shack

Posted in better disciples, culture, tech at 4:26 PM by alexlozada

A local Christian bookstore Christopher Matthews has launched a blog w/ reviews & promos of books, CDs, etc.  For example, here’s a useful pointer to some follow-ups to the best-seller The Shack.

Ethan M had a posted about the The Shack earlier, including a pointer to Bible scholar Ben Witherington’s “carefully and calmly raised concerns.” I admit, I’ve not read it, nor am I planning to read it, but Heather enjoyed it more than she expected, and taking it as fiction – “thought provoking.”

October 1, 2008

“regular people working in the trenches”

Posted in better disciples, servant-leader at 8:58 PM by alexlozada

This post, Trench -v- stage, is an encouraging reminder that whether you are leading a small group through One Month to Live, connecting with teens as a student ministry volunteer, or reaching a needy community through Second Saturday Serve – through you God is doing “his transforming work in the lives around us.”