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Pastor Luis
I need your help and advice, said Brother
Luis (not real name) when he visited us in
our home two weeks ago. As a pastor, he is
concerned with the future and the direction
of the congregation he leads. He is explor-
ing, reconsidering, and planning the next
five years of the local involvement of his
church and relationships with the national
church. This time of reflection is leading
him to ques-
tion practices influences, organizes, coordinates, and
in the current promotes participation in community ser-
function and vice and worship among the churches in his
structure of community and surrounding villages.
his church
and the na- Pray for the Holy Spirits guidance and wis-
tional body. dom during this time of change and renewal
for the glory of God and the edification of
A few years the body of Christ.
ago, three
families, in-
cluding Luiss, Missions Teams
planted what No, not the ones
today is the from the popular
largest and Infinite Warfare
fastest-growing rural church in the area. It video game com-
is a beautiful movement of God to observe, munity.
to be involved with, and to rejoice over.
What is the value of visiting Christian
Many families, including ours, have been teams? Are short-term church groups mak-
blessed and inspired by this churchs com- ing a worthwhile cross-cultural contribu-
mitment to Christian unity, as Pastor Luis tion?
These and related questions are often example? Is it to obey Gods command-
asked by pastors and team leaders. ments? Is it to show the love of Jesus? Is it
to share and bring hope? Is it to proclaim
Volunteers travelling outside of their famil- the good news? Is it to endeavor justice and
iar environment, in some instances, recog- peace? What about all of the above?
nize the evident personal benefits of antic-
ipation, incredible adventure, nonstop Joining local Christians cross-culturally, in
learning, new discoveries, mental renewal, what God is already doing, enriches and ed-
spiritual growth, and life-changing memo- ifies the body of Christ. Working and serv-
ries. Less obvious are the positive results of ing together, side by side, brings glory to
contact, participation, and influence in the God. Mutual sharing and exchanging of
lives of people from different culture, even knowledge, skills, expertise, talents, gifts,
after returning home. and resources, not only enhances Christian
unity but also broadens cultural awareness
There are multiple opportunities for mutual and worldview.
understanding, cooperation, interaction,
exchange, and building relationships, re- Interconnectivity, joint endeavors, net-
gardless of background, life experience, ed- working, planning, praying, and learning
ucation level, socioeconomic condition, and together, these lay the groundwork for on-
other cultural paradigms between outsiders going international ministry.
(short-term and long-term international
workers) and locals (community and Praise our Father for the continuous and
church). new opportunities, connections, and invita-
tions to partner in ministry in health, edu-
Is evangelism the final purpose of cross- cation, and the church. Ask God to provide
cultural service? Is it the satisfaction of new partners and friends to build our finan-
basic needs? Is it to fight poverty? Is it to cial support base to continue serving Him in
improve the local quality of life of families Belize as long as He leads us opening doors.
and communities? Is it the expansion of the
kingdom of God? Is it to follow Christs life Blessings! Alfonso and Elizabeth