For His Kingdom – Jim
This year I had the privilege to return, to serve the wonderful people of Tucson, Arizona on mission trip for Christ. In bringing my wife and 3 children, we really got to experience demonstrating service and connect to the people we encountered as a family.
This trip was life changing. We felt that the Lord placed it on our hearts to step out in faith to go and tell the good news of Jesus, so that is exactly what we did!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11
Our focus was to share the love + unity that we’ve found in our identity in Christ as more than just a family, but as a group of Christians. It’s because of this, that our goals are to lead anyone that we encounter to Christ above all. Whether it be by service in demonstrating unconditional love, proclaiming the gospel, or sports ministry as a representation of fellowship (or all three!), the timing of the trip couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time in our walks with the Lord, as we have experienced what felt like the most difficult year of our lives.
A year where our whole world has been turned upside-down and what seemed like was not going to be good, we only found that God doesn’t change with the seasons. By being anchored in Him we have developed faith that has re-proofed, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” in that way, it must be spirit-filled and what a sweet victory it is.
One of our favorite things about this trip was simple, yet profound;
witnessing how God worked in and around us and how He was able to use each one of us uniquely, for His kingdom and glory!
This was our first family mission trip and there was something so special serving alongside our church family as well as our children – ages 8, 6, and 2. Whether we were pulling weeds in the garden, painting benches, trimming trees in the school yard or ministering on the soccer field to the littles, God was present in every moment.
We partnered up with Aspire Church to host a local soccer camp in the community and were able to minister and deliver the message of the gospel through soccer to not only pre-school and elementary aged children, but to their parents as well. Praise God!
It just so happened that a few days prior to our team arriving in Tucson, the elementary school where the church service is held was hit by a tornado. Brian Hook, head pastor at Aspire Church, said that God sent us and we arrived right at the perfect time as they had less than 12 hours to set up a new location for church that next morning. We literally got off the plane Saturday night and got to work!
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Mark Bates, First Naples Sports Pastor, said something that resonated with us before we left;
“we’ll never fully understand how much of an impact we left on the people we encounter.”
We may have served in Tucson for that week, but we know God will use what we did to go much further. We pray that the seeds that were planted are fruitful and multiply among the nations.
God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good!