I think on of the most successful parts of the GIC was getting our missionaries into Life Groups. Please read these reflections from some of our Life Group Leaders.
This week has been AMAZING! John and I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed all that this week has been and the exposure to missionaries that we as a congregation have had.
Our Life Group had the pleasure of hosting a small luncheon this week for Simon Guillebaud, missionary to Burundi. Simon is such an energetic guy who’s heart beats for spreading the gospel.
He told us of how came to Burundi from his native England. Out of the blue he received a call after praying to the Lord many years ago to be used as The Lord wanted to use him. Through prayer and obedience he went to Burundi- not to do mission work, but to work as a businessman. Once he got to Burundi- his ‘job description’ changed and he has been ministering to the Burundi people for years.
He told us of healings he has seen, and of some of the ‘edgy adventures’ he has experienced living in the mission field. One of the most profound things I heard him say had to do with not living fearfully and not making decision that are based in fear.
He talked about not being fearful and not living fearfully when circumstances of life appear unfamiliar. He said, ‘When the Lord is present- there is no fear- no matter where on earth you may be.
Simon moved me and encouraged me in my walk to want to experience the excitement found in truly ‘living out’ my life for The Lord.
Sunday’s opening celebration could not have been better. We were moved by the banners showing the impact that our church is having in world and home missions. Ravi’s opening was right on target and I believe it was used in many hearts to prepare the way to receive more of the love of Christ and to spend it forward. We had Bishop Dutta (pictured left) on Monday evening at the Hewitts’. Afterwards, we all had a deep sense of his commitment to the gospel.
~ Bob Ables
We had a WONDERFUL meeting with Dan Rogers. He shared storied about their ministry and spoke so warmly about what St. Michael’s outreach has meant to the people of Dorchester. He brought his iPad with a great picture of “the bus” (that hasn’t broken down again since its maiden voyage to Dorchester)! This vehicle has enabled his team to expand its ministry to children and adults. He is adding all of our Life Group to his e-mail list so that we can share their news and be a part of their prayer ministry.
We found Dan to be an impressive and humble servant of our Lord. His love of Scripture, his family and ministry and his obedience to God’s call is evident in his open and joy filled personality. Thank you for sending him to our Life Group.
~ Jo Cox
The GIC was a great opportunity to see how people in other parts of the World worship Jesus Christ and help to build churches to show others to Christ. It was eye opening to realize the financial differences and how cherished all gifts provided by St. Michael’s Church are to these missions. Donations were used in Ukraine to purchase a van to bring members in their village to church, or a tractor for farming the land to have food for their families. It was interesting to hear Pastor Peter’s explanation of how people in Ukraine call themselves Christian but are not because they do not have the Holy Spirit and a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is similar here in the US.
Our Life Group has strengthened our relationship as a group and broadened our knowledge of the Eastern European culture and the capability to make a difference in this World by bringing others to know Christ. The Ukraine Mission consists of constructing physical buildings for churches, but more importantly building the members of the church by teaching nearby villages to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Another mission in Ukraine is to support Summer Camps designed to teach the Children of the villages to know Christ even though their parents may not know Christ.
On behalf of our lifegroup we feel blessed and fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn from Pastor Peter and his wife Valentina. Jesus is definitely among our group and this very powerful experience has encouraged us to become more interested in ways to get more involved in local missions now and prepare us for a global missions in the future. Our group asked many great questions and each member was very engaged in the conversations throughout the night, although Pastor Peter answered most of the questions before they were even asked.
We look forward the GIC next year and will volunteer our time to help as we are needed.
~ Kristin and Bernardo Perkinson
I believe the most successful moment or high point of the entire Global Impact Celebration week was the unique opportunity for a missionary to visit my life group. My group and I were able to “get deep” into what the mission is doing in Burundi through Onesphore and his work in Harvest for Christ. My entire life group, including our children, had a chance to ask Onesphore what daily life is like in Burundi, what challenges he faces in his Mission, what he aims to do in the coming years, and how our life group and Saint Michaels can give back to Burundi in some way. We had wonderful fellowship and developed a bond that I pray will grow for many years to come. I know I have been blessed to be a part of this most wonderful GIC!
~ Kaki Lankau
I do want to let you know how much my family enjoyed the GIC. It was a busy week, but has already begun bearing fruit. As a family and as a life group, we have been able to process and discuss mission work – at home and abroad – and we feel that the GIC was the perfect springboard for this. In particular, Freddy’s visit to our life group was amazing. Everyone brought their children to ask questions and simply learn from Freddy. To be able to expose these young hearts to a brother in Christ from another country was invaluable. I can say that seeds were planted that night – not just in adults’ hearts, but in the hearts of the next generation for Christ. As we move forward, we cannot help but think how important this exposure will be. After all, we want a deep foundation for mission and service to develop and move forward through the generations – not just something horizontal that might die out with one generation. Also, Freddy spent some time with our men alone, where we discussed the challenges that men face in our culture and how God is calling men to get back to His intentions to be the spiritual leaders of our homes. We were greatly encouraged to hear how Freddy has stood up to be the father for 52 orphans in his care. Perhaps the most striking thing he said was that the children – although they are mostly cared for by women – all run to him just for a hug. It reminded us how much our own children just need our presence and affirmation as men – not perfect, but redeemed by the blood of Christ. Overall, from Ravi’s talk all the way through to Barry Black, we all felt truly blessed, as we pray how Christ will speak to us all – young and old – about where and how He might ask us to serve as individuals, as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and whole families. Praise be to God!
Life groups exist, even for six and seven year olds! Every Monday for the last three years, six St. Michael’s girls have gathered for fellowship to bond and discuss deep topics of the faith. Since January, the topic has been the importance of mission work. The girls have studied the lives of several missionaries, including English missionary to China Gladys Aylward and Scottish Olympic athlete Eric Liddell. This Little Girls’ Life Group, also had the opportunity to do some volunteer work themselves, serving one Monday at the Lowcountry Orphan Relief Center.
However, the most special Little Girls’ Life Group gathering of this year had to be Nathan Harper’s visit during the GIC week. Warmed by the fire, the girls and their mothers sat in a circle in our family room. Nathan was so tender with the girls, as he explained in simple second grader terms what he did and why he felt compelled to follow this call. The girls seemed spellbound, as they listened intently to his words. What we thought would be a thirty-minute session was over an hour. The girls were not timid. The questions they had seemed to be endless, some simple and others quite deep. It made me think of Matthew 18:4, “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
We are very grateful to all our church missionaries and pray their zeal for Jesus continues to be contagious!
~ Ashley Severance