Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 1: The Challenge

Day 1:
Theme: The Challenge
Passage: Matthew 28:18-20

Missions. What is it? Why do we do it? How do we do it? Can I do it? Should I DO IT? These are all great questions that you might be thinking if this is your first or hundredth experience on a mission adventure. There is a flaw in each one of those questions which is VERY fundamental to your adventure in missions. It is the word DO.

This entire journey that we will embark upon together is meant to show, using the ultimate authority of the Scripture, that Missions is not just something we DO but something we LIVE.

Our devotional journey that leads us up to our trip will help us, I hope, on this fundamental mind change. What if we LIVED out missions every day, to everyone we saw?

So as we begin our journey towards adventure together, we need to start at the beginning. This beginning takes place at the end. Now I know that sounds very oxymoronic, very backwards… but it is true. We find at the very end of Jesus’ ministry on this earth the key challenge that he gives to us as Christians. We see this challenge in Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Don’t you find it ironic that Jesus often had a way of turning things around in his parables and stories, and now we find the key challenge to us as Christ-followers at the end of His ministry?

This challenge starts out with the authoritative note “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. THEREFORE GO…..”
Read that one more time in a shorten form “Therefore GO”.

Why do you think Jesus is telling His disciples to GO? If you were a disciple of Christ back in those days, why would he have to challenge you to go? Do you think that maybe the disciples liked just hanging out? Maybe they, like you and me, sometimes prefer the SUNDAY crowd to the back alley crowd. Maybe they like spending time among the well bathed and not the smelly.
Our challenge as we journey together is to begin to see the world through Jesus’ eyes. In doing so I think we will begin to want to LIVE out missions every where we look.

Let’s look at a story of someone who heard those words GO and responded to that call: Or watch a video at

In December of 2006, Katie Davis traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated and fell in love with the people and the culture. While in Uganda, Katie met Pastor Isaac Wagaba who implored her to come teach Kindergarten at his orphanage in Buziika, Uganda, called Canaan Children's Transit Center.

In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at Canaan. As she walked the children home from class each day, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children sitting idly on the side of the road or working in the fields. It was then that it came to Katie's attention that there were very few government-run public schools in Uganda, and none in the area where she was working. Most schools in Uganda are privately run and therefore require school fees for attendance. Due to the extreme poverty in this region of Uganda, many children are unable to afford schooling.

God laid it on Katie's heart to start a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Sponsors pay $300.00 per year to send these children to school and provide school supplies, 2 hot meals each day, and needed minor medical care. Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, Katie had signed up 150 by January 2008. By the grace of God, in December 2008 the sponsorship program had successfully sent all 150 children to school for a full year and provided them will all life's essentials.

Every Saturday morning the children in the program, as well as others from the village arrive at Katie's home for fellowship, a hot lunch, and Bible study led by a Ugandan employee. The children sing praises to the Lord until late in the afternoon. Before returning home, they are each given a bag of food for their family.

Amazima also strives to provide the children with spiritual growth. While the children are in school, two Ugandan Amazima employees spend time in the six villages where the children in the program live, holding Bible studies and spiritual growth activities with the families and guardians of the children to ensure they are coming home to a safe spiritual environment. Each child in the program is also visited by a social worker once every two weeks for a home visit to ensure that they are getting proper care and thriving in their home environment. 1

So what made Katie different? Was it opportunity? Was it ability? Did you hear Katie’s age? 21. But also notice that she first went to Uganda in 2006 at 17 years old God told her to go and she did that next year at 18 years old.

If God told you to GO would you? Could you give up your life here in America for a dirt hut? Could you give up your bottled water for well water that you had to walk a mile to get?

Take some time for the next few minutes and ask God to show you what items you are keeping from Him.

Are there any areas of your life, any security blankets that you have that you are keeping from God?

Any items that if God said “Give up that for me” you would have pause and think about or argue. IS he asking you to give up the Cable TV because you spend more time with it then with Him?

Or maybe it is the Farmville account that you tend to every day instead of doing devotions or praying. Ask God right now to help you see what areas are truly keeping you from GOING in His Strength to the world around you.

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.

--- St. Francis of Assisi ---

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