“Missio what?” Before our family went overseas, we took a class on the Missio Dei, the mission of God. It was the first graduate level class I had taken and if Latin was required for advanced degrees, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to have what it takes to complete one. Good news was, this turned out to be the only Latin term in the course :-). In this class, Shellie and I learned about the Bible’s grand narrative. We learned how God means to fulfill His big dream of seeing every nation, tribe, people and language in heaven one day (Revelation 7:9-10).
While Jesus was here on earth, He made some incredible statements. We find in John 10:10, that Jesus says He came to give people rich and satisfying lives. In John 14:12 He says that those who believe in Him will not only do the same works He did, but that they will actually do greater works!
“What are you going to change at Connection Point?” This was a common question we heard as we became the lead pastors of this great church in West Lafayette, Indiana. The initial response we gave was, “We’re not sure anything needs changed, but we like the instructions Jesus gave Paul during his Damascus road experience, ‘go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’” (Acts 9:6) We were confident God would show us what to do as we began to lead.
“Church leaders wanted me to ask if you would be interested in submitting a resumé to serve as lead pastors of Connection Point Church?” This became our lunch-time conversation after having shared about missions in the Middle East with this great church in West Lafayette, Indiana over Labor Day weekend in 2015.
“How many people have decided to follow Jesus?” That can’t be right. Seeing one person make a decision to follow Jesus in the Middle East is incredibly difficult. How could 300 former Muslims have made a decision to follow Jesus in the past few months?
Boom! Crack! Pow! On December 31st, 2011, our family landed in Tel Aviv, Israel to serve as school administrators for a pre-K through 12th grade school in East Jerusalem, Israel. We were awakened later that night by the sound of fireworks, bringing in the New Year. It was hard to believe we were back overseas and would be for about the next four years.