I think this is the longest I've ever gone without blogging since starting several years ago. I don't want to be presumptuous that my handful of followers are logging on each morning hoping that there's a new nugget of truth. Nonetheless, I personally feel the gap. My apologies.
Part of what has drawn me away is an exciting, growing work with reGenesis, our emerging African Mission at Pantego Bible Church. During the last few years, we have watched God synthesize a variety of efforts that have ended up in Africa:
MISSIONARIES We have sent 4 missionary couples to different regions in Africa to lead seminaries, assist with Bible translation, support medical missions and church plant among Muslims.
REFUGEES We have welcomed a rich partnership with Burundi, Rwandan, Congolese and Tanzanian refugees living in the Fort Worth area. Their church meets at PBC and our church is encouraging their families through ESL classes, tutoring, providing basic essentials, training and other needs.
ORPHAN CARE PBC is about to throw the doors open on an orphan care ministry locally and abroad. With such a large population of adoptive families in our church, it makes sense to provide ministry support and explore ways to encourage more Christians to look after those in need [James 1:27]. Interestingly, in our church, there has been an increase in adoptions from African countries in the last several years. A special Orphan Care ministry is scheduled for Sunday, May 23 to explore this opportunity even more.
BIBLE TRANSLATION During our recent series in Jonah, we invited attendees to sponsor a verse in Jonah [there are 48] for $100 each. We raised approximately $4500 to support an African national worker to help one of our missionaries in audio/video duplication in a Bible translation ministry. This amount will almost cover one year's salary!
ETHIOPIA OUTREACH A medical mission is being planned among a select group of individuals at PBC and beyond to minister to the medical needs of people in Ethiopia. While this trip is limited, it may open up possibilities for many in the church to use their areas of expertise on future trips.
AND MORE... Today, I am scheduled to meet with a leader in ministry committed to helping rescue children from slavery in Ghana and give them a secure place to live with a Christian education.
With all of these signposts, how could we say "no" to Africa? I am amazed at how God puts the pieces together. And, I'm excited to see how God uses His church here to bring about a regenesis--a rebirth--in people halfway around the world.