May 22, 2017

It is good to be home in America. When we were in Greece most people had never heard of Texas or didn’t know where it is. I know this comes as a shock to most Texans but at least they knew where America was.
Thanks again to all of you who prayed for and supported us on our trip to Athens. We were blessed beyond measure and all of us came back very different people than when we left. This morning I am thinking about how my life needs to change here as a result of going. Going is important for a lot of reasons. We go to share Jesus with people who might not hear if we don’t go. We go to encourage workers who are already there and to help them in their efforts. We go because God’s word tells us to go to the ends of the earth. But we also go because it changes us. It changes our heart. It changes our priorities. It changes how we see the world around us. It changes our goals and dreams and desires. This is why we go. This is why I want more people to go. I want more people to be changed. I want more of us to continually be changed. We have to develop a heart for people. That takes time. That may take a change of location. When we go we see people in a different light and in some ways it is easier because we may never see these people again so we say and do things we might not do in Fort Worth, Texas. But little by little this changes our hearts and hopefully we develop a heart of compassion for people in Fort Worth as well.
I read a verse in Hosea this week that says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” Hosea 13:6 (NIV). I cannot read that without immediately thinking how that describes many of us in America. We have become so satisfied that we have largely forgotten God. God has fed us and blessed us like no nation in the history of mankind and now we have become satisfied and we have become proud and we have forgotten God. We no longer need Him. When we were in Athens we saw Muslims who were open to the Gospel like never before in their lives. One man we worked with there in the refugee center has led over 1000 Muslims to faith in Christ in the last SIX MONTHS alone. He was described as one of the great soul-winners on the planet today. Part of the reason they are open to faith in Christ is that this is the first time they have ever openly heard the gospel message. They are curious and for the first time because of freedom they can examine the truths of scripture and the truth of God’s Word becomes evident to them. His Word is convicting and convincing. But another part of their openness is a result of their great physical need. They have nothing. They barely have clothes on their back and through relief efforts they have a small room they can call home. But they are not satisfied. They have many hurts and needs and this leaves the door open for God to come in.

Many of us need to GO. I understand if you physically cannot go. But for the rest of us we need to be going. We need to break out of the rut we are in. We need to be challenged spiritually in ways that are simply not going to happen here. We need to get away from our routine and let God move in our hearts. I truly believe God wants to touch many hearts by sending many to the international mission field. Our cities and churches need transformed people. God’s Kingdom needs you to be fully involved. And YOU need to remember God and what He has called you to do!!
Also, this Friday is the beginning of Ramadan. I plan to share more on why this is important to us in next week’s blog.