Partners in the Gospel
December 3, 2021 | Brian McCall
About the author: Brian and his wife Cynthia have been happily back at ZPC for 5 years and are active in a variety of ministries including livestream production and doughnut ministry for Brian and Praise Team and Adult Ministries for Cynthia. They have 4 children that they are enormously proud of and two grand babies that they can’t wait to see! Brian owns Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers in downtown Zionsville, and Cynthia is part of Revive and Restore Ministries and spends time at Wheeler Mission teaching the ladies there about Jesus’ love for them in any circumstance.
Today's Scripture: Philippians 1:3-11
I think it should be mandatory for every Christian (or any person for that matter) to go on a mission trip. That's what I think of when I read the first verses of our passage today:
"I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day till now…"
On my first mission trip to Kenya, I met Elias Mbaabu, who is the director of Dorothy Children's Home. This is a place on the fringe of Nairobi that cares for about two dozen girls, mostly from the local neighborhood, slum really, who would have nothing. These are AIDS orphans, abandoned girls, or children whose parents simply couldn't take care of them.
When I was confronted with these harsh realities, so different from my own existence, it staggered the prim little world I live in. Once the shock wore off though, I was able to see that I truly was in partnership with Elias in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elias was making such a profound difference in these girls' lives that it was both inspiring and humbling to see. When I asked him what compelled him to do this he just shrugged his shoulders and said, the girls had nothing. He was/is living a life that really is life.
I realize there can be many barriers to doing a mission trip across the sea, but don't let yourself off the hook too easily. There is mission work you can do across town or across the street as well. ZPC partners with several terrific ministries that are easy to be involved in. Or what about the neighbor up the street who is having a tough time, do they need the leaves raked, or some tidying up, or even someone just to sit with them for a while?
The reasons to do mission work are multitude, for me the big one would be how well it matches up with our verse today; how we can be partnered with and inspired by others who are doing the good work of following Jesus Christ, compelled by what he first did on the cross for us. And we can do it all with pure joy!
It's easy to experience God while walking in the woods or viewing a mountain. Those places are already as God intended them to be. Less so while walking through the slums of Nairobi, but God is still there as well. I know my life has been greatly enriched by partnering in the gospel with Elias. I challenge you to find that organization or person that you can partner with in joy, in the gospel, and live the life that really is life.
We stand before you in confidence, knowing our salvation is complete because of your Son's work on the cross. Right now we ask for the vision and courage to see where you have called us to be partners in your gospel. You have given us so much. Help us to share it with others, not just in this season of giving but always.
Note from the author: I could have written endlessly about The Dorothy Home and other mission trips I've been on but space constraints made that impossible. If you want to know more about any of these, please feel free to reach out to me.