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Seeing The BIG Picture

The Art Of Vision

How many times have you been in a place that marketed works of art and wondered, “how did the artist come up with this beautiful creation of style and color”? It is always a marvel to me how an artist can take a blank canvas, some paint and brushes of various shapes, and turn them into paintings they sell for thousands of dollars. I can’t even draw a stickman figure straight. Donna, my talented wife, is such an artist. Although she hasn’t marketed her works, she creates some beautiful pieces which adorn the walls of our home.

Recently we were in a gallery admiring the works of art displayed and engaged the hostess in conversation about the artists on display and how they work. We could more appreciate the paintings depicting scenes and objects familiar to us than those which were abstract creations. Our conversation turned to the ability of the artist to see the finished work before they brush the first stroke of paint on the canvas. My thoughts turned to the topic of “Vision”.

By definition, that is how Vision works. Vision is seeing the big picture of what God wants to do in our ministries and lives. It starts with where we are and is able to see where God wants us to go. For leaders in Churches and Missions ministries, it is the ability to see what God has placed in your heart for the direction of a ministry in a way that you can paint the picture for others to see.

One of the biggest downfalls to the growth of organizations and ministries is the lack of Vision being cast which others seeking to follow can clearly define and carry out. I speak with many Pastors and Ministry Leaders who give a generic answer to the question of “What’s your vision?” Most reply, “We just want to reach a lot of people and grow God’s Kingdom”. Sure, that’s what we are all here to do.

My response is, “What People?, Where are they? How do you plan to reach them?”

As Church Partnership Lead with Here2There Ministries, part of my work is to coach Pastors, Missionaries, and Leaders to better define and see how “Vision” drives everything. It’s the map that moves all participants toward the common goal.

Have you ever gone to sites like Mapquest to get directions? They ask you for two key facts: Where are you now? Where do you want to go? These two points are also very critical in Vision discovery and definition.

Part of our Here2There core values is that we believe in the “And” of Acts 1:8 – our mandate to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, AND the Uttermost. I use this passage to help leaders better get a handle on their Vision. Here our work is divided up into four sections which are different from each other. Have you ever considered defining and structuring your Vision after this verse?

       What is your Jerusalem?

            What is your Judea?

                 What is Your Samaria?

                        What is your Uttermost?

I must say that most leaders and ministries put all of missions in that last category, “Uttermost” and call it “foreign missions”. Here2There Partners with churches, missionaries, and leaders to help them see that “Missions” has to do with mandates and strategies to reach the persons across the street in your communities as much as those across the globe in other cultures.

If you can’t define and articulate these components of Vision –  How will you develop plans and strategies to reach these groups? How will you identify the people and resources needed to accomplish these works? How will you train others to go? How will you raise budget to fund these works? It all starts with Vision and seeing what God has for you and the ministry in which He has placed you.

For those of you who have always felt the above information is how you have thought of “Mission”, consider that the “Vision” is seeing and defining the Big Picture. “Mission” is how we will put the paint on the canvas and accomplish the work of art in our heart. “Mission” includes defining the actions steps which must be taken to get us from point A to completion. No matter what you call it, it is still a vital part of getting ministry done.

Here2There is purposed in helping Churches, Missionaries, and Ministry Leaders discover and define their Vision in such a way that it can be translated into Mission Action Plans. A MAP answers the above questions in systematic ways which result in the Training and Mobilization of the people God has given you and the Identification and Utilization of resources needed to accomplish that Vision.

Our trainings are Vision based and Mission driven to Enable and Empower Christ Followers to do the work of Missions Wherever God has called them.

To learn more about the importance and need for Vision go to our website at here2there.org and check out our resources available to you at no charge.

Let me encourage you to read the book “Me to We” by Allan Nelson. This is a great narrative of a seasoned Pastor sharing his wisdom with a younger Pastor about getting others engaged in accomplishing Vision.

If you are a Pastor, Missionary, or Ministry Leader struggling with Vision and direction, I would love to meet with you to discuss the ways Here2There would be a valuable Partner for your ministry. Just contact us at wadinsb@gmail.org or via www.here2there.org.

Wayne Dinsbeer
Church Partnership Lead

Stop wondering in the Desert

Plan your (missions) journey

Poor Moses, he’s the butt of every illustration or joke pertaining to strategy, planning, asking for directions, humility and the list goes on. His wandering in the desert set him up for the whole world to know about him and his navigational challenges. But, what a perfect example Moses truly is on not following the plan laid out before him. For all my planners out there, don’t you just cringe when you read the story of the Israelite’s in the desert for so long, when you know they were so close to where they needed to be!!!!

Having a clear and detailed plan for your church’s mission focus is a must if you desire to reach all nations with the Gospel. Acts 1:8 is very clear of our plan, and they’ve done the hard part for you in deciding your targeted goals “…you will be my witnesses in all of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Uttermost”.

You’ve heard the expression, ‘Hope is not a strategy’, well in the world of missions the word “support” has a similar meaning… it doesn’t fully provide the missionaries what they truly need from their churches.  It is vague, non-specific, not goal driven and doesn’t let you know where exactly it is you’re heading in your relationship with your missionaries. You ‘support’ your missionaries, but how exactly?

There are advantages of having a partnership plan or a strategy for your missions focus.

  1. Simplifies the decision-making process.

 

No more waiting for missionaries to come to you to present their work and ask for support. You know ahead of time where God is leading you and what you are doing in those areas. It also helps you identify the next set of missionaries that are already in your church.

 

  1. Creates Natural Leaders

 

Because of the clearly laid out plans and goals in a partnership strategy, leaders will naturally gravitate to the places where they are needed most and start using their gifts, and those gifts match the needs. This eliminates mismatched volunteers

 

  1. Clears up space on your plate.

 

Partnerships define the details of who, what, when and how and now others can use that standard for how they carry out the ministry. People no longer have to wait for you to clearly lay out every detail of the plan, they can see where they are heading and what the partnership needs to look like and they can start running.

 

  1. Reaches goals

 

A strategic plan for missions gives you an advantage on your target because you can now plan better knowing where you are heading, what the needs are, what it takes to get you there and then start moving.

 

  1. Eliminates Frustration

 

Look at our list here… you have simplified the process, found the right people to do it – so you don’t have to – and you are reaching your targeted goals. This means people are sharing the Gospel and you made it happen! See, celebration!!! We can get so wound up because people aren’t doing anything to help us accomplish the vision often because we didn’t help them know how.

 

  1. Gives missionaries what they really need

Partnerships work on a common goal, increased communication and permission to be open and honest. This gives the missionaries the ability to show you their true needs and you the opportunity to meet them specifically not just throwing money at them to figure out how to do it on their own.

 

In the beginning phases of H2T I was constantly frustrated with the team, with the outcome of work we were doing, with the lack of initiation… and it put a ton of stress on me, and that was transferred to my team. As I grew in understanding, running a business, getting help from others, I realized my frustrations were all on me. I was not setting out clear directions, expectations, vision or plan for where I wanted us to go. I was trying to let it happen organically and not micromanage, but what I was really doing is not give a good plan to the vision.

Without a plan you are wandering, you are tired because you are doing all the work (because others aren’t helping) and you aren’t arriving at the vision God gave you nor helping the people who are there to get you to your goals (the missionaries).

STOP WANDERING and start planning, start raising up more missionaries, start giving your missionaries what they really need, start moving into your promised land!!!

H2T is here to help you if you are in the desert and need help making plans or know what to do with the plans you’ve been given. Call us – 904-885-5706 today to start working out your plan for the nations!

Stefanie Nicholson

Founder and Director

 

Our teams TOP 5 blogs!

Stefanie Nicholson-

It can happen to you – with the recent tragedies in our city and the increasing number of suicides due to depression, this one seems to hit very close to home. You seem to always say, “They always seemed so happy all the time” and are almost always caught off guard. I want us to stop being surprised by these events and start doing something to prevent them.
The Great Urbanization Migration – I love planning for ways to reach the nations, and I love that the nations are coming to us. I am excited about the increase of great food to our major cities, but I also look for the easier doors of opportunity to reach the nations right in your back yard.
Help Them Have Fun– As someone who has spent a large amount of time away from “home” I know the joys of receiving a special something from friends or family. Pre-planned event nights are especially fun when you don’t have access to taco seasoning (every one needs Taco Tuesday).
Is Your Manger Clean – I am so grateful to work with people and churches who are “ready” with eagerness. I love to see people who have a passion for the lost and do what they need to do to prepare themselves to be “ready”.
The Importance of Sacred Rhythms pt 1 and pt 2 – I am learning more and more how important rest, and consistent rest is. This is great for our bodies, our minds and our hearts as we lead others by example in ministry and being fully prepared to hear and follow God.
Wayne Dinsbeer-
I Came, I Served, I Got the Tee Shirt  Now What?  – This was a great follow up to Short Term Journeys and next things.
They’re Coming – The Great Urbanization Migration – what a great article which challenges us to be
ready for the Mission Field which is coming to us.
Help them have fun – this blog explains the fun of part of Partnerships which includes 9 very creative &  practical ways to minister to your Missionaries.
Bryan Nicholson-
Mark Painter-
Un necessary returns – is very pertinent to the here2there.org and addresses a significant missionary issue.
Are you living by faith – this is a real world testimony and provides a personalized encouragement
Six areas missionaries need partnership– gets right to the point and sums up well here to there’s, concept of partnership

Cast your cares on the Lord – provides practical care steps 2 identified circumstances.
Too much compassion – does a good job of explaining compassion fatigue, providing examples of compassion fatigue symptoms, and starts one down the path of considering ways of dealing with that condition.
Wayne Pierce
Gina Gant-
Most missionaries have a hard time taking care of themselves. This blog helps us remember how important self care is in ministry. It’s a great resource for churches to help partner with their missionaries.
Is your manger clean – life needs to get messy so we can let God take control and help us produce fruit in our lives
The great migration we don’t all have no to leave our country to reach people, God is bringing them to us.
Sometimes we just need to step out of our comfort zone to see God’s faithfulness
Too much compassion This topic is one of my passions, helping people in ministry learn to take better care of themselves before it’s too late.

My M&M Experience

You are probably wondering what these things have to do with each other. They all teach us how God is able to work through the most unusual things in our life to bring about His plan. Let me explain:

The first week of July Donna and I were returning from a week of camping in some great State Parks in Alabama. We have enjoyed the camping experience since our children were small and we were all in a pop-up camper. Now our children are grown, our camping is done in a little larger RV, but the hiking, biking, and just being in the awesome Nature that God created is still something we enjoy.

22 miles west of Tallahassee, Florida, God gave us an experience which proved to be the highlight of our trip. Now in the previous week we had hiked to waterfalls, done some biking, eaten at some great local restaurants, viewed July 4th Fireworks, and  even toured a battleship, the USS Alabama. But what happened this day topped it all, We had a Flat Tire!

Usually a flat tire isn’t that big a deal, but when it is on your RV it becomes bigger. Couple that with being on the side of a busy major highway I-10 and it further complicates matters. No problem, we have AAA. So I called them for assistance only to be made aware that our coverage does not include our RV. We needed help so they did get someone coming to our rescue.

I then called our insurance company as we have Roadside Assistance coverage on all our vehicles. This call proved to be of greater success as they said we were covered up to $400. They even offered to pay directly for the service call.

After a couple of hours of waiting and rocking as vehicles sped by us, Steve, the Tire Service Tech finally arrived. Upon looking at our situation he began working to replace our shredded tire. It was about 15 minutes into his work that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said it is time for you to go to work for Me. I knew exactly what I was to do.

Right there on the side of I-10 I began a conversation about the Lord with Steve, an older gentleman. He said he lived across the street from a church and attended occasionally. I then asked if he knew for sure that he was going to heaven, to which he replied, “No, but that would be a good thing to know.” As I shared with him about God’s love for him I could tell he had not heard this before. Just as we finished talking about how our sin separates us from God, it was time to move to the other side of the RV. Steve wanted to check the other tires.

Now we were on the traffic side of the vehicle with cars and trucks speeding by just inches from us. Steve, said to me, “Go on, I want to hear the rest.” My heart rejoiced and feared at the same time. With my back to the on coming traffic, I remember thinking, “O God, Please keep us safe. I know I am going to heaven if I get hit, but Steve isn’t until I get him to a prayer of salvation.” Donna could see in the mirror what was happening and began to pray for me. I continued, now yelling so he could hear, telling Steve how Christ died to forgive his sins and desires to save him. Right there on the side of I-10 Steve prayed to receive Christ as his Savior.

I could see an immediate peace on his face as we talked about his decision (away from the traffic). I wrote the verses down I had shared with him and encouraged him to share his decision with his family and Pastor. He said he would.

Then I asked Steve if anyone had ever told him they were glad they had a flat tire. He said, “No one.” I told him I was glad because God had given us a Divine Appointment to meet and talk. Steve agreed.

You may say what does this have to do with Here 2 There and our work. We are all about being “On Mission”. That isn’t just about work done on a foreign field somewhere, but it is about each follower of Christ being ready to share their faith Anytime, Anywhere, with Anyone. The work of H2T is about training up believers who are ready, willing, and able to be Mobilized for Mission when the Spirit calls.

H2T is focused on establishing “Partnerships” with Missionaries, individuals and Churches. We desire to have an ongoing relationship that focuses on preparing Churches and Missionaries to accomplish the Vision God has given them for His work.

Would you say that most people in your church know how God has gifted them to serve Him? Is the majority of membership engaged in an area of Service for the Lord some place either in the Church or reaching the Community and World? Have you ever considered that You are “On Mission” with God every minute of your life. Are you equipped to be Mobilized at any moment to do His work? Our Resources and Training Materials do exactly that for Missionaries, Church Leaders and Members.

On our website you will find training tools and resources which are available to assist Missionaries, individuals and Churches in training people for Kingdom Work. One resource you will find is a witnessing tool called STEP OUT, which gives 4 Simple Steps to a Church On Mission – Serve, Tell, Eat, Pray.  I encourage you to check us out at Here2There.org.

By the way, our tire repair came to a little over $400, which the insurance company is paying. For a couple of hours delay on the highway Steve knows he is a Child of God.

Now, that’s a Great Flat Tire!

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

Cast your cares on the Lord

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall (Psalm 55:22).

A few months ago I wrote a blog about anxiety. In that blog we discussed that everyone has anxiety. This month I am going to continue with that same theme.

In the verse above it states Cast your cares on the Lord.  I wonder how heavy your load gets or how burdened you feel before you decide to cast your cares on the Lord?

Often, we as Christians (and many times those of us in ministry) feel like we have to do everything ourselves. We have so many things to balance. Not just our ministry-seeking to bring people to salvation, but having to raise money, budget wisely, parent our children, be a good spouse, and maintain our home, not to mention all the meetings to attend, and spending time with friends and neighbors.  

Its no wonder that we feel stressed and burdened. But, as the scripture says, once we give our care to the Lord, he will SUSTAIN you. Sustain. What a great word. According to Websters dictionary it means to give support or RELIEF . Isnt that something we all want? Support and especially RELIEF!? Isnt it great to know that once we RELEASE our cares to the Lord, he will give us RELIEF. And, then it doesnt stop there. He gives us another promise. He will never let the righteous fall.

I think sometimes the reason we dont want to release our cares, isnt because we doubt relief, I am sure we know and acknowledge that letting go, will feel good, but I think one of the major problems is realizing that he wont let us fall. Holding on to our cares can be like a false sense of security or confidence. We think that if we can just handle all of this then we will become successfulBut in reality the more we pile on, the less we can and will succeed, and tend to fall!

1.) Think about something that you need to give to the Lord today?

Is it your time? Money? Family? An obsessive thought? A difficult decision? Or something else?

2.) How can you give this burden over to the Lord?

Through prayer? Speaking to a loved one? Asking for help? Or seeking professional advice? Or something else?

3.) What would it feel like to have relief from your burdens or cares?

4.) Through the coming weeks I encourage you to RELEASE cares to the Lord, feel the RELIEF from your burdens, and trust that God will not allow you to fall.

For more information or if you need to talk to someone please dont hesitate to contact Here to There Ministries at here2there.org@gmail.com

Christy Paul, LMHC

Your Land of Milk and Honey

In Numbers 13 Moses sends out a leader from each of the tribes of Israel to spy on the land of Canaan which the Lord had promised to his people. So we see these men spend 40 days surveying the land and preparing a report to bring back to Moses and the Israelites.

Now, they know that this is the land that God promised to give them but all they can think about are the obstacles that they perceive are in their way. They even bring back fruit from the land to show how lush it is. The first thing they said to Moses was, “It really is a land flowing with milk and honey.” So, God tells them this is what I want for you, they go and see that it was what God said it was.

BUT, the next thing they say is Anak is there, the people are very strong, the cities have very high walls. Then, the lies start to spread throughout the camp convincing the rest of the Israelite’s that they would have been better off to die in the misery of slavery than to follow God to the promised land.

What promised land is God trying to lead you to right now? What are your Anaks? What are the high city walls? What are the lies that you’re hearing that are scaring you from the milk and honey that God wants you to have?

Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Yet, we allow fear and lies to scare us away from the Good that God has for us. Don’t let the lies of Satan keep you from the land of milk and honey.

Partnering with your missionaries can be messy and difficult but God desires to guide you to a place of amazing joy. Don’t believe the lies that make it seem impossible but trust that God will make the way. Missionaries and churches can help each other get to the promised land. Here2There can help you learn more about what partnerships are and how to create them. Please check out our website at http://www.here2there.org/resources/. If you have any questions you can email us at Here2there.org@gmail.com.

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

Glorious Unfolding / Church Partnerships

A couple years ago Steven Curtis Chapman recorded a song that describes the way God works in our life on His time table to bring about His will and accomplish His purpose. It speaks of being in the midst of a trial and not giving up, but understanding God uses all things to bring His good will in us. When this happens it becomes a “Glorious Unfolding” in our life as we see Him turn our trial into triumph.

The work of Missions and Church Partnership development is like a “Glorious Unfolding” in the life of a Missionary and Church. Through trials and unexpected situations which arise God is able to teach us lessons He desires us to learn which lead to victories  in ministry down the road.

In the last month I have been presented with the same “trial” from two different missionaries from parts of the world far apart from each other. Both stated that a loss of support was causing a critical need in their ministries and that this loss was related to churches with new pastors revamping mission budgets resulting in dropping their support. Each said they were going to have to return to the States to work on support raising.

In one situation a Missionary in Haiti needed both funding as well as new transportation upon his return. I was in a church where he presented these needs. At this church a substantial offering was received. A few weeks later I saw on his facebook post a picture of him standing in front of his new Ford F250 4×4 truck which had been given to him by a person attending a service at which he  usually doesn’t attend. We know God had him at this service to hear the need of this Missionary and respond with this gift. Now there is a “Glorious Unfolding” which came out of an unexpected trial, but I’m sure will result in a new Church Partnership that will be a lasting blessing to both.

Back in October the other Missionary attended one of our Missionary Trainings and heard our team teach about the benefits of establishing Partnership Relationships with Churches. This Missionary met with us and invited us to come to Kenya to meet with his leadership team. After seeing and meeting his great Missions team, we are now in the process of working with him to establish Church Partnerships that will assist him with long term funding of his ministry.

James talks about the trials of our faith building patience within us. None of us enjoys the experience of trials and tribulations. We would rather learn patience another way, if possible. But, God uses these times to bring us closer to Him and willing to make adjustments in our life to bring about His glory.

Here 2 There Ministry is purposed in being used of God to bring about His “Glorious Unfolding” in the lives of Missionaries and Churches. As we work with each to help them identify their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Uttermost (Acts 1:8), we also seek to lead them to discover His plan to minister within each of these areas. This involves many components such as: Vision Casting, Recruiting and Training, Mission Strategy, Mobilization, just to name a few.

Missionaries and Churches with whom we work have a desire to see great things for God happen, but often lack a plan to bring it to pass. It is the joy of H2T to work with Missionaries and Church Leaders to expose, educate, and experience the benefits of Church Partnership. When this happens there truly is a “Glorious Unfolding” of God’s working in lives and ministries. To discover more about the need for Church Partnerships and how this works read one of our resource books Antioch Revisited by Tom Julian.

For more information on Here 2 There Ministries go to the web at here2there.org.

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

It Can Happen To You

We have been reading in the news recently of two celebrities that committed suicide. If you follow social media, you will see that some people felt very close, for different reasons to these celebrities, others were outright shocked to find out that celebrities, who appear to have it all, would want to end their life. Others have shared memes that highlight how suicide affects a lot of people, including many veterans who die by suicide each day.

The truth is we all may have been affected by suicide in some way. It could be a friend, a family member, or an acquaintance that we heard about that committed suicide. It is very sad and something that no one, even Christians, fully understand. There are many reasons why someone is suicidal, and even feels that they are at their last straw and need to end their life. People who are suicidal will often say “people will be better off without me”, “I am not needed”, “I am just making things harder on everyone else”, “no one is going to miss me”, or “I just can’t do it anymore”, “I am not good enough”, and even “God doesn’t care about me, if He did He would take this *thing* away from me”.

Nearly everyone has been through some sort of hardship. It could be the death of someone close to us, it could be a job loss, a financial problem, or a strained-even abusive relationship. There may be thoughts that cross our mind that tell us that it would be okay to die, or that if we died it would be so much better than having to deal with what it is we have to deal with. We may not want to take our own lives, but we may fantasize about death. Even Christians. We know that we have a wonderful home in heaven waiting for us. We won’t have pain, we won’t have sorrow, and we won’t have to deal with anything bad for eternity. Although that is a good thing, and we SHOULD look forward to heaven, and be so grateful and thankful for the promise of a better life on the other side of this earth, it’s NOT an invitation to want to get their faster than what God’s plan is for our life.

The reason why it may make more news when a celebrity, rather than someone local, or even a veteran, commits suicide is because celebrities aren’t SUPPOSED to commit suicide. They have it all. They are famous, they have money, they have anything and everything they want. They have MADE IT in life. So when someone like that who has a disposable income, who is loved by the world and who doesn’t seem like they should have any problems or reason to die..dies by taking their own life, we go into shock, and we try to figure out how in the world could that have happened?

The same goes for people who are in ministry. Just because you are a missionary, or a pastor, does not mean you aren’t going to get down at times, it doesn’t mean you aren’t discouraged and it doesn’t mean that you don’t sometimes think “God, please take me now, life is too hard”. But, at the same time, just like with celebrities, men and women of God, aren’t “supposed” to have thoughts of death and dying, they aren’t “supposed” to feel in despair, I mean, they are close to God right? They know that God will take care of them right? So, they “NEVER” feel like they wish they could just crawl up in a hole and die. Well, surprisingly, yes, even men and women of the faith, those who go across the world to share the gospel, those who stand on stage each Sunday morning, yes, even they can feel worn out, hopeless and like they have lost all purpose.

Take a look at Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God. In his day he WAS the man of God. He was the person that would point others to God, and who heard from God and was to do the will of God to bring the nation to the Lord, and keep God’s people on the right path. One of the best stories of all time is about Elijah. In I Kings 18:16-41 we read the story of Elijah taking on the prophets of Baal. In this story, we see God’s power and how he showed who HE was through Elijah. It was amazing, and very clear who the ONE true God is. The very next chapter, in I Kings 19, we read that after Elijah, God’s chosen prophet, who just defeated the prophets of Baal, who just saw one of the greatest miracles of God, of all time, was threatened. What did he do? Did he say, “oh that’s no big deal, I serve a living God, one who can produce miracles, one that is always by my side”. Did he clarify that he had a relationship with the God of the universe who wouldn’t let anything happen to him? NOPE! After becoming afraid and running for his life (vs 3) He said in verse 4 “I have had enough, LORD, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” How could this man want to die? How could he lose trust in God so quickly, after seeing with his own eyes, and having complete faith in God, all of the sudden, lose faith, and beg to die? A few verses down, starting in verse 9, God speaks to Elijah and Elijah basically responds by telling the Lord about all he (Elijah) has done for God. Then he gets a “woe is me” attitude. He basically thinks, after all this that he has done for the Lord, it means nothing, and he feels that he might as well die. Elijah feels that although he has tried so hard, he is not seeing the response that he wants, he is feeling very down about himself, and thinks he is going to die anyway, so the sooner the better and asks the Lord to take his life.

Similar to celebrities people may think a follower, and even a minister of the Lord shouldn’t ever think about dying, feeling despair and wanting the Lord to take his life before his time. The attitude is they have it “altogether”. They SHOULD be the ones trusting God, knowing God and recognizing that God will help them through any difficulty. But if it can happen with a man like Elijah it can happen with anyone! No matter where we are with our walk with God, life can be very discouraging. We might feel that our ministry is not producing the way WE want. Our family may not functioning the way we hoped that it it would, or we might just feel that God isn’t present. We may feel God is there in certain circumstances, but then He leaves at other times, which can lead to feelings of despair, discouragement and failure. We can become so caught up on our own depression, that we may wish to God that we can just die.

God has a plan and purpose, ALWAYS, for our life. It may not be what we hope, dream, or envision, but he still has plan. Even if we get off course, God can still use us to complete his purpose (Romans 8:28).

If you or someone you know is having a difficult time and feeling discouraged, you feel like maybe your ministry would be better off without you or your thoughts may be that you wish you could die, or that something bad would happen to you, or maybe you do love your life and realize that it’s not your time to go, but you still fill like quitting or giving up, here are some suggestions:

1.) If you are considering taking your life and feel like you can’t go on, and life would be better without you, please call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255, 911, or go to your nearest hospital.

2.) If you are feeling down and discouraged please contact a close friend, family member or pastor, before giving up or quitting. Having someone to talk to and see things from a different perspective could make all the difference.

3.) Seek professional help to deal with any feelings of depression. They can help find the source, techniques to cope, and ways to move forward.

4.) Continue to seek God. As we continue to read in I Kings chapter 19 verse 12, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper. We may not be hearing God, not because he isn’t speaking but because he is speaking to us in a gentle and small voice.

5.) Take time for yourself, in I Kings 19:5,6 Elijah rested and ate and drank. Do not neglect getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy and remaining hydrated.

6.) As always feel free to reach out to Here 2 There ministries at here2there.org@gmail.com

Christy Paul, LMHC

The Great Urbanization Migration

How does urban population growth affect the face of missions? As my wife Gina and I served as missionaries in Uganda, our eyes were opened to an entirely different view on the immigration struggle. The capital city of Kampala had swelled from an estimated 33 Million in 2013 to 45 Million by 2018. In our travels, we learned the many reasons for the influx of people was not just local population growth, but something much darker was behind the scenes. The increase of people is not only Ugandans, but displaced people from the war-torn Sudan in the North, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the west, or even leftovers that escaped the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda in the south. War and HIV/AIDS have driven people to not just look for a better life but to seek survival itself.

Webster’s describes urbanization as “the act or fact of urbanizing, or taking on the characteristics of a city.” The fact is that people are migrating to the city looking for a better way of life. Many will search for a way to provide for their family and send the provision back to the village in which they came. This search is prevalent in the increase in urban growth worldwide. Whether it is for jobs, or escaping war-torn areas; cities are growing by leaps and bounds. The United Nations Global Health Observatory (GHO) reports alarming increases in metropolitan living.” The urban population in 2014 accounted for 54% of the total global population, up from 34% in 1960, and continues to grow.” When it comes to Urban population growth, less developed countries of the world will continue to decline, and most people will be living in urban areas. The GHO estimates growth at “approximately 1.84% per year between 2015 and 2020, 1.63% per year between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44% per year between 2025 and 2030.

Harvey Cox in his book The Secular City “The rise of urban civilization and the collapse of traditional religion are two main hallmarks of our era, and are closely related movements.”

So, how does this future projected spike in urbanization affect the gospel mission at the local church level? Although we are all one body in Christ worldwide, the local church will have to strategize for their area and be focused on the people groups that migrate to that area to be useful in the future. Some of the challenges that the local church may face can be large. God is bringing people to our cities from all over the world, and we must prepare for this to be effective. First, the local church will need to be grasping the demographics of their city and finding a way to connect with them. If there is a significant influx of immigrants, then it would be essential to key in on them with some type of outreach in their native tongue and maybe even focus in on their culture. If History dictates a growth of this size, we must seize the opportunity to use it to our advantage for the kingdom. God is using the decline of the western missionary movement to bring the mission field to us. Secondly, is that someone must hear the call to go and others must pay for them to go. Urbanization happens worldwide, and someone must be willing to get out of their comfort zone and go. Equally, someone must send by providing finances for them that are at the tip of the missions spear. Both being sent and being the sender require obedience.

Joshua Project.com describes Unreached People Groups (UPG) as “an ethnic group without an indigenous, self-propagating Christian church movement.” These are people that have no church or Bible in their native land or language. As these peoples are intertwined into the big cities, there is a need for outreach to do an inner-city “in reach.” The Ministry that can understand and adapt to the global concept of being kingdom minded will be able to unlock an endless array of resources and be ready and willing to great the new frontier of missions, the melting pot of the worlds inner cities.

These resources are interwoven into the very fabric of scripture that was there the day it was written. The fact that God’s plan from the beginning was and still is to bring his people back to Himself. The rural community as we know it is migrating to the big city for a reason. People groups that are displaced are searching for safety, shelter, and security. People groups are coming by the thousands to the world’s cities seeking the answer to the international question of “why am I here?” and “why is this happening?” The church needs adaptability to be ready to minister to the inquisitive minds and give them the answer to the things they seek. Because regardless of the people group or the language they speak, the answer will always be Jesus.

Simply put, God has brought the mission field to us, the big city. God will send us a people group representative that can and will, fulfill the great commission in his homeland. The church that learns to welcome them, love them and train them will become a fruit producing branch of the vine. Resources show us that the great urbanization migration has begun and will only increase. Evil causes the displacement of tens of thousands of people worldwide, but if the church is ready, it will drive them into the arms of a loving God. We all have our part to play in the great commission, and we need to grasp this concept for fear of being left behind. God’s will be done, using us or someone else.

Steve Gant

Volunteer

 

Flying High

A few weeks ago my Grandson, Aidan, competed in the Florida High School Activities Association State Track Meet for Pole Vaulting. He has only been jumping a little over a year, but has tremendous determination to develop this skill. He has done well with it, winning Districts and qualifying for Regional and State competition.

In trying to encourage him as he prepared for this experience, Donna (my wife) and I threw him a one man Pep Rally at PDQ restaurant. We gave him a goody bag with various items to help him think and feel positive as he approached this event.

One item was a story of inspiration about another high school pole vaulter, Michael Stone, who competed for the Junior Olympics. He had desired to jump his entire life. His mom encouraged him; took him to endless practices and events; made sure he had what he needed, even when she couldn’t afford it. She was the ultimate cheerleader for him.

Michael tells of his excitement and anxiety as he was on the runway preparing to jump. All kinds of thoughts were running through his head as his nerves caused muscles to tighten. The thing that calmed his fears and nerves were the words of his Mom in his head that said you have this, just do what you have prepared to do, I believe in you. These reassuring thoughts enabled him to set a new Junior Olympics record for this event.

The miracle of the story is that Michael Stone is blind.

Like Michael’s life, there are always obstacles to overcome. Satan will be certain of that. Whether they be of a physical or spiritual nature, God is always able to pave the way for us to Fly High above any obstacle and accomplish His purpose in our life.

What Michael Stone accomplished is an example of how we are to trust the working of God in our life to carry us to victory against any odds. His Word is our Trainer, His Power is our Strength, His Will is our Guide. He desires for us to be Victorious. Like Michael on the runway, the key is listening to His voice in the face of adversity and challenge.

As Here2There Ministries works with the many Missionaries and Church Leaders in the US and abroad, we see that Christian Leaders are not immune to the obstacles of life and ministry. The percentage of Missionaries , Pastors, and other full time Christian workers who call it quits each year due to stress in ministry or family is very high. Surveys show these often feel like they are doing ministry “all alone”. Such obstacles can easily become barriers to accomplishing the Vision and Mission God has placed in hearts.

H2T promotes a different approach to doing ministry we call “Church Partnership”. This focuses on closing the gap between the Missionary in the field (whether it be foreign or community) and the resources in the pews (Church).

Church Partnerships address the real needs on six levels of those doing missions: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Relational, Intellectual, & Financial.

H2T has developed training materials to help Missionaries and Churches meet these needs and overcome many of these barriers by establishing a better way of doing Missions in Partnership. I encourage you to check us out further at www.here2there.org. Contact H2T to get your Mission Partnerships going today!

Oh yea, Aidan competed well at State and came in sixth in the State of Florida in High School Men’s Pole Vaulting, which is pretty good for a 10th grader. Olympics here we come. Can you tell we are  Proud Grandparents!!!

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead