Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mission: Charleston 2009

Believe it or not, I am already excited about next summer! Yes, we are already planning in earnest what our mission emphasis will look like in 2009. Here's how God is shaping it as I see it right now:

1. Consistent with our Acts 1:8 strategy we are planning to do go on mission next summer all the way to...Charleston, SC. Wait. That's like 20 miles down I-26. That's not a mission trip, is it? Yep. That it is.

We went nationally ("Judea and Samaria") in 2007 to Gulfport, MS. We went internationally ("Ends of the earth") to Curacao, N. A. in 2008 so it follows that we'll go locally ("Jerusalem") in 2009. Hence, Mission: Charleston 2009.

Mission: Charleston 2009 will be an all out effort on the part of Grace and our partners to minister intensively for 10 days across the SC low country. Our slogan is to share the love of Jesus in a practical way. We hope you'll plan to be a part. This will happen July 11-20, 2009.

The total God-thing in all of this is that IGA (Ignatius Gracia Abundante) wants to come and bring 20 youth to do a mission trip here with us! Talk about a partnership!

The 10 days will start off with a youth weekend retreat where we'll train and get to know each other. The rest of the week will be spent actually serving people.

2. The second component of our mission effort in 2009 will be to go and build on our partnership with the Church in Curacao, N. A. We have a team forming right now that is planning to go to help with VBS and depending on our numbers do some addition projects as well. This will happen July 4-11, 2009. The cost will be the plane ticket plus $250. This trip will be led by Gene and Doris Hundley. There is an informational meeting coming up.

Now while things are shaping up, they aren't in stone. There definitely seems to be a group coming together to go so they are moving forward with our blessing. And there definitely is a group from Curacao that wants to come and have us host them.

But there still remains the question of whether we want to take on this Mission: Charleston challenge. Make no mistake: This would be the single biggest project we've taken on since starting the church. It will require faith, time, resources, focus and lots of energy. It will require an effort from nearly everybody to make it happen and go well.

I believe we can and should do this. While it will stretch our faith, isn't that right where we want to be anyway. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb 11:6) Anytime we exercise faith, God is pleased.

So I invite your input and comments on this. I pray God will use us in a mighty way next summer!