December 2020 Prayer Update
To be a missionary is to be someone sent on a mission. But not just any mission. The mission of the Church, and thus of Christian missions, is centered on the proclamation of the gospel, the discipling of believers, and the organization of these believers into congregations. This is Church planting, the roots of which are all found in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). While some believers may not ever cross an ocean or even a national border, all believers are to be a part of the Church's mission. The Son of God himself has sent us and, according to John, that sending reflects and is based on the Father's sending of the Son (John 17:18; 20:21)! Our lives as "sent" missionaries is a reflection of the far more spectacular sending that we celebrate at Christmastime. Did you know that Christmas is a "missionary" holiday? Don't let the cuteness of the manger scenes this Christmas distract from the monumental significance of the incarnation. The Father sent the Son into the world to rescue helpless sinners (John 3:17)! God became a man (John 1:1-14). As man, Jesus was able to participate in the experiences of humanity (Luke 2:7, 40, 52; John 4:6; Matt. 4:2) so that he might become a High Priest on our behalf (Heb. 2:17, 4:15). He became man so that he could die, taking upon himself the curse of the law instead of us (Gal 3:13)! Rescuing the lost is why he came (Luke 19:10). God is good! We pray that our meditation on the mission of Jesus this Christmas will rejuvenate our witness for him going into 2021.
Prayer needs: We have for a while been asking for prayer as we have sought to schedule a month-long survey trip to France. At first it was going to be in August, and then it was rescheduled to January-February 2021. God has again closed that door for us. Covid cases are again climbing in France, and much of the country remains locked down. The State Department does not recommend travel there and we got the same advice from the missionary families we were going to visit. This prompts two prayer requests. First, pray that we will be able to reschedule this trip for later in the year. Second, pray that we will be able to schedule meetings for the time that we were going to be gone (we obviously were not trying to schedule meetings for this time, and now it may be too short notice for many churches). We know that God’s timing is perfect, and that he has a plan for every setback. Pray for open doors! We hope you are all staying healthy and having a good Christmas season! Merry Christmas! Your friends, Michael, Jessica, Amelia, & Jack