Mission Week

17 Oct

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IMG_3292.JPGThe past week has been Mission Week at my church. This means that for a week, we, as a church, spent special time reminding ourselves of who are the missionaries that we sent out, where they are, the kind of work they do and the prayer needs that they have. Of course, in the process we are seriously reminded that everyone that belongs to Jesus is a missionary. We don’t need to go far away to be missionaries, we are missionaries sent into the world, be it the far away countries of Asia or Africa, or be it our workplace, our neighbourhood, our schools…

But for this week, we paid special attention to those who chose to pack up and go to the countries where there is an obvious gap in the spread of the Gospel. We had many prayer meetings, focusing on their needs, their struggles and their hopes, thanking God for the amazing work He has already done in their ministry and asking Him to keep on using them as tools for the Gospel to be preached.

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I was involved in one of the activities on Friday. Each Friday evening, Kids’ Club is meeting at St James. As the name mentions, it is for kids and it’s like a club – not a closed and elitist one though. Kids of age 5 to Grade 6 meet every week for their own program of Bible study: they play games, they learn mini-lessons on the Bible, they remember memory verses… But this week, they had a special evening. Jenny, our Children ministry worker, and her helpers organised 5 or 6 different people to represent different countries and to explain to the kids a few things about that country, culture wise and spiritually wise. The countries represented were Morocco, South Korea, Zimbabwe, the Afrikaans culture and France. I represented France, being French…

Preparing the little stall (ie bringing half of my house), and the short talk about the christian situation in France reminded me of a few sad facts.   France is a country with many cathedrals, yet most of them are empty. People do not take an interest into Jesus anymore because they can’t see the relevancy of Christ in their daily lives. I can gage for it, I was like that, until God intervened in my life. Jesus and the church is seen as something for the grandmas and grandpas, and even then, what difference does it make in their lives? It is easier to rely on a government that is there to fill your every financial need than to rely on a God who promises to take care of you but also promises that in this world we WILL have trouble.

IMG_3280.JPGAs I was talking to these kids about being a Christian person in France, I was filled with thankfulness that, for the time being, my kids don’t have to face growing up in a country where Jesus is not a person to be feared anymore, but only ignored. Being a Christian in any country will bring different challenges but being one in France will make you feel very isolated. In all likelihood, you would be the only Christian in your entire school, you would struggle to make Christian friends because even at your church – made up of 40 people at most, there would be only a few kids. You would be ridiculed for wanting to remain sexually pure, having children within marriage only, allowing your husband to be the head of your home, being a woman who willingly submits to her husband, seeing lying as a sin, not wanting to gossip… most of all, doing all those things only because of a desire to obey an all-powerful and all-loving God. To be honest, a christian person would be made fun of in most countries.

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On the up side, the christian people in France go to church because they really do believe in God and his demands on our lives, not because it’s part of the culture. Those people are truly committed to live a life that is worthy of the calling that Christ put on them, and that in itself is a massive encouragement to the people in the church. To be able to stand firm in the Gospel without compromising within a society that thinks that Christ is irrelevant, only shows the power of God within them.

The week was concluded by a great sermon on Sunday, available on the internet site of our church here . The kids choir also had a song item that they had been working on for a few weeks. Lea and her friend Kiera were part of it. The song was about how “Jesus is the king” is sung in different languages.

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