Reaching the Nations from Home 5-23-2016

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Reaching the Nations from Home 5-23-2016

Below is an article published about one of the many missionaries which we support here at The Church at Wellington.  At the end of the article is the link to the PENews site where you can read this and many other stories of what is happening in the world today. We are proud to be a part of what they are accomplishing for the Kingdom of God!

 

Reaching the Nations from Home

by Jennifer M. Nelson on May 16, 2016

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For almost two decades, Assemblies of God U.S. missionaries David and Sue Hartmann lived on the other side of the world ministering to the people of Albania. Now, the Hartmann’s have the opportunity to meet new friends from many different cultures and nations every day from their own backyard in Texas.

Since 2012, the Hartmann’s have worked as U.S. Intercultural Ministries missionaries to refugee populations in North and East Dallas. The couple works with up to 20 different ethnic groups in the Dallas area from around the world, including some from parts of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa who have left their home countries because of genocide or persecution. Many refugees have come to the U.S. from countries with little or no Christian missionary presence, David says.

The couple spends time taking refugees to medical appointments, helping them with English skills, mentoring, aiding them in the citizenship process, helping with daily tasks, serving as their advocates, and distributing food to them as they adjust to life in the U.S. But at the heart of their ministry is getting to know the people, spending time with them in their homes, and establishing friendships. In forming relationships, the couple has discovered many of the refugees don’t really know any local long-term residents.

“Some of them have lived here 10 years and don’t have an American friend,” David says. “This is an incredible opportunity that God has provided. Refugees are begging for friendship.”

Through these bonds, God has opened up doors for the couple to pray for and share the gospel with the new arrivals who come from various religious backgrounds.

As the refugees are learning to adjust to their new lives, the Hartmann’s are receiving an education alongside them, not just about the various cultures the refugees came from, but also about the trauma and tragedy they went through to get here. Some escaped violence. Others saw their homes bombed, or watched the murder of family members.

The Hartmann’s also have come to understand the stress refugees experience once they resettle in a new place, often separated from family members. Sometimes the new immigrants don’t even know whether their loved ones in the home country are still alive.

One of the biggest challenges the couple faces is seeing the new families in their circle deal with the lasting impact of horrific events, whether it’s emotional stress, mental illness, or physical pain. The Hartmann’s have discovered that offers to simply listen are readily accepted.

Healing frequently begins when a refugee shares a hurt or burden, then agrees to receive prayer, David says.

Despite everything the refugees have been through, the couple says they are amazed at how hospitable and friendly foreign born are in return, inviting them to share coffee or a meal.

“They care about us, too,” Sue says.  “It’s humbling when they want to feed you. Usually they wouldn’t think of not feeding you.”

Knowing there are so many refugees and so many needs is what motivates the couple to continue their work. David looks forward to training other volunteers and equipping more churches to help through time, financial giving, and prayers.

“This is an exciting opportunity to reach the mission field,” he says. “If we win refugees here, they will win them there. They are the ones who will take the message back.”

 

http://penews.org/news/reaching-the-nations-from-home


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But who is going to mow the lawn? 5-4-2016

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But who is going to mow the lawn?

 

A close friend of mine who serves as a pastor in another state (I told you this story would wind up here) informed his church board that he was resigning to move to another church to pastor. The first question that came to him was the usual, “Why?” which is very normal in these situations. The second question was a bit of a shock though. One of the deacons blurted out. “But who is going to mow the lawn?” It seems that the church member who used to mow the lawn was no longer able up to the task and after all of the deacons recused themselves the job fell to my pastor friend, who cut the grass for the good of the church.

I am not going to verbally beat up on that particular deacon or for the entire board for that matter – that is not my place, but it does bring up a very interesting point. Whose duty is it to maintain the church building and grounds. Before you get defensive the answer is very simple – it falls to all of us – both in a temporal sense and in a spiritual sense (you knew I had to go there – it’s what I do). It is important for every member of a local church body to take a personal interest in every aspect of the church. It is like this – if you are walking in to the church for service and see a piece of trash on the parking lot, pick it up and carry it to the trash. Simple!! So what if your church pays a janitor to clean. Take pride in the appearance of the facility which God has blessed you with and in which He has given you the responsibility to be good stewards.

On the spiritual side now. We live in a world which has gone away from the very basics of common sense as it relates to Godly standards. But we each have a responsibility to one another within the church family to do our part to keep it clean. The Bible says that the older men and women should teach the younger men and women how to live right spiritually. That does not mean that you should tell your pastor that they should preach a series on spiritually cleanliness. It means that you should take a personal interest in those younger Christians to be a gentle guide for them and lead them along in Christ.

Last thought. One of the verses which has always haunted me a bit over the years, because it forces me to think of others before myself, is 1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Of course I learned it as a young boy from the King James Version, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” You as a Believer have a responsibility to imitate Christ in your attitude, words and deeds. It is time for the true Believers to stop asking, “Who is going to mow the lawn?” and to start taking our Christ-likeness into the world of spiritual darkness and thus showing the way for others to find Him!

Be a light.

Be an example.

Be a Christian!

 

Serving Him by Serving You,

Joe Jackson, Jr.


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