The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Three: Surrender

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Three: Surrender

Our journey to freedom began with the first two steps, admitting, “I can’t!” but “God can!” But that’s just the beginning. From here, we must move from a place of believing that God can help us, to actually inviting Him into the brokenness of our lives and surrendering to His will for us. This is where we say, “I will.” This is step three:

“Made the decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Jesus Take the Wheel

Step three is about letting go and letting God. There’s a popular song by Carrie Underwood that tells the story of a young mom who’s driving home to see her parents on Christmas Eve. It’s been a hard year for her, she’s got a baby in the backseat of the car, and there’s a blizzard outside. Suddenly, she hits a patch of black ice and starts spinning out of control. What an apt picture of those whose lives have become unmanageable! In this story song, the young woman is so scared she simply throws her hands up in the air (there was nothing she could have done to save herself anyway), and prayed:

“Jesus take the wheel, Take it from my hands, Cause I can’t do this on my own. I’m letting go, So give me one more chance. Save me from this road I’m on, Jesus take the wheel.”

That, my friends, is what surrender looks like. Where we stop trying to be in control of everything. Where we stop pretending to be in control of everything. Where we pray: Jesus take the wheel, and You be in control on my life!

The Biblical basis for this step is found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” To turn the control of our lives over to God is to say that we trust that His plan for our lives is good, that He is good, and that He cares for us.

“We will not make this decision just once. We will make it every day, many times a day. Deciding to choose our will is a way of death. Deciding to choose God’s will for us is a way of life.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Who’s in the driver’s seat in your life? As long as you’re in control, you’re going to make mistakes. But when you choose to let Jesus take the wheel, you can trust that He is good, and that His plan and purpose for your life will lead to joy, peace and freedom!

Third Step Prayer:

“God, I offer myself to you, to build with me and to do with me as you want. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of your power, your love, and your way of life. May I do your will always.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Chris Jordan is the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

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Pilgrims: Not Home Yet – Rejoicing in Suffering – #SermonNotes

PILGRIMS: NOT HOME YET: REJOICING IN SUFFERING

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

Not Home Yet - Rejoicing in Suffering

This is a message I shared with our church family this past Sunday morning. You can click HERE to listen to the audio MP3. Note: Because of a technical difficulty, only the last half of the message was recorded.

INTRO TO SPEAKER: It’s been a quiet spring break with Liza and Hannah on a mission trip in Mexico, and Austin on a mission trip in Uganda. Caleb’s at home but working most of the time.

NOT HOME YET: Lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman

  • “To all the travelers, pilgrims longing for a home,
  • From one who walks with you, On this journey called life’s road, It is a long and winding road,
  • From one who’s seen the view, Dreamt of staying on the mountains high,
  • And one who’s cried like you, Wanting so much just to lay down and die,
  • I offer this, we must remember this… We are not home yet.”

INTRO TO TOPIC:

Someone said once, “For every mile of road, there are two miles of ditch.”

This is a great picture of contemplating the topic of suffering!

  • On one side, there are those who say, “Once you become a Christian, there is victory in Jesus, it’s your best life now, and you will never suffer again!”
  • On the other side, there are those who say, “The Christian life is all about suffering for Jesus. Pain, despair, gloom and agony every day!”
  • On the middle road is the true Biblical teaching about suffering, and that’s what we’re going to look at this morning.
  • Because we are going through a series in First Peter (Pilgrims), most of this teaching will be taken from this book of the Bible. Suffering is one of the main themes of First Peter. But let’s start with some good news!

1. GOD HAS GIVEN US GOOD THINGS TO REJOICE IN:

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV).

  • Three things that God has given to His children:
    1. Great Mercy: Not just a little mercy, but great mercy and amazing grace!
    2. Living Hope: When all hope seems lost in the world, we have hope in Jesus!
    3. A Heavenly Inheritance: Discuss the now/not-yet tension of the Kingdom.

2. SUFFERING IS ONLY FOR A SHORT SEASON:

“In this you rejoice… (what God has given us – Mercy, Hope, Inheritance!) … though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” (1 Peter 1:6).

  • Keep an eternal perspective – our inheritance is in Heaven.
  • Our suffering is only for a little while, though we do get a taste of Heaven now.
  • “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:10).
  • When the disciples went through the storm, they experienced Jesus in a new way!
  • PREACH: If you’re going through hell – don’t stop! You’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death! You’re experiencing a dark night, but dawn always comes!

3. SUFFERING CAN HELP US TO GROW:

Why do we rejoice? “7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:7-9, ESV).

  • James 1:2-3 says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (NKJV).
  • It’s helpful going through the trial because it strengthens your faith and patience.
  • However – if you don’t see the good in it, you may give up or lose heart!
  • ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago, I picked up a workout DVD – P90X. It was extreme and insane. But for about three months, I got up every morning and put in the work, because I saw the value in it.
  • “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21).

4. LET YOUR SUFFERING BE FOR DOING GOOD, NOT BAD:

“13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:13-18, ESV).

  • Suffer: Greek pascho –  to be affected, to suffer sadly, be in a bad plight.
  • Suffering – Biblical definition: The experience of physical pain and/or mental distress.
  • “14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (1 Peter 4:14-16, ESV).
  • There are two kinds of suffering: One is a consequence for doing something wrong, and the other happens even if we are doing everything right.
  • Sometimes suffering is a consequence for our sin and rebellion – look at Jonah’s storm.
  • But sometimes we experience suffering when we are doing good – like Jesus and Job.
  • When we suffer for doing good, glorify God!

TESTIMONY:

5. SUFFERING IS GOING TO HAPPEN – SO DON’T BE SURPRISED BY IT!

“12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed… 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:12-13,19, ESV).

  • Peter said, “Don’t be surprised by suffering.” When you’re taught that “Christians never suffer,” and you experience suffering, you will get surprised and confused.
  • ILLUSTRATION: When we prayed for protection (Psalm 91) and woke up to a flooded basement. We were confused because we were (wrongly) taught Christians never suffer.
  • Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
  • What is Jesus saying? We’re not home yet! As long as we’re living on this sin-cursed earth, we will have trouble, but we can still rejoice because He cares for us!
  • Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and not based on our circumstances.

CLOSING TEXT:

“6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11).

THE BIG IDEA:

Suffering is going to come, but it doesn’t have to overcome you. We can cast our cares upon Jesus, because He cares for us, and experience God’s abundant hope, peace and joy.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Since moving here, we still haven’t sold our home in Beausejour. We are paying a mortgage on our house there, and rent here, so we haven’t been able to buy a house here, and we don’t understand why. But it’s not about the why. It’s about knowing that God has a plan and works all things for His good!

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE MORE JOY?

  • Cast your cares on Jesus because He cares for you. Prayer!
  • Praise the Lord! Psalm 22:3 says God dwells in the praises of His people and “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11).
  • Get into His Word: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11).

PRAYER: For those who are suffering to experience God’s peace, joy and hope.

CLOSING: BENEDICTION: 2 Corinthians 13:14.

http://horizonsurrey.com/listen/

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Mexico Mission Trip – Spring Break Report #4

Here are the final two reports from Liza from yesterday and today…

Saturday – Last Day in Mexico:

Time to say goodbye. During breakfast this morning we had a surprise visit by our house build family. They heard we were leaving today so they came to say goodbye. Right after breakfast it was time to clean up our rooms, pack our bags, clean the bus and load bus. Just before we loaded the bus we prayed for our house build family and then climbed on the bus. As we drove away from IDT we were happy to be heading home to some of the things we have been missing like Wifi but also sad because we have been having such an amazing time here.

Mexico - group on roof

As the temperature started to rise outside we started our journey to the Mexican border. We drove most of the morning arriving in Ensenada for lunch around 11:30, where we quickly grabbed some lunch from McDonalds and continued our journey. We decided to try the border crossing Tecate again, as it is a quieter border crossing. There wasn’t that long of a wait – we did have time to buy churros for everyone from a street vendor. As we approached the border they asked to see our passports and then sent the bus to unloaded. This time they only required us to bring our suitcases and some personal items. It didn’t take us too long to get the stuff needed and everyone through the scanner. And before long we were back on the bus in the United States.

We drove for a couple more hours to Corona, California. We headed to The Gathering Church – Ken Peters church – where they served us a wonderful meal – a delicious Tri Tip Beef. The kids have been entertaining themselves on the bus during all this driving. We still have many more hours of driving ahead of us, but for now we will enjoy our time off the bus.

Sunday: In California:

The shower this morning was wonderful! We got ourselves cleaned up and went to church this morning. The Gathering Church was having an outdoor worship service and then a BBQ in the park. It was a great experience to be a part of another church and worship with them. Today was another hot day and many are loving it. Some have been hiding from the sun. Today has been a bit of a quiet day as we have been so busy. The hotel we are staying at has an outdoor pool so many of the team spent the afternoon cooling off in it, while others had a little nap.

Later in the afternoon we all got together as a team to have a bit of a debrief and talk about our experiences and how do we take what we have done and what God has done in our lives and go home. How do we share our story with those who have never gone on a missions trip? From our very first meeting to today they has been a dramatic change in these kids and there is no doubt that God is working in each one of them. They each have had their own different experience and are excited to share with you.

During our meeting we gave Jessica a birthday card as tomorrow is her birthday and in the card was a pass to the Happiest Place on Earth! We are going to Disneyland! A lot of the team have been trying to guess what we are doing on our fun day and it has been a huge surprise. But now the surprise is out! We then headed down the street for a nice dinner out at Red Robin – table for 30 please! It was nice to go out for a meal where the menu was not on the wall. This evening we are just relaxing in the hotel, resting up for our fun day at Disneyland tomorrow.

Our team returns home on Thursday…

 

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Mexico Mission Trip – Spring Break Report #3

Here’s the third set of reports from my wife Liza and the mission team from Regent Christian Academy in Mexico…

Thursday in Mexico:

What a full day! Today started early again and everyone has been eager to start the day. The bus pulled out at 8 am and we headed to the build site to finish off the house. There were a few things that needed to be done at the house, so a small focused group stayed at the house to finish while the rest of the group drove up the hill to a women’s shelter. There the leaders of the shelter had a long list of odd jobs for us to help with. So our group jumped in and helped where needed to playing with kids, planting beans, fixing a fence and working in the kitchen. It seemed to be one of the hottest days here in Mexico but no one complained and just jumped in. Meanwhile our focused group worked away on finishing the house.

At lunch the whole team met back at the house build where our family that we were building the house for made us a lunch of chicken, beans and salad. After lunch we all piled into the new house where we sang a couple of songs and had an opportunity to dedicate the house. We prayed, read some scriptures and had an opportunity to bless the family. After many pictures we sadly had to say goodbye to our family. There were a few tears but also a lot of smiles.

Mexico - family and house

Once again we loaded up the bus and headed back to IDT where we had about 45 min to get cleaned up only to get back on the bus loaded up with a fabulous meal of beans and empanadas to take with us to the men’s rehab. After a 45 min drive we arrived at our destination. The rehab had 6 men staying there at this time. Some of the kids and men played a game of soccer and a few played volleyball. After we shared a meal with the men. After dinner we went into a powerful time of worship. Three of our students shared their testimony and then the men staying at the rehab shared theirs. After we started singing “How He Loves” and the students then went into a time of prayer for the men. The Holy Spirt was so powerful and overwhelming, many were touched and ministered to. It was such a powerful time.

During our prayer time Mr. Johnson was praying for the Pastor and his wife and after felt like we needed to head to their church just down the road and do a victory march around the building. There is such a feeling of depression over the area and we wanted to pray freedom over the pastor and the area. After marching and singing we went into the church where we prayed over the chairs in the building for the people who sit in them would receive and find that freedom. Then our students jumped onto the instruments and we sang Holy Spirit You are welcome here. It was an amazing powerful time. For the Pastor and our team. After a long day we headed back to IDT where we had a short debrief. The students are so excited for what God is doing in the people here but also in the team. One of the students commented that “we left as a team and are now a family”. What an amazing God time we are having! We have some changed students!

Mexico - group photo in front of house

Friday – Last Day of the House Build:

This is our last full day in Mexico and there are some very sad teenagers. Some think the trip was two short and want to stay longer and some want to stay forever. Being our last full day here… We got to sleep in until 7 this morning!! After a pancake breakfast we headed out for some fun and went to Maylu the local candy store. I now know where the phrase “a kid in a candy store” comes from. After loading our arms with all varieties of Mexican candy we headed the local Market that happens every Friday. It is located in a park, where vendors set up tables with all kinds of authentic Mexican items. We headed out in small groups to barter and purchase all our souvenirs. Right across the street was the ice cream store Thrifty’s. One of the team members Noble had wanted to buy ice cream for the team, so it was a nice treat on a hot day.

After leaving the market area we headed out for a little tour. A few team members had wanted to go to the house build from last year so we headed over to see the house. When we arrived we had hoped to meet the family from last year but no one was home. We had been invited for lunch at Elia’s for her famous fish tacos. They were so tasty. After lunch we just hung out chatting with a Elia, while some played with a few kids that were there. When we were leaving we were able to leave some Bibles for her, also some basic food items. Many of the team also decided to leave some of their clothes behind and donated them to Elia. It was sad to say good bye. We have only just met but it seems like it’s been much longer.

As we were leaving Elia’s we decided to drive to the beach before heading back to IDT. Our bus drive turned down the road he thought would lead us to the beach, but quickly realized that the road would also bring us back to the house build from last year. Upon pulling up to the house the mother was standing at the gate. A small delegation went out to greet her. She and her kids remembered those from last year. The team had an opportunity to find out how things have been going for her. Her story had taken a turn and she had to kick her husband out because he was quiet abusive with her. She and her 2 young girls were struggling. This gave the team an opportunity to pray for her and bless her. We really felt like this was a God given opportunity. We then continued up the road to find the beach.

When we reached the end of the road we saw the most beautiful masterpiece – the ocean. We were not able to go in the water but we enjoyed the view from a distance. Athens headed back to IDT where the staff had prepared an authentic Mexican meal for us. It was absolutely amazing. They went above and beyond. After dinner we had a our God time with a couple of songs and then went into a time of sharing. Sharing what God was doing and our feelings about the trip. That lasted a couple of hours spending quality time together. We came to Mexico to serve and love on the people here. I also know that each one of us were impacted from our time here. After we headed out side where the team was having fun reading self written poems and singing some songs. We laughed and had a good time together. And then it was off to bed at 10:30 as we have an very early start time tomorrow. Please continue to pray for the team as we head out on to the road and to the US border in the morning (today/Saturday).

Thanks for continuing to pray for the team as they journey home!

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

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Lies About God – What The Shack Really Teaches: #TheShack

When I first read the book The Shack by William Young several years ago, I was very troubled by its content and message. Like many other emergent teachings prevalent today, there was a very anti-church and anti-Bible sentiment in the book that didn’t sit well with me. And the fact that it was a fiction book didn’t take away from that at all. But because it was a fiction book, many well-meaning Christians didn’t see the inherent danger in some of the subtle messages – the lies about God – that the author was conveying.

Until now.

Lies About God

(Perhaps a better cover for Young’s book?)

This past week, Young released his first non-fiction book: “Lies We Believe About God.” I thumbed through a copy of the book at Chapters today and was shook to my core by some of the things that he was teaching that contradicted Bible-based, orthodox, historical Christianity. And what saddened me the most was the fact that many people are going to be readubg the book – undiscerningly and apart from their Bibles – and will be deceived by his lies about God.

And that’s why I’m sharing a few snippets from Tim Challies’ blog post: “What Does the Shack Really Teach? “Lies We Believe About God” Tells Us.” If you have read The Shack, I want to encourage you to read through this article to see some of what WM Paul Young really believes about God.

What Does The Shack Really Teach? “Lies We Believe About God” Tells Us

The Shack has sold twenty million copies and along the way generated at least twenty million conversations. Many of these have been attempts to discern the fact behind the fiction, to interpret what Paul Young means to teach through his story. Some have read the novel as a fresh expression of Christian orthodoxy while others have read it as rank heresy. In the end, only Young knows what he really believes.

At least, that was the case until the release of his new non-fiction work Lies We Believe About God. In this book he tells what he believes about sin, religion, hell, substitution, submission, salvation, and a number of other issues that cut to the very heart of the Christian faith. He does this by addressing a series of twenty-eight “lies” people—evangelicals, that is—tend to believe about God. In Baxter Kruger’s foreword he insists that Young “is standing in the mainstream of historic Christian confession.” For the sake of time and space, I cannot evaluate that claim against all twenty-eight chapters. Instead, I have chosen to focus on the few that are most central to the Christian faith.

Twenty-Eight Lies

In this section I provide a brief overview of the most important chapters in Lies We Believe About God. As much as possible, I allow Young to speak in his own words.

Chapter 13: (The Lie): “You need to get saved.” Here he turns to the matter of salvation. I will excerpt this at length so you can see his full-out embrace of universalism—that everybody has been or will be saved by God.

So what is the Good News? What is the Gospel?

The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.

What or who saves me? Either God did in Jesus, or I save myself. If, in any way, I participate in the completed act of salvation accomplished in Jesus, then my part is what actually saves me. Saving faith is not our faith, but the faith of Jesus.

God does not wait for my choice and then “save me.” God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind. Now our daily choice is to either grow and participate in that reality or continue to live in the blindness of our own independence.

Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation?

That is exactly what I am saying!

Young leaves no doubt that he espouses universalism.

* * *

I want to encourage you to click HERE to read this article in its entirety. But be forewarned! Not only will you see Young defend the false teaching of universalism, but you will also see him deny the reality of hell as a place of everlasting punishment for sinners, teache that the Cross was not a part of God’s plan to save mankind, and that you are basically a good person, and your sin doesn’t separate you from God.

I’ll be honest and say I don’t like the doctrine of hell. I wish it was true that everyone was going to be saved. But the Bible clearly teaches that only those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved (see Romans 10:17), and that those who reject Christ are doomed to spend an eternity apart from Him in a place of eternal torment called hell (see Matthew 7:13-23). This is what is so dangerous about Young’s heresy! If people believe his false teaching of universalism, then why would they need to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus? That’s why I feel so strongly about this issue and want to warn people to beware of these false teachings, because eternity hangs in the balance!

Finally, I want to challenge you to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, the believers who “were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Anytime you hear a sermon or read a Christian book or teaching, don’t always take the pastor or teacher’s word for it! Always go back to the Bible to make sure what they’re teaching is true…

 

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Mexico Mission Trip – Spring Break Report #2

Here is the second report from my wife Liza, one of the team leaders on Regent Christian Academy’s mission trip to Mexico during spring break:

Mexico - Hannah

Tuesday: Day #3 in Mexico: Raise the Roof!

After a great breakfast we loaded up the bus and headed to our build site. Today was roof day. With all hands on deck we lifted the roof panels up and on the house. It took a lot of man power. But we all felt great accomplishment as the last panel was put into place. Earlier in the morning the team was told about a women’s shelter that was in the area and a delegation was sent out to see if there was anything we could do to help them. They told us a few needs that they had, so a few of the ladies went to the store to get them a few items that they were in need of.

Meanwhile back on the house build the team worked hard in the heat on the roof and put walls up to divide the home into rooms. It was a hard day for a lot of the team not just with the building physically and emotionally. After a full day of building our fearless leader took the team out for ice cream. I don’t think the ice cream shop gets 28 people in at once. But the lovely lady did a fine job filling all our orders. After another amazing meal of tamales as a team we headed into a time of worship. During this time God showed up. As happens when you spend a lot of time with the same people over many days things can rise up. But God seemed to be working on the hearts of many of the team and a great time of repentance and forgiveness happened. It was a very humbling experience to watch relationships be restored and forgiveness flow. After such an emotional time for the team, it was time for bed.

Mexico - house #1Mexico - house #2

Wednesday: Day #4: Another hot day in Mexico:

Today the team was split up into 2 teams. Part of the team went to the build site to finish off the roof, put in windows and make some beds. Another small group headed over to Elia’s to bake bread. Elia is an amazing woman here in Mexico working in her community. RCA mission teams have been working and connected with her over the years. She has such an amazing heart for the lost. Every Wednesday Elia runs a VBS in the afternoon and bakes bread for all the kids that come. So we were able to be a part of the bread baking. After a couple of hours the small group headed to the store to get a few supplies needed for our house dedication. Meanwhile the team at the house build was busy working on the house.

Around 12:30 we all headed to IDT for some lunch and to get cleaned up. At around 3 we headed to Elia’s to be a part of the VBS. Elia spoke to the kids on the fruit of the spirit, and prayed for about 10 kids to accept Jesus. After, she invited our team up to say a few things and the team decided to sing a few songs with the kids. The team at first were being a bit shy but in the end pulled off 2 Spanish songs and sang 1 English song. After we took the kids outside where we did some face painting, balloon animals, hair ministry – where several of the girls combed and braided the little girls hair. The team just played and had fun with all the kids. We ended our time with the kids with a big minion piñata. I think everyone enjoyed that. After a short time of praying for a few sick people we loaded up the bus with a few extra passengers and back to IDT for dinner. Ella and her family joined us.

Dinner and dessert was amazing. The food here is incredible! After dinner we went right into worship and then Elia shared her testimony. She has such an amazing story of how God brought her to where she is. Our evening times have been amazing connecting times with those on the team and also God. After our God time many of the team hung out talking & playing basketball. And then off to bed to get rest for the next day.

Watch back for another report as their adventure continues…

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20).

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Mexico Mission Trip – Spring Break Report #1

Mexico Team Day #1 bus

My wife Liza and I have been on a number of mission trips – both together and apart. When we were pastoring in Beasejour, we led a number of trips to Costa Rica. While leading the Revolution Master’s Commission at Bible Fellowship (Horizon) Church about ten years ago, we led a team together up to northern BC and the Yukon Territories. Both of us have gone on several mission trips to Mexico. Our three oldest children – Caleb, Tori and Austin – have all been on mission trips with us to Costa Rica.

One of my first mission trips to Mexico was with Regent Christian Academy during the school’s spring break back in 2002. I agreed to go on the trip as one of the leaders before finding out that my wife Liza was pregnant, and that she was due in the middle of the two weeks that we were in Mexico. I prayed the whole time I was away that our fourth child wouldn’t be born until I got back as I had been there for my other three children’s births. I’m so thankful to the Lord that she held out and Hannah wasn’t born until we returned – less than 24 hours after we returned to Canada!

And so this spring break, three of my family members are away on mission trips. My son Austin is in Uganda with a team of 12 from the school, led by our church’s pastors Craig and Shanda Millar. They are partnering together with Father’s Heart Mobility Ministry, providing wheel chairs for many needy people there. And my wife Liza and daughter Hannah are in Mexico with a team of 21 students and 7 leaders. This is Hannah’s first mission trip. After a three day bus ride along the west coast, they are now in Vincent Guerrero building a home for a poor family in the community. Here is a first hand report from my wife Liza about the past couple of days of their trip.Mexico Mission - Liza and Hannah

Sunday: Day #1 in Mexico:

So we have made it into Mexico after a day full of adventure. We headed to the Mexican border this morning only to be turned away. As that border no longer let buses go through. Handy info to have had. So we tuned around after causing a bit of commotion at the border as you well imagine trying to turn a bus around that is meant for cars. So we headed towards the Tijuana border which was a bit of a drive. And of course we started to have many on the bus in need of a bano (bathroom). So as we discussed our bathroom options we came across a lovely RV park and decided to see if they would allow a bus of 28 to use the facilities They were very welcoming and all bathroom needs were fulfilled. As the temperature started to rise we continued on our journey to the Mexican border. Spirits were high so the detour didn’t seem to affect anyone. We approached the border just after noon and had a bit of wait in a very long line of cars. When it was our turn we were asked to COMPLETELY unload the bus and walk our belonging through the border. So after some team work and heavy lifting we managed to get everyone and everything through. 

After loading up the bus again we headed to Ensenada a couple of hours away, to have a late lunch and pic up a few items needed for the week. Then as the sun was going down we headed down a very winding and bumpy road to our home away from home – IDT. As we arrived into Vincent Guerrero at 8:00 pm a stop was made at the taco stand. Where we were served some authentic Mexican tacos. They were so good. Back on the bus again and headed to our new home. We arrived in the dark and got a small tour of IDT and were assigned our rooms. We were so tired from the long day that we all pulled out our sleeping bags and headed to bed.

Monday: The House Build Begins:

After a great nice sleep, cocooned in my sleeping bag we rose to the beautiful sound of a variety of birds and no hot water. After a cold showers we had a fabulous pancake breakfast and then got all our gear together and load the bus for a short drive to our build site. As we drove down a very dusty road and headed into small community, We saw many homes pieced together by scraps of wood and plastic. As the big yellow bus pulled up in front of the build site we were greeted by the family who by the looks on their face were as excited for us to be there as we were. It took the team a bit to get organized as they looked over house plans, the supplies and also the skills of the help. The sun was shining as jobs were being handed out we started to cut wood and nail boards together in hopes that it would turn into a house. 

Mexico 4

Mexico 3

The team worked well together as many this was their first time building anything. It was amazing. We worked hard in the heat and the wind and got all four walls up and the roof framed in our first day. The enthusiasm of this team is incredible. It was amazing to see everyone just eager to learn how to hammer a nail and how to make a wall straight. Some were determined to get the nail in straight. After a long satisfying day of work we headed back to IDT for a delicious well deserved meal of rice and beans and chicken enchiladas. After dinner we had a time of worship, reflection and journal writing that was led by the students. It was wonderful to hear what God was doing in some of the students. After a eventful situation involving a shower, the tap flying off and water flooding the bathroom, we all “headed to bed” for an early night.

I’ll give you some more updates over the next few days!

Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16).

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