25 Sep Halfway Around the World
I really should stop being surprised by God. I am a pastor after all…a professional Christian…as if there is such a thing. Today is the day to promise we will stop being surprised by God. (It’s worth a shot.)
We just finished a sermon series about the love languages of God. Scripture is the primary language, but we also learned about the languages of desires, doors, dreams, people, promptings, and pain. God is whispering to us, but we do not always hear those subtle directives. But when we do hear and respond, amazing things happen.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. While I do not believe I have ever annexed anything, I knew this was not the friendliest of moves. It bothered me. Maybe it was because I felt bad that the United States promised to be Ukraine’s ally at the end of the Cold War if they would get rid of their nuclear arsenal. We said we had their back, but Russia invaded and our government was very quiet…too quiet. When nothing continued to happen, it bothered me more, but now it all makes sense.
I started praying for Ukraine in 2014. I prayed for their protection, and I prayed for us to care about what was happening to them. Over a year ago, I shared an office with a graduate assistant at VSU who is a foreign national. She told me about how hard her family had it back home. Guess where she was from…yep…Ukraine. I kept praying.
As Lindsey and I prayed just like the rest of you during our “Whisper” series, we were asking for discernment and direction on our journey. Over the last three weeks, something started happening. A mission trip, which had been planned for some time, had an opening. I was asked to help lead it. I said, yes. It is a Lifeshape International trip to help disciple and train Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) leaders, coaches, and donors; seekers among them all. Guess where the trip is centered…do I need to tell you?
I am going to Ukraine for a 10-day trip. God has been preparing me for this trip for five years, so I cannot wait to see what will happen. I will be away from church services for two weeks, but worship will go on as the church is way bigger than me. A Shoreliner, Dr. James Guthrie, is preaching this week, and I will have a remote message for the following week. On October 13, we start our “Know Yourself” series based on the sacred enneagram. I cannot wait!
Please pray for me and how God is going to use me. Please pray for the Eurasia FCA conference and what God is dong there. God is whispering, and He has a message for each of us.
Blessings to you,