We Want You!

We are quickly approaching our appointment for our new ministry in Europe. With all the changes that are fast approaching, people have been asking me, “What’s your biggest need right now?” I’ve wracked my brain to try to anticipate what we might need for the coming months only to land on the obvious answer: prayer. Our greatest need now, and forever more, will be prayer. One of my favorite quotes about prayer comes from Oswald Chambers. Many of you have heard me quote him on this topic. Oswald said, “Prayer doesn’t prepare us for the greater work. Prayer IS the greater work.” As we plow, sow, water, and reap, the greatest work is prayer. And We would LOVE for you to partner with us to share in the joy of advancing the kingdom. Honestly, if people don’t pray, I can’t imagine how the work can get done!

SO, I’m beginning our prayer support list. If you would commit to make prayer for our family a weekly occurrence (or more!), I’d like to get your e-mail address so I can send you a monthly update. In the event you know people who would pray for us but don’t have e-mail, send me their snail-mail address so we can send them our newsletter via USPS.

We will be sending out updates once a month so you can keep up with our ministry. And, on occasion, we will send out more pressing needs as they become known to us.

Would you prayerfully consider being part of our team? If so, you can comment here or email me your contact info at Jason@goingglobalbishops.com. I will continue to post to my blog, http://www.thejiggybishop.com. And, we will also have a family blog that we are working on. That site is http://www.goingglobalbishops.com.  It will allow you to point potential team members to our blog so they can read about our family’s. I imagine that at some point we will have a secure newsletter site, too, but that’s well on down the road.

Thanks for all you do for us and the kingdom. Will you join us in this next chapter of our lives?

A Morning of Reflection

A good friend of mine lost his father Sunday and the funeral was today. I made the drive to the little country town where the funeral was happening, and wondered if I could find First Baptist Church by simply seeing the building. But a mile before I could even see the building, I was in a traffic jam! This little town whose population is around 1,000, and I’m stuck in a line of cars (and I was running late). Turns out, it was cars heading for the same funeral. That’s when the magnitude of this man’s life hit me.

I finally get into the neighborhood where the church is, and can’t park anywhere near it. The service has already started, and there is a line of people trying to get in that reaches from the Sanctuary of this little church to the street outside! I get in line and make it to my seat near the front. As I’m heading in, I notice that the Sanctuary is PACKED, like standing room only. THEN I notice there is a balcony that is full, too. WOW! I was amazed.

The service was great, by the way. A memorial that focused on Jesus and how He impacted hundreds of lives through Duane. By the time the service was over, I felt like I knew the man who had passed away even though I’d only met him once, and felt somewhat cheated that I’d never gotten to know a man that so many people loved!

As the service concluded, it was time for the viewing. I started doing the math, just trying to wrap my head around how many people had been packed into this country church. I watched the balcony empty, and started thinking about the numbers as I prepared to leave. THEN, another door opened in the back of the Sanctuary and I could see straight into an overflow room that was PACKED with almost as many people as the room I was in! The exit/viewing took almost as long as the service did. People stopped to hug the family, share smiles and tears, and to just show support for the family. All the while I’m thinking, “This was a GREAT man who impacted MANY lives.” And, as one is prone to do at funerals, I began to think about my own life and impending death. It was at that point that God drove home something that had been said earlier in the service about Duane.

“He could have given money or gifts to people, but he chose to give people his time instead.”

As I made my exit, I hugged the family, prayed for them, and headed to my truck. But something had changed. I found myself in deep contemplation of what I had seen and heard. I thought about the better ways I could use my time. I began to think of people who could benefit from someone spending time with them. I made the long drive back to Lubbock, and as I pulled into town realized that, in spite of passing away last week, Duane had now touched my life, too. He lived for Christ. He loved as Christ. And what he leaves behind will continue to change lives. Although he’ll be sorely missed by his family, the people in Duane’s world are still being impacted by his testimony and life.

PS (1/24/10) – I spoke with Gary after initially posting this, and the family estimates that around 1,000 people were in attendance at Duane’s funeral.  Simply amazing.

You just never know.

It’s become a tradition for us to host our Asian friends at our home for Thanksgiving.  Last year, it was Ken & Miho, Richard, and Jack & his family.  I know those names don’t look Asian, but everyone except Miho has taken a Western name to spare us the embarrassment of trying to pronounce them.  Anyway, this year, Jack’s family couldn’t make it, so we invited the new Yamagata chef, Lewis.  Lewis is a native of China.  He actually lived near Marco and Kat.  Lewis and I were talking and it turns out his mom is from the city where we have gone for the last several years.  He was excited to meet someone who has experienced the Night Market!

Anyway, as they were leaving around 3 on Thursday afternoon, Miho stayed behind while the guys all piled into the car.  She stayed behind to tell us that Lewis’ dad had passed away on Monday, and getting to share a family meal had meant the world to him.  She thanked us profusely, and then made her exit.

We never would have known of Lewis’ loss if she hadn’t told us.  It reminded me that every moment is an opportunity to impact someone’s life.  We never really know what’s going on with them.  By simply being hospitable, polite, or even generous, God can do things that we remain unaware of.  The author of Hebrews (I lean towards it being Luke, btw), wrote, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:2)  To do that means making the most of every encounter.  And to do that means laying aside yourself and your agenda for a higher purpose.  Our daily mantra needs to sound similar to what Jesus told His disciples in John 4:  “My food is to do the will of my father.”  Especially in this holiday season, learn to breathe that simple phrase of obedience.  In doing so, the least you may accomplish is passing a test to see how you would treat a stranger.  The best you may do is to be Jesus in the life of someone who is hurting and desperate for hope.  Either way, you express the great love for Jesus that we say we have for Him.