Sorry it’s been too long since the last update. For those of you who may not know, I had to travel back to my mom and dad’s this past week due to the death of my Crazy Granny. A quick note on Crazy Granny: My grandmother was an extraordinary lady who loved the Lord, loved her family, and really loved having fun. The services this week were a great tribute to her and celebration of her life.
So with traveling back to the states that meant that Amy had to hold down the fort in Belize with the kids while I was gone! Every single day I am amazed by how flexible, caring, loving, and all together awesome Amy is. She just took this week as an opportunity to figure out Belize on her own. And she did a great job too!
On the work front….
I have been riding around with a good friend of mine Burton as we meet with the pastors of Belize. We sit down with them and hear their heart, the problems of their community and their vision for how they feel God has called them and equipped them and their church to address those problems. The best part is when I get to share with them that Burton and I are servants and advocate for them. We then sit down and discuss how Praying Pelican Missions can serve their church through a short-term mission team. I literally was sitting down with Pastor Gordon (a great man of God) when the Lord reminded me, “Josh this is work!” How blessed I am to be doing what I am doing for work! Unbelievably blessed and humbled.
On the home front….
Well for me it was a hard week. I was at my parents’ house, away from the kids, and sick for three of the days I was there! But the rest I was able to get was good, and the time with my mom and dad was fun. In Belize, I hear there was a lot of play time, Jojo learned how to blow a kiss, and everyone went to a fun day at King’s Park Nazarene Church on Saturday. I am sure…although I haven’t verified that there were many crafts and probably a batch or two of homemade tortillas!
How God is teaching us?
Amy and I attended in Revo Church in Winston-Salem this summer. One of the highlights of being at my parent’s house was being able to attend Revo church this past Sunday. The message was that Jesus is….unorthodox in who he hangs out with. I am sure you all can attest that at some point in your life your parents told you “oooo, you shouldn’t hang out with those people.” Jesus’ parents may not have given him that advice but we can be sure the Pharisees and Sadducees told Jesus on multiple occasions…why are you hanging with them / him? One such story I got a lot from this Sunday was from Mark 2.
Jesus met Levi, a tax-collect or in other words scum of the Earth. And Jesus did the radical. He asked Levi to follow him. Levi left everything and went to his friends (prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners…basically a who’s who of people who were way way far from God). Levi told his friends all about Jesus and said “Hey I am going to have a party….y’all come and I’ll bring my new homie Jesus.”
Well the sinners show up and the crazy thing is Jesus didn’t clutch his cloak a little bit tighter because there were thieves in the room. He didn’t talk about how the prostitutes were dressed to Peter or John. He didn’t even mention the unjust taxes or shame those who were involved in adulterous relationships. Instead of all of that….Jesus kicked back and relaxed.
Mark 2:15 “And as he reclined at the table, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with him”
Here are the things that Pastor Nathan brought out of this story at Revo Church that I really latched onto.
- Lost people loved hanging out with Jesus – If lost people don’t like hanging out with you then it probably means you aren’t acting like Jesus. This week instead of shaming how about supporting the sinners in our lives. Shower with love instead of condemnation. Recline and eat with someone far from Jesus this week.
- Jesus’s response to the Pharisees who were judging him was simple
- Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners
Doctors do 2 things. They 1) diagnose the problem and then 2) prescribe the solution. Jesus had to get away from the righteous to hear the problem of the sick!
My prayer this week is that The Church (the people) and the church (buildings) realize that we are not designed or destined to be a hotel for the holy but a hospital for the sick.
So how is Jesus teaching me this week? I am looking at our life and seeing that our family does not do enough hanging out with sinners. We need to recline at the table with them, to hear the problem, diagnose the problem and then and only then after relationships and love can we prescribe the solutuion. Who are you reclining with?
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Eustace – Continue to pray for Eustace. He interviewed for one job but didn’t get it. Pray for Eustace to get a job that would allow him to continue attending Bible college.
- Pastor Ed – is holding a teachers conference in October. We are praying for 50 churches to be represented and 150 teachers. Continue to pray for me as I prepare the information for the teachers training
- Hattieville Baptist Church – I preached two Sundays ago. I thought it was good but man was it short. Continue to pray for us to build community in that church. Pastor and his family are coming over tomorrow for dinner!
- Broken Homes – It seems every pastor I talk to when asked what is the biggest need in the home, they say all the homes are broken. Pray for healing in the homes. Pray for men to me of character and not adulterous. The adultery is literally terrorizing families!
- Work – Feeling a little under qualified and overwhelmed this week. Pray as I work through this relying on the fact that God is with me and He is overqualified and underwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. He made the Earth! Silly me!
- For accountability partners in Belize – Continue to be lifting this up as Amy and I are searching for people we can have honest conversations with about how we are doing with everything on a weekly basis. Pray for wisdom as we meet people and start to seek those partnerships
- Lost People – Amy and I are talking about ministry opportunities for each of us with people who are far from God and who are the tax collectors and sinners. Pray for discipline and patience as we work to build these relationships (Amy at Youth Hostel, still looking for an opportunity for me)
- Support Raising– We are seeking to get more monthly supporters, either on board now, or pledged to be a monthly financial partner next year. We are praying to have 60% of our financial support come from monthly gifts by the end of next month.
- If you are interested in giving please follow this link – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZVK8FYCJXTS2
- If you cannot support now but want to pledge to be a monthly supporter next year, please email me directly at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Family back home – Thank you for praying for Crazy Granny. She passed peacefully a little over a week ago. Pray for my mom and her brother as they start to go through settling the Estate and start to get back to “normal” life after a year of dealing with an ailing parent.
Thank you for your continued notes of encouragement and love. Amy and I read and cherish each one. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such a great support network! We love you all!
Because They Haven’t Heard,
Amy, Madeline, Joseph, and Josh