How It All Began

I was age 15 when my dad, a pastor, took a group of us to watch a mission film about a young Hindu girl becoming a Christian. She was chased by her father from her home and village with a sword raised to cut her body into pieces. Missions has been a passion for me since seeing that film. I love to listen to missionaries share their stories, weeping with them for their persecutions and hardships,  rejoicing with them in David and Goliath, and finding ways to encourage them.

In times of challenge my mind often revisits testimonies of missionaries who have come to Jesus. An Indonesian Muslim army Colonel Irwin who said that Jesus appeared to him and said: "Mohammad is not the way. I AM!" He chose Jesus and planted more than 100 churches!

An Iranian man over age 80 who heard about Jesus. Was given by the Holy Spirit an address 1,000 miles away. He walked the 1,000 miles, knocked on the door of a stranger and said: "Can you tell me about Jesus?" He gave his heart to Jesus and walked a 1,000 miles home to give his testimony to family and friends!

The Book of Romans affirms that God is sovereign and can use nature or any means He chooses to reveal himself to hungry souls.

Our first pastorate was a Southwest Virginia congregation. A missionary wanted a Saturday night service. We had 22 people show up on a cold and snowy wintry evening in 1975. The missionary in wisdom came down from the pulpit and talked humbly and sincerely. The offering was $2,200, i.e., averaging $100 per person, which was about a total month's income for the church budget.

Fast forward to 1982. At Covenant we had just finished our first major building program. First mortgage payment was due. It was a time of challenge of faith. We did not have the money for the monthly payment coming due. Our answer was to receive a mission offering on Sunday morning. Thirty-five years have passed without missing a mortgage payment!

The wealth of a congregation is its mission heart. The heart of Jesus to reach a community and the world is the essence of being Christian.

Last week UVA FCA Chaplain George Morris phoned me. "Do you have any work some UVA football players can do tomorrow? They must get in volunteer community service hours."

Seven UVA football players and a coach came. Time with them was terrific and what they did to help us in moving pastoral offices was an awesome blessing.

Take note that the University of Virginia football program expects and demands that players serve as volunteers in the community. This is a common practice of athletic teams across America. Some corporations pay their employees to take time from work and volunteer in the community.

Giving is as natural to the human spirit as breathing. Not to give is to smother the spark of divinity breathed into us by Our Creator.

As a pastor there are times that human doubt creeps upon my back to inflict fear. In such times remembering Jesus' desire for us to share his love with others is the source of strength.

God will not leave destitute those who love His children. God will be a provider for those who give themselves away to share His love with those who have not heard of His love.

Missions is not a program or ministry of a congregation. Missions is the heartbeat of a congregation. Our very existence as a congregation that pleases Our Lord is dependent upon our missionsheart!

Much love Pastor Bare Matthew 28:18-20

August 10, 2018 Volunteer day to prepare work August 12. Meng Biazon will organize volunteers and tasks. It will be a good day of preparing our facilities for Sunday, a time to fellowship and enjoy refreshments.  Please join us!