Monday, October 29, 2012

What is success?

Seven people? Is seven people success? How about forty? Is that success? What about seventy? Is that success. Ruby, Huslia, Galena. Seven, forty, seventy. They're just places, and they are just numbers. But when you understand what they mean they hold a little bit more importance. The Bible church in Ruby runs about seven. The Community church in Huslia runs about forty. The Bible Church in Galena runs about seventy.  How about a hundred, about three hundred, about Six hundred fifty. That's the populations of these villages respectively. That's about ten percent of each village. Ten percent of the village regularly attends the local Bible church of that village. Ten percent! Do most churches impact ten percent of their communities lives? Not in most of my experience. What an amazing impact!

But what if the number is zero?


Year after year. Winter after winter. One funeral after another. Zero. Zero. Zero. What if a missionary lives the Gospel out in full view of the lives of a culture for one, two, three decades, and nothing. One brother and sister in missions spent 18 years in a neighbor village and finally had to leave because of health issues. No church. Is it success?

This is an important thing for missionaries to understand and be encouraged in. (By the way if you follow Jesus YOU are a missionary.) In Matthew 25:21 Jesus is sharing the parable of the Talents and says, "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"
Good and FAITHFUL...not good and SUCCESSFUL. What is success? It is in fact obedience to the will of God. Are you willing to be faithful in the things God has given you to do even if it means not being 'successful'?

October has been an extremely busy month. Galena Bible Church hosted a community church service in conjunction with the Yukon Jamboree, a sobriety awareness fiddle band event. The Bible Church sponsored Bill Pagerin, a Tlingit Native man who is a brother in Christ and president of a suicide prevention non-profit called Carry the Cure, to be the guest speaker of the Yukon Jamboree, and to preach at the community church service. We had about 80 people attend the church service including several local community members, and residents of other villages that came in for the Jamboree.

Since the end of September I have been preaching through the book of Titus. Two weeks ago we addressed the men of the church from Titus 2, and some amazing conversations have taken place since then by both younger and older men wanting to see men set the example of Godly leadership and character. We are quickly working on putting together a monthly "man skills" event where one christian man from the church will teach a "manly" skill (like how to skin an animal, how to sharpen a knife, or how to make a fishing net) to teens and younger boys, and then will share their testimony of what it means to grow as a man following Christ. We are also working on a men's Bible Study that will be taking place before work one day a week.

Things to be praying for:
  • Shell and the kids are in Louisiana and Texas for two weeks visiting family. I'm holding down the fort in Galena. Pray for their protection.
  • Pray for the Students at the boarding school who are experiencing homesickness, and other situations that cloud their ability to receive love from the dorm staff and members of the church.
  • Pray for one young teen guy that recently decided to go home even after many of the men at the church poured significant effort into encouraging him to be the man God wants him to be. Pray that the Lord would lead him back to the truths lived before him.
  • Pray the the Lord would continue to build a true unity amongst the body of believers at the Galena Bible Church so that this community would know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.

1 comment:

shinsya49 said...

It was so good to hear from you and get an update on what's happening with you, your family, and the people you minister to. Praying in agreement with you. God bless all of you abundantly. Love y'all!