Travel! Please, travel. (Pt. 1)

 

Pastors frequently tell us to follow the example Jesus set for us. And I’m about to do it again: Follow the example Jesus gave us–travel, travel, travel!

I was inspired to post a few thoughts after I listened to an interview with Jeremy Courtney and absolutely loved how he described the importance of traveling! The following is an excerpt from that interview (you can find the whole interview on the New Activist podcast by clicking here).

new-activist“How do I start to be a better neighbor? How to do I broaden my tent poles of who is included in my tent. How do I extend the table and put another leaf in the middle so I can welcome more people to my table ? I don’t want to make any bones about how hard that is. If you’re surrounded by a certain kind of tribalism that only wants to regard itself as right and righteous and worth it–breaking out of that might be difficult. Geography can play a limiting factor. Travel is one of the great normalizers of the world, one of the great battering rams of tribalism. It blows through walls and helps us see the other more compassionately and humanely. Travel if you can, if not to another country, another city, or another tribe inside your city. Travel to another denomination, religion, political party, ethnicity than your own. Walk across some street, barrier or boundary into other land and get to know those people. Listen. Go humbly. Do that incarnation thing. That’s the story: travel. It’s an inward journey more than it’s an outward journey, but we have to make that journey.”

Jesus traveled from His home with God to come to earth and inhabit a human body. The all-powerful creator of the the universe and humankind came into this world He created and took on flesh and bone. That’s the “incarnation thing.”

Jesus’ travels had a very specific purpose. He came to teach us that we could have abundant life (John 10:10). I am challenging you to travel with a very specific purpose. Leave the familiar behind. Get out of your comfort zone. Intentionally seek out people you don’t know in a place you don’t understand. When you get there, get to know them. And like Jeremy Courtney said, “Listen. Go humbly. Do that incarnation thing.”

But why? What’s the point of this challenge? 

The point is to learn how to love your neighbor the way you love yourself (Matthew 22:39, Luke 14:12-14). It’s difficult to love your neighbors if you don’t know them. And unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to have negative feelings toward them because of stereotypes and prejudices–even though you’ve never met them.

So travel! Please, travel. Put yourself in a place where God teaches you how to love your neighbor. Maybe you need to travel outside your familiar neighborhood to meet some people that aren’t like you. Maybe it’s a visit to a church you wouldn’t typically go to. Maybe it is a short term mission trip. Ask God to help you! Ask Him to give you the opportunities. He will.

Joe Paschal
Pastor of Mobilization and Outreach

 

Mission Trips for 2017!

We have several teams visiting our partners around the world in 2017! We hope many of you will join one of these teams. This year, and most years, during the summer, we send a team to each of our partners. And then there are other trips throughout the year, and those vary each year. So its good to always check our church website for the latest information. You can click here to check it out.

At the time of this posting, here’s the rundown:

Haiti, June 28-July 5 Deadline to apply is 12/21 click here for trip information then apply here
Guatemala, Aug 13-20 Deadline to apply is 1/31 click here for trip information then apply here
Ukraine, estimated dates of trip Aug 3-14 Deadline to apply is 2/2
click here for trip information then apply here
Rwanda, Aug 5-14 Deadline to apply is 1/23 click here for trip information the apply here

5 Years in Minotirie, Haiti!

2017 will be our 5 year anniversary of working in Minotirie! That’ s the village in Haiti we have visited multiple times a year since 2012. In his sermon on December 3 and 4, Joe Paschal described his recent visit to Haiti told a story about a single mom there named Gabrielle. You can watch that sermon below.

And if you want to be on the Anniversary Team that visits Haiti in the summer of 2017, you can apply here!

 

Making a Real Impact in the Lives of Orphans

The picture below is a significant one. It appears to simply be a crowded lobby at LifePoint Church. But its so much more than that. This is a crowd of people that want to know how they can help orphans and children that are vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment. In the middle of this crowd there are volunteer ministry leaders for Ukraine, Haiti, Guatemala, Rwanda and Legacy Orphan Ministry. This happened after our services on October 22/23.

That weekend, 38 kids were sponsored in 4 different countries.
74 different people signed up to learn more about being engaged in Global Outreach and orphan care.

This is just the beginning! We’re excited to see how God continues to use LifePoint Church!

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New Partnership in Ukraine!

We’re so excited to have Orphan Outreach partner with us and Alpha Life in Ukraine! Now you can sponsor these amazing young men and women (click here for sponsor site). And check out this great video for the story!

New Media about G.O. & Legacy!

We’re excited about a new booklet we’ve created to highlight LifePoint’s Global Outreach and Legacy Orphan Ministry. Click on the picture below to have a look!

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Haiti Update

The loss of life in Haiti due to Hurricane Matthew is heartbreaking. However, it is wonderful to see how much impact Mission of Hope Haiti is able to make in the recovery efforts! Some areas have been inaccessible by road for days following the storm. Mission of Hope Haiti has been collaborating with USAID, the military, Samaritan’s Purse, Convoy of Hope and others to get to hard-to-reach people. They have used barges and even helicopters to deliver water, food and medical supplies. You can find lots of great updates and photos of their work on the Mission of Hope Haiti Facebook page (click here).

haiti-barge

This MOH Haiti photo from Oct 15, 2016 shows a barge delivery of food to a storm ravaged area in Haiti called Jeremie.

Haiti Hurricane Relief

Our partner in Haiti is Mission of Hope Haiti. They have been in Haiti since the early 90’s. They’re well placed and ready to help the people of Haiti! We can help them by giving to support their relief efforts.

haiti-hurricane-relief

Carry 117: Celebrating 2 Years!

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We’re excited to see our partner in Ethiopia, Carry 117, celebrating their 2 year anniversary! Henok Berhanu, Carry 117’s founder, posted this on Facebook about their celebration:

“…we took our staff on a little road trip about an hour outside of Addis to a place called Kuriftu Resort & Spa in Debre Zeit. First we wanted to show the ladies the location of the new Carry 117 store and see how the construction was coming. Secondly, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary as a ministry by bringing the ladies to an all you can eat buffet! We ate a lot of food, laughed a ton, enjoyed some live music, kayaked on the lake, and wrapped up with some intentional conversation about all that we accomplished over the last year & all we hope to accomplish in year 3!!
Most of all, we want to thank each of you for your support. We wouldn’t exist without you.
Year 2 was incredible and God did so much more than we could have imagined. We do believe the best is yet to come.”

We love supporting Carry 117 as they empower women and create sustainable change! Happy Anniversary! You can read more about them at www.Carry117.com or check out their Facebook page here.

Love and Care Kits: Thank you!

lovencarekitsServing foster care and adoptive families is one of the main components of Legacy Orphan Ministry at LifePoint. We want to support families participating in both the state foster care system as well as Safe Families for Children. One of the tangible ways we’re doing that is with our “Love and Care Kits” drive. Thank you so much for 70 back packs and bags you’ve already donated filled with the things children need to add a a little security and comfort as their worlds change. Below is a heartfelt response from Alaina Haerbig, a foster care mom that received a couple of Love and Care Kits for her two foster sons.

“To the person who donated gifts to my foster kids:

I don’t know if you donated at church, or at Social services, or through work. I can’t tell you directly because I don’t know how your generosity found its way to my living room. But maybe someone will share this, and you’ll see it, and you’ll know:

Thank you. I appreciate your thoughtfulness more than you can comprehend.

I can’t tell you directly that when I put on the jammies you bought, he smiled a little – something I rarely see- as he looked at himself in the mirror. I can’t send you a photo of how proud he looked and tell you how he said, Read the full post »

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