Tomorrow morning (6/1/19), 28 people from the North Roanoke family of faith will set out for Carolina, Puerto Rico. Our mission is to support Metro Bible Church in reaching their community. We will support them in delivering VBS in a school, teaching sports, encouraging the pastor and church leadership, and good, old-fashioned door-to-door as we pray and distribute literature about the church in the city.
There are several key reasons we have selected this mission as worthy of the investment of our family of faith.
-We have been commissioned by King Jesus to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18–20; Acts 1:8).
-Puerto Rico is in great need of healthy local churches.
-The North American Mission Board has adopted the greater metro area of San Juan as a “Send City.” This means Carolina and Metro Bible Churchhave a pastor who is supported, in part, through our offerings each week. In other words, the mission board has examined the pastor we are supporting and has confidence in his work. Now, we will be adding some manpower to their efforts to reach Carolina for Christ!
-Another key reason is that planting healthy churches where few (or none) exist is THE biblical strategy for reaching peoples from all nations. Service projects are good. Disaster relief is good. Crusades are good, but the long-term work of making disciples requires thriving, Christ-exalting, self-denying local churches. God has given us an opportunity to be a part of His harvest among the people of Puerto Rico by helping a church that is dedicated to declaring the glory of Christ in Carolina and who, herself, is committed to starting new churches one day!
As we leave for Puerto Rico, I want to share with you specifically how you can support the team this week.
1. Do not miss church this Sunday! Pastor Darryl (our former pastor of 29 years) will be back preaching a special message. I know he will be encouraged to see you, and his message looks amazing. Also, as you are gathering for Sunday School and worship, the team in Puerto Rico will be getting up and going on limited rest. I am asking for you to gather for a special time of prayer in each class to ask God to protect the team and use us for His glory.
2. Give generously. This is the first year we have planned for at least one, church-wide mission trip funded through the budget rather than special fundraising efforts. When you give, you are supporting the trip to Puerto Rico and many other things — helping families at Burlington Elementary with overdue lunch accounts, supporting church planters in North America and around the world, and funding the ongoing work and ministries of North Roanoke. The best way to financially support the overall mission effort this week is to generously support the budget on this and every Sunday. If you cannot be there Sunday, you may still take part in starting the month off well at nrbc.org/give.
3. Get ready! While we are taking more people than initially anticipated on this trip, we will still take additional trips to support the work of church planting and church strengthening in the months and years to come. Many have shared you want to go on a future trip. Begin praying now, and wait for what God will do next.
4. Pray. Pray for safe travel. Pray for no injuries or sickness. Pray for our translators. Pray that the church would have an opportunity to minister to more people and see more people trust Christ not only while we are there but for years to come because of this trip. Pray that we would be filled with the Spirit, selfless, and always pointing people to Christ our Savior and King.
5. Get ready #2! What inevitably happens after a missions trip, is that someone will ask, “Why don’t we do that here?” The answer is that we do have some great opportunities coming up to serve our community with WinShape and VBS. And, in the last year, we have also done prayer walking and distributed door hangers in a nearby neighborhood. However, we want to do more. Pastor Job has begun to think about a possible week of missions where we can take time off as we would for an international trip and serve together right here in the Roanoke Valley — possibly even staying at the church together for those intensive times of growth together for the glory of Christ. Stay tuned!
As your pastor, I want to thank you for allowing us to serve by being sent out. There is something so special about being on mission together that it defies explanation. I shared with one sweet sister that these trips provide times of “intense discipleship.” Most of the leadership team will be serving on the ground together, and we will have great opportunities to get to know students, adults, couples and families in deeper ways. Questions and challenges will arise that otherwise would not. We will have an entire week together for the sake of the Name of Jesus! Pray for God to work in us even as He works through us in Puerto Rico, and thank you for allowing us to #reachtheworld in Jesus’ Name!
Cannot wait to see you again next week!
For Christ and the gospel,