Light and salt! That is what we are called, commissioned, empowered to be, by Jesus Christ in us. This last week I had the honor and privilege to travel to Accra, Ghana and was able to observe, first hand, the impact one life of obedience can make. Devon Leondis, now 22 years old, obeyed the Lord 6 years ago to help provide water to a needy village in Ghana. That act let to further instructions from God which culminated, for now, with the building of a village for orphans. My wife Pat, and daughter, Christine, joined me and a group of around 50 in total on this trip, for the grand opening of Village of Hope, in Accra, Ghana. A place that will house, nurture and educate orphans. As we traveled to and from the village, I saw the extensive poverty and lack of hope which was overwhelmingly prevalent. My heart was moved to a new place and perspective of life and purpose. I am so much more grateful for what I have and hope to become a better steward of my gifts and talents.
What is the church? It is a fair question. Most of us would be quick to say that it is the people and not a building but what does that mean? Recently several families in our body faced some very difficult life experiences and what warmed my heart was seeing so many of you, unsolicited, extending compassion to those in need. When crises happen, I quickly realize how inadequate I am as a pastor and I can even feel like a failure but that is when the Lord opens my eyes to see that it never was about me in the first place. It is about individual men and women each using their gifts to build up the community of faith. As I write this, I am in Ghana at the opening of an orphanage called the “Village of Hope” and once again I see how big the church is and how beautiful it is when each of us does our part.