Thursday, August 31, 2006

Acts 1:88 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

As I cleaned out my backpack from the ministry trip to Amsterdam, I was reminded of the above scripture in regards to taking His Gospel to the "ends of the earth." Pulling out my passport, train ticket stubs, subway passes, airline reciepts, boarding passes, business cards and a hand full of Euro coins, I realized that the "ends of the earth" part is much more attainable than I ever realized.
Growing up in the Texas Panhandle my "end of the earth" was often limited to an away game for sports or a trip to my aunt' s house in New Mexico. Never did I view far away places as something that would be in my future. I had a small vision that had been cultivated in a small city and there had been placed but small responsibilities upon my life. Things certainly change.
Why are you where you are? That sounds like a funny question to be asking. Many times the answer is just simply, "This is just where I was raised." The reason that I found myself spending many years in the Texas Panhandle was because someone else made the decision for me to live there! When my family moved from Southern California to Texas when I was still in grade school--they never asked me if I was going with them! It was a given that I was going (there's not much else a seven year old can do).
But as I grew (and especially in the Lord), my world also grew and has continued to grow along with the vision that God has given me for both my personal life and the ministry that He has called me to as well. It is a ministry without borders, limited only by the faith to simply hear, go and obey. Leaving Amarillo in 2003 and moving to New Orleans was certainly a "stepping stone" in this process. We were forced to move beyond the cozy-confines of familiarity and forge new spiritual territories for the Kingdom of God.
I can't help but think of the words of Jesus when He said, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country." He spoke of Himself and the opposition that He faced in His own city. It goes on to say that there were not many miracles done there because of the unbelief. Familiarity breeds unbelief. That is why we endeavor to "sterilize familiarity" so that it will not reproduce unbelief, complacency, and religiosity.
RAVEN Ministries is committed to "going into all the world and preaching the gospel to every creature." We won't make excuses for our obedience to the call that He has entrusted each of us with. We'll just keep diving into new places and new challenges and in pursuing after new horizons. Jesus is coming back soon you know. We want Him to find His servants "so doing" when He comes.
Comfort zones are a lot like school zones: things move way too slow and there is generally nothing happening around them anyway. In our efforts to cut down on risks and provide a safer enviroment we have brought the work of reaching our world to a virtual standstill as we sit staring at the flashing lights of fear, doubt, and unbelief.

Revelation 5:9 "And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

Being approached by a group of Chinese students in Dam Square was certainly not what I expected as I held up the cross in the middle of thousands of midday pedestrians. "We're Christians!", exclaimed the young lady who would serve as the groups spokeperson. Each of these young Chinese Christians came and literally "clung" to the wooden cross that we had carried into the plaza. "Can I carry it?" asked a young man. You would have thought he had discovered a missing treasure by his enthusiasm. (Perhaps he had)

We spent the next 45 minutes praying and ministering to one another and made plans for our next time together. First, next summer back in Amsterdam as they bring a group of born-again Chinese to our 1st Annual Raven Amsterdam in the Summer of 2007 and then in Beijing,China in 2008 for the Olympic Games! Networking the Nations!

They are waiting for us to show up my friends: Both the lost and those in the Body of Christ who have been starving for encouragment, fellowship and vision. I'm going. Do you want to join me?


Raven Midwest said...


RAVEN Deb said...