“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)
This text and the surrounding verses (Rom. 12:3-8) were read in various translations during morning prayer each day at the CRWM/World Renew volunteer orientation I attended a few weeks ago. I’ve often thought about how our family’s time in Africa will deepen our sense of belonging to the worldwide church of Jesus Christ. We believe that as members of the body of Christ we belong to our brothers and sisters in Africa, and that we are responsible to use the gifts God has given us to serve them.
But already in preparing for our time in Africa we have a greater sense of and appreciation for what it means to belong to the body of Christ. When he paraphrases Paul’s words from Romans 12 in The Message, Eugene Peterson speaks about “deep gratitude for all that God has given.” It is hard to find words to express how grateful we are for the community God has given us at Faith Church. The encouragement and support we have received from Faith Church has been overwhelming.
Two months ago we set out calendar pages, inviting members of Faith Church to sign up to pray for our family on a particular day during our time in Kenya as we commit to pray for their family on that same day. The pages are nearly full.
You can still sign up for a date, even if you do not belong to Faith Church. Just leave a comment below, or email us through the “Drop Us a Note” link above. The following dates are still open: September 3, 9, 26; October 4, 6; November 26, 27. Thank you!)
On June 19, when we were officially commissioned as missionaries to serve in Kenya, a number of people from our congregation came forward to lay hands on and pray over our family. We are grateful to have already been experiencing in tangible ways like this the church’s commitment to support us with their love, encouragement, and prayers!
In the words of the hymn with which that service ended:
We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord
(“Facing a Task Unfinished” was written in the 1930’s by Frank Houghton and updated by Keith and Kristyn Getty in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of OMF this year. See more about it here!)