Sept 25 2016 Our Values - God/Grace/Growth/Gospel - Part 4a - Gospel
26th September 2016
To support Hannah's mission to Guatemala, click
Mike Marette: God/Growth/Grace/Gospel – Today is gospel - Our desire, our calling, our purpose, our goal – is that everyone in our church would be personally seeing that each of us has the opportunity and responsibility to communicate the message to others in our daily lives –
Gospel – We are sharing the truth of the Gospel with those we meet in our daily lives through word and actions.
This statement focuses on us doing this individually. One of our hopes and goals would be that everyone would have at least one intentional relationship with one who does not know Christ. I’ll look at what that intentionality means next week. This is based on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment – love God, love others – and go and make disciples. That is why we exist. We don’t just exist to be a nice church in the community – I hope we are that – but we are here to make disciples of all nations.
There are two opportunities that we as a church can send the gospel into the nations. One is Operation Christmas Child. As you put that shoebox together, children around the world are hearing the gospel through that shoebox. The second – there is a member of our church who is preparing to leave for Guatemala for a 2 year mission – and we can support her.
Hannah Yackley: We are part of Great Commission Churches – one of my favorite phrases – making disciples of all nations. I have always been interested in cultures and languages. I love the concept of being in heaven and being surrounded by believers from every tribe, tongue and nation – we do it in so many unique and beautiful ways.
In college, I went to Honduras for a couple months with a leadership training opportunity – and saw the power of the gospel – I got to meet a lot of people who didn’t have much besides Jesus -so the hope of the gospel was precious to them. It was convicting to me and made me realize in my own daily life you forget about the importance of the gospel – so it is a good reminder to be sharing the gospel. You can have all the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations ) and nonprofits – but without the gospel, there is no hope for true transformation.
When I left Honduras, I felt that God was calling me to do more so I am going to Guatemala City – hopefully leaving in June. I’ll be working with the Mission agency known as TEAM – and Grace Summit is my sending Church.
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Central America and Guatemala City is one of the largest cities in Central America. It comes with the usual melting pot of violence, drugs, gangs, you name it - and one thing that sets Guatemala apart – even though there is a large Catholic population and a large protestant population – the prosperity gospel is prevalent and people have a misunderstanding of the gospel. When bad things happen, it turns into – it is your fault! You didn’t have enough faith – you didn’t give enough – you are harboring a secret sin – it is a toxic environment of sin and shame on the whole city - not recognizing that the world is broken and in need of a Savior. I’ve even heard stories of pastors posting lists of people who are behind on their tithes! As a result – TEAM Guatemala is there to work against the poverty and the effects of the prosperity gospel.
Jeff and Melissa Yackley: Church Partners and the Sending Triangle
Jeff: As Hannah’s Sending Church, we are part of the Sending Triangle – partnering with Hannah and TEAM – The Evangelical Alliance Mission. The people you saw in her video are the people that she will be working with in Guatemala City. We’d like to give you a background on what TEAM is all about – so we have a video for that as well.
Melissa – We went to Hannah’s Missionary Orientation this summer as Church Partners.
One of the things we learned about this summer when we attended Hannah’s Missionary Orientation Conference with her as her church partners was the idea of the “Sending Triangle”: - That each part – the Missionary (Hannah), the Mission Agency (TEAM) and the Sending Church (Grace Summit) – has an important role.
TEAM is a facilitator of missionaries; they don’t send missionaries. TEAM provides expertise in the areas of logistics, preparing/training workers before they go and providing support while they are there. It would be very difficult for our church to make sure that she has all the details in order: Immunizations, visas, a place to live, transportation, even understanding what a budget would look like for her to be able to go. That is where TEAM has expertise to fill that role.
TEAM has worked with hundreds of churches in the last 125 years and they really want our input and partnership in this process of preparing and sending Hannah as a missionary. We heard this over and over at the conference – how much they want our input and how they want to work together with us – and it is a partnership – we are not separate entities – each doing our own thing, without collaboration and communication with each other. They have resources and member care and a financial team and accountability. It is a neat role that TEAM has and an amazing ability that they have that we could not provide as a church. They really want our partnership – Mike has been in contact with Mary, her mentor, and there has been a lot of communication already.
We, Grace Summit – as a church, are the ones sending Hannah as an extension of our church in Guatemala, so it is important that we realize this and understand that we become part of the work there, which means we’ll be praying not only for Hannah – but also for the people she is involved with in Guatemala City. Hannah’s mission in GC is our mission as well – we are all on mission with God to reach the world and this is an opportunity for us to have influence in Central America.
It excites me as I see online – they have videos of their church services down there – Justin speaks Spanish fluently – he is a Buckeye fan from right here in NorthEast Ohio.
There are many opportunities to be involved – Networking – if you have friends in other churches who are interested in sending the gospel to the rest of the world -
If you have any specific questions – let us know and we can address them at the church meeting in October.
One of the things that TEAM recommends is for Hannah to have an Advocate team – a group of people to support her through this process of being sent. They recommend that part of that group be a mentor who has been on the mission field – and we are blessed to have Rick and Carol Reynolds, who have graciously stepped into this role.
Rick and Carol Reynolds: Former Missionaries and part of Hannah’s Care Team:
Rick: Carol and I were missionaries for 8 years with Mission Aviation Fellowship – I was a missionary pilot and Carol was my flight controller and taught school. It was the fall of 1982 – there for four years and then a furlough and then 4 more years and came back in 1981.
We have a lot of fond memories – and we’d like to use those experiences to be an advocate for Hannah – and an advocate for our congregation. There has been a handful of people who have gone on short term mission trips and a handful who have moved to be here. As a sending church – we want to be an advocate for our congregation – and another tool to help all of us understand our role.
Carol: The most important thing – prayer. Hannah won’t be able to go to the mission field without prayer. Rick and I knew that when we were missionaries. It is the most important thing – to have a prayer team that you can trust – whom you can communicate needs to and you know that there is a team that is sincerely praying for you. Kay and I are forming a prayer team for Hannah –I want our congregation to think about it - think if you can commit the time – and it is not going to be just a ‘bless the missionary time’ – but really praying for her. Think about it – pray about it - If you want to be on our prayer team – email or call me or Kay Ference. We’ll probably even start a private Facebook group to pray for Hannah. This is so important. All of you know, there is one who does not want Hannah to go to the mission field– and that is Satan. So we need to recognize that and pray against Satan and for Hannah and her team. On a personal note – I remember Hannah as a little girl – she always had a desire to be a missionary. We have a lot of kids downstairs whom we should be praying for. We have exceptional kids in this church – and there are kids who may be going to the mission field – I started praying for her – because I knew she would be going to be a missionary someday. I even said something like that to Melissa back then. God has touched and blessed Hannah – and you know what – we all like the Buckeyes – and like to cheer for the Buckeyes – but we are her sending church! This is exciting! We are the sending church! Grace Summit! We have a big responsibility – so you can smile and be happy about that! We should be high fiving each other for this privilege and responsibility. It is an awesome responsibility. So let’s pray about this and be united as a body for our sister Hannah. Thank you!
Mike: Some of you know – as a pastor – many of you are supporting either missionaries or ministries. We do an incredible amount of that as a church – we have had so many come thorough this church asking for support. And many in our church have gone on to do great things in ministry – and we have all been a part of that. People who have left here and all they are doing in the world – person after person – but this is the first we have someone who was born in this church to go on a long-term mission.
Lord, help Hannah to reach her goal of being in Guatemala next summer. We pray that she would be able to reach the support as necessary - That all the things that she needs to be taken care of would be taken care of, that she could accomplish all her goals – that this process would go smoothly and successfully – that she could get involved there in ministry that she is looking forward to and called to.