Greetings friends, we are back in South Africa now after a quick ministry trip to the States. You can imagine how excited we were to return and see for the first time our new grandson, Cian (pronouced Key-In) McComas. Another brother added to their family and the joy of being held by his big brother Finnegan.
While in the states we attended ABWE’s annual leadership conference, The Global Operations Summit. This year’s conference primarily focused on our vision as a mission agency. Now, we all know that mission and vision statements can be pretty boring for a lot of people, but it’s “the vision” that keeps a group of people united as a team heading in the same direction with a focus on accomplishing common goals. For ABWE, that means keeping approximately 1,000 missionaries in over 70 different countries aimed at the same target.
OUR VISION? Our vision is to fulfill the Great Commission by multiplying leaders, churches, and missions movements among every people.
All of that to say, we are passionate about Jesus and want to be faithful to what He has entrusted to us as His followers. What has He called us to do? Here is a paraphrased version of His last words before He ascended into heaven…
“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NLT)
Sometimes the best the way to illustrate a vision statement is through a story – a real story of a life recently changed by the Gospel.
At Mountain View we host a class each term to help assimilate new people who attend our church and encourage them to get engaged. It’s called Next Steps and it’s all about helping people find their next step while discovering the truth of Jesus and His church.
Quinton and his sweet family had been attending Mountain View for several months when, after a few invites, they came to our Next Steps class. Quinton, like most South Africans, was exposed to Jesus, religion and the church from an early age. However, little did he know that his “next step” would change his life forever. Quinton came to the class asking to be baptized. As I discipled him through a study about baptism, Quinton realized he was lost and in need of salvation. While he had known religion, he was not in a relationship with the living God. While meeting in my study one evening, Quinton came to a better understanding of what Jesus had done for him on the cross and was born again. A couple weeks later he was baptized and joined the church. His words on that day still ring in my ears as he gave testimony of his conversion to Christ. “When Pastor Tom and I knelt down on our knees to pray, I asked Jesus to be my Saviour. We knelt down as friends, but when we came up, we stood together as brothers.”
That’s it. That’s what it’s all about – the vision to reach the world one person at the time, adding “brothers” to the family of God. That’s mission with a vision, and it’s happening every day in almost every corner of the world.
Thank you for your partnership in the mission of Jesus, your friendship to us personally, and for your amazing support – both prayerfully and financially. We are looking forward to a great year in 2017 as we carry out the mission of Jesus and the vision!