Monday, February 23, 2009

The great commission . . .

Tim and I left Atlanta and drove to Savannah, Georgia, on Wednesday, February 18. We were excited to receive training and commissioning from our sending agency, the North American Mission Board. We loved our brief side-trip to the Atlantic shore, but it was cold! We're planning another stay when it's warmer.

We enjoyed visiting the Savannah Baptist Center, where -- to my surprise and joy -- I discovered a women's sewing program. This lady made the elegant outfit she's wearing. With pride, she showed us the tailored suit she was sewing -- lining and all! I was impressed.They have a much bigger room than ours, and look at all that fabric . . .
and all those sewing machines!
The class in Savannah stitches lap blankets as their first project.
Each blanket and garment carries a special tag. I came away inspired with lots of great ideas.
Sunday morning, we drove to First Baptist Church, Pooler, Georgia. I haven't seen one of these record boards in years. Does that ever bring back memories! The pastor preached a sermon that helped clarify what Tim and I were sensing the Lord was telling us.
On Sunday evening, all 144 missionaries and chaplains gathered at First Baptist Church, Rincon, Georgia. Children carried flags from every state and Canada. We posed with the young man who held the New Mexico flag, our former home state.
During the service, we had the opportunity to tell the congregation about our work in Atlanta with refugees and immigrants.As we stepped off the stage, fully commissioned, we felt like we were nine feet off the ground!
Afterward, we celebrated with longtime friends, like Tim Yarbrough. He leads the Acts 1:8 program at NAMB. Tim made the trip from Atlanta to witness our commissioning.
We had made so many new friends, it was hard to say goodbye. God put us together with this wonderful couple again and again throughout the week. They are Donna and Ron McCullough. She runs a food distribution center in Alabama.
This woman directs the international student program at a university in Vancouver, Canada.
One of our hardest goodbye was to Pastor Charlie, who plants churches in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Every night, he sang the blues for us in the lobby of our hotel. A Vietnam war veteran, Charlie was permanently crippled by a mortar blast at age 22. You would never guess the pain he suffers, because he smiles all the time -- even when singing the blues!
Our hotel was filled with orchids everywhere. To me, they became a symbol of God's majestic design and His love for all His creation -- from the mightiest oceans to the tiniest orchids. The lilies of the fields, Jesus told us, never worry about what they will wear, nor do they labor or spin. Yet, not even King Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. These bromiliads reminded me of my childhood in Kenya. That's where I first learned about Jesus and His amazing grace and mercy. I thank my parents for teaching me about God's love and for modeling His compassion in all they did. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina]"> the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20


Marilyn Crabtree said...

Congratulations Tim and Cathy! My how your mother would be proud of you and I know your dad and Phyllis are proud. It's amazing to watch the plans unfold that God has for us when we yield our lives to Him. Walt and I are thankful for you and your commitment to missions, at home and abroad. I see your love of God in your work with the refugees.

Anonymous said...

Tim & Cathy,
I love that top pic of you guys! I have some photos of the commissioning service I'll send. I've already posted them on Facebook! :-o

Blessings, Tim Yarbrough

Brother Bob said...

I loved reading your blog. Congratulations on your commissioning, and God bless your ministry. We'll stay in touch. I sent you my "Holy Humor" column this week, just so you can see a sample. If you want to get it each week, let me know.
<>< Pastor Bob Rogers, FBC Rincon, GA