Summary: The call to serve includes the whole body of the church. We reach out across the world following the example of St. Paul to build and encourage the church and her saints.
Service to the Saints
John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
This Sunday will mark the close of our church for the summer season. While the church will remain dormant our lives will not. Each of us will continue to exercise the love of Christ in our daily lives and in our daily circumstances.
Some of you will miss the Sunday services and some of you will find that missing them is a welcome break. I discovered that the summer break that we take at this church is actually a tradition for many churches in England and Scotland. It seems our distant cousins know the value of a summer respite.
The one thing that we will all continue to do while absent from this sanctuary is to love one another as Jesus commanded. In fact you as a church and as individuals have so equipped me and my group with your love that we are able to carry it over half a world away to Zambia, Africa.
For me this will be a chance to renew friendships and discover new ones. It will be an opportunity to represent all of you and to introduce you to my friends in Zambia. They say you only get one chance to make a first impression and that it has a lasting effect.
You as a church have made an endearing first impression on my friends in Zambia. They know you as dearly loved Saints. What a wonderful title you bare. By definition the word -Saint - means someone who exhibits the traits of holiness or virtue. This you all accomplish by your love for Jesus when you share that love with each other and with other believers that you haven’t even met.
It was by God’s grace that we hosted John and Christine Chitumbo of Zambia last October. Like you they are Saints called to Gods service where they live. They happen to live in Zambia. Your visit with them though short was memorable and they are most grateful for your support and gift to them.
You continue to give to the mission work in Zambia by supporting me in that work. I will do my best to honor your love and support by extending it to the needy children of Zambia.
I can not help but think of St. Paul and his missionary work and how the church equipped him for the task he was called to. You have been every bit as faithful in equipping me as the church of Antioch was at equipping St. Paul.
Without you and your love I am nothing. It is your love that compels me to continue to preach the gospel and to reach the poor and destitute of Zambia. God has seen fit to put together a diverse team of individuals for this mission trip.
Janet Sterling (Roman Catholic from the Holy Redeemer Parish Cluster which includes Wallaceburg and Port Lambton) is a retired RN with a wealth of practical experience and knowledge. She has been on several missions’ trips in the past but never to Africa. She along with Marion Browning (A member of Charlemont Free Methodist Church on Brigden Road) who currently works at Sydenham District Hospital will work with the staff at Mongu hospital and with the Kids Alive babies’ home in Mongu. Janet will be our health professional; hopefully we will not have to turn to her for our own health needs.
Marion and her daughter Steff are on their first missionary trip. Steff Browning and my daughter Audrey both worked for Community Living where they worked with people with special needs. My daughter Audrey (A member of Faith Baptist Church Wallaceburg) is a trained counselor who studied child psychology. Audrey and Steff will minister to the minds and bodies of these children.
Also traveling with us are Michelle Miller and her daughter Justine from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Chatham. Michelle will offer her skills as a mother and care giver and is also trained to assist people with special needs. She is employed with Community Living and has acquired special skills through her employment. Michelle’s daughter Justine will help with child care and infant care. This is their first missionary trip.
Nathan Bushey (Faith Baptist Church Wallaceburg) will assist my son Josh with the physical labor that we are asked to perform. Nathan is a new Christian having been recently baptized and he is anxious to put his faith to work in the mission field.
I go as a Pastor and teacher to bring the word of God, my wife Fran goes as a mother and caregiver. So all together we have one Catholic, two Free Methodist six Baptist and a Presbyterian Pastor to round out the team. I think that should be enough diversity for anyone.