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Aurora Family Mission Trip 2018 Day 1

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Let's GO!

7 families (14 adults and 23 kids) left Faith Lutheran Church this morning ready to fulfill their mission to LOVE ONE ANOTHER - this year's theme verse. 1 John 4:7 says, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" and we've chosen this scripture as our goal to share Jesus' love to all we encounter. If you'd like an easy way to memorize the scripture, you can listen to this fun song - it's a great way to get scripture to stick!

We arrived at New Song Lutheran Church in Aurora, IL this afternoon and got our living spaces for the next five days set up. After a delicious taco meal provided by the famous Steve (a Family Mission Trip friend from the beginning!), we enjoyed some FUN with the New Song youth group including an explosive devotion lead by Dave Franke and an epic game of kickball. 

It's been a long day, but a great start to our week of serving in and around the Aurora, IL area. We're looking forward to serving tomorrow at Hesed House, the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and Feed My Starving Children. We welcome your prayers for a restful night, health, and for God to prepare the hearts of those we'll meet tomorrow - that we might continue to show his LOVE!!

Making Disciples

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My family and I live in a country where it is illegal to be missionaries who preach the Word of God, and where the Good News is a sword that divides families, communities, and entire groups of people. Decades of government propaganda aimed at maintaining peace in this diverse nation, and pluralism, the belief that all religions are in essence the same, have taken hold in people’s minds and attitudes.

It’s difficult to get people to overcome their pluralistic outlooks and fear of upsetting family and their community in order for them to become disciples of Jesus. What can we really do? What does inviting someone for a meal accomplish? What does giving financially to a cause really mean? How does explaining Christian beliefs bring value?

There are many unbelievably high walls that the Gospel needs to break through to change a life. It is true that nothing I do, in my own strength and effort, no matter how sincere or hard-working I am, can make someone choose to follow Christ. However, it is also true that:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Hebrews 4:12)

Also, So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

And finally, speaking about how difficult it is for a rich man to enter heaven, Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

I think we all need to remember that God’s Word is extraordinarily powerful, that simple acts of love are deeply impactful, and that intentionality and sincerity in relationships carry a lot of meaning. As James said, The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. We have hope of making disciples only through His power and His word, accompanied by our simple faith-filled obedience. May we grow in this and see His kingdom expanded wherever we are!

Corey

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