Noah and Levi had the great privilege of going on a mission trip to Guatemala earlier this month with Marsha’s parents and eleven other members of our church family. Below are some of their highlights.
NOAH’S TESTIMONY OF FAITH
You can also listen to Noah’s quick testimony about the trip that he shared with our church family by clicking HERE.
LEVI’S TESTIMONY OF FAITH
NOTE: Some of the pictures are cropped below but can be seen fully by clicking on the image.
A huge thank you to our church family and others who supported Noah and Levi through prayer, encouragement and financial assistance! This mission trip was obviously a life-changing experience of which they are beyond grateful to have been a part. Thanks be to God!
If you love someone, showing that love is easy, right? Not necessarily. If you love someone, showing that love feels good, right? Not necessarily. Love is all about how you feel, right? Not really.
As the One who created us and as the One who is the ultimate example of love, God defines love. His Word has a lot to say about love, and He does not say much about love being easy or feeling good.
When you come to know and follow God, you automatically learn more about love. When you experience His love, you are clearly changed and then desire to show that love to others.
Thankfully, we are seeing this at work in our two oldest sons, Noah and Levi. Recently, Noah had an opportunity to help with disaster relief cleanup in Jefferson City, Missouri. Then, he and Levi were blessed to head to Guatemala with a team from our church to minister to orphans and others in a needy community.
Do these mission tasks feel good? Perhaps at times they do, as there is obviously a great sense of encouragement and satisfaction when we get to serve others. But, there are certainly plenty of times when we just do not feel those things. Love – the love of God – still compels us, though.
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching about the “Proof of Love” in the life of a Christian, looking specifically at 1 John 3:10-24. Later that day, you should be able to listen to the message HERE. In the meantime, though, I want to challenge you to consider three reasons love does not always feel good.
1) Love is unconditional.
If you read 1 John 3:10-15, you will not see any conditions on the love we are commanded and expected to have for one another. We are not told to love others if they deserve our love. We are not told to love others if they love us in return. We are not told to love others for what they can do for us. The Bible tells us to love one another. Period.
In fact, this love proves something very important: “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14).
You either have eternal life, or you are headed for eternal death. Unconditional love for others is a defining characteristic for those who have experienced this new life in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Is your life marked by unconditional love for others?
2) Love is costly.
“This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).
Did it “feel good” when Jesus was brutally beaten and crucified? Of course not. Love compelled Him, though. It was His love for sinners like you and me that led Him to the cross, and there was nothing more costly than the cross.
No, this does not imply that in order for you to truly love others, you must die for them, but it certainly does mean you are willing to die. And, it clearly means love is not confined to that which is easy and feels good. Love is costly.
Is your love for others costing you anything?
3) Love is exhausting.
To say, “I love you,” is really not very difficult. To show “I love you” is often exhausting. If love is unconditional and costly, then it is certainly exhausting.
“Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. This is how we will know we belong to the truth and will convince our conscience in His presence” (1 John 3:18-19).
Loving a person who has frustrated you is not easy. It is exhausting. Loving those who are hurting and unable to do anything for you in return is not easy. It is exhausting. Loving those who do not reciprocate that love is not easy. It is exhausting.
Yes, I do believe that when our hearts are set on the Lord, we can still experience a great sense of joy and contentment in the midst of this unconditional care, cost and exhaustion. Does that mean it will always feel good and be easy, though? No. Otherwise, the Bible would not have so much to say about the command to love one another and our need to love one another. Doing so takes intentional effort, regardless of how we feel at the time. Love is exhausting.
Do you ever find yourself exhausted because of your unconditional, costly love for others?
Love is transformational.
If you experience God’s love by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ, then you will not only experience this kind of transformational love; you will be transformed by this love and show this love to others. This love, after all, is an essential proof for those who have a genuine relationship with God.
In just over four months, Noah and Levi will be joining 15 others from our church on a mission trip to Guatemala. While in Guatemala, they will minister to and alongside the children of Casa De Mi Padre in Santa Cruz del Quiche.
What a great opportunity for Noah and Levi (and the others going on this trip) to be challenged in their faith by serving the Lord and serving others!
Noah was blessed to go on our church’s first trip to Guatemala last June, and he is excited to return. This will be Levi’s first mission trip, though. Marsha and I are very thankful to the Lord that He has compelled our boys to take this journey, even though neither one of us is joining them.
Of course, we are even more comfortable than we would be otherwise, since two of those joining Noah and Levi are Marsha’s parents, Tony and Jeanette. Furthermore, we have great people from our amazing church family going, and our church truly is family to us.
While in Guatemala, this team will primarily be doing orphan care ministry with the children at the orphanage, but they will also have opportunities for evangelistic outreach and mercy ministry to people in the surrounding community. They will be bringing Bibles and gospel tracts to distribute to those to whom they minister and will also work alongside a local church that the orphanage workers and children attend.
Would you consider helping Noah and Levi?
They (and we) obviously covet your prayers for this trip, that God will be glorified in and through the entire team.
They (and we) would also be grateful for any financial support you can offer them as they raise funds for their airline tickets ($608/person) and the in-country expenses, including travel, lodging and meals ($725/person). So, they are needing to raise $1,333 each for this trip.
If you would like to help and/or have any questions, please contact us HERE, or you can also call or text me at 573-416-3195. Thank you for your partnership in this exciting mission!
During our mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, we expected to be an encouragement and blessing to the children of Casa De Mi Padre, an orphanage and ministry of Child Rescue. Well, we might have been somewhat of a blessing, but it truly was the orphans who were a blessing to us. This was the common sentiment among our team of 17 who went on the trip. Praise the Lord for how he has delivered these children from some horrifying situations and placed them into a Christian home with people who love them, care for them and disciple them in Christ!
You can see photos from our trip HERE and even more HERE.
This past Sunday, Noah shared a brief testimony during our morning worship service, explaining some of the highlights from our trip. You can listen to the testimony HERE (best sound quality) or watch the video below.
Are you interested in going on a mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, 2019? If so, you will have the amazing privilege of ministering to orphans, doing evangelistic outreach in public schools and the local community, worshiping and serving alongside a local church, and growing in your faith in Jesus Christ. Contact Richland Baptist Church for more information.
Tomorrow morning, Noah and I, along with 15 other followers of Jesus, will be heading to Guatemala for a one-week mission trip. While there, we will be serving the children of Casa De Mi Padre, an orphanage ministry of Child Rescue. Also, we will be serving alongside a couple churches to do street evangelism, outreach in the local schools, ministry in a local hospital, and more.
Will you please be in prayer for our team? Lord willing, we will be gone June 1-8. Please pray that God will receive all the glory and use us for the sake of honoring His name, blessing those we are going to serve, growing in our faith and advancing His gospel. Thank you!