"After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames."1 Corinthians 3: 5-15
Yesterday I was honored to join Pioneer Drive Baptist Church as they reflected and celebrated our recent trip to Romania. What a blessing it was to sit through three services and hear trip participant testimonies regarding this trip. Each participant obviously had different experiences. However, as I listened and observed each participant several things stood out in my mind.
A Time of Celebration – My heart jumped with joy as I heard the stories of lives changed, both in the participant and in the children we served. We obviously had much to celebrate. Our trip was a huge success. A number of children came to know the Lord. We were able to deliver bags and bags of groceries, medicine, and cleaning supplies. Doors were opened for future ministry opportunities. The foundation was laid (literally) for the House of Joy. Pastor Stan Allcorn said it best when he said, “I cannot imagine this trip without each and every trip member.” Every trip participant played a key role in the success of our trip.
Planting Seeds – By the second service I noticed a theme: Seed Planting. I don’t know why, but it seemed almost every participant talked about seeds being planting. No doubt seeds were planted, some were watered, and some were even harvested. What pleased me the most was the talk of planting seeds and the desire to see those seeds cultivated!
A Challenge - I remember the first time I visited Romania. I observed some of the most fertile soil I had ever seen. What disappointed me the most was seeing how much land sat barren. Even worse was the number of orchards that had been abandoned over the past 10 years. They were neglected and consequently not bearing fruit. Our lives are no different than these barren fields and orchards. If someone does not take the time to plant the seed, we will never see the harvest. I cannot count how many times I’ve been told by Romanians that they waited 50 years for America to save them. Greeted with open arms, we now have an opportunity to slowly plant seeds within the people of Romania. Like Robert Coleman once said, “If you want a harvest in one year, plant corn; if you want a harvest in 20 years, plant trees; if you want a harvest for eternity, plant people. Obviously, the future of Romania will depend upon the seeds that are planted today. The true hope for Romania lies in the hands of the Romanian’s themselves. Our greatest impact is not to “save” Romania, but rather to empower them to impact their own country. I was honored to team with 43 Americans as we worked alongside 20 plus Romanians in an effort to do just that; empowerment.
Our Romanian Team – I cannot think of a more powerful team to empower than Ovidiu, Adina, Ruben, and Dani. One other thing that consistently stood out yesterday during team testimonies was Ovidiu Patrick. Ovidiu and his team made a huge impression upon the American team. I have no doubt we’ve picked the right team to partner with in the future.
Moving Forward – As we go forward I have very little idea as to what the future holds. What I do know is that God is challenging me to continue to connect American churches and individuals with my friends in Romania. He’s challenging me to facilitate the empowerment of my Romanian brothers and sisters. I’m honored to answer that call. In response to that call I’m going to co-host an interest meeting with Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in July. During this meeting we will discuss the future of our Romanian partnership and determine how we will proceed. I have invited several individuals and churches. If you have any interest in attending or inviting leadership from your church shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for following along each week. Seeds are being planted and I can’t wait to see them grow. Until then, aspire to new heights.
2 days ago