Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Cross / Orientation

I’ve just spent the last week with our new class of missionaries, recruits who are just beginning to raise their support and focus their attention on the new mission field. These missionaries and missionary candidates have decided that they will serve the Lord in a very strategic and powerful way with American Missionary Fellowship. I was very, very impressed by the walk with God that these young families had. They seemed to want to be obedient; they seemed to really want to know what God had for them and be prepared for what lies ahead. I was amazed at how the group gelled together because they had a common interest in serving God.

The last night, we commissioned them. We had built a cross out of a tree on our property, and we had these young missionary recruits write all of their fears, all of their cares, all of their stresses, all of their anxieties, and all of their inadequacies on a card, and nail the cards to the cross. It was powerful to watch as they surrendered these things to the cross of Jesus Christ.

Those of us who were not candidates were board members or staff. We put on the cross another set of specially marked cards that had encouraging messages on them. They signified promises that our missionary candidates could claim that would counteract the cares they had put on the cross.

At the end of the night, I said to these candidates, “The challenge is being able to leave these things at the cross and not take them back with us, not to wallow in them each day instead of just leaving them where they need to be – in the hands of our Lord and Savior.”

What a night! What a night of turning to the cross! What a night of being able to leave behind those things that will keep us from being all that God wants us to be! What a great night of learning to give things to Jesus!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ridge for leading a wonderful commissioning service last weekend. It was a tremendous time of committing to Ministry. As we candidates nailed our hopes, fears, and concerns at the cross, many current "seasoned" missionaries, staffers, and Board members, nailed their prayers of encouragement and wisdom for the orientee "Class of '09"
    We are truly blest by our Lord to come alongside such a "great cloud of witnesses".

    Seize our hearts, Lord, we are ready to roll!

    Steve and Gaitha Athans


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