I thought I'd give an update as we have been in Raleigh, North Carolina for 2 weeks now.
We are doing well and it has been a wonderful blessing staying with the Wilson family.
I am still looking for a job and have turned in some applications and resumes with a handful of Air Conditioning companies here in hopes of landing a job (mission field) soon. I have a couple interviews this next week. Please pray that God would put me where He wants me. Once I am able to secure a job then we will look to rent a house or an apartment hopefully in or around the community that is close to work. Our desire is to have a job and home by mid November. Angela and James are doing well. We've all been able to rest a little too. The weather has been real nice here and its starting to cool off a bit. We're becoming more familiar with the city and the surrounding areas. We covet your prayers, and love you all lots!
Last Sunday we went downtown to Moore Square Park and gave out some lunches to the homeless community and got to know some of the locals. We also met some other believers who go downtown on the weekend as well to give love and food to those in need. The homeless community here has a huge network of Christian ministries and individuals that bless them with everything from food, to clothes, jobs, phones, Bibles, preaching, love and relationships, etc. God has been loving on people through people long before we ever arrived and that is encouraging to us! Our desire is to find our little "nitch" for the Lord and serve alongside the Body of Christ here. We see the beauty in the diversity of the Body of Christ, that each part is necessary, useful and beneficial to the growth of the Kingdom of God. I was reminded this past weekend that each person has their own way of serving God, using their gifts, and loving on people as a demonstration of their love for God and that as believers on the same team we must never allow the diversity and differences to divide us. Our views and philosophies about how best to minister to people are just that, "our" views, and "our" philosophies. And Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 powerfully explains to us that it is God's will that we operate differently as different parts of the body act and operate different. My feet are designed different than my hands and mouth and ears, and that is a good thing. My eyes are made up of totally different tissue than my mouth, and serve a completely different purpose, and yet both eyes and my mouth are connected to the same body, serve the same body, and neither part can replace the other. It's the same in the Body of Christ, God has designed different people for different tasks and ministries, and those ministries often operate under different philosophies and perspectives so that they can each fulfill totally different, and totally needed ministries. This is the beauty in the diversity of the Body of Christ. Or at least it should be beautiful. The difficulty is when it gets ugly because we forget we are all part of the SAME Body of Christ. We forget that the Body of Christ is not just our church, or our city or community Christian network, or our denomination, or our national representation of Christ, but rather that the BODY of CHRIST is the global community of true Christians. Yes, a local church is a micro-representation of the much larger Global Body of Christ (or at least should be) but it is not the final and perfect representation of Christ's Body. The Lord's Church invades a variety of denominations and non-denominations in such a way that no one can claim the "they're the only true church." I'm saying this because I think it's important that as believers when we go out to minister or witness or represent Christ in our communities and we see or meet up with believers that "do things differently than we do," that we're reminded that the differences are Divine and designed and beautiful and necessary and that we are all parts of the same glorious Body, the Church and Bride of Christ. We must not forget that otherwise we will generate that "us verses them" mentality and we will see ourselves as opponents competing rather than team members that need to "play well together." One person does not have the "best" or "right" way of doing things and neither does one church or denomination or nation. My whole body is not a hand and neither is it just a hand and a mouth. My body is a highly complex combination of various parts that "play and work well together" for the benefit of the whole. Each part needs the other and each part is necessary. So let me challenge you with this, the next time you might feel quick to criticize another believer or ministry or church for the way they do things for Christ, just ask yourself this question: "Would I be better off if I just cut off my left arm right now?" Probably not. And most likely those we criticize do have an important part in the Body of Christ, just not our part. Jesus said that there is one way the world will know that we are His disciples and that is by our "love" for one another. John 13:35 And Jesus said there is a way that the world will know that the Father sent the Son and that is by our "unity" and being one with one another. John 17:20-21. Praise God for the variety among believers, ministries, churches and philosophies of ministry. Praise God that every Christian is not like me! Diversity and differences are Divine by design, just like men and women. Let's rejoice in our differences, and strive together to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace as Ephesians 4:3 challenges us to do. We love you all! Thanks for your love!
James got a new car! Some friendly people at a yard sale gave it to him for free. It's a used car. And so for his first car this one will be one that he can crash without us being out a lot of money.