I recall the first time I left the country. I went to Mexico during Spring break one year in college. I went there to partner with Amor Ministries to build houses for families living in sub-standard conditions. It was eye-opening both culturally and spiritually. Since that time, I have been on a dozen more trips and stepped outside of my comfort zone into experiences. When I was the Student Ministry Pastor at White Oak, I led groups of teens and adults to serve in New York City, Honduras, Mexico, a children’s home in Virginia, we partnered with ministries in downtown Cincinnati, we served on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington. I’ve traveled to Haiti and to India to see for myself the work that White Oak is helping to do in these places.
In all these cross-cultural experiences there are several things I’ve learned but one that stands out among them. Our Heavenly Father is up to big and amazing things all over the world. He is drawing worshipers and he is accomplishing his mission through humble, gentle, and faithful men and women from every corner of the globe. I’ve seen worshipers pour their hearts out to God in various languages when they had no other earthly things to offer him. The thing I have taken away from those experiences is that God’s Spirit is moving and his truth and love are transforming lives in ways that are outside my own insulated, content, suburban American experience (and my Christian experience in particular).
In Matthew 28 Jesus gives his disciples an assignment.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
White Oak is an expression of Jesus’s body doing what he has assigned us to do. Our commission wasn’t just for the Northwest part of Cincinnati. We’ve taken our King’s words to heart. We extend our impact to places around our city, in Africa, India, Haiti, and Myanmar. I think each of us have been given this same commission. Jesus calls his church to “go.” You and I have been called to be part of that extension of his body through our prayer, financial generosity, through our time and growing knowledge of how big and great our God is in his movement around the world.
I encourage you to get to know more about what God is doing around the world and to act on it. One way you can do that is by participating in White Oak’s trip to the International Conference on Mission in November. Check out the video below to learn more!
Make a commitment to serve a people group from outside of your cultural context in the next 6-12 months. More than 14% of every dollar you give to White Oak goes to support God’s work around the globe. Thank you for your generosity and for helping us connect people to full life in Jesus!
Serving with you,
Lead Pastor, White Oak Christian Church