ACTS 1:7-8 – TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
In Acts, Jesus said to his disciples,
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own
authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Little did Sharon and I know when I became a Christian three years into our marriage that one day we would find ourselves witnessing for Christ to the ends of the earth! We started in Corvallis, Oregon (our Jerusalem) where I accepted Christ, and our marriage and the trajectory of our lives would begin a journey that would literally lead us to the ends of the earth.
Our Judea started after I turned down my engineering offers to join Campus Crusade (Cru) and we were assigned to work with students at Northwestern University and then in the greater Chicago area. We were then transferred to UCLA (our Samaria, so to speak). It was there that we started Christian Associates and the Jesus Christ Light and Power House during the Hippy and Jesus Movements.
The Ends of the Earth began with our News Release evangelistic basketball teams to Asia, then Africa, then Europe. We followed by moving to Europe, first to the greater Geneva area, then to Amsterdam (ok, we also studied at L’Abri in Switzerland, and Regent College in Vancouver, B.C., Canada along the way.
The Ends of the Earth continue to draw us. Since joining Global Training Network (GTN), we have trained leaders in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Brazil. The Ends of the Earth continue to call…or, I should say, Christ continues to call us to the Ends of the Earth.
NEXT UP – EUROPE
Sharon and I leave this week for France and Switzerland where on September 17th I will speak at the church we started in Ferney Voltaire (on the border of Geneva). I will then head for Interlaken, Switzerland to participate in the week long Traction retreat for missionaries living in hard places. Following this, two of the Traction counselors will join me as we coach a church plant in Prague. I will then join fellow GTNer Hud McWilliams and friends in Madrid to lead a retreat for church planters. I return from Madrid on October 9th.
NEXT UP – MARYLAND
Shortly after returning, on October 13th, Sharon and I head to the east coast to speak at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland’s mission weekend. We’ll visit friends and have meetings in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia on the way and way back (we fly into Augusta, Georgia, as our goddaughter Penny Stone and her family live just across the Georgia border in Aiken South Carolina).
NEXT UP – BRAZIL, NEPAL, UGANDA, RWANDA, AND ETHIOPIA
In November it will back to Brazil for the next phases of our Divine Expedition training in three states in that country. In January we begin our training in Nepal, and in February Phil Graf and I will return to Uganda, where we will meet with the Ugandans we have trained, observe them doing a training, and then join them in Rwanda to launch the Divine Expedition training in that country. We will then join Mark and Gayll Phifer-Housemen in Ethiopia in March.
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH ARE JOINING IN
Phil Graf and I are most excited about the number of nationals who are joining with us to train others to train others to train others. The Brazilians we have trained are not only training others in Brazil, but they are planning to launch a Portuguese
language training in Mozambique. The Ugandans we have trained have already crossed their borders into the Congo and South Sudan (maybe others) and will lead the way into Rwanda. Brazilian Sammy will join us in Nepal, as will Ugandan Michael. Ugandan Moses will join us in Brazil for our upcoming training.
Jesus said we would be his witnesses to the end of the earth. He also said, “Make disciples of all peoples” (Matthew 28:19). By God’s grace and strength…and your prayers and support…we are.
In Genesis 13:14-17 the LORD told Abram (soon to be Abraham) to lift up his eyes:
“…from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
And so, we have lifted up our eyes to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. To do that we know we must keep looking up to Jesus who is always out ahead, becoming us to follow Him as…
…”the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
All this makes my heart rejoice, sing, and give thanks. I hope it does yours too. Please pray for us and we follow our Savior, and share the Good News of him, near and far.
Linus and Sharon