FRUIT FROM THE PAST
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
I can’t help but reflect on these words after all the activity of this past month (and last). During this span of time, I flew to England to be the keynote speaker at the Communitas (formerly Christian Associates) 50th-year ministry celebration.
The organization that Sharon and I helped found, and that I led for 25 years has continued to grow. The 50 churches we helped start have now grown to over 100. It was a joy to meet staff we helped recruit, and to be joined by fellow Global Training Network members we now work with Phil and Laina Graf, Hud and Nancy McWilliams, and Sammy Diab (from Brazil).
Here is an email I received from Communitas friend Slava from Russia:
Thank you very much for your participation in the Connect this August! I really appreciate it! It was soooo good to see you, and to listen to your messages!!!!
I am preparing a message for our local community gathering this Sunday. I plan to pass the part of your message about Grace and Gratitude to characterize your lives and the churches you plant and lead.
I would like to focus on God’s Grace as “an engine” for us to be filled with Joy and Love to press on.
May God continue blessing you, your family and all people around!
Hugs and Love,
PS Thank you again! 🙂
FRUIT FROM FARTHER BACK
Upon return, I flew to Boise, Idaho to meet with a group of former UCLA students who also attended the Light and Power House (our early days training ministry near the UCLA campus).
I performed the weddings of two of the couples (pictured below). We laughed and reminisced.
More importantly to me was the joy of having played a role in the trajectory of their lives to follow and serve Christ. One is the head of the history department at Seattle Pacific University, two served as principals of schools, and all have engaged in multiple short-term ministry trips.
FRUIT FROM NEPAL (NOT TO MENTION UGANDA AND BRAZIL)
I wasn’t home long before Phil Graf, Sammy Diab, Jane Hawkins and I flew to Kathmandu (Sammy and Jane from Brazil) where we have been speaking and training for the past ten days. We preached in three different churches the first day after our arrival, then led back-to-back three day trainings in two of the three districts of the city. Along the way we shared Christ with people we met in hotels and on the street, and saw several commit their lives to Christ.
The first training was “The Book of Romans as a Life Transformation and Missional Impact Map.” The response was wonderful.
The second training was in a second district of Kathmandu. It was entitled “Aligning Your Heart with the Father Heart of God.” Our interpreter told how he had been raised in a loveless orphanage before meeting Jesus. He told us the training was so powerful and so personal that there were moments when he lost his thought interpreting because of what God was doing in his heart at that moment. He came alive spiritually.
There were tears shed, wounds healed, lies negated, and masks shed as participants began to see clearly God’s great love and purpose for them in Christ.
FRUIT TO COME
The greater prize that we are after is to equip Nepali leaders who will in turn train others to train others to train others. Toward that end we feel our training is gaining traction.
Several Nepali pastors joined with us in presenting our training material, and we have been asked by several Kathmandu Nepali district leaders to accelerate our training this next year to raise up Nepali Master Trainers. Please pray for the stamina and finances to bring this into reality. This would mean trips in January, April,
July, and November. The goal will be to raise up 20 Nepali Divine Expedition Master Trainers in the next year or two.
WHY ME/US, LORD?
We have had many “random” conversations with hotel staff, flight attendants, restaurant workers, and people on the street. After sharing the good news of our gracious Savior with them, I later pray, “Lord, let me meet them again in Heaven.” I have no explanation for why God chose me/us, but I am grateful that He did. Somehow, by His grace, much fruit has resulted…fruit that is lasting… and will continue to last into eternity.
Thank for for being part of bearing much fruit…fruit that will last.
Because of His goodness and grace,
Linus, Sharon, and the Global Training Network Divine Expedition Team