Global Impact Celebration Kickoff With David Platt

Each year our church hosts a huge event to honor missionaries from across the US and around the world. We fly them all in to Birmingham, put them up i host homes, and dote on them all week. They provide us with a list of items they need for their ministry, and even some personal needs, and we do our best to blow them away with what we provide for them. We have a huge kick-off on Wednesday night of the celebration, and it is absolutely one of my favorite days of the year!

The missionaries set up booths so that our church members can go around and talk with them about the people they serve. Our children have the opportunity to meet missionaries from literally all over the world. The missionaries are treated like rock stars while they are here, and it is so good for our children to see that being a missionary is such an honorable vocation. My favorite tradition is how the kids take their GIC prayer books around and get autographs from the missionaries.

After a really fun time of NBA-style introductions of the missionaries, and a time of worship for what God is doing around the world, we always hear from a speaker who is heavily involved in global missions. The aim is to recharge the missionaries for what can be extremely lonely work, and to refuel our church’s commitment to supporting missionaries. This year’s speaker was Dr. David Platt. You might have heard of his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream which came out last year. In it, he challenges us to take a BIBLICAL look at the issue of surrendering everything to make Christ known to the nations. If you haven’t read it, IT IS A MUST READ. I’m currently working my way through it, and he issues QUITE a call!

Anyhoo, David Platt was our speaker and he was phenomenal! In a nutshell, his sermon was about how Christ, as our Master, Savior, Son of God, and Redeemer, is worthy of our praise. We should have such love for Him and devotion to Him that we worship with reckless abandon. And He is also worthy of the praise from the 4.6 billion people around the world who don’t know Him. If we love Him and agree that He is worthy of the worship of people from all nations, then we will be about the business of sharing Him with them. As I said, it was phenomenal!

Today MA and I attended a luncheon with all of the missionaries. We were privileged to sit with two sets of missionaries, one serving in Spain and one in Birmingham. It was incredible to hear their stories and hear about their daily lives in the areas God has called them to. The family from Birmingham has six children, whom they homeschool, and they are involved in ministry to people leaving jail and re-entering society. It was fun to learn ways we can plug into their ministry. We are always looking for ways we can serve with our girls.

After we ate, the missionary ladies held a panel-type discussion about life on the mission field. They discussed how they were called to missions, funny stories about things they have done, and ways God is moving in their ministry. I loved seeing my girl interact with the missionary children she met last night.

I am so thankful to be able to raise my girls in a church that cares so passionately about reaching the nations for Christ! It is the most important work we can do!

** I wish I could show more pictures of our celebration time last night. Unfortunately, being a missionary in a land that is hostile to Christianity is a harsh reality for many of these missionaries. For that reason, it could be dangerous to them to publish their photos and connect them with Christianity. All the more reason to keep them surrounded in prayer! (The above photo is not a missionary in a secure area. She is Sonya Bumpers with M-Power Ministries, located here in Birmingham. They serve the poor in area code 35222.)

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