Louisiana floods bring opportunity to reach out

Being the outstretched hands of Jesus

Mark Lewis – August 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Water Rescue in Louisiana

As the evening news shows a 30-second spot on flooding in Louisiana, thousands are evacuating in the single most devastating flood event in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

…but I’m sure we lost everything.

Louisiana is no stranger to heavy rains and storms. It’s a normal occurrence. But this week was different. 1000-year rains and flooding like this has never happened before.

Gary, one flooded home owner we’ve met explained, “We’ve gone through the flood of ’78, ’83, Katrina, Rita, Issac and Gustav, and have never flooded before. We have about six feet of water in our house now, and haven’t been able to get to it. I’m not sure when we will, but I’m sure we’ve lost everything.”   Continue Reading…

The World and US

The greatest migration of people provides a greater opportunity

Mark Lewis – June 23, 2016 1 Comment

ReachGlobal Blog

In and out of the news for the last several years, refugees experience daily trials as a result of war, trauma, deprivation and disruption. If you follow the news, you already know we live in a unique moment in history amid the largest mass migration of people since World War II. Whether it is on the forefront of your thinking or not, and with many of these refugees coming from unreached people groups in the 10/40 window, this moment also represents an opportunity to reach the previously unreachable.

What do refugees in the Middle East have to do with me?

Depending on where you live in the United States, it may or may not be obvious that our country has the largest foreign-born population of anywhere in the world. The world is coming to the U.S., and to us and our neighborhoods. This reality elicits a transformational question, “How do I view and respond to people different than me?”

The first part of this question, “How do I view…” is just another form of a question asked to Jesus more than 2,000 years ago, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). In the resulting discourse in Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus defines a neighbor as any fellow human being, particularly those in crisis, and frequently those outside our cultural context.  Continue Reading…

“Be hopeful. God is moving.”

Refugees in Crisis

ReachGlobal – March 2, 2016 2 Comments

View from the Citadel

I felt assaulted by the heat and the noise yesterday at the Citadel, high up on a hill in the heart of Amman. From the ruins you could look out over much of the city, taking in thousands of years of history while pointing out the collections of satellite dishes adorning the apartment buildings. I really wanted to push up my sleeves, but I didn’t want to offend or scandalize the Muslim women covered head to toe who were behind us taking selfies. In my head I heard again the words of our partner in Jordan, “Be hopeful. God is moving.”

The war that has raged on for five years in Syria has now invaded Iraq as well, and has brought millions of refugees into Jordan. The walls of communities and family networks that have kept everyone in their place for generations are beginning to crumble as families are scattered across nations. Today we prayed as we walked through two different neighborhoods in Amman, praying for the ministries and the people we met there. There were women in burkas who refused to meet my eyes, and others who called out greetings in English. I felt the condemning eyes of many men on me as we walked past, but one raced over to shake my hand and welcome me to his neighborhood. Later we met with a woman and prayed for a ministry to empower single mothers in a Muslim nation. Be patient. God is moving.

Many of the refugees are disillusioned with their faith, the same faith that is proclaimed by their persecutors. They are willing to talk to foreigners and Christians that they shunned and scorned not long ago. These are the people who are reaching out to help them now. A faith that was considered unshakable a decade ago is shaking now. While many of these people may end up with no faith at all, this is a chance for the church to reach out and engage in conversations that would never have been possible before. Be hopeful. God is moving.

I can’t imagine what will happen tomorrow as we go out to a village to support a church that is reaching out to Syrian refugees. I can’t imagine a thousand tomorrows from now, when that little girl who is heavy on my heart will take her place behind the veil. I can’t know the long-term impact of the home visits we will go on, a chance to hear the stories of families who fled war to come to a country where they aren’t allowed to work. I am unprepared for the reality of a medical clinic in Lebanon, for the women and the children I will meet there that I can’t speak to because I don’t know their language. But I am hopeful. And I am patient. Because anyone with eyes to see can see that God is moving here. And I am blessed to bear witness to it.

Serving Brings Blessings in Brazil

A mission to compassionately respond.

ReachGlobal – February 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Pastor Lucas has a vision to see a movement Gospel centered churches in the 30 cities of S. Brazil’s High Valley region. A few months ago, this area was inundated by record floods, which barely made a blip on the U.S. news, but affected thousands of people. With a his disciplemaking heart and compassion for these impacted families, he now also had a mission to compassionately respond.

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Celebrating Life and Mourning Loss

Mária shares the meaning of All Saints' Day

Kacie Mullally – January 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Mária, who attends many of the English conversation classes hosted by the Budapest city team, visited the graves of several family members last November, as she does every year. But for only the second All Saints’ Day, she visited her sister Éva’s grave.

Maria places flowers on her mother- and father-in-laws' grave

Mária places flowers on the grave of her mother- and father-in-law to pay her respects

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