On Mission Celebration Report

What a week! Our local Baptist association held an On Mission Celebration from Sunday through Wednesday. Twenty-two missionaries visited us, rotating between churches each night.

As I mentioned recently, I love missionaries. They are my heroes. I love to listen to them and just be around them. We were blessed to have some of the most outstanding I have ever met with us.

Bro. Tim Bissell is a church planter serving in Syracuse, NY. He was with us Sunday morning and kicked us off in a great way.

On Sunday night, we heard from Dr. Fayiz Saknini. Dr. Saknini was born and raised in Nazareth, Israel. In his ministry, he started the First Baptist Church of Tripoli, Lebanon and also pastored the First Baptist Church of Beirut, Lebanon for 16 years. Needless to say, he had some stories to tell! Please pray for Dr. Saknini, at the age of 78, he is preparing to start the first Arabic speaking seminary in America. This will be instrumental in training those from Arabic backgrounds who have come to know the Lord to be able to reach their families and countrymen (especially Muslims).

We also were visited by Dr. Michael Bennett who is a church planter in Macara, Venezuela. Dr. Bennett was an attorney in Nashville, TN for 25 years before he and his wife felt the call of God to the mission field. They responded and are preparing to start their third church.

Bro. Gary Matthis was with us Tuesday evening sharing about his ministry in Charleston, SC. He is actually involved in a number of various ministries such as Disaster Relief (he has been very busy in Pascagoula, MS) and also an outreach to merchant seamen who visit the Port of Charleston. This gives him the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of men each year from foreign countries who would ordinarily never think about their need of Christ.

Tonight we were blessed to hear from Mrs. Emilia Saknini. Originally, another missionary was supposed to be with us but their schedule changed. Mrs. Saknini (the wife of Dr. Saknini) graciously agreed to come and share her testimony. The way God has worked in the life of this lady is nothing short of amazing. As she spoke, I became aware of why her husband has been able to remain so faithful to the ministry. She is a wonderful asset to him.

Perhaps the greatest blessing was the fellowship we enjoyed. I am not speaking of the shallow chit-chat that we so often call fellowship, but of genuine koinonia. These people were all deeply passionate about serving the Lord and that love for God touched me in a very special way.

As you may can tell, my heart is full right now. I can honestly say I am more motivated to serve God than I have been at any point in my life. Thank you for allowing me to share with you the blessings of this week.


12 responses to “On Mission Celebration Report

  1. This is great you had such a fantastic time.

    Was just wondering what genuine koinonia is?

  2. I love moments when you are surrounded by people who genuinely LOVE the Lord with everything they are, and yet they are real, touchable people. It’s so inspiring and such a challenge. Glad to hear it went so well.

  3. Kristi–my feelings exactly.

    Puritan–that is a good question. I will give you a short answer now, but will probably post a longer one soon. The short answer is: it is a level of fellowship that is based upon the doctrine of Christ, focused upon the person of Christ, and attended by the Spirit of Christ.

  4. How great to be together with others who are serving and glorifying God with their lives. Such a blessed example.

  5. Gordon, what a wonderful experience you must have had. I was just able to hear the testimony of a friend of mine who’s come back from a year and a half with the International Mission board as a Journeyman to Ecuador. It’s amazing to hear what God is doing in other countries around the world. The people are so open to the gospel. Though there are people around the world that need to hear, there are also people like our very neighbors who may not know the good news. We can be missionaries right where we live. What an awesome responsibility we have been given! Blessings to you my friend.

  6. wow, it sounds so inspiring! what was the story or person that touched you most? how has it motivated you to continue on a path or change a course?

  7. Heres to a full heart!

  8. Thanks for sharing in the blessings, everybody!

    Kristi–Thanks for the word. Enjoyed your hunting story.

    Seeker–glad you stopped by.

    Berrymom–you are right about being missionaries where we live.
    “The light that shines the fartherest shines the brightest at home.”

    Meagan–those are good questions. I would have to say that I was most challenged by the message Dr. Saknini preached on the Lordship of Christ. His message and testimony have inspired me to plan for the “long haul”.

    JG–you know it, Sister.

  9. I’m sure you have already heard all about the association revival over here in Bainbridge. I too have a full heart! Brother Phil Hoskins on the last night preached a sermon so…Great? Wonderful? Powerful?… I honestly believe the Holy Ghost came down and stuck even Brother Phil speachless so all he could do was cry and go Woooooooo!

  10. wow, what a refreshing shot of adrenelin to get you pumped up and into gear!! I love traveling visitors!!

  11. Michael–glad you had a good revival, although I haven’t seen that particular manifestation in the biblical fruit of the Spirit.

    Alessandro–I’ll have to confess that you lost me after “alo amigo”. But you get the satisfaction of being the first visitor to post in Portuguese.

    Puritan–thanks for the post, brother. I’m going to mention you in my blogspotting as well.

    Bonnie–Wish you could have been with us, you would have loved it.

    Blessings all

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