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.