- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13
This time of the year many of us live with a deep hope that is almost as natural as breathing. We grew up with the true story of Christmas. It isn’t a myth or a fairy tale. It really happened and it changed everything. We believe that no matter what life throws our way it is met by a foundational hope and confidence that God loves us. This is grounded in Immanuel – God with us! Jesus came to us in grace and truth.
The heart of Christmas is that Almighty God came to us as a gentle baby in Bethlehem. He didn’t come to condemn us but to save us. He came from His rightful throne of glory to our broken lives and world. This is the “Going” passion of God. An interesting aspect of Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” is that we are to also Go and lead by serving.
It is because of that reality that we are connecting to a village in Chad, Africa. We were hoping to give Dan Venberg a check for $6000 this past Sunday but due to your generosity and excitement Oak Hill handed Dan a check for $15,000. This was far beyond what I had hoped and far beyond what our International Mission leaders were expecting. It clearly communicates that Oak Hill has a desire to GO beyond our walls. Thank you to all of you who gave toward this significant expansion of our ministry.
On Sunday Dan told us the name of our village is Yoldewo. It has a population of approximately 400 people. They had formally requested a well and the plan is for it to be built in February 2016. Dan plans on being present for this event. He also expects to gain a deeper understanding of the best way to move forward in this village.
Our original plan for phase one was a well, mosquito nets, etc... that we have discussed in the past. The cost of this is approximately $5000. Obviously, we expected this would have used virtually all of the anticipated amount of $6000. But since that greatly underestimated your generosity we need to go beyond the initial plan for the use of the much larger Overflowing Hope fund.
You created a wonderful “problem” that is really no problem at all. But it does create the need to plan the use of the much larger dollar figure than expected. If you were able to watch the Glimpse Project videos in our worship services you will remember our need to be Contextual and Holistic in our connection to Yoldewo. Here are links to those videos if you were unable to see them or if you would like to watch them again. [url=http://www.myoakhillchurch.com/video.html] Glimpse Project / Chad 2[/url] The videos do an excellent job describing how it is important that the funds are used properly to assist the village and doing it in a way with the greatest likelihood to ultimately lead to the true Savior. We need to make sure that we are in for the long-term and do not make the mistake of being paternalistic, arrogant or short-sighted.
This Sunday I will be sharing how Overflowing Hope is allowing a broader reach than we had anticipated. I invite you to come this upcoming Sunday and hear about it. It is important we understand that this is "pioneering" or "frontier" type mission work. This is the very beginning of our reaching into the lives of the Fulbe people of Chad.
Please pray for these people you have never met, who are loved by God.
Our message for this Sunday focuses on Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. God had made this promise 600 years or so earlier to Abraham and then continued to renew it as the years passed by. Through all the twists and turns of Israel’s journey God remained faithful. He supplied what they needed and He delivered them from their enemies. The Israelites were to celebrate their identity as God’s chosen people but they were also to go into the world inviting others to worship the One True God as well. They were to operate as God’s people of hope wherever they went. We have this same basic calling on our lives as well at Oak Hill.
As we launch out into a future of ministry expansion through Overflowing Hope we can pray and search God’s leading just as Israel did as it entered the Promised Land. God assured them and He assures us with His words in Joshua 3.4, Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.