Monday, April 30, 2007

Reflections that fuel the Vision: "Go Ye..."

The Corporate expression, Acts 1:8 " shall be witnesses unto me..."

There is distinct work that God Himself does in each available heart which identifies the indwelling, active presence of the Holy Spirit; He thunders, emboldens, and impassions us for the lost, for the weary, for the wayward. By others it may not be heard and cannot be estimated but like Paul on the road to Damascus, we are catapulted into a need to know Him and to make Him known.

We are constantly thankful for the Word that comes from the pulpit; from a fellowshipping believer and from the divine provocations--when one can only refer to God's doing or allowing; but how much more we are confident when we are awaken and our ears have been opened by His voice (Isaiah 50:4, 5); then preacher, prophet or priest need not confirm but having been exercised in His gracious calling we say, "Speak Lord, for your servant hears" (I Sam. 3:10). That's every Christian's incredible privilege and ammunition against the confederacy of the air and the conspiracy of cosmic darkness. And we have more with the Corporate Body of Christ, the Church.

Jesus did not detach Peter's confession from the power and authority of the Church--they are never exclusive to one another (Matthew 16:13-19). Having been called to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel, this understanding is the greatest and the most foundational principle: my personal rhemas are never at conflict or contrary to the general and specific vision of the Church to which we are individually called, as led by the Word and the Holy Spirit...that is absolutely glorious to me. Then I have two witnesses, the inner man of the heart and the Body of Christ...prone to wander, this keeps us accountable and focused. That is the faith and overcoming victory we experience (I John 5:4) -- that's the believer's authority in the sending power of the Church. I love it!

Here are some pictures and our reflections on recent trips to Puerto Rico and St. Lucia, enjoy and continue to pray for the team...

This too is spiritual: it is an Acts 3:19b moment: a time of refreshing from the Lord...

I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord...

Lord did you say go into the highways? cause this is really high! Luke 14:23

"Its like this ma'am, you must be born again."

Some Photos of St. Lucia

Many of you know that Pastor Julian was born in St. Lucia. Following our time in Puerto Rico last year, we spend some time in St. Lucia. Our plan was to stay on the other end of the island, but when we arrived at night, a day later than the plan, everyone in the airport seemed to agree that driving a good distance on the windy, mountainous roads would not be advisable. We took a recommendation for a private guest house. When the owner came to pick us up, she routinely asked what had brought us to St. Lucia. When we told her that we were Christians who were seeking the Lord about coming to plant a Bible-based church, she exclaimed "Praise the Lord! I've been praying for the Lord to send someone to St. Lucia!" We had sweet fellowship into the evening with her and the next day she happily drove us around at her expense. She opened up her heart about her burden for the people of St. Lucia and the Caribbean. She was a blessing and a Divine provision for us during our visit.

City of Castries

a homemade scooter

precious girls in Castries

The day we visited this town in Denry, the was no water supply and people where carrying water up and down the mountain on their heads (in the upper 90s!)

fishing towns don't change much over the years

the market in Castries where local produce is sold

People were very responsive to evangelism. One particular evening, the three of us passed out 50 tracks, made 20 good contacts, there were 10 people who prayed the sinner's prayer and 2 hours later or so 5 of them came to a Bible study where Julian was invited to speak in a Methodist church in Castries. Julian shared the Finished work of Christ on the cross and the people listened intently and asked questions--even the pastor seemed to be touched by the pure grace message.

"Oceanview" homes in St. Lucia.

The Lord gave this beautiful double rainbow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On Our Way

Pastor Julian Matthew and Cynthia are graduates of Maryland Bible College and Seminary in Baltimore, MD. During their time in Baltimore (from 1990 through 2005), they were actively involved in evangelism through inner-city youth Bible club, teen ministry, and nursing home visitation. By way of their involvement in vocal groups, they had the opportunity to visit affiliated ministries overseas. Beginning in 1997, they assisted with the church planting outreach to York, PA, a one-hour commute from Baltimore. As the Assistant Pastor to Pastor Duke Horton, Pastor Julian and family commuted for evangelism, Bible studies, and church services for eight years. Two years ago, they relocated their family of seven to York County.

For more than a decade, they have believed the Lord would someday use them to spread the gospel, evangelize and teach in the Caribbean. In 2005, after planning and saving for an initial trip to the Caribbean (along with some members of the York church), they learned of a sizable short-term missions trip to Puerto Rico being planned for the spring of 2006. With a strong conviction for team and Corporate Body effort, they not only joined 50-strong in the spring missions trip with Pastor Scibbelli, Director of Missions for Greater Grace World Outreach, but also prayed and found the further definition that Puerto Rico would indeed be a strategic “hub” for outreach into other parts of the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, the team found welcome response to the clear sound of the Gospel and the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. Many are eager to learn precisely from the Word of God and be given divine purpose and hope. Hundreds of contacts and first time professions of faith have been made during several trips over the past year.

As Pastor Julian, Cynthia, their family, alongside of Pastor Gary Thornton and his wife Lissette, plan to relocate in September 2007, please pray for the Lord’s continuing work in the hearts of the people of Puerto Rico. Pray that the Lord will go before them and swiftly form a beginning church with men and women who thirst for His Word. The vision is to begin Bible College extension courses while making disciples and equipping those whom the Lord has chosen for this Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the West Indies and Latin America … the world!!…

Contact Information:

To support us financially, send your check to:

GGWO Missions
P.O. Box 18715
Baltimore , MD 21206

and write "Missions - Pastor Julian Matthew " in the memo section

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