It is hard to believe that in less than two months we will be in the Philippines (Lord willing)! Our sending church, Lighthouse Baptist, is having a Commissioning Service for us on Sunday, April 28. If you are not familiar with what a “Commissioning Service” is, here are some details, and why it is important:
- Lighthouse, as our home and sending church, is the biblical authority under which we go to the Philippines to start Haven of Grace Seminary. In our ministry, we are responsible and accountable to God through Lighthouse first and foremost.
- Lighthouse, based on its biblical authority as a local church, “commissions” us for service (even as Barnabas and Saul [Paul] were commissioned for missionary service by their home church in Antioch – Acts 13:1-3).
- The Commissioning Service itself provides to us and to our church family an opportunity to acknowledge our mutual responsibilities, to rejoice together in God’s provisions, to pray for a safe and fruitful ministry, and to say goodbye (for a short time) to our family and friends.
Of course, in many ways, our Commissioning Service will be very different from that of Missionaries from years gone by. One hundred years ago, most Missionaries left for a foreign field with little expectation of ever returning home. They boarded a boat traveling many months by sea to reach a distant land likely to never see their friends and family again. We are grateful for the advances in technology and transportation which will allow us to connect with our families on the other side of the globe in an instant, and even the ability to fly home in less than 24 hours. (Our plan is to return to the States every April and May in order to visit our supporting churches, and to see our families.)
However, in spite of these differences, much remains the same in our mission. We are being sent out by our local church with the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel and seeing people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and for churches to be established and strengthened. We would ask that you might pray for us in this endeavor.
Of course, anyone who wishes to attend the Commissioning Service on Sunday, April 28 is welcome to join us. Sunday School begins at 9:15 am with the main service starting at 10:30 am. Lighthouse is located at 1842 Otts Chapel Road, Newark, DE 19702, and further information about the church can be found on their website (www.lbcde.org).