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building a community to reach a community


This season of the year always has me thinking about how I am going to spend my summer vacation. About this time last year I began daydreaming about how I would spend my time off. For some time I had been considering going on a cruise, possibly to Alaska, and I thought this might be the year! I was going to turn 60 and felt that I deserved to celebrate by doing something extra-special this year. But, another thought began to invade my thoughts.

But another idea began to occupy my thinking. What about that “Reaching Trip” I was always hearing about at church? In past years, I had considered going out of the country with a missions team but it never seemed like the timing was right. In fact, I had been closely following GFC’s trips to Lima, Peru because I sponsor two Compassion International children from that country and thought I’d might like to visit them. Maybe this was the year to consider a missions trip!

I was hesitant because I had never been out of the country before. In fact, I didn’t even have a passport. But more importantly, I didn’t feel that I was “gifted” in any special way that could help the team accomplish its assignment. I certainly didn’t have special linguistics abilities or carpentry skills. What did I have to offer? I might be of more help simply by financially supporting someone else.

However, I could not get away from the thought that God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and experience His empowering. I finally decided to take the first step after hearing a powerful message about how we live out our highest purpose by withholding nothing from our Lord. I simply filled out an application and waited to see where God would lead. That was the start of an amazing journey.

During our team meetings, I learned that I would be helping to present a Bible study method to the men at Dios es Amor Church called “Biblical Storytelling”. Here, a section of Scripture that tells a story is examined in a special way and truths are exposed by asking and discussing several questions. Finally, principles are uncovered that can be applied to one’s life. This method of teaching is especially valuable in cultures where literacy is not widespread.

We selected four different accounts in the gospels of Peter interacting with Christ. In the first two stories, we modeled the method to the men of the church, asking five questions about the text and discussing the answers. Then during the third story we invited their participation. During the final session, the men broke into groups and lead their own discussion. It was amazing to see the “light go on” as they began to accept this new way of digging into God’s Word.

God did use me in totally unexpected ways during my trip to Peru last year. But, in addition, I learned important lessons about yielding myself to God, stepping out in faith and leaving the results to Him.

I found the answer to my question, “ what do I have to offer?”. Simply put, I can offer “myself…wholly and completely open to whatever God intends”.

I hope that you will consider a Reaching Trip this year. All you really have to do is make yourself available.

Rick Brooks


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1 comment (Add your own)

1. Diane wrote:
Saw this at church Sunday morning. Thanks Rick for sharing your compassion in helping others in need. You are a true blessing and I feel honored to know you.

Mon, January 20, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

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