In 2002 I was fortunate to be a part of the Harding School of Biblical Studies mission trip to Brazil. We worked in two places within the country and were exposed to a whole different world of church than what we were used to. It really drove home the concept of a Universal Church for me, and I remember that trip any time I visit another country.
While in Brazil, I was able to take part in a meeting between our group, the American missionaries, and the native Brazilian leaders of the church we were visiting. It was a great question and answer session with us asking questions of them and them, in turn, asking us questions. At some point one of our group asked what the greatest needs for the Brazilian church were. In a response that has followed me for the last five years, one of the native leaders replied that they have been appreciative of the men who have come from America to preach and that they have been good preachers. Because of the success of these men, they now needed people who can come and help them organize and develop the work that they had started so they could continue to grow.
I have always had an interest in the organizational development part of churches. When I decided to leave retail management to pursue ministry full time, I often wondered how God would bridge the gap that appeared to exist between management and ministry. It has become clear to me in the last couple of years that working in organizational development with churches is one way in which God will bridge that gap.
In December, nearly five years after my first visit to Brazil, I received a request from the elders of one of the churches in Belo Horizonte. They have asked me to come spend some time with them and make recommendations for the improvement of the organization of their congregation. I am humbled and excited about this request, and on Sunday I received official blessing from my elders to spend a week with that congregation in March.
The catch is, I need help with the funding. In lieu of a normal "what do you think about…" kind of ending, I’m going to ask you to consider helping me fund my trip by making a donation, either through the PayPal button you see here or by sending your donation to the Arlington Church of Christ. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and please feel free to forward this request on to anyone who you feel may be interested. If you have any questions, please ask. I’ve posted the information about the Brazilian church in Belo Horizonte as well as the request letter on the Brazil Work page.
Okay, I’ll ask for donations AND ask you to tell about any experience you’ve had in short term missions.