Julie and I have both spent time in Africa, Kenya to be exact with little excursions into Uganda, and Tanzania. When in country my world comes alive like never experienced in the states. It is God living bigger in me as I fulfill what He created me to be, and it increases me in every way I can describe. It is represented by Jesus when He said I came that you might have life, and life more abundantly!
While that is all and good for me as a person and for anyone who happens to run into me when so filled with the holy ghost that it lifts the whole world around me. It is also very localized.
When Julie and I started planning our re-fire-ment, which is like retirement, but we get to fire up and go make disciples of all nations… Anyway, when we started to plan our next phase in ministry. God was putting the brakes on it, I wasn’t allowed to travel to Kenya because of Covid19 and the whole planet locked down. It became a great time of reflection for both of us, we were deep in planning and so excited about going to live in Kenya and doing mission work. Then God stopped everything and with me in particular God asked me if I would lay it down. The Holy Spirit specifically said to me would I be willing to take the ministry we were creating and give it to my pastor. It was so clear and a bit of a slap in the face to me; after all this was my dream, the ministry God gave me. Why should I have to give it up? I was alone at home and I burst into tears and cried a heaving, gut wrencher. It was like all the hurts of the last 20 years were stacked up in that one request to give away my dream.
I was standing in the kitchen, hands on the counter crying out loud when I said out loud in broken slobbering english “whatever you ask of me Lord I give it all to you”.
Then peace like a wave came across me and the Holy Spirit said meet with pastor tell him about the ministry and share this conversation… That was my next challenge, because I don’t like to be “that guy” , the weird one that tells others what God is talking to him about! But what can I do…. that is who I am now….
I met with the Pastor and we talked. I told him and completed what I must describe as an Abraham and Isaac moment. Where once the sacrifice was committed to, like the knife raised in the air above Issacs’s head. Suddenly, the focus of the ministry began to change.
This is when the goals of the ministry began to change, and really began to come clear. We were still going to be REACH ministries. REACH is an acronym for Refuge, Evangelism, Academics, Church/Community, and Higher call. But we were starting to see the focus change off of the singular dream God put in Julie and Richard’s hearts and turned to the hearts of all the people in the world who felt God put a dream in their hearts. The weight was like hundreds of thousands of people that needed help, that wanted to change their part of the world but had been defeated or distracted and needed a partner to help them fulfill the dream God put in their hearts to live.
God began to orchestrate and ordain the mechanics of REACH Ministries away from Richard and Julies personal dream and into a community of people He wants to use to change the world.
I have often thought about the phrase “I want to change the world” I guess because it is so big, so beyond normal ability. I love to say it outloud, and I really like telling people who ask me what I do…. that I am changing the world. It always gets a reaction; not always a good reaction, but a reaction nonetheless.
By the way, it isn’t my responsibility to actually change the world. That is all on the creator of the universe, It is my responsibility to build the tools, create and facilitate what God wants you to do in the world. It is about partnering with God and each other to complete the task in God’s heart.
We are all called to good works, we are all called to help each other, we are all called to love one another. We just need the last ingredient; partners… no one is called to His service alone. There are no islands in service to God. 1 Peter 4:10 •
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Each person has something unique and special to offer as a human being, so we must recognize the many gifts that have been created through God’s love, together our team has many options and great things to share with one another.
So, Yes… Julie and I are going to Africa, the same dream God gave us so many years ago. But, God has expanded the vision so that as we go on this trip to serve the underserved we will be bringing you with us through the REACH Community. We will also be partnering with you and “going” with you as you begin to use the tools and crowd mechanics offered through the web site to build your dream projects that change the world one relationship at a time.