The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of November 2, 2015
Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Beloved, as I write this devotional my wife Sheila and I along with four others from Calvary Chapel Temple are two days away from leaving to minister in Russia and Abkhazia. Part of our itinerary includes teaching a conference through 1st John in both Novosibirsk, Russia and in Abkhazia along with ministering to a couple of missionary families that we support, Bill & Ania Shepherd in Novosibirsk and Yuri & Wendy Kvachenko in Abkhazia.
Missions has been on my heart since my first outreach to Juarez, Mexico 28 years ago. When I completed the School of Ministry and Shepherd School at Calvary Albuquerque I prayed about being sent out to Australia. But alas, the Lord led me to Texas, my birthplace and specifically to San Antonio.
Our desire as a fellowship is to eventually send out ten missionaries that we can support. With this our personal vision for my wife and I is to be able to visit and minister to these missionaries on a consistent basis. It is a long-range goal, which we desire the Lord to fulfill. Until then we are content to go on occasional short-term missionary trips.
We covet your prayers for our outreach to Russia/Abkhazia. Pray that the Lord would fill us with His Spirit to minister the Gospel to those who have not heard it. Pray that we would come along side to encourage and lift up our missionaries in Novosibirsk and Abkhazia. I have been told that sometimes missionaries may fill that they are all alone. We go to let them know that we love them and that they have a family of believers back in San Antonio praying for them.
Ultimately, we go to fulfill the great commission given to us from our commander Jesus Christ to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” I understand that some of us may not be able to go. Family, work, illness and other factors may keep us grounded where the Lord has planted us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that because if everyone went there would be no one to send. Senders are just as important as those who put boots on the ground.
So pray for us as we venture out in faith. Please pray also for our missionaries: the Kvachenkos in Abkhazia; the Shepherds in Novosibirsk, Russia; the Bentleys in Durango, MX; the Velardes in Guanajuato, MX; and the Delgados in Helotes, TX. Pray that when moments of doubt surface that they would know that there is a family praying for them. We will see you soon! We will be praying for you! We love you!
In Jesus Name,
Pastor Joe & Sheila