What a blessing to see friends old and new. We have had the rare pleasure of enjoying both categories of friendship this weekend. Addison Soltau was a dear friend of ours in Florida; Associate Pastor at our church, Sunday School teacher, fellow Mission Committee member for Jim. Addison was born in Korea to Missionary parents, eventually served for 17 years in Japan as a missionary himself, and has taught Missions at various Seminaries. Our church invited him to come speak on missions this weekend since somebody on our missions Committee suggested him.
Addison arrived late Friday evening and Saturday we were able to steal him away for several hours of "touring' the area and reminiscing. Any tour during the Summer with us involves taking our "Amish run" down through upper Lancaster County for the purpose of acquiring locally grown produce, seeing the beautiful landscape and getting a glimpse of a simpler lifestyle. This Saturday presented us with absolutely perfect weather for our run and Addison was intrigued by the Plain people- though he has experienced many different cultures, they are rather unique.
Saturday evening John and Annie Sallade graciously hosted a pot-luck dinner for those of our church's Elders, Deacons and Trustees, with spouses, who could come. Also invited were the young missionaries who are soon to be launched to foreign fields from our congregation. After dinner in their lovely backyard Addison spoke to us briefly about being an "Intentional Missionary Congregation". The challenges to thinking missionally are many, and often difficult to identify from the inside. Quite thought-provoking at least, and has caused me to closer examine what I believe to be true of the Gospel and how my life reflects those beliefs.
Sinclair Ferguson once said that what we believe about God comes right out of our fingertips. Meaning, we live out moment to moment what we truely believe, whether it matches what we say or not. Do I really believe that Christ is sufficient to save the lost with whom I come in contact, or do I believe that my eloquence- or lack thereof- must play a role? Do I really believe that these neighbors of mine will spend an eternity in Hell if they die outside of Christ, or do I believe that their comfort now is enough? If others in generations past were driven to risk their very lives for the sake of sharing the Gospel with foreign tribes, can I step out of my "comfort zone", (how I loathe that term) and risk ridicule in order to tell my coworker that Christ is the only way to the Father? Is Christ- my Bridegroom- so lovely, so desirable, of such importance to me, that I must also introduce Him to everyone I meet?
Sunday morning Addison gave the sermon at church as well as speaking to the combined Sunday School classes. His text was from Jeremiah 1:1-5, concerning Jeremiah's call to prophesy not only to Judah, but also to the nations. For the evening service he expanded on the topic, looking more closely at Jeremiah's inadequacy to fulfill his call and God's sufficiency to equip him once called. This again struck a chord deep within. To what have I been called to do or be that I have felt adequate? Wife, mother, study leader, even friend- for each I am an inadequate vessel. Only by trusting Christ and clinging to His Word can I hope to do any of these well. Each of these callings are too important to do less than well, and my own best won't cut it. I must have Christ. I must.
The other delightful company we had this weekend will have to wait for another post. I've run out of time and must be responsible now to some of my many callings!