This morning I had the opportunity to meet with the spiritual director of the Lutheran high school in Norfolk. The facility is impressive, catering to a student body of roughly 150 students between grades 9-12. Two gymnasiums, a large music room and plans to expand with a new life sciences area and additional classrooms are just a few of the features of the institution.
We chatted at the end about ways of working together in the future. They’re no stranger to supporting church workers around the world and routinely sponsor one a year. I always try to emphasize that my primary concern in these sorts of meetings isn’t financial support. Yes, we need financial partners. And the Holy Spirit is raising them up! So we don’t worry about that. Our job is to tell the story and let the Holy Spirit worry about the financial partners. I’m much more interested in trying to see how we might be a blessing to the school’s students. Helping out with a chapel via Zoom, or hosting monthly Q&A sessions on Zoom to talk about life overseas, or even offering an extra-credit class after hours – lots of possibilities.
The bigger picture in our visits with various people and groups extends well beyond the very limited picture of partnering with people who can pray, encourage, share, and support our work. The bigger picture is encouraging others to see what God is doing on a world-wide scale, and to open their hearts and minds to how his Holy Spirit might be calling them to engage in that larger work. Perhaps as a partner. But perhaps – especially for young folks – with a life spent serving the Church either here in the US or around the world. The Holy Spirit is amazingly creative and resourceful, and I look forward to seeing how He works not just in our lives but in using our lives to bless and ignite his work in other lives.
Afterwards he was eager to show me a local church – Our Savior. This congregation was able to purchase a former Budweiser distribution facility and convert it into a massive church facility. They have one huge sanctuary for their contemporary service and another more intimate sanctuary for traditional worship. They have a large day-care and preschool facility, and a quick review of their website will reveal the many opportunities for engagement and evangelism this large congregation offers.
While we were there we ran into Dennis. When he found out where we planned to deploy to, he said My son lives in Indonesia! He’s worked there for five years with a company called English First. I explained we were quite familiar with EF, having hosted students of theirs for years while living in California. I look forward to getting in touch with Dennis’ son as another contact the Holy Spirit has provided as we prepare for our transition!