bits from bob....
Esperanza Eterna ["Eternal Hope"]
by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
I am writing about missions. The things I write apply to ministry, but I primarily have missions in mind as I write.
We live in a world that needs hope because it does not know the source of hope. The vast majority of our world are as sheep without a shepherd--hopeless, homeless, helpless, hapless. The hope the world clings to is fleeting. Nothing is more vital (life-giving) than bringing eternal hope to a hopeless world. The church exists as evidence of and participant in the eternal purpose of God. God seeks to save and keep saved. The church does not exist only to save--the church is a place where saved folks keep saved. We must know who we are (identity), why we are here (purpose), and what we are to do (calling).
With God's dual purpose for the church in mind, Jan and I find our calling and involvement in God's purpose in the phrase, "Esperanza Eterna." We believe that God wishes to establish a rescuing, saving relationship with every person on earth. We believe that God intends all his people to know the reality of his peace-giving presence through the Holy Spirit, and to experience the deep koinonia (fellowship--but fellowship is easily misunderstood and often superficial) of people gathered and united in his purpose. We believe God wishes every church, and every Christian, to see opportunities to join God in his mission. These understandings of God's purpose define our purpose. We want to bring hope to our world--we seek others who will share in the challenge of helping our world know the hope that is found only in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes we are asked, "What are you doing?" While one of my favorite acronyms for hope is "Helping Others Prepare for Eternity," let me suggest four other concepts that answer the question.
- Helping. We help churches and Christians find greater involvement and commitment in God's mission. We do this through special events and series, consulting with churches, and teaching and preaching. We help churches become aware of special Kingdom needs that are significant in view of God's mission. We communicate, and serve as a liaison between churches and missional opportunities. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of persons around the world who know God's eternal hope.
- Opening. A part of our mission is to open the eyes of churches and Christians to the needs and the opportunities. We open eyes to opportunities, and encourage churches to walk through open doors. We want to optimize the effectiveness of the church's involvement in missions.
- Participating and Planning. We assist churches and Christians in finding opportunities for personal involvement and participation in God's work in the world. We also assist churches in planning their efforts to include missional participation in Kingdom work around the world.
- Encouraging and Empowering. Finally, we encourage churches in missional endeavors and empower both churches and individuals to greater involvement in eternal things.
We invite you to join us in God's purpose of sharing Eternal Hope. Every person who participates with us and requests it receives regular reports and accounting. Here are some things you can do.
- (1) You can pray. Pray every day about God's purpose in this world. Pray every day about God's purpose in your life, and how you can participate with God in his mission. Pray for us. We are blessed by knowing the countless people who pray every day for us and the work we are doing.
- (2) You can go. We will help you go. We travel several times each year to places where God opens doors to accomplish his mission and we walk through the doors of opportunity God provides. We enjoy helping others participate.
- (3) You can send. You can help others go. The body of Christ, the church, functions as a unit, and when members in your local church want to go forth on behalf of God's mission, you can help them go. Those who are sent need those who will send them.
- (4) You can share. Sometimes those who need to be sent are already in place but lacking resources. We are constantly aware of needs--most are not overwhelming. A congregation (even a small congregation) can easily meet many of these needs. An individual or family can handle some of the smaller requests. Such special needs are often urgent so we in faith provide the need and then seek those who will share in the work.
- (5) You can help. You can participate with us in our ministry financially. You can multiply our opportunities to share God's eternal hope and to help others participate in the mission by assisting with working funds. If you would like more information, or regular reports of the work we are involved in, please write us.
Go to Articles Index
Go to Missions Index
Last updated July 27, 2010.