bits from bob....
Hope: Helping Others Prepare for Eternity
by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Few commodities are more precious than hope. With hope, everything is possible. Without hope, we give up without trying. Hope is the difference between success and failure. Hope keeps us going. Anticipation is the spice of life.
My wife and I have adopted hope as our motto. Earlier newsletters were headed with a logo and picture which proclaimed "Christ is the hope of the world." We call our ministry "Eternal Hope", in Spanish "Esperanza Eterna".
We live in a world that needs hope. We live in a world that does not know the true source of hope. Our world is placing their hope in a lot of hopeless temporal things. 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 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 purpose for the church in mind, our calling is to bring hope to the world. God sent his son Jesus into the world to establish a new order in the world--to change the world through a different kind of kingdom. To realize kingdom realities, God wants to establish a rescuing, saving relationship with every person on earth. God wants people to know the reality of his peace-giving presence through the Holy Spirit. God gives every church and every Christian opportunities to join him in his mission. 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.
There are many ways to describe what we are trying to do, but one of my favorite acronyms for hope is "Helping Others Prepare for Eternity."
- 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.
- Others. We seek to touch everyone we can. First, we want to help others who are outside of Christ find hope and prepare for eternity. We want to help churches and Christians understand hope. Our brothers and sisters are a part of the "others." 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.
- Prepare. Eternity with God is not automatic. We assist churches and Christians in finding opportunities for personal involvement and participation in God's work in the world. We assist churches in planning their efforts to include missional participation in kingdom work around the world. Most of all, we want to encourage as many as we can to prepare themselves for the life that is beyond this life.
- Eternity. Eternity is a more than a long time. When a long time has passed, eternity has only just begun. Eternity is forever, eternity is for always. Because of the infinite nature of eternity, nothing is more important than being ready for eternity. This message must be proclaimed in our world. Preparation for eternity is only possible through Jesus. Christians and churches must actively share this message. Therefore, we encourage churches to become involved in missional endeavors. We seek to 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 support. 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.
Last updated October 23, 2010.