Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We have a lot to be thankful for. We are so thankful for you, our TREC family, for how you pray, go and sacrifice financially so that we can continue to work the TREC model of teaching, reaching, equipping, and comforting in the parts of the world that God has led us to work in. The work God has called us to is a work we can’t accomplish on our own. It takes you, the body of Christ, and it takes the leading power of the Holy Spirit. Together God is using us all to fulfill the Great Commission. Lives are being changed and we give God praise and glory for the work He accomplished through the TREC family in 2022. As we start 2023, our 19th year of ministry together, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed at the the hopelessness of our world. The hopelessness in Cuba, in Uganda, and in India is real. Our world is getting darker daily. I would be overwhelmed at the amount of work that needs to be done, but I am not…I am energized. God has called us, the TREC family, for a time such as this to take the gospel to the hard to reach places of the world. He has called us to flesh out this passage:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV
I am praying that this year we will see this verse come to life right in front of us. To implement the verses in our lives, consider the following:
CALL: Is Isaiah 61:1-3 just for a handful of pastors & missionaries? I believe with all that it is in me that He has called the entire body of Christ to live out this passage. Would you prayerfully read through this passage for the next 30 days and join me in asking God to fulfill this in us?
OBEDIENCE: I don’t believe that there are degrees of sin. Sin is sin, and it separates us from God. Sin isn’t just not doing something bad, like murder, drunkenness, or adultery which are sins of commission. At the top of the list would be the sin of omission or in the dictionary that’s defined as, “a failure to do something.” It is missing the point of why God saved us and put His Holy Spirit in us. Our lives might be neat and tidy, but what is the point if we don’t fulfill the purpose of why God has left us on earth? Confess this sin of omission, repent, and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, fulfill the purpose that God has for your lives. If you don’t know how to do this, we would love to spend time with you to help equip you to do His work in and through you.
INTENTIONALITY: Each morning pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives. Pray for divine appointments where we can show the love of Christ through being kind, patient, good, and gentle. Daily look for opportunities to show the love of Christ.
PASSPORTS: I believe all Christians should have a passport, so they can be ready to go when God tells us to go. Sign up to go on mission this year with TREC (or with other organizations), but go! You will find that while doing international missions God will use your skill set and gifts not just to be used in another country, but to be used at home also. Foreign missions should be a great catalyst for us to return home and reach the lost.
Will you pray about these things for the next 30 days? Will you go? We can’t be satisfied with yesterday’s manna. We must put forth great effort, we must stay focused on the prize, and we must press on! I look forward to what God is going to do in and through us in 2023. We at TREC look forward to serving you and working with you to see Isaiah 61 come to life. We pray that God will do abundantly more than we have asked or can even imagine, all for His glory! Let’s go get our faith dirty!
February 3-7 Cuba
February 23-27 Cuba
March 15-24 Uganda
April 20-24 Cuba
There will be other trips….when can you go?