The Coffee: The coffee choice of the week is Cuvée Coffee’s Emporium House blend. Cuvée is based in Austin, TX. They state that their house blend brings several single origin beans together to make up this roast. They bring these roasts together to make one harmonious roast that is bright and slightly sweet. This week, I have been considering the role that the simple things in life with which we have been blessed play in our overall happiness. Recently I watched an episode of the late Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”. In it, he talked about how he saw fantastic things and experienced amazing events on his trips around the world. However, he could be in an airport waiting to board a plane and be unsatisfied with airport food; and this could send him into a state of depression that could last for days. He stated that at the end of the day he felt alone and needed someone to talk to. These statements greatly saddened me considering how the events of his life transpired. It got me thinking about how we need to find happiness in the simple things in life. That if we are happy and thankful for these simple things it sets us up to truly find joy in the extraordinary. I encourage you to slow down, and enjoy the simpler things, whether it is curling up with a good book, catching up with an old friend, or savoring that great cup of coffee.
The Theology: In a matter of weeks I will be traveling across the ocean to Zambia in Africa. I will be assisting and providing support to a school there that is run by Bethlehem Christian Academy (BCA). BCA is a group that has set up schools in Zambia and Northwest Africa to build relationships with the residents of the area and provide Christian education, nutritious meals, and clothing to the children that are enrolled. For Christians, our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God is glorified through our discipleship of others. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives us the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”. The key to making disciples is building lasting relationships. This is central to BCA’s mission. They have invested long-term into the communities they entered; providing discipleship, education, and food to the youth. In addition, they have worked to build relationships with the communities by meeting with residents, building churches, praying over them, and providing community meals. Often mission trips from western nations to these areas are criticized for their short-term nature, doing more harm than good by providing unsustainable solutions to address the people’s needs. This is not the case with BCA. They have invested their resources and time into solutions that are already bearing fruit as the students gain education and hear the gospel. The students are being equipped with the tools they need to succeed in life and to disciple others. I look forward to seeing the continued work of BCA and eagerly await the first graduating class.
When it comes to discipleship, we all have different roles to play. In terms of mission trips, it takes the efforts of many different roles to pull them off successfully. This does not just include those physically traveling to disciple others. There are a variety of people needed. We have all been provided with different gifts and skills. All these gifts work together toward the same goal. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now there are varieties of gifts but the same spirit.” “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” “For the body does not consist of one member but many.” Many different skill types can be utilized to help people and organizations run smoothly for the gospel. They need those willing to support in an administrative capacity. Those that volunteer their time to lift this burden off of the people and organizations with their organizational capabilities. Financial needs are always at the forefront of ministry. Those who have been blessed materially by the Lord can assist in building the kingdom through financial means. Just as important in discipleship is prayer. Organizations and people involved in missions are in constant need of prayer as obstacles present themselves.
Discipleship can also be done locally. There are people in all our lives that are in need of the gospel and kindness. Support your brothers and sisters in Christ in times of need. Let them know that you are praying for them in times of difficulty and offer your assistance with their needs. Show kindness to your neighbors and coworkers by going out of your way to assist them if you are able. Sit and spend some time listening to someone going through a rough time. Even if you are not the primary means of spreading the gospel in their lives, you can plant seeds that may bear fruit later; and everyone will appreciate the kindness shown.
If you would like to learn more about Bethlehem Christian Academy, the work that they do for children in Africa, or learn about ways that you can help; visit their website: bcaministries.com
All scriptures from the ESV Bible
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