”No other church has partnered with us like you have,” said Dan Klepel, who has had a thirty-year relationship with Faith Chapel. Dan was referring to the FC mission’s committee’s prayer day for the missionaries FC supported. Rhonda Barnett would contact missionaries to find out how to pray for them. Serving in Thailand for decades, Deanna and Dan see the big need for Jesus to be shared since 94% are Buddhist; 5% are Muslims; and 1% are Christ followers.
Dan’s sermon entitled “God’s Plan and Our Part” was based on the text of Mark 2:1-12 where four friends carried a paralyzed man to see Jesus. Because the crowd was so big, they climbed to the roof, tore an opening, and lowered their friend down. Jesus performed two actions: 1) He forgave his sins 2) healed the man’s body. Though the man might have thought his need to be physically healed was more important, the greater need was to have his sins forgiven. After Jesus told the man to get up, he “got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone, and they praised God saying, ’We have never seen anything like this!’” Mark 2:12 (NIV) He was forgiven and healed!
Dan explained how Christianity contrasts greatly from Buddhism. In Buddhism a person is born, suffers, and tries to eliminate her/his desires. Life is suffering. In Buddhism only you can save yourself. However, as a Christ follower, “He has done the hard part” and sacrificed Himself for our sinful lives. He took God’s wrath, died a shameful death, and rose again defeating death and sin. Jesus is the “way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through” Jesus. John 14:6 (NIV) By His saving grace, we are healed.
The second aspect is “our part.” Just like the four persistent friends who went out of their way to give their paralyzed friend access to Jesus, our part includes us giving others a chance to encounter Jesus. “Jesus forgives sins and heals bodies,” said Dan. We can share His grace and peace with others as the four friends did.
Also, our part includes praying, giving, and going. Dan stated, "Your prayers are essential to change lives.” They have a prayer initiative, changethemap.net and its mission as explained on the website.
“Exists to inspire you to pray for the world’s one billion Buddhists.
Your prayer is the most powerful means to open the hearts of Buddhists.
who are waiting to experience the love of Jesus Christ.”
The goal Dan explained is to have 50,000 prayer warriors coming alongside them to help change the 1% to 10% Christ followers in Thailand.
Next, we are to give and to go. The Faith Promise affects lives. Praying and asking the LORD what your part is in supporting missions financially are key. Also, about going, early in February we heard Bonnie and Levys Hernandez share about their love for the LORD and their work in Nicaragua. Bonnie grew up in Faith Chapel and has been serving for twenty years. “If you feel a stirring, you can look at the site wideopenmission.org and see if God has a plan for you across the street, across the nation, or around the world.
“God’s Plans and Our Part” is a blessing and a challenge for us to be salt and light in this troubled and dark world.
Written by Larry and Annette Linthicum