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Five Reflections from My Time Overseas

Posted by Pastor J.D. on September 5, 2016
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As many of you know, I spent seven weeks of this summer overseas on an extended mission trip. The elders of the Summit sent my family and me to go live with some of our church planters—first in South Africa, and then in Central Asia. Our goal, in the short run, was for our family to lift up the arms of our missionaries. Our goal, in the long run, was to refresh and renew my passion for missions, which would, in turn, catalyze the Summit to reach our goal of planting 1,000 churches in our generation. We want the Greear family to be an example of how all of the Summit should be partnering with our missionaries.

If you’re at the Summit, you’ll be sure to hear stories about this trip in the weeks (months? years?) to come. But by way of initial reflection, I wanted to share a few of my initial thoughts about the trip.

1. It was a time of active rest.

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Update from South Africa!

Posted by Pastor J.D. on July 13, 2016
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Ryah Greear, dancing during a South African sunset

As many of you know, Pastor J.D. has been in South Africa for the past few weeks on an extended mission trip. Earlier this week, he resurfaced to send a brief update about what he and his family have been doing there:

I don’t have much time, since we’re using an internet café here in Johannesburg. We just got back from “Zulu land” (yes, that’s what they call it here). It’s about as far as I think you can get to the ends of the earth. Incredibly remote. We did pure, raw, door-to-door evangelism. It was awesome. The people here are so hungry for the gospel.

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When God called me to be a pastor, he did so by first calling me to the mission field. I spent the first two years of my ministry as a church planter among Muslims overseas. God never relinquished that call to missions; he showed me that my role in it is to be a part of a church that sends and supplies the mission field in extravagant ways.

In light of that calling, the elders at the Summit have extended an opportunity for me to go with my family and live with some of our church planters—in South Africa, then in Central Asia—for a few weeks this summer. This is a special opportunity for us to spend some time on the “front lines,” allowing us not only to encourage our teams there, but to renew my own passion for missions, and to spend some focused time with my kids sharing this passion with them.

This past weekend, just as we often do at our weekend services, some of our leaders prayed for me and officially sent me out. Would you join with them and pray for me and my family as we prepare for this trip?

Pray that God would refresh and renew my passion for missions, that he would use us to lift up the arms of our missionaries, and that he would use this trip as a catalyst to reach our goal of planting 1,000 churches in our generation!