This summer our team partnered with Praying Pelican Missions to serve in Dorado, Puerto Rico, from July 20-26. The trip was incredible and we built lasting relationships.
We served alongside Iglesia Cristiana Cantico de Victoria: they were so welcoming, so full of joy, and so full of the Holy Spirit. Serving alongside them gave us renewed purpose and they encouraged and reminded us that the body of Christ is more than one church.
12 The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does. 13 Some of us are Jews, and others are Gentiles. Some of us are slaves, and others are free. But God’s Spirit baptized each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. Now we each drink from that same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 CEV
It has been easy to get discouraged while we go through this season of transition where we are without a senior pastor. However, our team realized that UHBC in Springfield, MO can’t function without ICCV in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
The founding pastor of ICCV has stayed with the church, acting as prophet for its people while his son leads as pastor. During a meeting with the pastor, prophet, and our trip leader, the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet and declared that our trip leader would see miraculous things happen in his home church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Somewhat selfishly, I wished that the Spirit would have something to say to our church.
Several nights later at the conclusion of the farewell service, the Holy Spirit spoke to us. The prophet came forward, took the microphone from his son, and said the Spirit told him that God is not finished with University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield, MO.
The Spirit said God is going to use this church to bless this community.
The Spirit said God is going to use this church to bless people across the world.
The Spirit said God is going to grow this church.
The Spirit says be encouraged, keep praying, and be ready for God to do more than you could ever imagine.
After hearing the words from the Spirit, it led me to the words of Jesus.
The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit.
John 6:63 CEV
We have taken this to heart and begin a season of prayer while we wait for what God has planned, but while we wait, we are going to strive to follow the Spirit’s words and be a blessing to others.
While we were working alongside ICCV, Anelis, the pastor’s wife, told me God put it on her heart to begin preparing for the next big disaster by collecting clothing, water, canned food, air mattresses, and other supplies. She said they wanted to be able to help not only their own church members, but their community as well.
UHBC has committed to blessing them in this task, because as Paul says,
26 If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.
27 Together you are the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:26-27 CEV
God has promised that we will be a blessing to our community and to people across the world.
I, for one, am excited to get started.