I write this with the hope of encouraging the staff and fellow missionaries that are part of our ICC family.
We were invited to be a part of Bethel Baptist Church Mission Conference this past week. Pastor David Ralston is a staunch supporter of missions and is the head of Christ to The Nations Missions. He is also the director of our Christ’s College which we are currently attending and the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. His wisdom, kindness, and encouragement have helped us so much. He is a truly humble servant of God.
Gina and I have only attended two Mission Conferences in our lives. These occurred on Man O War Cay at New Life Church Abaco Bahamas. We were only attendees at the time .The conferences influenced us so much that we now are missionaries. However, there is a huge difference between attending and being listed as speakers on the program. I must share with you that from my point of view, I was nervous.
The other two missionaries were men that were trained preachers .They were great men of faith that had been serving the Lord all their lives. They had dear sweet families, and were on their way to the mission fields of Mongolia and Columbia South America. Please pray for The Weber family (Mongolia) and the Cooke family heading for Columbia.
I was very thankful that our ICC friends (the Guthrie’s and Smith’s) told us about having a display. We stopped at Wycliffe in Orlando and met Wendy. She was a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. We borrowed many different display items. My JAARS family, Captain Tim had also sent us some very useful items to authenticate our booth. Interesting things that his family collected from Papua New Guinea while serving there.
Gina and I were given the privilege to do a chapel service for the private school at Bethel Baptist in the morning. My class was the high school consisting of about thirty. I settled on using the JAARS DVD and my wife suggested having four students read from the four different bibles. I used King James , DA Jesus Hawaiian Pigeon bible , a language of Papua bible, and a blank New Testament. When the young man turn came to read the blank New Testament he thought I was a hero . The presentation went very well.
Gina shared with about 40 elementary students K-4th grade. She taught them about all the different people that are missionaries and used the “people chain” to demonstrate it. It was fun to hear how they all wanted to be a missionary and volunteer. At that age they always have so many questions…really good questions.
We were the last to present our ministry on Friday. The two others had really excelled at their preaching and explaining their ministry. Again from my human perspective, I was nervous. Gina and I had practiced our presentation for Friday night over and over again. We were hosted by a sweet couple Ernie and Meoldy Dawson. They were so encouraging to us and Ernie was the tech team. He was able to review our material. This was SO IMPORTANT AND VITAL. Melodie was the prayer warrior and this was SO IMPORTANT AND VITAL. We also had time to practice with the sound system. Using a microphone was something we had experience with at ICC.
We believe that everything at ICC had been placed by staff for a purpose and time such as this. Philippians 2 1-11 was my text for preaching that night. The title of the sermon was, “What’s You Attitude?” The experience we had at ICC presenting to a group under the ever present time limits helped us with the time limits at the conference. Studying Philippians and memorizing it also gave a tremendous benefit. Again the Cross-Cultural Servant hood Book was a great asset. I used the Monkey and the Fish story and several scriptures from the book in the sermon. Also, the information from the book about cultures also applies to differences in church cultures. Through your training and the Holy Spirit’s guidance we were able fulfill the expectations of our missionary calling.
Sunday, I was called on to teach the Rock of Ages Sunday school class. Again the Cross- Cultural book had all the information needed in Chapter 2, “Servant hood, Choosing The Towel or the Robe,” to conduct a Sunday school class. Again ICC and God came to the rescue. The Rock of Ages class does not have your normal Sunday school material; the teacher does it straight from the Bible.
In closing, thank you so much for the time and effort you poured into us, so that we pour ourselves into others.
Blessings Tim and Gina Matthews