There are some things in life that can bring us both great joy and great sadness. It’s this somewhat strange mix of emotions that comes to the fore as we prepare to send the McDowell family to serve on the mission field in Paraguay.
The joy of such a sending is obvious. We have our commission from the risen Lord Jesus to ‘make disciples of all nations’ which includes Paraguay. On a previous visit to the rural countryside in Paraguay, the McDowells saw large areas which had no Christians, no churches and no access to the gospel. They said it was a ‘ripe harvest field with few workers in it to meet the gospel needs.’ In light of such needs, they are now preparing to return to serve as long-term Christian missionaries. They are planning to be involved in evangelism, church planting and part-time GP-style medical care. Our part is to partner with the McDowells - praying for them, encouraging them and supporting them financially. As we do this, we share their joy as they proclaim Jesus in another part of our world.
On the flip side, the sadness of such a sending is also obvious. The McDowell family joined our church family in 2010 as part of the 10am congregation that was meeting in Carlton Public School. They then moved to the 9am Carlton congregation when it began in 2013. Since joining our church, the McDowells have welcomed Thomas (4), Lydia (2) and Benjamin (7 months) into their family. Over this time, we have been encouraged by their gospel convictions, their faithfulness in service, their heart for evangelism and their personal encouragement. I know that our 9am Carlton congregation will deeply miss their friendship and fellowship as I’m sure will many others!
Therefore, in light of such sadness, perhaps we persuade them to stay? After all, there are many people in our own area who need to hear the good news of Jesus! Surely the answer must be ‘no’! We are convinced that people all around the world need to hear the good news of Jesus and so we must remain committed to sending and supporting people from our own church to serve in global mission.
Over the coming two weeks, there will be numerous opportunities across the parish to hear from the McDowells and to commit to our own prayer and financial support. I hope and pray that we will be generous in our support of this ministry.
To support the McDowells financially, please head to www.snac.org.au/mcdowell - you will be redirected to the Pioneer website where you can give online.
Details of upcoming events
Sunday 22 Oct – Visit to 9am, 10:30am and 6:30pm Carlton congregations
Monday 23 Oct - 7:45pm at St James Carlton
Wednesday 25 Oct - 7:45pm at St James Carlton (NB This event is for 6:30pm church members only due to building constraints. Dinner for 6:30pm gospel teams as normal)
Thursday 26 Oct - 10am WOT at St James Carlton
Thursday 26 Oct - 7:45pm at St James Carlton
Friday 27 Oct - 7pm at the Colgan’s house
Sunday 5 November – Visit to 8:30 Bexley, 10:30am and 4:30pm Bexley North congregations
Tuesday 7 November – 10am Ladies at Bexley North
Wednesday 8 November - 10am Primetime at Bexley
Wednesday 8 November - 7:45pm at Bexley North (for Bexley North & Carlton 10:30am Gospel Teams)