Newsletter

July 2005

 

An Exhortation from Pastor Blain

I know that you know me well enough to know that I am sometimes or even often prone to make overly enthusiastic statements.  I try to anchor my soul, but it is not always easy for me. Thank you if you are one of the saints in our blessed Church who is praying that God will give me temperance, self-control or what-ever one would want to call it. 

Notwithstanding the above, I want to state without reservation how much my heart was blessed by the Mission’s film, Beyond the Next Mountain last Sunday night. I was moved to tears so often that I am very glad they had the lights turned down low. 

Even though this movie was produced in 1981, it was very well done and captured the historical time periods and this particular beautiful area of India with great skill. 

I am grateful for those of you who were blessed enough to have been able to make it. But I just have to encourage those who had prior commitments last Sunday night to try to borrow this film and watch it as a family. There were a few scenes that may be scary for young children or inappropriate for them so you may want to preview the film first so you know when to fast forward. 

I could write for pages on the lessons I learned from this film, but obviously that cannot be my objective in this small newsletter.  So let me just give you the bottom line. This movie shows the difference that one or two Christians can make on an entire community. In this case the community was the area inhabited by the Hmar people who lived in northeast India toward the end of the 19th century. They were headhunters, but God used the gospel seed planted by one very young Scotsman to lead many of the Hmars to a genuine knowledge of Jesus Christ. He then used one of these natives to go through an amazing amount of work to learn English, Greek and Hebrew and then translate the Bible into the language of his own people even though they did not have an alphabet. Wow!

The power of the gospel, the passion to translate the Bible into one’s own native tongue and to work so arduously to bring this about, the willingness to endure great personal sacrifice and to set aside personal ambition in order to accomplish God’s Great Commission for the spiritual benefit of one’s community are depicted so compellingly and beautifully in this film. As a parent, I am jealous for Julie to see this movie as soon as she returns this coming weekend having just completed her summer school class at Biola. 

I earnestly long for our entire Church to possess this kind of missionary fervor and that this fervor includes an undying commitment to sacrifice anything and everything necessary so that we can work collectively as a tiny church body to overcome any and all opposition which comes our way from the powers of the darkness who strongly do not want us to spread the light of the gospel into the hearts of sinners who live in our community. 

May this movie be used along with other things to give us this kind of commitment toward both Missions and Evangelism. And may we be blessed with a desire to so strongly support our missionary partners that they feel as if they are being carried along by the power and spiritual momentum generated through our persistent prayers, financial support and personal encouragement. This movie in and of itself is probably not enough to do all of that by itself, but it surely possesses the potential to work powerfully in our hearts so that we will be better missionary partners, the kind of partners that “our” missionaries desperately need and so rightly deserve. 

My hope and prayer is that God will use this film in your heart and that the other films which will be shown will similarly impact us toward Missions and Evangelism. I am indebted to the Mission’s Team for so powerfully blessing my heart through the Spirit, and I am earnestly looking forward to the several other films which they are planning to show this summer and on September 11. 

If I were you, I would expose my children to these life changing films whenever possible. We can make it fun at the same time that God is shaping and molding us. Let’s bring blankets and popcorn and show up in mass to allow our hearts to be enlarged in this most critical area. It is the reason the Lord has left us here. He otherwise would much rather have us skip all the sin and hardship and ship us directly into the radiant glories of heaven. But He is concerned about the salvation of others and wants us to be a Great Commission Church for His good use.

He wants us to be involved through tight relationships with our missionaries in fulfilling the Great Commission to the remotest sections of the world especially where there is little if any gospel “voice” to be heard. And He wants us to be so excited about Him and His spectacular message of salvation that we take the gospel to our own neighbors.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

 LET US DO IT TOGETHER FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE AND MAJESTY!


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427