Our team of 5 medical people in Mali have had amazing experiences this last week that I will no doubt be reporting on in the near future. They have been out in the bush providing medical care to very poor Malians who have little or no access to medical treatment.
With their limited Internet access the team has done a good job of posting some of their experiences on their blog as well as a bunch of great pictures.
Go to this link and catch up on how this team has been doing. They actually arrive back in Omaha on Tuesday, March 1st. Pray today for travel safety.
I’m sure you will agree that these are very difficult days in our world’s history. Billions of people are poor, millions go hungry or thirsty every day, children are dying from preventable diseases, and the list goes on. There are lots of problems right here in our own city of Omaha – thousands living in poverty, kids being raised without dads – people everywhere who need help.
So can you, one person living in Omaha, make a difference?
I am going to be teaching a class on Sunday mornings for 6-weeks starting on March 6th called Out Live Your Life. This is a Max Lucado video series that will tee up some great discussion on how you, just one person, can actually impact the world around you.
The more I study scripture the more I come to realize – our God is a huge advocate for the poor and defenseless people in our society.
So come join me in room FLC230! I’m really excited about how God is using people like you to impact the world – one life at a time.
Here is a link to a website that talks more about it and has a little video introduction to this class.
We’ve been talking at CCC about Jesus and Power. The claim that Jesus was divine gains more and more credibility the longer one looks at how he actually handled power. He was incredibly unique and exasperatingly unpredictable. Then and now.
In the Jesus class we’ve been churning through the opening chapters of Mark’s biographical witness-narrative of Jesus. No where is it clearer that Jesus was alarmingly powerful and absolutely brilliant in his style of using that power. Take Mark’s first literary sandwich. If you don’t know what a Mark sandwich is, here’s a great previous post to check out:
What’s a Mark Sandwich?
Mark is using the editorial cut almost like a screenplay to show us a very gripping scene of Jesus and his power. A scene about his family coming to take control of him, rapidly cuts to an argument Jesus has with the Jerusalem Teachers of the Law over his ability to cast out demons. Then cuts back to his family. Mark is showing us perhaps one of the most tense moments in the whole Gospel! And its all about power and authority.
Jesus’ family and the Jerusalem Jews have made the same mistake about Jesus. Both groups for different reasons assume they are in a position of authority over Jesus. Both are dangerously wrong about what is motivating Jesus. The family attributes his behavior to megalomania, thinking that he’s out of his mind. The teachers of the law actually have the audacity to implicate his power with Satan. That’s the last straw. Jesus goes ballistic. And tells a ballistic parable to confront their supreme ignorance and presumption. You’ve got to read it:
Jesus Has a Demon? Mark 3:20-35
Both groups are badly wrong about Jesus’ power. Both groups get a face-full of correction! The teachers of the law are warned that if they don’t change their mind about attributing Jesus’ power to Satan they risk permanent damnation! Yes you herd it right – Jesus meek and mild, not only with the authority to forgive sin, but with the authority to NEVER forgive sin! That’s not my idea of a tame, loving Jesus!
The family also gets a rude awakening when Jesus publicly redefines family. Family = whoever does God’s will. Jesus’ biological family actually thought he was insane! A more forgivable misjudgment than “Jesus you are demon possessed”. But nonetheless – if I were one of Jesus blood brothers that day, I would have felt pretty stupid for ever spreading the impression that Jesus was mentally unstable! Even his mom missed the boat on this one!
Watch out, people. This is not the Jesus of your childhood Sunday school class. This is Jesus, God of the universe. When you say something about him, better get it right! Don’t ever pretend Jesus is beneath your dignity or intelligence. You may regret it very badly!
As I posted in my last blog entry, on February 19th CCC will send 5 people to Mali to perform a medical outreach. This team will partner with the hospital for women and children along with a Malian Pastor and provide medical services out in the rural areas (called the bush).
Below is an the text from an email that Dr. Dan Nesselroade sent to the team this week to let them know what exactly they will be doing. Be praying for this team!
Here is what I can give you at the moment. We plan to do three clinics. The first is on the 22nd and it will be for women and children in the village of Bobola-Zangasso. This is a village of about 6,000 people without a single believer. There is a pastor in a neighboring village named Josuee Goita. He will be following up on any converts and will be our principal host. The village is pumped for us to come and has asked that we come for two days, so the 24th we will be returning to the same village to do Men and children care. Both nights will be evangelization with a movie and sermon.
The village has the only medical care available in the precinct. That is, they are it for a surrounding 11 villages that total 15,000 people. It is highly likely that we will receive people from these surrounding villages as well. We will probably get inundated, but as long as we can provide some sort of plan to control the chaos, it will go well. We are making the plans to do just this,so don’t worry about it.
Language barriers will make it just about impossible for you to treat patients alone, so your team will be doing different jobs and will be paired with missionaries or native speakers in a workable fashion. We will be able to do hematocrits and blood sugars and will have about 40 or so common meds with us, as well as vitamins and parasite treatments among other things. People will get triaged and be assigned numbers and will be seen in order after their vitals have been taken and written on index cards or some such. Different people from our staff will be going each day.
Each day we will eat one meal in the village and bring snacks for lunch. There will be so many people, that we wont stop for lunch, but rather just bang through them. Saturday we will be going to a different village and seeing men, women and children . The village is named Tempela. the pastor there is named Simeon. He lives there and has a fledgling church that has just started in the past year. This is going to be a lot of fun!
There is no greater joy or privilege than being able to announce Jesus to people who have no idea who he is or how much he loves them! Pray hard and come with lots of energy and joy, and God will carry the day.
Nebraska has several things that make it unique: corn, a love for Big Red and Runza. But don’t forget to include the event called Freedmen that brings the Christian men from around the state together to steward the Kingdom of God in Nebraska.
Christ Community has reserved two buses to take men and their sons (age 10+) to the Freedmen Nebraska statewide men’s event in Lincoln on March 26, 2011. Tickets will go on sale at the Freedmen booth in the atrium beginning this Sunday at the Old Mill campus and the sign up table at Sarpy. A ticket and bus ride to the Pershing Center will be $35 per person, ticket only is $25.
The event will be from 10 AM to 5 PM and includes speakers such as Husker football coach Ron Brown www.freedmennebraska.org and former Oklahoma football star and congressman J.C. Watts www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx?s=/vod/SW117v3_WS .
I hope you will make the event this year.
I am very, very excited about a short-term mission team we have leaving for Mali on February 19th. This small team of just 5 people will be partnering with the hospital in Mali to perform medical outreaches in small villages. So here is how this will work.
Our team will partner with the doctors and nurses from the hospital on three different days in three different villages to provide medical care. They will do this in an area where there is a local Pastor who is trying to build and grow a church. So each day, after a long day of providing medical care literally from sun up to sun down, the team will then work with the Pastor to show the Jesus film and share the gospel.
We are the first church to partner with the hospital in this way, so we are trying to use this team as a prototype for future teams from CCC and other churches. I’m sure some things will go really well and others will not, but in the end we hope to learn a lot and we hope that many Malians come to Christ.
Pray for these 5 as they embark on a new and exciting ministry in Mali for CCC. Pray that they will have the stamina for some very long and hot days. Pray that God will use this ministry to draw Malians into a relationship with Jesus.