“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit, into one body- whether Jews of Greeks, slave or free- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body…The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’…If one part suffers, ever part suffers with it: if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-15, 21, 26
In 1 Corinthians 12, we learn what it means to be part of the Body of Christ. We are all separate individuals with unique talents, gifts, and callings, yet we are all still part of the Body of Christ striving towards one goal: to bring glory to our Father in heaven. We are striving to grow the kingdom of God in our various roles and parts in ministry. We have unity in diversity. We have unity in Christ.
As I was reading through 1 Corinthians 12 again last night, I realized that is what this mission to Paraguay is all about. The goal of this mission is ministry. It is to bring glory to God, in the United States, Guatemala for language school, and in Paraguay. Every person involved with this mission is a part of the Body with their own unique role, but together the Body is glorifying God and spreading His love.
My ministry partners and supporters are one part of the body. Prayer warriors praying for me and the people of Paraguay are part of the body. Those passing along encouragement to me are a part of the body. The directors at Global Lutheran Outreach and my DCE professors at Concordia Chicago are part of the Body. Even my dedicated friend who proofreads my posts and my loving family is part of the Body. We are all striving towards the goal of ministry in Paraguay to glorify God and bring His children closer to Him. With the Holy Spirit, this mission goes far beyond the boundaries of Paraguay.
At first, I jumped to the conclusion that this mission was just to reach the people of Paraguay, but I then realized it is so much more than that. In fact, the mission has already started. This summer I have had the chance to both inform people about God’s work in Paraguay and also bring glory to God by sharing the faith and ministries with people in the United States. It is one body striving for the same goal. The more mission partners there are, the farther this mission and ministry can be spread.
I have prayed that when I have the opportunity to talk about this mission to people, I will trust that God is using me as a tool to help strengthen the faith of others and rally their spirits to follow God’s calling for them. What I did not realize until recently was how much other’s encouraging words would effect my spiritual growth. This weekend, I had the blessing of presenting at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Kokomo, Indiana. After the presentation, multiple people spoke with me about their stories in ministry, their connections to me, how to get involved with helping in this mission, and words of encouragement and prayers. Days later I am still feeling overwhelmed with peace and assurance that God is in control, and he has placed those people in my life, as part of the body, to help a different part of the body: me, in my own spiritual walk.
We are all unique. We are all diverse in our spiritual gifts, but we are all important. No matter what part of the body we are, we work together to spread the love of God. There is no greater mission than that!
Quick shout out to Ali Verruck in Paraguay as she celebrated her birthday on August 12th! Ali works at the CPTLN office with her father, the director, Victor Verruck.
¡Feliz Cumple, Ali!
August 17th- Faith Lutheran Church, Columbus, IN, 10:00 AM, worship at 9:00
August 20th- Chapel at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Columbus, IN 1:20 PM
August 24th- St. John’s Lutheran Church, LaGrange, IL, 9:30 AM, worship at 8:00 and 10:45
August 25th- St. John’s Lutheran Church, La Grange, IL, 10:00 AM Musical Review, leading with devotion August 31st- Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN, 9:30 AM, worship at 8:00 and 10:45
September 4th, 6th, 7th- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Columbus, IN, Sunday worship 8:00 and 10:45