This past Sunday sharing to our home church Crossroads Community Church in Longview, Texas. After updating everyone on the family, I share out of the New Testament book Philemon. I hope it encourages someone out there.
If you’ve traveled, you can identify with the peculiar sensation of being uprooted from familiar and immersed in foreign. We just returned from a blistering 7 day journey to Texas. Broderic and I just awoke from a 12hr sleep after arriving last night.
Think we live in an interesting age? Consider that we’re the first generation to be able to click on a screen and find ourselves the next day 10,000 ft in the air. We can go anywhere, quickly. The trip I just made from Texas to Eastern Europe would have taken my Great Grandfather 2-3 months. He would have traveled by ship, by train, and the very journey to his destination would have been more than enough of a journey for any of us.
We are human. We’ve been designed. Some of us are adventurous, others enjoy the comforts of low risk living. Whatever your fancy, you’ll probably find yourself entering and exiting cultures in the near future. Whether vacationing, on a missions trip, or even part of your work, we are a mobile people these days.
One thing is for sure, we are designed to bloom where we’re planted. I am planted in Ukraine now. This last trip revealed this to me unlike any other. When we stick in the roots of stability, intertwine our lives with others around us, we bear fruit. That fruit takes time, it requires the seasonal rain, the daily sun, time.
It may be fun to hop over into a culture once in a while. What a privilege to do this if we have the means and time. I’m thankful for home though. I like my soil, and the little plants growing around me. I see the need to reach out my branches and give shade to some of those that are struggling. Fun to visit other places, and often needed, but thank God for home – it’s where we can best thrive for our great God.
Above is a picture from this past Sunday night. Dan and Sarah Black served the past 3yrs as the Youth Leaders at church. They were immensely popular among the kids and parents. They will be moving to Dallas and the evening consisted of stories, both hilarious and heartfelt during their service at Crossroads. It was wonderful to consider how anyone that loves, that gives themselves to others, can make an immediate impact. Dan and Sarah bloomed where they were planted – you can see them in the center.
I was able to share with the church body as well on Sunday. Always a struggle to condense something into a 45 min message when your heart is full and you’ve not shared anything ‘in person’ for over a year. Crossroads, along with Bo and Beth Bolding have been, and continue to be a huge answer to one of our first prayers as a couple – that God would provide us a church family that had a missions heart and were real. God continues to attract a people to Crossroads that love God and continue to effectively love our family, supporting us in every possible way.
Off to check on Gas Project for Cafe and Business Permit progress – I’m hearing good reports that we could be a month or less away – step by step!
Bruce & Deborah CroweMissionaries | Rzhyshchiv, Ukraine