He Numbers the Stars; He Numbers Us

ll_biggerLauryn Lane serves as a Department Assistant for P2 Missions, keeping overseeing contracts and all finance related items. Anyone that has met Lauryn quickly learns she is a Texas girl at heart and “Boomer Sooner” are two of her favorite words. If you want to treat her to dinner Tex-mex is her favorite. You will see from reading this post that beyond the finances and operations of P2 Missions, Lauryn is passionate about seeing the lives of participants changed through missions. 

 

 

 

 

What does it take to really know a person?  Do you know them when you can look them in the eye?  When you share a meal?  When you experience an adventure or tragedy together?  At the root of our relationships and interpersonal interaction is this heart question: “Do you know me?”  We feel that, until you know a person, you can’t fully appreciate their story or their unique perspective.

Recently I had an epiphany about my job with P2 Missions. Day in and day out I’m entrenched in numbers and, for a poor liberal arts student, some days the work of dollars and figures can be rough.  I don’t speak the language of graphs and charts yet each day that I look at registration numbers and process finance reports, I must remind myself exactly what it is those numbers represent.  At one time I was a student attending these mission trips and for those years – out of all the thousands counted – I represented only one.  Only one!  But I walked away from those experiences forever changed.

When the nation of Israel was facing exile in Babylon, God sent a message through His prophet. This passage is not an instruction for behavior, nor is it a road map for the future.  Instead He reminded His people of His very nature, explaining that their path was directed by the same power who can name every star in creation:

Look up and see: who created these?  He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name.  Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing.  Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my claim is ignored by my God”?  Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth.  He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. - Isaiah 40:26-28

If God can orchestrate the events of galaxies, how much more is He conscious of the course of our lives?  God knows the name of every student who is registered or will register for a project this summer.  He has charted the life events of every church plant member that our students will meet on one of these trips.  He is prepared for every conversation presenting the message of His gospel and every act of kindness that will be expressed in His name.

When I replace registration numbers with students’ lives and finance figures with stories of sacrificial giving, suddenly the charts and budgets don’t feel so impersonal and cold.  Instead of numbers I see real people showing real love to communities, residents, churches and cities.  And I’m given a new hope of the stories that will pour out of the work done through P2 Missions this summer. He numbers the stars; He numbers us.

An Invitation to Philadelphia

Kyle Canty

Kyle Canty is the P2 Missions City Rep.  More than that he is a Disciple of Christ, Husband, Father, Life Long Student, and Aspiring Blogger.  He has grown up in Philly.  The passion he has for his city is contagious and his favorite local eatery is  Pagano’s Steaks on Ogontz Avenue.  “Steaks so thick that it takes an average size human at least two meals to finish!”

 

 
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is teeming with opportunities for ministry. Upon arriving in the nation’s fifth largest city, you’ll notice the diverse communities. It’s hard to resist the bold ‘in your face’ style that Philly is known for.  Philadelphia is not simply a midway point between Washington, D.C. and New York.  It is a unique place where art, history, music, culture, food and humanity intersect to form a place unlike any city you’ve ever visited before. I would like to invite you to this place I call home.

Philadelphia is a city for church planters. Ever since former slave Richard Allen planted the first African Methodist Episcopal church in Philadelphia in 1794, this great city has been on the map as a place where unique and amazing ministry can happen. The diverse churches and planters in Philadelphia each bring to the table their own unique insight and giftedness to reach their communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.  In these communities there are opportunities to meet young and old, black and white, Asian and Latino, rich and poor with the life changing story of our Savior.

Students are welcome to see what God is already doing on the ground in Philly as planters and established churches work to fulfill both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Maybe you would love to engage elementary school children with face painting, or hook a passerby with a puppet show or drama on a city corner? How about helping a church planter restore a dilapidated building by removing rubble or helping an elderly homeowner living on a fixed income with a nasty leak that she can’t afford to fix on her own?  Yes, tangible expressions of Christ’s love—this is what people need in our communities and this is where students can be a big help.

Opportunities for service in 2014 are wide open and the possibilities are almost endless.  How will you be used by God to reach churches in the Greater Philadelphia or Neptune, NJ areas for Christ? There are opportunities to reach people in need through a P2 Missions trip throughout June or July (see our schedule at www.p2missions.net) or through World Changers during the weeks of July 5-12 or 14-19 (www.world-changers.net). If you would like to bring your group to Philadelphia outside of the dates planned, we can customize a project specifically for your team.   Contact p2missions@lifeway.com or call 1-800-254-2022 for more information.

“…Missions is here and now”

David Yoon

What inspires a student to see their role in building the local church?  David Yoon shares his experience finding that inspiration in student ministry. He is currently serving at Good Community Church of Torrance, California as the Youth and Adult English Ministry Pastor.  This summer David will coordinate a P2 Missions project in San Francisco.

 

 

Pictured: Good Community at P2 San Francisco 2013

Over the past six years I have learned many things through the trials and hardships of ministry. As I serve students and hear about their pain and doubts of having a purpose and a vision in their life, I have begun to study more and dig deeper into God’s Word for an answer or solution. I have quickly learned that the greatest purpose for discipleship is living a life of obedience toward God.

P2 Missions gave our students an opportunity to live out their purpose. Missions was not only going overseas to third world countries in the summer, but P2 Missions taught our students that missions is here and now. The cities and the neighborhoods we live in need Jesus just as much as those living overseas. This trip provided an opportunity for our students to share their faith and live their life in action. I believe one of the greatest blessings in P2 is teaching the next generation that the local church is the hope of the world. To serve and to build the church is one of the greatest callings a follower of Christ is given.

Many students from our church have committed to be full-time missionaries and have devoted their lives to pastoral ministry. As many of them graduate high school they are devoting to serve as interns in local churches that cannot fund hiring ministers or that don’t have the resources for teachers. P2 Missions has opened doors of opportunity to teach students about local church ministry.

Celebrating what God did through P2 Missions 2013

Celebrating P2 Missions 2013

P2 Missions exists to “Serve Churches in their mission of making Disciples”.  It is our goal to provide meaningful missions experiences that develop the hearts of students to share their faith.  Unique to P2 Missions is that the focus of our meaningful missions experience is serving church planters. We were able to see how God used the meaningful missions experience to transform student as well as youth ministries.

Here are some comments from Group Leaders…

  • “The hands on experiences and opportunity to visit various church plants helped my students get the bigger picture.  I was proud of my youth for being examples and stepping up to the challenges with no complaints.”
  •  “This experience challenged our students to investigate what it means to ‘die to yourself’ with out knowing what God is going to ask.”
  •  “Our group grew 10 fold in unity and personal relationships.  Amazing!”

It is also exciting to see how God has continued his work in the people of cities across North America through P2 Missions.

Participant Decisions

  • Salvations- 20
  • Rededications- 120
  • Commitment to Missions/Vocational Ministry- 104

Community Impact

  • Presentations of the Gospel- 3,334
  • People with Questions about a relationship with Jesus- 361
  • Salvations- 144
  • People Requesting Prayer- 732
  • Tracts Handed Out- 6,249

We really don’t know how God will use all the seeds planted in the hearts of people this summer.  Here is what we can celebrate, but know God is up to more than what we can count.  Join me in praising God for the obedience and courage of P2 Missions participants sharing God’s love in so many ways this summer.

There is still much work to do…

Luke 10:2: The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

It is my prayer that laborers will be mobilized to the cities for the harvest.  Pray and ask how you can be involved in the harvest.

Dave MacNeill

P2 Missions Strategist