(Written by Pastor Doug Sandy)

I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NASB)

This week for me has been a blur of activity for Jesus. In addition to helping at Bible Base Camp for Vacation Bible School, I have been spending a lot of additional time in God’s word preparing for the month that I will be gone in the Czech Republic. This has included two camp talks (Jesus is “The Way, The Truth, and the Life” and Jesus is “The vine”), four Sunday School lessons (evangelism, “kingdom thinking”, “our heavenly country”, and “Jesus our king”), and one devotion in Czech from Proverbs, chapter 22. With three days left between now and our departure, my pace will slow down a bit, with only two devotions and one blog left to go. Admittedly, there have been times this week that I felt a little bit overwhelmed by the volume of teaching material that I needed to produce, but it has also been good for me as well.
In this busy time there were two ways that I could have approached my workload. The first one was with thankfulness and prayer, enjoying my time in fellowship with God through His word – I focus on staying connected to Jesus and allow him to produce the results that he wants (both in my character, and in the messages that I prepared). I know this is the best way for me to work, however, sometimes my old habits try to take over. “Shift into low gear” they say, “and power through the work in your own strength. You can do it.” I have found that not only does this burn me out and make me grumpy, but it also distances me from Jesus – the one who I want to bring glory to in the first place. This week has kept me in God’s word most of my waking hours and has also helped me practice staying connected to Jesus and relying on Him. This week’s reliance on Jesus pales in comparison to what the mission team will need in the coming weeks.
We are fast approaching the phase of the mission trip where we shift from preparation to flexibility and faith. We have made travel plans, but they are subject to variables that are outside of our control. We have prepared lessons and activities, but from experience, we know that these things will need to be changed. We have prepared gospel presentations, but our talks will be completely ineffective without the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of those who listen. And we hope to have spiritual talks with students, but we rely on God to provide the situations and even the words that we will share. No amount of preparation can ever be a substitute for being flexible and following Christ’s leading in all these situations. This is part of what it means to stay connected with the vine.
Please pray for each of us as we make this transition. That we can walk in step with the Spirit of God, and as a result, Christ will bear fruit in and through our lives as we give Him the glory.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • Pray for Aidan and Andrew as they serve in their internships
  • Pray that preparation for the rest of the team goes smoothly.
  • Pray for health of the mission team and our Czech counterparts.
  • Pray that God draws students for two full camps this year.
  • Praise God supplying 95% of the financial support and supplies for the summer missions.