What an incredible privilege to be part of an amazing Body of Believers! Tonight we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of The Mission Society. Many of our friends were recognized for many years of faithful service. One precious saint is 80 years young and still working on her Russian so that she can share Jesus with Russian speakers here in the U.S. (after serving many years in Kazakhstan).
Yesterday I commented to our friends Travis & Lorna (serving in Namibia) that I was so excited to introduce them to our "family" - meaning the folks from Gainesville who are here serving in childcare and leading in worship. Travis said, "I thought WE were your family!" Then it hit me how blessed we are to be part of such a LARGE family....the BODY of Christ! This weekend has been very special as we have introduced our precious friends from Gainesville to our precious friends from around the globe! A special thanks to the GAINESVILLE/OCALA team serving us this week.
Tonight we were also privileged to hear a powerful message on The GREAT Commission from all four Gospels from Dr. Timothy Tennent, president of Asbury Theological Seminary.
Again Jesus said,
"Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent Me,
I am sending you." John 20:21
As His followers, we are authorized and sent to be the hands and feet of Jesus!
2014- a Brand New Year!
Many, O LORD my God,
Are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
No one can recount to you;
Were I to speak and tell of them,
They would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5
2013 was another year of change in this new season of life with The Mission Society. We are so grateful to God and to those of you who have prayed, encouraged and sent financial support. We KNOW that we are all partners in ministry together and we thank God for the way you are walking this journey with us.
Looking back over 2013…
Denny: In our new role with The Mission Society, we have flown over 107,000 miles and had the privilege of serving God’s people in Bolivia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, and Thailand. Our passion to mobilize an intentional movement of disciplemaking followers of Jesus throughout the global church compels us to leave our home base here in Gainesville and to travel around the globe to assist pastors, church leaders, and missionaries to understand what it means to live out the mandate of Jesus.
Since it was impossible for you to travel with us to see firsthand how grateful people have been for us to come to their Countries and share God’s discipleship lessons, we’d like to share some of their responses of what it meant for you to send us to them this past year. (Please note, I have deliberately recorded their emails, for the most part, in its original form.)
“Your discipleship studies have helped me very much in deed.
Thank you very much Denny. I am already passing the Baton.” ~ George
“I have been engulfed to see people being changed to Christ-likeness,
but I forgot on treasuring my life to some people so that we can be like Christ together.” ~ John
“Much greetings from your student in Kenya. Thank you for your teachings of discipleship.
I have put it to practice and witnessed the results.” ~ James
“Brother, Denny, I have much to say about the impact of your teaching in my life and the ministry.
When you were teaching as I told you, I discovered that I did not invest in Discipleship this is a reason why all our evangelistic efforts we in vain. I regret why I invested my time and effort in evangelism without discipleship. Now I want to invest into discipleship.” ~ Felicien
“The training in Nakuru was one of the most inspiring in my life and also provided a platform for networking with ministers. The discipleship classes gave me a different perspective on ministry, which I have started implementing in the church.” ~ Stephen
“Thanks for the notes on Discipleship. The leaders are now encouraged and are raring to run with the understanding that "the church can not grow without discipleship!" ~ Andrew
“I can confidently say the lessons learned and particularly about disciple making were very impacting. To say the truth, I've had to start all over again with our Bible study. For so long our Bible studies have taken the form of a church service where the preacher would expose the word. But thanks to the training we received, for the last three Wednesdays we are now walking through the word of God together with my members. I desire to be found worthy in the eyes of the Lord to handle the awesome gospel delivered and entrusted in my hands for the benefit of his people for whom he has laid down his life.” ~ Benard
“It was such a privilege to participate in the training sessions. The session on discipleship on the book of John was awesome-quite literally. That insight on God's intentional revelation of Himself through Christ melted my heart-that God loves me so much that He went out of His way to intentionally show it. I can't thank God & you enough but I pray that you will continue to disciple, reach & teach many more people as God enables you. That you will have all resources you need to do this. Above all, that you shall diligently follow the Rabbi Jesus and be covered in His dust. ‘Asante sana’....Thank you.” ~ Kezzie
Cindy: How I have loved the opportunities to offer "member care" to those who are serving across the globe. It has been a privilege to laugh, cry and pray with those who are serving faithfully. It has also been a joy to participate in what I affectionately call "front porch discipleship" right here at home! We have also had the pleasure of hosting International students in our home this past fall. We have been enriched by the cultural exchange! One of the highlights of the fall was a trip down the Ichetucknee River. Many of you have partnered with us to host meals and offer hospitality! Thank you for serving with us as we seek to follow Jesus and bringing others along in the journey!
Denny & Cindy Heiberg