Hello Friends of EFM,
I officially started at Evangelical Friends Mission on August 1. These last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the team effort required to “make disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” It inspires me to realize that, yes, we all are partnering together with others around the world. This work is not easy, but it is significant. It impacts eternity. I am grateful we labor together.
Here in the beginning, I want to share a bit of my story. It is the underlying motivation for joining you in what God is doing through you and through EFM.
|A million lights
……shining outside my window as I journeyed home on a nearly empty, cross-country red-eye special. In wonder, I gazed down at this stream of lights – town after town, city after city. Around Phoenix, God transformed seat 8F into a sanctuary.
“Each light represents a life,” many of them helpless and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd.
I prayed, “What would it take to unleash God’s people with such conviction that somehow, some way, we could live out and usher in the Kingdom of God in every single one of the places?” The answer came… a Spirit-led movement.
“A million lights, a million lives…” continues to inspire me. In almost each place I visit – Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Mussoorie, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Budapest, London, Dublin, San Salvador, Peronia, Aguascalientes, Los Angeles, Seattle and many others – I look to find a high point. Sometimes it is a tall building, sometimes a hill. I want to see lights.
Since deplaning that over-night flight, I pray, think, study and train motivated by the hope that God’s Spirit will release his relentless love, compelling his people forward with the power of a movement. Scripture, history and experience convince me that a key human element to experiencing movement is equipping leaders to equip others. This conviction is matched by the purpose of EFM.
I am excited about this new opportunity. My hope is that God will create a scenario in which together we experience “a million lights, a million lives” disciple-making movement.
Today, most of all, I am grateful. I’m thankful for our missionaries, who strive to make disciples in dozens of places around the world. I’m moved by the national leaders in each one of those places who sacrifice to carry forward the Kingdom of God. I’m encouraged by the Friends congregations here in the United States who unify (in prayer, in sending, in going) around our commitment to fulfill the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment. I’m appreciative of the EFM staff who tirelessly works to enhance ministry around the world.
I realize our call (as disciple-makers) is challenging. It compels us to pray and carries us to a deeper experience of God’s Spirit. Our confidence is that God continues to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, because his power is at work in his people.
The greatest, most noble aspiration is that a million lives would encounter the One who is life, who is the light of all, who is, in fact, Jesus.
Together, we carry that light. To God be the glory!
Stanley David Leach