Christ loves every human in every place on this planet! In Matthew 28:19, Jesus invites us to be a part of His desire to show this redemptive love when He says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
But what about those of us who haven’t been called to go overseas to serve in a foreign country? What can we do to join in this Great Mission so all the world might know Him as their Savior? Can we really have a part in sharing the good news worldwide while still living here in Ventura County? Here at ENCOUNTER, we believe we are all called, some to go and some to send! So what does it mean to serve as senders?
ENCOUNTER supports 20 different global partners worldwide. (See more information about their roles worldwide HERE) Because it is ENCOUNTER’s priority to share with unreached people groups, many of these partners are living and serving in isolated, challenging places. Some of them have few fellow believers with which to worship and pray. This can be lonely and discouraging over time.
We like to think of these partners as part of our church family, absent in person but present in spirit. When believers at ENCOUNTER take the time to reach out, get to know, listen to, give financially to their ministries and pray for these partners, then those serving are reminded that they matter. They remember they belong to a body of believers who care enough to listen to their stories, lift them up in prayer, and reach out to them when they return for visits. Some of our small groups have started having video chats and email communication with partners, giving birth to deep, flourishing relationships.
Partners coming home from the field are often soul-weary and need practical things like a place to stay, a car to borrow, and play dates for their children, as well as time to connect and fellowship with small groups and other believers. These are things we can all do and we are blessed in the process! Can you imagine what an encouragement that would be to a partner who is selflessly pouring into a people group?
If you and/or your small group would like to adopt a global partner in any of these ways please email Stacy Eckstrom or Rob Gapper. They will help you reach out safely to an ENCOUNTER Global Partner in a way that won’t compromise their ministry or safety and will surely encourage them as they serve our Lord. Rob and Stacy serve on ENCOUNTER’s Global Outreach Team.
*Tips for communicating safely with Global Partners can be found HERE