Are we losing our passion for the lost?

Today I received some good news. The news is that a fellow missionary team in Radom Poland has received the money and purchased a building for a homeless ministry there. This was $320,000 in just a few months raised truly a miracle. However a church has been saved through this ministry finding a new home. Let me give you some back ground. I share my story as it has been seen from the sidelines not as one involved so if I miss a fact please forgive me.
In Poland less than 1% of the people believe salvation is through Christ. Most believe without membership in the church and priestly blessing one will go to hell or be stuck in purgatory forever. An evangelical church was planted in Radom Poland. After some growth and nurturing a mission to the homeless was started out of the support of that church. At first there were many successes and all welcomed the poor and down trodden men on Sunday morning. It was a novel thing. Many volunteered and participated from the church as well. Of course there were a few grumblings from some in the congregation but they were eager to share the love of the father. As the mission continued the church saw some victory but felt their church was now being invaded. The congregation grew tired of the stink and sometimes disruptive homeless even when the disruption was a question concerning the message. A divide began in the church. In this little church that represented only a small portion of the people in its city and one of the only places one could go and hear about the salvation being through Jesus and not the Church came under attack.
The Pastor and missionaries struggled with what to do. The church was dyeing and losing members over the issues. The men in the homeless ministry felt jaded by the “believers” and ran back to the drugs and alcohol dismissing the believers as greedy like the others. They had been invited in and seen all the splendor these people were not willing to share with them. They were used to people withholding from them but did not understand how Christians could behave this way. The pastor saw he would lose his ministry and mission if something was not done to separate the two.
Many in the United States criticized the Pastor for not heading to Christ teachings and working it out like in the book of James. I sat back and asked “If any of our churches had 15-20 homeless join them for church every Sunday how long till they grew tired of it?” Let alone our churches are matured in a society where it is acceptable to go to church. How about to already be called names and kicked out of families. Now you are berated by the constant presence of homeless men. Dirty stinky men without hope and without purpose. How does this make you want to go to church? Could we endure what these men and women endure? The church was losing its passion for the Lost. Without the church who would be reached? Without the church, who would support the mission to the homeless?
The Missionaries shouldered the burden of the homeless and found a place to continue their work separate from the church. And in fact it is a new church plant of sorts as this is now where homeless gather to hear the word on Sundays and many other days without the judgmental stares of the flock wanting repayment for the sandwich they hold with their dirty cold fingers. The church is again growing and witnessing for Christ. They are learning to encourage and not force believers to care for the poor and needy. Has the church lost its passion for the lost? No I don’t think so but for a short time there it seemed like it.

The question is now in our court, have we lost our passion for the lost? Really I think the only way to address it is have I lost my passion for the lost? If not does my passion consume me as it did Jesus? Personally this story challenges me. Am I so set on my mission that am I not willing to go anywhere and do anything for the lost? Am I willing to go to Rodam, Poland and work with the homeless? I would rather not . My passion for the lost is if God called me there I would go. My Passion for the lost is if God called me to North Africa I would go. My passion for the lost is if God called me to Costa Rica I would go. My passion for the lost is if I was called to Afghanistan, I would go.
My passion is for the lost. I feel I am best suited for Odessa Ukraine. I feel the ruff neck men of Russia need to know the savior. I feel these are the men I work best with but…. My allegiance is to the saving the lost for my savior. My mission is to reach the lost with a message of hope and a love that is worth dying for. Where ever those lost are I am willing to go. Are you willing to do whatever God ask you to do for the lost?
Only Paul went to Spain. He didn’t ask for a convoy, he only asked for support. Is your passion enough for the lost to support us in our missions?

Purgatory Earth

I had a Friend once say “We all live forever just some in Heaven and the rest in Hell”. I didn’t get the feeling she really comprehended the difference between Heaven and Hell, so I wrote this. Please enjoy and it rolls better if you read it out loud.

Purgatory earth (read out loud)

I awake in the morning and prepare for my day

I strive to lead, conquer, build and destroy to laugh and mourn

I strive to live, and live to enjoy.

Slow down and smell the roses they all say

Slow down and enjoy your children before they are grown

Slow down, love yourself, you can be coy

 

My day I have mastered even now I seek more to gain.

My day is the fullest and I know no end to my debt. Buy now pay later

My day for me; is never full, there is always more to get.

I take a walk to enjoy this world

I take a stroll to know where I reign

I take a walk to touch, to see, to taste, to feel, to hear and smell.

 

I see the Sun’s rays who kiss my land, touch the grass and warm my hand

I see the horizon washed in paint, dripping the colors on the meadows, making strong hearts faint

I see the trees whose leaves make shade, grows the fruit, and the wood for the buildings I have made

 

I feel the wind and touch the dirt, praise the comfort and curse the hurt

I feel the lady bug’s little legs crawl, across arm over the hairs; it jumps and flies into the suburban sprawl

I feel my clothes swish and swash, it soaks up the sweat after my face has been washed

 

I smell the fresh cut grass stomped by cleats I smell the BBQ and the roasting meat

I smell the chlorine of the swimming pool I feel the heat and welcome the cool

I smell the trash and a bum, loving all smells but quietly hating some

 

I hear the horns and beeps; I hear the tires rolling some light, some deep

I hear squeals of youngster play; I hear the birds chirping, glad for the day

I hear all the sounds whispers and roars; I never hear it all but always want to hear more

 

I taste the evening dinner always good, always a winner

I taste the sweet breads and the dry wine, only the best meat for me to dine

I taste all the smooth and creamy, nothing gritty, always dreamy

 

What more for me to want, nothing greater to desire

My Life, no strife

My day, no gray

My gains, no pains

My delight, no fright

Mine to spend, no debt in the end

Then I heard the thunder crack, lightning strike I was on my back

Then darkness came, no light to see, but he called my name

 

Looked ahead I see, a bright light on me, the colors swarmed my vision overwhelmed with glee

The vibrant colors shouted so loud what I thought was a wall was really a crowd

My vision overloaded with the beauty it saw, I tried to think but was stuck in awe

 

Wondrous songs I tried to hear one, a thousand at once praising the glorious one

Never before something so pleasing, it was sweet and light, bold yet easing

 

I tried to speak but flavor passed over my lips, nothing I missed, nothing eclipsed

His glory was sweetest nectar I ever did taste, even a drop, I feared to waste

 

The smells of the pure and holy, I raced to suck it all in, I dare not breathe slowly

Every scent was a picture, every sniff a story, smelling the scripture nothing but glory

 

I reached and touched his face, so smooth and soft, just like this place

Through my fingers I felt at ease, it was God I was eager to please

 

The people were my brothers and sisters, I am sure, smiles like children sweet and pure.

The kisses like my wife, delightful and easy without strife

Hugs- everything you would expect from a Granny, nothing wrong, nothing uncanny

My words are too small and weak to even begin to descried to you of what I speak

No imagination is big enough to begin….what I experienced within

Then it stopped.

 

All at once.

The earth shook

And the heavens quaked

His voice was to beautiful to hear to powerful to see just a breath is more than I could ever be

My joy! My lord! What is it you want of me! No voice, no words I couldn’t speak.

To the right his son I did see, I cried out… please, please defend me.

No voice no words I couldn’t speak

God said to the Son, do you know this one…… who stands before me?

The son replied, on earth he refused me, I do not know him, let him flee.

No I cried I did not want to leave, but it was heaven that let me be………me

 

Then the darkness fell. I could not see: nothing at all blind, to my own history

Then I could not hear, no not even my own words, landed, on my ear

Then I could not touch my legs, body, head, and hair. Nothing to clutch

Then I could not taste; no sweat, no tears, truly it was God I disgraced

Finally it was my smell, the last memory was the stench of my soul, and I, I was in Hell

 

You see there is only with and without …….and no in-between

The burning fire we are to suffer is not on the skin

The only burning is the burning desire to live

The desire to see, even fire would be beauty to me

The desire to hear, for silence is deafening, even insults would please my ear

The desire to touch, even the burning of my body would welcomed as such

The desire to taste, even that of water is worth being chased

The desire to smell, even burning flesh….. is better than the bleakness of Hell.