As far as religions go, Christianity contains many simple truths.
These are those truths: we were created by a God who loves us and desires to have an intimate and personal relationship with us. He is not a god who is far off and distant, unjust and unkind. He is a Father who loves and created us in His image and desires to have an intimate relationship with us. He is perfect and demands perfection; but the sad thing is, we are a people who are far from perfect. Where He is holy and pure, we are mistake-filled and tainted. Where He is kind and just, we are vindictive and demanding of retribution.
But the good news is this: that to attain that personal relationship with the ones He created to love and be loved, He did something that was just as radical as the grace He pours out so freely. He sent His Son Jesus, who was God and man, to live, to teach and to show what faith looks like walked out and talked out to people who had been getting it wrong since the Garden of Eden.
Then, He died. He died a death that was gruesome and terrifying, so that we wouldn’t have to pay the price of our own sins and screw-ups.
But, not only did Jesus die, He also rose. When He rose, He explained to His closest friends, His tightest-knit circle that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who would stick with them when He wasn’t there anymore. Not only would they be able to do the things that He did, but they would do even greater things (John 14:12). They would then be able to tell the people in their city, the city next door, the entire nation, and eventual the world about how they could have the same power, grace, healing, and love poured over them that they too had experienced (Acts 1:8).
That is the simple gospel that we as Christians are inclined to share to anyone who will listen, and even to anyone who won’t listen.
For Centerfield Coffee Shop’s August Ministry of the Month, our tips will be divided into three parts and given to three different missionaries and families that are preaching that same simple gospel wherever God has called them to. We would like to take this time to introduce you to these lovely folks and let them tell you a little bit about their ministries!
Meet Megan Parham
What do you do? I work as a full time missionary with an organization called Adventures in Missions.
Who do you serve? I train and disciple young missionaries (21-35 year olds) serving on the mission field with The World Race, an 11 month mission trip that goes to 11 different countries. Throughout the year, I have the opportunity to visit and serve with them in various countries.
Why do you serve? One reason I serve is because I love Jesus and want to partner with Him in fulfilling God’s mission here on earth, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). Another reason I serve is because I participated in The World Race back in 2012 and it drastically changed my life, my intimacy with Holy Spirit, my partnership in the Kingdom, and my perspective of God’s purpose here on earth. I love being able to give away what I have been given and train up the next generation of missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
How can we pray for you? Continued wisdom and discernment to pour into their lives and teach them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Strength, energy, and passion to remain focused on Kingdom work and God’s heart for all nations.
Meet the Dillard Family
What do you do? We are church planters to Irvine, CA.
Who do you serve? I am the Family Pastor at Grace City Church and Mel is the Worship Leader Assistant and manages our social media.
Why do you serve? The reason we moved here and serve is to “Make disciples that make disciples”. That is our passion and purpose in life. 55% of the people in Irvine do not claim a religion. That means 240,000+ people don’t personally have a relationship with Jesus.
How can we pray for you? Pray for us to continue to make disciples, further friendships with those far from God, reach more unchurched families in our community, raise up leaders in our church family, our church to live a life of generosity, our girls (Ellie Mae and Addison) start back to school and routine, Mel’s throat issues to be healed so she can sing, and my Mom’s healing as she fights cancer.
Meet the McClure Family
What do you do? We make disciples! Our end vision is to glorify Christ through Kingdom expansion, accomplished through equipping Dominicans to fulfill the Great Commission by reaching their own people and planting biblical churches among them. Our long-term discipleship vision is to have self-feeders on the Word of God making disciples who make disciples multiplying across the Dominican. We long to see this island covered with a knowledge of the glory of God the way the waters cover the sea (Has 2:14). My official role is church planter and overseer of Dominican discipleship efforts with SCORE International. I am also the Atlanta Braves Rookie League affiliate chaplain here in the DR. Joanna is an RN and runs a medical clinic she started in our village.
Who do you serve? We are based in a small village called San Jose where we have been for over seven years. We we arrived in San Jose there were zero christians and zero churches. Today, within our area of operation we have church plants and dozens of cell groups lead by disciples from the harvest extending into nearly two dozen other communities. Our demographic in these villages is the more impoverished population of the Dominican.
Why do you serve? We serve first and foremost for the glory of God. God has a people created for His glory and has granted us, the church, the unique privilege of laboring in the ingathering of His people through missions. Recognizing that the purpose of man is to worship and enjoy Jesus for eternity motivates us to remain diligent in service (Isa 43:6-7; Jer 13:11). The glory and praise due the Name of Jesus is being given to another and the immeasurable joy found in Him is being sought through the fulfillment of worldly lusts and passions. This is an unacceptable tragedy that demands obedience to the Great Commission.
How can we pray for you? Pray for God to call out new young men from within our churches to be discipled and sent out as leaders to advance the Kingdom in our area of operation. Pray for our family that we will be encouraged, energized and given boldness to continue pressing into difficult areas of ministry despite opposition. Pray for the hearts of those we serve to be broken for the glory of God and set free of the voodoo and tradition that holds them in bondage.
We are so stoked to partner with these awesome folks who are growing the kingdom of God where He has called them! These missionaries benefit from the support, both financial and in prayer, of their friends, families, and others who feel called to walk alongside them in this journey God has called them on. We are more than happy to do just that, so join us and make sure to throw your change into the tip jar for our friends here and abroad!