I know… I’ve not written in a while. That must change.
A week ago down here in the holler, it was 90 degrees and the place was hopping with toads and snakes. The last few nights it’s been in the 40’s and I’m beginning to think I’d better get busy so as not to fall behind the power curve in terms of having wood cut and split and ready for our wood-burning stove.
I thought I’d start in by sharing some words I wrote in response to a request from a Sunday School teacher of 1st through 3rd grade kids. She’s been talking to them about their “Mission Partners” and wanted me to share with the kids a “recap” of what I actually do.
Given that my role has transitioned in recent months, and I am now on ReachGlobal’s Europe Division “Strategic Partnering Team” with a special emphasis on “integral mission,” I’ve not always found success at explaining to fellow grown-
ups what exactly it is that I do.
I’ve often thought that anything truly worthwhile should be explainable in a way that a
kid can understand.
Clear? Huh. Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. … Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can’t make head or tail of it.
So I thought I’d share how I explained what I do to a group of little kids:
We (our family, including our four kids) have lived in Ukraine for many years, where we shared the Good News with many people and were blessed to start some churches. We saw many cool things happen… but what was most important isn’t what WE did ourselves, but what GOD did through us, especially when we found ways to work well together with others.
Now I am a member of the “leadership team” of our mission, ReachGlobal. Now my whole job is about finding and connecting special partners who can, by working together, do more for God and His kingdom than if we all stayed working on our own.
Particularly, I work to form partnerships that will help Christians respond to the horrible fact that there are still millions of slaves in the world today. You may think that slavery was just in other times, or in other places. But, sad to say, it is very real in today’s world. Even worse, many of the millions of slaves in the world today are children!
So I work to help protect children from becoming slaves by working with churches that already exist and those who are starting new churches in Europe to see that we not only have to preach about the freedom we have in Jesus, but also be working in Jesus’ name to help give freedom to those who ARE slaves now, and protect anyone from becoming a slave in the future. So we help churches with their youth groups and outreaches, help connect children who are at risk (like kids who are poor, or who live on the streets or who have no parents or no one to look out for them) with people and churches who can help them. And we want to help them help others.
We are also working with many other churches and groups to work together with many people and families who are “on the fringes” of society… the people that no one really cares about. Because we know that Jesus has a special place in His heart for those who everyone else looks down on.
So we want to be a good example of how to work well with others to share the Good News that Jesus sets us free… free from being slaves to sin and to anything or anyone else.
Thank you for praying for us as we try to be used by God to bring people into His family, and help His family grow to be the sort of people He wants us to be!
* Pray for us as we are trying to build a home for orphans in Kiev, Ukraine to protect them from slavery.
* Pray for us to find good partners to work together in this area and in many other areas that will help the family of God grow big and strong in Europe.
* Pray that God provides for our needs. We have to raise funds to be able to keep going!
God bless you!
Jim and Liz Baker
2 Comments Add yours
Dear Jim and Liz,
so good to hear from you. I hear your summer was also quite full! I was just saying to Mike this a.m. how great it would be to skype with you two…got time? Being with you last fall was def one of the highlights of our year. We have been in our new house 4 weeks today; kind of surreal on many levels. Michigan has been good to us so far, but of course it is lonely not knowing anyone, really, even though family lives about an hour away.
And btw, I think your 4th grade summary is awesome:)
Our love to Marina and the pets, too…
p.s. you might be interested to know that Anna has her 2nd cello lesson this week; we think she is going to be awesome.
I should mention that among this season’s harvest was some very nice oriental cabbage that Anna put in early in the spring. We pray for you and the realization of your ministry vision often.