This was the beginning of my journal entry yesterday:
“Got the call this afternoon from Bro. Poitras letting us know that our AIM application had been approved.”
While speaking with him on the phone yesterday afternoon, I was of course very glad at the news. As the day progressed, however, it occurred to me that the full weight of what that meant was really only beginning to dawn on me.
We fill out application forms all the time, and often have them approved by people we have never, nor will ever, see. The acceptance letter is seen as the natural and expected next step: a “given” as opposed to something that is contingent on a number of factors. It occurred to me however, that – at least in the case of an AIM application – an expression of acceptance is a great deal more.
An expression of confidence: Our AIM application was deliberated by…
- Bro. Bruce Howell (General Director of Global Missions for the United Pentecostal Church and long time missionary in El Salvador)
- Bro. Scott Slaydon (General Secretary of Global Missions)
- Bro. Bryan Abernathy (Director of Promotions, Global Missions)
- Bro. Jim Poitras (Director of Education / AIM, Global Missions and long time missionary in Ghana, West Africa)
- Bro. David Schwarz (Regional Director of the Central American / Caribbean Region, Global Missions)
These five men do more than simply check off items on a list. They attempt to read between the lines and make decisions that are in the best interest of the applicant, the missionaries concerned and the national church. This of course over and above the confidence already expressed by my pastor and district superintendent as well as the others who have encouraged us along the way.
A Definite Next Step: There are certain Line in the Sand moments, when something feels very, very real. It’s easy to say “We’re in the process of…” doing this or that, but when an application has been accepted for a project of this nature, the trajectory is set and it becomes only a matter of time. Other things or secondary processes that depended on this one, can begin to be engaged. We’re one step closer to the dream.
A Transfer of Anointing/Authority/Responsibility: As I sat in Bible Study, listening to my pastor’s message – as he talked about gatekeepers in and for the local church and for the city, I couldn’t help but utter a prayer for the cities in which we will be working (Paris and Châtellerault)… asking that God would give gatekeepers in those cities as well: people who would be key in opening up relationships and opportunities, that the Kingdom of God be advanced there.
Lord, like Ananias of Damascus in Acts chapter 9, bring me into contact with, your chosen vessel(s) … those who will, in turn, bear your name to their villages in western France and beyond.
I am, to a greater degree, feeling a responsibility for those communities. To some degree, it is like the passing of a mantle I suppose… and I accept.
Lord, just give me Châtellerault and her surroundings and let me win victories for you… let me be a vessel that brings honour to my master.
These are just a couple of things that a letter of acceptance of acceptance can produce, when we apply ourselves to the right things.