Globalization is a common buzz word in many circles today. This not a new topic or idea; Paul engages the idea in 2 Corinthians chapter 8. He writes with enthusiasm to those in Corinth, telling them how much he wanted them to get to know the church in Macedonia, and especially the “the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.” (2 Corinthians 8:1). He then emphasizes two characteristics of these brethren in a different part of the world:
- Although undergoing severe trials, they were joyfu.
- Even in the midst of extreme poverty, they were generou.
Talk about radical and counter-cultural! I can have a hard time being joyful when my life is without a trial. Even in the midst of abundance it’s not easy to be generous. What a truly wonderful work of the grace of God in those churches!
In my recent travels, I’ve had the privilege of seeing youth from Chinese churches rejoice in midst of difficulties. In Papua New Guinea, a nation with much poverty, I heard our leaders discussing ways to better care for their six missionaries sent to other island-nations of the Pacific. I’m excited about the grace of God in the small Foursquare work in the Kaxinawa tribe in western Amazon, who, only months after the arrival of Brazilian Foursquare missionaries to their tribe, prepared to send a Kaxinawa missionary to reach their cousin tribe in Bolivia with the gospel.
You and I are privileged to be a part of an amazing global Foursquare tapestry, being woven by works of God’s grace, of so many forms, shapes, colors and styles. I also get very excited about the Kaxinawa, or PNG, or Chinese brethren getting to meet you, and discovering the rich deposit and work of His grace that is in you, your family and church. After years living outside the United States, I am so grateful for this season, serving in your midst again. And recently at Connection ’09, it was all about being enriched by His grace in each other as we connected as a family.
Thank you so much for sharing His grace in you around the world by praying, giving and going. We celebrate that! May His grace be abundant in my heart and yours this week, causing there to be joy and generosity (regardless of circumstance), just as in those days, in Macedonia!