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Grace and Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ!

We are disciples of Jesus who call the nations to be disciples of Jesus! The “nations” include people from many countries of the world who are now living in this country, it includes tourists, shoppers, and the rest who are visiting the United States, and—inspired by the way Paul tells the Gospel to the Romans—for us it especially includes people living in a community (we have not yet identified) that is somewhere else in the world. This year we have the opportunity as a congregation to reach out to the nations in the Greater New York City area.

The youth and young adults involved in the Workshop Youth Group are taking a mission trip from August 5-13th. We will stay at Goshen Christian Reformed Church where we will be able to help out with their Vacation Bible School program that reaches out to about 150 kids, many of whom are from the Hispanic community. We will also get to work with Christ Health Care Ministry to go into a migrant farming community and assist M.D.’s with providing medical care. Other ways we will get to help during the week will probably include other migrant worker ministries and some other cross cultural ministries between Goshen and New York City. My friend Sam Sutter who is organizing things for us on that end will be putting together the rest of the details in the weeks ahead. We will even get to go on an excursion into New York City.

There are several ways that you can participate in this outreach short of actually being there in person. One way is to support the fundraisers necessary to pay for our transportation and food expenses. Some information about those fundraisers is included inside this newsletter. Other fundraisers may be proposed in the future. This is actually a way that you can invite our community to participate in this outreach – to tell your friends and neighbors about this ministry and encourage them to come out to support us. A second way is to pray for those who are preparing for this trip and for others who may join us. Never underestimate how much you are participating in this ministry simply by lifting it up in prayer. A third way is to share with us your ideas, skills, and expertise. I know that you have much to teach us so that this journey will go well.

If you have ever been on a mission trip you know that good things happen when you get out of your comfort zone, focus on God, and take risks in serving. No doubt we will discover ways to love the nations living in and visiting the Niagara Falls area too. Thankfully this will help us to realize our vision, mission, and even our goal of reaching out in another country. Praise be to God!

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