Mission Newsletter: Bob and Jan Young
July 2007

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"Esperanza Eterna" Newsletter

July, 2007

A Ministry of Bob and Jan Young
c/o Edmond Church of Christ
Mail to: 205 Ainsley Court
Edmond, OK 73034

Website: www.bobyoungresources.com
Email: bob.young@oc.edu; drbobyoung@mmind.net

| What We Are Doing | Missional-Through and Through | Bringing HOPE | Activities Summary | Churches/Elders/Mission Committees |

What We Are Doing
"Esperanza Eterna." Hope eternal. We use the Spanish phrase, Esperanza Eterna, because we like the alliteration and because one of the areas of the world dearest to our hearts is Latin America. Our focus, however, is not limited to Latin America.

People frequently want to know, "Exactly what is the mission work you are involved in?" We reply that our goal is to share eternal hope. Not long ago I was asked, "Is this your project, or are you part of a bigger organization?" I replied that "Esperanza Eterna" is the description Jan and I have chosen for the mission work in which we are involved, and that we are not part of a larger mission organization.

Later I realized that I had answered incorrectly. Esperanza Eterna (Eternal Hope) is not our project--we believe it is God's project because it seeks to fulfill God's purpose. The name accurately portrays God's mission. God has an eternal purpose for all of creation. God calls the church to participate with him in his mission of hope eternal. In fact, the church is the means by which God desires to accomplish his mission. God has sent the church into the world as his instrument for accomplishing his eternal purpose. The church is also the declaration of what God wishes for all humanity. The church is a foretaste of what God intends for every person. The church is God's earthly version of what God is inviting all creation to share. The church must understand this dual purpose--to participate in God's purpose (the mission) and to exemplify God's purpose. The church exists not for itself, nor do members exist for themselves, but for the sake of God's work and mission.

Missional-Through and Through
Mission is not something people do sporadically (as mission trip, mission contribution, mission budget, mission support, etc.). Mission is the essence of God's plan for his missionary people. Because the words mission (and missions) have a long history of use (and misuse), and to make a clear distinction concerning God's intention for the church's involvement in his purpose, we have begun more recently to use the word missional. A missional church is a community of Kingdom people who have glimpsed both their "sent-ness" and that they are a living demonstration of God's plan. A missional person is one who sees clearly the call to be a missionary of God's plan and purpose everywhere one goes, and to live out the reality of God's intention in the activities and relationships of life.

Bringing HOPE
With God's dual purpose for the church in mind, we find our calling and involvement in God's purpose in Esperanza Eterna. We believe that God wishes to establish a rescuing, saving relationship with every person on earth. We believe that God intends all his people to know the reality of his peace-giving presence through the Holy Spirit, and to experience the deep koinonia (fellowship--but fellowship is easily misunderstood and often superficial) of people gathered and united in his purpose. We believe God wishes every church, and every Christian, to see opportunities to join God in his mission. These beliefs define our purpose.

Helping. We are helping churches and Christians find greater involvement and commitment in God's mission. We do this through special events and series, consulting with churches, and teaching and preaching. We help churches become aware of special Kingdom needs that are significant in view of God's mission. We communicate, and serve as a liaison between churches and missional opportunities. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of persons around the world who know God's eternal hope.

Opening. A part of our mission is to open the eyes of churches and Christians to the needs and the opportunities. We open eyes to opportunities, and optimize the effectiveness of the church's involvement.

Participating and Planning. We assist churches and Christians in finding opportunities for personal participation in God's work in the world. We also assist churches in planning their efforts for missional participation in Kingdom work around the world.

Encouraging and Empowering. Finally, we encourage churches in missional endeavors and empower both churches and individuals to greater involvement in eternal things.

We invite you to join us in God's purpose of sharing Eternal Hope. Every person who participates with us and requests it receives regular reports and accounting. Here are some things you can do.

Checks should be made payable to Edmond Church of Christ and marked for "Bob and Jan Young Missions". The church asks that we do the accounting so checks should be sent to 205 Ainsley Ct, Edmond, OK 73034.

Activities Summary
Following is a brief overview of our activities.

Preaching and Teaching
In addition to my work at Oklahoma Christian, through the spring semester I served as interim preacher at the Wellston congregation on Sundays and taught two Bible classes in Spanish at the Edmond church each week. In recent months, I have participated in a Missions Emphasis Sunday, preached in a gospel meeting, and helped various congregations with special presentations or sermons.

I continually work on and upgrade the website to make more materials available. I continue to work on materials and bibliographies for leadership, small groups, interim ministry, small church, missional church, and team development and enhancement. In addition, I post other materials (articles, reflections, book summaries, etc.) which may be of help in ministry or mission work.

Missional Activities
As we look back and reflect on our work, opportunities have multiplied. God is so good! Our work in Honduras involved a campaign, a church plant, and a leadership seminar in addition to several preaching and teaching opportunities. I participated in a medical mission trip to Guatemala. In Colombia, I spoke at a church leaders retreat and taught at one of the congregations in Bogota. The trip to Colombia also presented an opportunity to become acquainted with many preachers from Venezuela. The church in Mena, Arkansas helped meet a special need at El Varal in Colombia, and also assisted in Santa Marta, Colombia. The church is El Varal is in the process of appointing elders and deacons. A new church plant in downtown Santa Marta will bring even more to know eternal hope in Christ. There was also a new preaching point established near El Varal.

I continue to serve on the board of directors for Association Amicus, working with Baxter Institute to train preachers and also working with medical missions through the James Moody Adams Clinic and a partnership with VCOM, a College of Medicine associated with Virginia Tech.

In June, I traveled with a group from the Edmond church and spent a week in Nicaragua preaching and teaching. I presented a mini-series on Strengthening Marriages, a leadership seminar, and was able to teach and preach. In June and July, Jan and I spent two weeks in Guatemala with the goal of strengthening both the churches and our Spanish language skills.

Numerous invitations to participate in evangelistic campaigns and to assist church groups have gone unanswered due to scheduling conflicts.

Attention Congregations, Elders, and Mission Committees
Our purpose in this ministry is to help congregations take the good news of Jesus to our communities and our world. We have some minimal working fund needs as we travel and provide support for missions and are always appreciative of those individuals and congregations who help us.

Almost always, I have a list of projects needing funding. Our philosophy is to do those things that the local congregations can support after we are gone. It is a joy to help with temporary needs and in establishing new churches. We are effectively training preachers for Latin America and sending them forth "into all the world." If you would like to know how your congregation could be a part of an exciting mission work, please contact me for details. There is no limit to what God is willing to do through us, "immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine." We solicit your prayers, your heart, and your involvement on behalf of the mission of Jesus Christ.

We would be pleased to visit your congregation and make a PowerPoint presentation about what God is doing.

Muchas gracias; que Dios le bendiga (thank you very much; may God bless you),
Bob and Jan Young

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Last updated July 21, 2007