Monday, April 5, 2010

You're "finally" coming here!!!

Easter weekend was AWESOME! From the 2 Good Friday services and then the 8 services for Easter, God was honored! Jesus' death and resurrection were proclaimed. I love talking about Jesus. He forgives sins and sets us doesn't get much better!

Due to Easter weekend, I wasn't able to share with everyone at The Crossing that on Easter Sunday night I was hopping on a plane and making my way to Vietnam. I'm actually writing this on a layover while in Taiwan. Someone asked me this weekend, "So Tim, why are you going to Vietnam, weren't you just in India?"

Great question! We have 5 Global Ministry Partnerships at The Crossing; El Salvador, India, Vietnam, Uganda, and Mexico. In most cases, we have been developing these partnership for close to 6 years. Over the course of these years, we have sent teams of various sizes and the resulting relationships have been nothing short of INCREDIBLE!

However, one of the questions that often gets asked is, "When is your Senior Pastor going to visit?" Or as was said to me in well spoken English today, "You're finally coming to see us!"

Please understand, these cultures are quite different from ours in the US in terms of how they view the position of the Senior Pastor. I like to joke that in the US, a pastor is similar to used car sales folks and/or lawyers as far as being esteemed (BTW, I like use car sales people and lawyers).

In most cultures outside the US, Senior Pastors are looked up to and have high standing. Even though our partners have been fine without my visiting presence, there is a unique sense of encouragement one gets in another culture when the "head" pastor shows up, participates and engages in genuine and sincere relationship.

So, this year before the new auditorium and campus are complete, the window of opportunity to see God's work and meet our partners in these five areas of our world seemed best.

Having said all that, God has already done a BIG work in my heart. I've found myself ambushed by God's Spirit in ways I've never before witnessed in the two countries I've visited thus far, El Salvador and India.

I know God has something in store for me in Vietnam. Vietnam will be the first openly Communist country I have ever experienced. I am traveling with Robert Kalatschan, the founder of one of our ministry partners in Vietnam, Giving It Back To Kids. While here I get to see the church that The Crossing built in Can Tho and I will be spending time with Pastor Vu, who trains pastors to go throughout all of Vietnam with the Good News of Jesus.

I ask for your prayers...hey, thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing