Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

Cuba Trip Summed Up

by pastortimfowler

As I told you the other day, I, and 9 guys from my church, went down to this beautiful country for a mission trip in a project called Church to Church. The goal is to partner churches in the US with churches in other countries in long term relationship so to help the global church to grow. My church chose Cuba. This was my 3rd trip, a 2nd for my associate pastor and the 1st for the rest of the guys.
Cuba is a country that has spiraled downward in the standards that we in the US have come to know. But the human spirit there is strong and the church has always thrived under adversary. The Cuban people are proud and resourceful and have more than enough courage to pull through this challenge. They don’t need pity or money thrown at them, they need Christ.
Our country has come to the idea that having stuff equals prosperity. They relate freedom to the ability to get more stuff. The Bible tells us that this is a dangerous idea and that true freedom comes from being forgiven of our sins and having Christ as our Savior. Material things will rust and fade, but the love of God through Christ Jesus will never fade away. Hope comes from God and His provisions to His people are unending. If you don’t believe this, I wish you could see how He is providing to the believers in Cuba and how through them, He is providing to even those who do not believe.
My trip was motivating. I saw people worshiping in places that many in the US would not even store their lawn mower. I sang with people who lived and worshiped in the same 2 room house and never once did I feel like they were in need, but rather I found that I needed what they had. They had a pure love of God that was not clouded over by electric praise music and a building that could house thousands. They were not trying to grow the largest group of people under one roof, but were trying to draw lost soul to Jesus. They did not care that the AC was too cold or the band was too loud. Maybe because they had no AC and they sang louder than the musicians could play on their old acoustic instruments. Oh how I wish I could bottle that up and sell it in a church program.
We have decided that most of us are going back. We are not going to help them get new stuff or help them build bigger buildings. We are going to help them use what God has given them, hope. We are going to help them with a few resources that they have asked for, like soccer balls and baseballs so that they can reach out to the kids who play in the street with whatever they have improvised.with. We are going to see the purity of God’s love through eyes that have not been hazed over with envy of the church down the street. We are going to bring back a renewed hope of reaching hearts with the forgiveness of God and the complete satisfaction of Him over material things. Yep, I guess you could say that we are going so that the church in Cuba can help us. Funny how that works. We thought that we were the ones to bring hope and all the time it was them who were ready to give us hope.
So pray for Cuba, its people, and its leaders. Pray for the churches in Cuba and know that they are strong and alive. Pray that they never lose focus on the fact that God is enough and that this idea spreads back to the church in the USA.
God bless the church in Cuba. They are alive and growing strong. God bless the church in the USA. May we learn again to put our trust in God and not our things that we can afford. I challenge you to look hard at what you are trusting in for ministry. Perhaps you can give something up and use the money for helping send a mission team to a place like Cuba. Trust in God to draw people and not in those things that we so often rely on. Jesus said that if He would be lifted up, that He would draw men to Himself. Put down that Ipad, after you read my blog of coarse, and lift up Jesus. He is enough.

July 29, 2013

Back by Popular Griping?

by pastortimfowler

I feel humbled that so many have griped about my lack of blogs lately. Griping seems like such a harsh word though, so maybe I should have used another. Oh well, I can’t think of that word though. I don’t think I will do a daily blog, but I will try to do one a week or so. I have been extremely busy in the past few months and needed some down time from the blogs to deal with more urgent issues.
I have had the opportunity to travel this year. In March I went to Israel and walked where Jesus walked. I was able to see the Old City of David and walk the streets where Jesus carried the cross. I sailed the Sea of Galilee and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. I even had the chance to be baptized in the Jordan River. It was an incredible experience that I would encourage anyone to do if given the chance.
In June I went to Cuba for the third time. Our church is partnering with a church there and this time I led a group of ten men from my church there to help in growing the church in Cuba. We took about 30 soccer balls, 50 baseballs, a bunch of gloves, and some bats and helped them start a children’s sports camp where they can tell kids about Jesus. We are already planning to go back next year and hopefully take two groups from our church next time.
In November I will be flying to see a friend in the Philippines. I have known him for about ten years and he has visited me a couple of times. Although the invite has always been there to visit him, the timing never worked out until now. I am not sure what I will be doing there outside of a lot of preaching and teaching, (Nothing to complain about there). I do believe this will be something that I will do again, if God allows.
Besides these trips, I have had some opportunities to travel quite a bit in the US too. Nothing as incredible as the foreign trips, but certainly nothing to complain about.
So I figured I would start with a blog explaining what I have been doing and hopefully I can elaborate on some of the more interesting parts of each trip in the next few blogs to follow. If not, I will make up something that is every bit as interesting. After all, I have such an amazing life, just being married to that woman God gave me and dealing with these people who come to my church. All of them are weird and or different and give me plenty to talk about.
So if you are one of those who has griped about me not blogging, stand by, you may be part of an upcoming blog. Just remember that I only do this because I love you and…you asked for it.
Thanks for reading and thanks for “encouraging” me blogging again.