We had the wonderful privilege of having Phillip and Michelle Brown visit our church last night. They will be planting a new church in Bozeman, Montana. I love having missionaries and church planters in to try to be an encouragement to them. Years ago, when my family and I were preparing to start Cornerstone Baptist Church here in Manchester, we spent several months on deputation. Deputation is a time when missionaries and church planters visit churches of like faith to present their ministries and seek prayer and financial support. Missionaries to other countries are not allowed to work in those countries so they need to raise enough support from here in the states to be able to take care of their families and do the work of the ministry. Church planters here in the States should also raise support. It is very difficult to start a church and work a full time job. I can attest to how difficult that was! Deputation can take several years of going from church to church trying to raise that support. It is exciting, but it can also be very difficult. You are away from home, often staying in people’s homes or in motels, eating lots of fast food, and living day to day by faith. Even after only a brief time of deputation, my family and I realized how difficult it was for missionaries. That has helped us to be more sensitive to their needs as we have them visit. Our church has a heart for both home and foreign missions, so we try our best to be an encouragement to these men of God who are willing to go on our behalf and reach others for Christ.
All that being said, I have to say that it was the Browns that ended up doing all the encouraging last night! They are a fine family and have a tremendous heart for God and others. We were able to see their video presentation of their burden to reach Bozeman, Montana. You can view that video on their website, browns2bozeman.com. Phillip then preached a great message from Romans chapter 10: “My Heart’s Desire Is For My People”. The apostle Paul, though he was a missionary to the Gentiles, had a great burden for his own people, the Jews. They were going about trying to establish their own righteousness. In other words, they were trying to be good to get to Heaven. Isn’t that how so many Americans are trying to get there? Paul’s message is the same as ours today. No one will ever be good enough to get to Heaven. Phillip did a great job reminding us of the need to keep our burden fresh for our own people! We finished up the night by hanging around for a while just gabbing. I think it was that time that was the most encouraging!
I hope you will take a few minutes and go to their website. Send them a note and let them know you are praying for them.