Why do I blog?
Everyone has their own reasons, but four years ago it dawned on me that I was personally doing very little to make disciples of the nations.
For us, Guayaquil is our "Jerusalem", not the ends of the earth. Though we are international missionaries living in a cross-cultural setting, I was personally not doing much of anything to engage our own Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. What difference was there between what we were doing, and all those other churches out there equally focused almost exclusively on their own Jerusalems?
After some prayer and soul-searching, I decided to try and reach beyond our Jerusalem and begin to impact in at least some small way the Judeas, Samarias, and nations beyond. Blogging is one of the ways we have been able to do this.
Seldom does a week go by that someone reading the "M Blog" has not contacted us personally. Something clicks within as they read. They want to engage in more personal dialog. These people come from all over the world. These readers have questions. They too are seeking how to best win their own Jerusalems, Judeas, and ends of the earth. Sometimes they seek advise. Other times they want to know about materials we use. Over the years, literally dozens have ended up actually coming to Ecuador and serving their 'ends of the earth' through that initial contact made through the blog! We know of at least three families who are currently in the process of transitioning from their lives in the USA to full-time overseas service due to initially stumbling across something shared here on the "M Blog."
Many times a blog post written by myself or others touches upon an aspect that another brother is dealing with personally. Private emails and public comments are exchanged which often stimulate new ideas and function ala Hebrews 10 to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together...but encouraging one another... for more effective service.
Examples of this would be posts like What are we doing here? or Returning to Ecuador being used to encourage fellow laborers out there likewise going through times of questioning their own ministry, and hearing from fellow laborers that, we too, feel and sense these same kinds of weaknesses.
Likewise, I have received from other people's posts key insights, ideas, suggestions which we have used in our own church planting ministry. These examples are almost too numerous to mention. But in this way we are impacting one another's ministries for the good of the Kingdom.
One of the unforeseen ministries that has quietly evolved out of blogging, is the stream of emails and inquiries generated coming in from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Sometimes they are from fellow missionaries, but most come from Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters who have questions and do not know where to turn for answers. There are few resources available in Spanish for the who, what, when, where, and how of simple church, and church planting in general.
I personally observe a swelling tidal wave of people beginning to explore and reexamine the NT in light of church practice--especially related to the "nuts and bolts" of doing simple/organic/house church practice. I have mailed out dozens of copies of our materials over the past few years to church planters all over the Americas. Sometimes I hear back from them, sometimes not. Related to this is a good amount of time spent weekly answering inquiries generated by people passing on posts and information originating from material read on the "M Blog." In this way we are able to have an influence not only our own Jerusalem, but on far-away places which we normally would never have a chance to engage.
As time has gone by, we have added to the blogging other projects to engage our Judea and Samaria that are beginning to yield tremendous fruit. One of these is our "Guayas for Christ" project to reach our Judea.
To engage our Samaria, our church planting team is currently partnering directly/indirectly with several ministry projects which seek to engage overlooked, or marginalized people's in our midst: the abandoned elderly, AIDS victims, street kids (gangs), women in prostitution, delinquent youth, and homosexuals.
This whole Acts 1:8 mindset is being caught by the churches in our network. It is exciting to sit with them over discussions of how they might be able to impact places like India, the surrounding provinces, and the jungles of Peru. Money doesn't seem to be the central issue; rather discernment of the Lord's will, prayer, faith, and how if we sacrificed more, we might be able to send out others as cross-cultural missionaries.
So, in a nutshell, that is why I blog. Thanks for reading and especially for all you do in obedience to engage in the task of making disciples of the nations.