When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God dried up the Jordan for them, and they crossed over on dry land.
God then told them to set up Memorial Stones in Gilgal, so that when their children asked about those stones, they would tell their story of God’s faithfulness to them.
I want to share some of my story regarding my experiences in Mexico. Some of you have heard this a few times. If that is the case, skip forward to the latest photo album, courtesy of Pastor Sam Scotti, of Genesis in Upland. Sam has posted images of our latest Leadership Conference. Thanks Sam.
The images are under the “Vizcaino Conference 2008″ folder and if you double click on the photos they will enlarge.
FYI…current photos can be found at www.lpviz.wordpress.com
I was on staff at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa from 1989-1991. During that time, I was singing in a band called The Mirrors. The Iron Curtain fell, and Eastern Europe opened up to the West. We traveled with Brian Broderson (then pastor of CC Vista, CA) to Yugoslavia and Hungary, and sang and shared about Jesus. Lots of young people got saved, and churches were birthed.
I traveled back to Yugoslavia and Hungary for a number of years, speaking at conferences that those young churches held. Eventually, I also taught some in Austria. Eastern Europe was my mission field for a time.
One year while serving at a conference in Budapest, I became increasingly uncomfortable with my involvement in Eastern Europe. Nothing was wrong, and I loved the people, but I felt out of place. As I prayed one night, the Lord spoke to my heart, and gave me the impression that my new mission field would be in a Spanish speaking country. There were no more details than that. I immediately planned to not re-visit Eastern Europe and participate as I had done for a number of years.
I began asking around about missions opportunities in Mexico. I was directed to La Posada in Rosarito, Baja. I felt like I had found my place regarding foreign missions. We visited La Posada three times a year for a number of years.
One year, Victor Mayoral, former director and pastor at La Posada, invited me to go with him to Vizcaino, Baja Sur (South). It’s 500 miles south of the U.S./Mexico border. He said that not a lot of outreach was happening there. We went, and a few months later, took a group of pastors to tour the area. During that first pastoral tour, I was impressed with the need for us to offer a Leadership Conference for pastors in the region. We talked with them, and discerned that they needed encouragement and support. The Municipality of Mulege takes 5-6 hours to drive across. Vizcaino is located in the middle of the municipality.
Long story short: We bought 3 1/2 acres there, and are currently building a missions base with the help of other Calvary Chapels. We have hosted 8 Annual Leadership Conference, with pastors and leaders from many different denominations. We have planted a church which is pastored by a Mexican national. We have two full time missionaries living on our property. As many as 10 churches are now or have been involved in ministry in Vizcaino. God has added many workers to this effort.
There is much more to the story, but take note of this: Our walk with the Lord is a journey, a process, and progressive revelation. There is nothing wrong with planning, but far too often, our plans are only hunches, guesses, and good ideas. As we obey what God is telling us, and as we take the next step and do the next thing, He shows us more of His plan. We can never see the 2nd or 3rd step until we have taken the next step, and obeyed the Lord in the thing that is before us. A favorite phrase of mine, originally coined by Elisabeth Elliot is this: “Do the next thing”.
Don’t get frustrated or feel defeated if you can’t figure the big picture. “Do the next thing.” As you obey what is before you, the Lord opens up a new panorama. Then share your story with others regarding God’s leading and His faithfulness.