Canyon: Last night our church commissioned and bid farewell to a young couple and their three little ones as they make their way to East Asia as strategic coordinators for the International Mission Board. Sully and Lisa have accepted the call to establish a Church Planting Movement (CPM) in a large city of 4.5 million people with practically no evangelical work.
Sully and Lisa served on our church staff five years ago before their first tour of duty in East Asia. I will never forget the day I traveled to Florida for their commissioning service and watched them surrender to God’s will for their lives holding their two tiny twin boys in their arms, while two sets of grandparents fought back tears.
Last night as Sully addressed our people, he shared why he and Lisa once again were packing up their little family and heading into the unknown. He quoted the words of Paul saying “For the love of Christ controls us…” (2 Cor. 5.14 ESV). It was the love of Christ, and His love alone that “compels” and “controls” them as they go. When Sully shared those words, my mind raced back to when he served our church during his young formative years. The words of the Psalmist charted the course for his ministry. The Psalmist wrote “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Ps. 63:3 NIV).
Sully and Lisa’s journey to the ends of the earth began on a short term mission trip to Thailand. Sully had no intentions of serving the Lord as a missionary he simply wanted to take a short trip with a team of college students. Little did we know that from that team of six students God would call out four career missionaries.
In a day when many question and critique the work of the IMB, it was a great reminder to me that the IMB is really people on mission. Young men and young women willing to go to the ends of the earth that all may know. The face of Lottie Moon for me are the faces of Sully, Lisa, and their three little ones we held in our arms last night only to release them to pursue their mission today!