I read recently in Matthew 5:15 where Jesus said of His disciples, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." There are lots of things we can do individually and as the church that shines the light of Jesus in our community. It might be helping a neighbor carry in the groceries, or mourning with a friend over a loss, or listening to a stranger's story and praying for their needs. However the Holy Spirit guides us, these activities ought to be intentional, interactive, and inspiring. We need to glorify God in everything we do. Jesus ought to be visible in our life whether we are at a bookstore, in church, or in our neighborhood. Paul in 1 Cor 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
Last Saturday we had our Shop & Support Event at ECCO Family Bookstore in New Baltimore. The owner, Marianne, is also the leader of the homeschool co-op, where Bethany and our girls attend on Fridays. We brought lots of croissants and pain au chocolat. ECCO has a wonderful setup with toys for kids and coffee in the back room for people to sit and mingle. The girls pretended to have their own coffee shop and took orders from a menu they had just created. We had our GoBindemans posters and French Church stats to engage people with what God is doing in France and how we'll serve there. There was a steady stream of people who stopped by from co-op families, our home church Macomb Christian Church, and others. We were all blessed by God's presence and the fellowship of each other.
Besides informing people about France, I got to talk with and pray with one friend's father, who felt called to be a preacher decades before but was feeling a bit discouraged. He felt a burden for some family members who were not believers. I encouraged him to be faithful to what God's given him and to keep praying for his family. I shared how I had prayed for my own father for ten years, shared the Gospel with him, and that we believe he reconciled with everyone in life and finally with God before passing away due to lung cancer in 1999.
We're excited about our opportunity to have a ministry table set up in the lobby of our church last Sunday. The goal was to connect with people who are passionate about the gospel and get them involved with our service in France. I spoke with many people who really had no idea that France has been so far from the Gospel for centuries and in many ways led the way in Western secularism and even atheism.
We had a great time meeting people, listening to their stories, and hearing their passion for outreach overseas. We shared what kinds of things we Bindemans will be doing in the villages of France, like being part of the community, inviting people over for dinner and Bible studies, sharing the Gospel and hope of Jesus Christ to all who God has called. We also talked about how we can partner together with believers here and help make disciples in France.
There were very fruitful conversations, and I think that some new doors are opening up for us.