Greetings From Egypt

As you are reading this, I am in currently in Egypt with Dr. Matt Gillum and Julie Christianson from our Missions Committee.  We are so thankful to be here and partnering with TC Egypt.  It has been encouraging to see the work that God has been doing in the middle east, and I’m so excited about what God is going to begin doing through ABC in this region in 2023.  We will be back in Austin, Texas this Sunday, and I’m planning to give you a recap of our trip and a brief update on our upcoming Egyptian partnership during our two worship services. 

Over the course of 2022, we have been working very hard to build up our culture of missions here at ABC.  For starters, we thankfully reactivated our mission trips after a long COVID hiatus.  Our student ministry sent a group to Montana and has already planned their next trip to New Orleans during Spring Break.  We sent a group to Greece this month, and we are now planning multiple trips to Egypt in 2023.  We mobilized our church through ABC Serves, and we built a house for a family in need through Project Homebuild.  We are sending a group of 19 men next month to deliver that home to Penitas, Texas through Buckner Missions.  We reached our missions offering goals, and we are excited to roll out our Lottie Moon offering in the upcoming weeks.  We established our first ever “Missions Month,” and all our BFG classes are studying the biblical theology which drives missions.  We’ve spotlighted partner ministries and are now looking forward to the Christmas season which will give us opportunities to bless others through our White Christmas, Operation Christmas Child, and Angel Tree ministries.

While I am proud of the work that has been accomplished this year, I believe it is only the beginning of what must be done.  We are looking forward to even more ways that our church can shine the light of Jesus Christ into dark places.  I’m excited to see what God is going to do through the Lighthouse Project, and I pray that the Family Support Center will become a great blessing to mothers, fathers, and children in desperate need.  We are planning to increase the missions budget by 10% in 2023, and I pray that our impact will likewise increase as we focus on how we can reach others in Austin and all around the world. 

Why should missions matter to you and to me?  Jesus told us it must matter.  Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus commanded the church to in fact go on mission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus isn’t an option, it is a mandate.  In fact, Jesus also said it is something that must happen before He will return: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). 

Jesus has entrusted the church with the precious gift of the Gospel, and He has commanded us to partner with Him in sending that Gospel to those who need it all around the world.  We must increase our intentionality because there still is much work to be done.  The International Mission Board estimates that over 157,000 people die every single day in our world without knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.  That is an overwhelming number.  It should humble us, but it should also compel us to action.  I pray that you will consider how you can live on mission this week.  Missions Month will wrap up soon, but the mission must indeed continue.  How can God use you to reach others around you?  Of course, there are needs in Egypt and all around the world, but there are also needs in your neighborhood, your workplace, and maybe even your own home.  May we all be difference makers in our own spheres of influence because our days truly are numbered.  Invite and invest this week, and I look forward to worshipping with you back home in Austin this Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

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