The following is an update from Pastor Rod Thompson and Cross Culture Missions, a missionary ministry of Reliance Church:
I have Italian Residency! This is important because I can now purchase a vehicle in my name. We still have work to do for Zuza’s residency. We must obtain updated copies of our wedding certificate and her birth certificate. We may have to go to Serbia to pick them up or possibly go the Serbian Consulate in Trieste, Italy.
Day 7 & 8 on our Panama Missions Trip! Please continue to pray as the team nears the end of this trip. Pray that it has a lasting impact on both the people of Panama and the students and leaders that went on the trip.
The Panama Missions team is going strong and almost halfway through the trip already. Please continue to pray for strength and endurance for this team as they continue to faithfully preach the Gospel to all who will hear!
What an amazing first day at the Reliance Church 2013 Vacation Bible School (VBS). We had over a hundred volunteers who have been working hard for weeks to make this a reality and we are already seeing the fruits of their labor and of God’s provision. Almost 600 kids came out to play games, make new friends, and most importantly, to hear about Jesus. Today was by far the largest children’s outreach we’ve ever done and we’re thrilled to get the opportunity to do it four more times this week! We’re blown away that God is not only using Reliance Church as a way to reach kids from Temecula, Murrieta, and Menifee, but He has also given us the ability to offer this VBS to the community completely free of cost for
The preacher calls out “Stand to your feet!” and for an inexplicable reason, my heart is pounding uncontrollably. I feel anxious, and somehow I know that if I don’t follow his exhortation to stand, this could very well be the last opportunity I have to choose God. A tug-of-war in my mind ensues; excuses and fears pull my heart away from Jesus, but then unexpectedly, instantly, and boldly, in a moment of faith and courage that was not in me before, I stand to my feet. The crowd disappears, my worries dissipate, and now I don’t care what they think; it’s just Jesus and me. Tears flood my eyes as I realize it is my sin that He paid for on the cross at Calvary… and yet He loves me. God isn’t angry with me; He accepts me even with my extreme imperfection. Then the preacher instructs us to come forward. We gather near the stage, and while I know that he encouraged and prayed for us, I really can’t recall what he said. What I do know is that this moment was both the end and the beginning. It was the end of my life, as I had known it and the beginning of my new life in Christ. It was the most imperative day of my life; the day I was transformed by the grace of God.
Easter provides a unique opportunity for the Gospel as we focus in on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Above is glimpse of what coming forward may have looked like. Perhaps you heard the call to “come forward” as the Spirit of God brought conviction of sin upon your heart. While physically getting out of your seat does not determine the validity of your response to this call, it can be discernably measured. James 2:17-18 says it this way: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead…I will show you my faith by my works.” The proof that you have come forward is conveyed by how you go forward.
The Gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not palatable. There is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to come to accept is another thing. I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do