From my recent letter to friends and family announcing my trip to South Africa...
A little more than a month ago, I stepped DOWN from my position in the local church as an act of obedience to God’s call in my life. God made it clear to me. I was to step down and wait for his direction in my life.
It wasn’t easy for me to leave a congregation I was privileged to serve for almost five years, but I knew in my heart God had other plans for me. “But why so abruptly?”, I asked God and he was swift to answer.
He wanted me to step DOWN so I could step OUT. He had tasks and projects for me I couldn’t possibly work on while serving in a local church. So I stepped aside and started the waiting part.
God knows us inside and out and he knew waiting is HARD for me… real hard, so it’s no surprise my marching orders for my first step would come so quickly. The big surprise is that my first step would be to travel to South Africa to write and edit materials for Ubabalo and OneHope to transform the lives of MILLIONS of children with the Gospel
In 2009 the church I was serving and thousands of churches across the US and Canada, partnered with the International Bible Society through Group Publishing and Operation Kid to Kid to purchase, pray over, sign and ship out Gospel Outreach soccer balls along with Ubabalo Scripture Booklets to South Africa.
Later in 2009, my dear friend and fellow Ambassador for Group Publishing from Los Angeles, Gloria Lee, traveled 10,000 miles to South Africa with a team to distribute those soccer balls. While there, Gloria met John and WanYi Yip and witnessed first hand what Ubabalo ministry (that means “God’s Grace” in Xhosa language) was doing to spread the Gospel message through global sports ministry. Gloria was so blown away by the impact Ubabalo was making in the lives of the children of South Africa; so much so she returned to the states sharing what she’d experienced and praying about how she could possibly become even MORE involved with Ubabalo’s growing world wide sports outreach ministry.
That’s where I come into the picture. I was one of the people Gloria shared her amazing experience with while together at a national conference in early October. Admittedly, I didn’t totally understand exactly HOW Ubabalo and OneHope could impact so many lives with an all volunteer leadership team, but I DID know first hand how effective the Gospel Outreach balls and Ubabalo Scripture Booklets were because I used them to teach the Gospel on mission trips in the US as well as given the soccer balls to others on mission trips to Turkey and India.
I recall Gloria and I laughing and dreaming about how amazing it would be to serve in the international mission field again, part time or full-time. I shared with her the memories of my two international mission trips in 2004 and 2005 to Guyana, South America and how I still felt a strong call to train others outside the US how to reach children for Christ.
Next post - details on the Ubabalo- OneHope writing project.....