Thursday, April 1, 2010

The one who came back to say thanks...

By the time this article in our Way Newsletter appears in your mailbox, Easter weekend will be over and I will be in Moscow Russia on a mission/vision trip along with Wayne Tapscott and Vince Hammond.  I’ll talk about the Russian trip in a bit. In thinking about all of our activities with Good Friday, the Pancake Breakfast, Easter Egg Hunt (including all you who donated candy and eggs), our Palm Sunday musical with our choir, orchestra, praise band, childcare workers, ushers, flower committee and the myriad of volunteers to make all of this possible, well I wanted to just say thanks. I’m constantly reminded of the ten lepers Jesus healed from that awful disease and of that group of ten, only one came back to say thanks. I’ve determined in my life, I may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound like superman, but I can be thankful. I’ve determined I will have “an attitude of gratitude” and I want to be like that one leper who took time to say thanks. So if you volunteered or helped in any way, let me tell you that I appreciate you so very much for volunteering and serving however you helped out. I also want to say thanks to you who went out of your way to greet visitors and engage them to make welcome here at Calvary. This church truly is something special and it is my joy to serve as your senior pastor.  I can honestly say there is no place, any place, in any case, quite like or as special as this place! (Say that 5 times fast!). We had a wonderful weekend celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I marvel at God’s goodness to us.  Somehow “thanks” here doesn’t seem to be enough, but I’m banking on our Heavenly Father to reward you appropriately in Heaven as you’ve been storing up treasure there.  

On Wednesday 4-7-10, Wayne, Vince and I departed for Moscow Russia. We are going to see Rhenn and Terry Cherry, their two kids Carly and Jack. The Cherry’s were members of our church in Houston at Faith Family Baptist Church under Pastor David Lino where I served as his associate pastor. I knew there was something special about the Cherry’s when I met them as you could just tell in their family, the Lord had done a miracle. Rhenn was a corporate executive with a major energy corporation and was on his way to being extremely wealthy on the fast track up the corporate ladder. There were some problems in his company with the head executives that he didn’t know about and the corporate dream life he was living crashed down around them when the company declared bankruptcy and went under. Rhenn was one of the last officers to go down with the ship so to speak and had the responsibility to help relocate employees if possible, handle the gut-wrenching process of laying off people he knew,  worked with and cared about, and then finally, he turned in his stuff and he was done also. During all this, the Lord got Rhenn’s attention under the ministry of Pastor David as we affectionately call him. God called Rhenn, Terry, Carly and Jack to be missionaries in Moscow Russia. Rhenn enrolled in the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Houston to prepare for the mission field. The Cherry’s received an appointment with our international mission board (IMB) and after graduation, left most of their earthly possessions behind, packed what they could put in crates and moved to Russia. For the last several years, they’ve been in heavy training in language school, and now have their assignment in Moscow with Rhenn supervising a group of IMB missionaries in Russia. I’ve been watching their ministry and I’m confident God has His hands on this special family. Our purpose for this trip is to see how we can partner with the Cherry’s in their work, specifically among Russian Baptist Churches to make disciples in Moscow. On 4-10-10 I will be preaching in a new church start called “Dedication Church”. It will be my first opportunity to preach overseas with a translator so I would appreciate your prayers and that the Lord would speak through me. On Sunday, we’ll be visiting another Russian Baptist Church to explore how we can assist these strategic churches before currently open doors might close in the future. While the door is open, we want to get involved as the Lord leads and if it is his will. Would you pray for the three of us to have wisdom and discernment as to the Lord’s leading and that we’ll be a blessing to the Cherry’s, and the pastors of these two key churches? You may have seen there was a terrorist bombing in a Moscow subway on Monday March 29th.  From what I hear, there is much fear and terror in Moscow and if you have no hope in the risen Savior, this is understandable. I can’t wait to tell you all about it upon our return. In the mean time, thanks in advance for praying, from my little corner of the world to yours…

Ralph Green

Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

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