To my family and friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
Whenever I return home from a mission trip, I can't help but think of the opening lines of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Allow me to begin by borrowing his words.
"Lucas, a servant of Christ Jesus. To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are across Canada and beyond. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:3–5).
For the past eight weeks you have journeyed with me as I endeavoured to serve the Lord and make disciples in Romania. Today, I want to thank you for your partnership in the gospel.
Thank you for making this mission trip possible through your ongoing labour in prayer. To know that many people were praying for me was an incredible encouragement throughout my stay in Braila—especially in the moments when I was overwhelmed by my own weakness and the circumstances around me. Please know that your intercession was powerful and effective—the fruit it bore is evident for all to see.
Thank you also for giving sacrificially so that I could be sent to Braila and have my daily needs provided for. I am humbled by your generosity and eagerness to support the work of the gospel, especially when I consider that many of you have consistently partnered with me in this way for the past several years.
Paul’s epistle to the Philippians was, among other things, a thank you letter for the their ongoing support of his ministry. As I think of you of each of you, I join with Paul in saying that “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace . . . And it is my prayer that your love my abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:6-7a, 9).
My final week in Romania felt surreal. Unfortunately, our planned outreach in Kilometre Zece was cancelled due to heavy rain. However, I was thankful for the opportunity to finish teaching the evangelism course and to spend time with some of the youth before returning home. It was humbling for me to hear these youth express their gratitude to have someone intentionally pour into their lives and help them grow in Christ. I am confident that the Lord will continue the work he has begun in them, and I am excited to see how they will be used to make disciples in their church and community.
On one hand, I am amazed by how fast the past two months gone by. However, I am even more amazed when I considered everything that took place during this time. As I reflect on each youth meeting, outreach, bible study, summer camp, discipleship group and evangelism class, the only response I can find is that of the Psalmist: "This is the LORD's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).
Please join me in continuing to pray for the advance of the gospel and the growth of the church in Romania. Would the men, women, youth and children of Harvest Metanoia Braila be filled with peace and built up (Acts 9:31a). As they walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, would this community of believers multiply to the glory of Jesus Christ (Acts 9:31b).
I also welcome your prayer as I adjust to life back home and prepare to begin my final year of seminary. Returning home after a short-term mission trip is sometimes followed by a feeling of disorientation and frustration. After an intense period of time in which you served, prayed, studied, taught, and poured into other people with such intentionality and passion, it can be challenging to transition from feeling so focused and purposeful to embracing the normality of everyday life back home.
But here’s the thing. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth, has entrusted to us—to each of us—the unfathomably awesome privilege and responsibility of making disciples of all nations. Fulfilling this Great Commission is not a task reserved only for summer holidays, cross-cultural missions, or short-term trips—it is to be the defining purpose of our lives. We exist to glorify and delight in our God and to invite others to join us in knowing, and loving, and surrendering their lives to the One who alone is worthy of our worship, and who alone can satisfy our hearts.
So whether we’re in Romania, Canada or anywhere else, whether we're a student, engineer, barista, lawyer, plumber, doctor, secretary, web developer, teacher, police officer, or stay-at-home parent, whether young or old, mature in faith or new in Christ, the command of Jesus Christ is for us all: make disciples; be multiplied.
Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples . . ." (Matthew 28:18–19)
Yours in fulfilling the Great Commission,