Category Archives: Missions

Missions Monday #14 – AR Prayer Requests

by Josh Liu

Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said, “a man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more.” No one ought to presume that they are able to accomplish anything apart from the sovereignty and power of God, and prayer is a means of such dependence. As the missions teams labor and prepare to leave, we all must depend on God through prayer. Regardless of what occurs on these trips, we consider it a failure if we do not go in dependence on God (through prayer).

While the Czech Republic and Argentina team members go, evangelize, and serve, it is the responsibility of the church to pray–for the church is the team. As a church, we unite in prayer in carrying out the Great Commission of making disciples. Please labor in praying for the ministry of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the following areas.

For IBM Tucuman

  • The raising up and maturing of faithful godly leaders
  • The spiritual edification of the members
  • The biblical and gracious confrontation of sin
  • The exposing of unrepentant sin and false professions
  • For financial, physical, and spiritual provision for the church
  • For the IBM Tucuman Family Retreat – For the Holy Spirit to work through His Word to bring deep conviction, encouragement, and transformation

For the Evangelism Campaign

  • Working with saved, faithful translators
  • Opportunities to plant, water, and sow seeds of the Gospel
  • Souls to be saved
  • Mobilization of IBM members

For Pastor Jorge and his Family

  • Spiritual encouragement and strength
  • Perseverance and faithfulness in ministry
  • Wisdom in leading and shepherding

For the San Diego Team

  • Spiritual and physical preparation and protection
  • Unity and commitment to peacemaking
  • Preaching of God’s Word

Missions Monday #13 – CZ Prayer Requests

by Pastor Patrick Cho

Prayer Requests for the Czech Team

  1. Please pray for the English Camp in the Czech Republic to run smoothly. Pray that God would allow all the preparation and hard work to pay off with a successful camp.
  2. Pray that the gospel would be faithfully and powerfully proclaimed and that many would come to faith in Christ for salvation.
  3. Pray for the church in Beroun that their ministry would grow and bear fruit. It is an incredibly challenging place to do Christian ministry.
  4. Pray for the Mellwig family to be encouraged in the work they are doing in the Czech Republic. Pray that God would sustain, protect, and provide for them.
  5. Pray for the team from Lighthouse that we would be protected to and from the Czech Republic. Pray for the team’s health and overall safety.
  6. Pray that the team would remain united in Christ and that serious conflicts would not arise within the team.
  7. Pray that God would be honored through the work that is done this summer in the Czech Republic. Pray that the hearts of the team members would be right and that they would maintain God-glorifying attitudes.
  8. Pray for Martina Mellwig as she continues to battle cancer. Pray that God would be gracious to heal her of this sickness and restore her to good health.
  9. Pray for wisdom to work through any unexpected challenges during the trip. Each trip is different and there is no way to be able to predict what to expect. Pray that the team would be flexible and dependent on the Lord throughout the trip.
  10. Pray that the team would return home with valuable lessons learned and that each member would have grown spiritually with their hearts encouraged. Pray that they would faithfully put into practice what they learned.

Missions Monday #12 – AR Testimonies

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz (and other contributors)

Over the years, many people from our church have been a part of the Argentina missions trips, and have been very appreciative of their time there. I personally have benefitted greatly from the multiple conversations I’ve had with Pastor Jorge Ahualle, Eduaro Buldain, and many of the leaders and members of IBM Tucuman. They have been a joy and a model of how to do ministry, wherever you are. Here are some other members from previous trips who have some experiences to share with you. We hope you enjoy them!

Hwa and Suzie Park (LBCSD)

I think Suzie and I were recently married when we went together to Tucuman to share the Gospel to the beautiful people of Argentina. Looking back it was an amazing experience we both shared that set the foundation for our marriage of what it means to make disciples of Christ. Going door to door, sharing matte with complete strangers all while avoiding wild dogs were both exciting and adventurous. We still talk about Tucuman  from time to time and would love the opportunity to go back one day for sweet fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters in Tucuman.

Ryan McAdams (LBCSD)

The Argentina Missions Trips have a very special place in the story of our family. My wife and I essentially met preparing for the 2007 trip, and after both also going on the 2008 trip, we returned on the 2011 trip for the first time as a married couple! We also took our baby daughter with us when we returned on the 2013 trip. Though we haven’t been able to return since then, the trips have still helped to shape the very core of our family, inside our home and out.

Every trip emphasizes the M of Lighthouse’s MVP statement, the fact that the Lord Jesus has called us to make disciples of all nations. Every trip demonstrates the difference between coercing an individual to answer Yes (or , as the case may be) to a series of questions and the implantation and germination of the seed of God’s word into a person’s very being, that making of a disciple that results in a true follower of Jesus Christ. While these truths drive our planning and execution of the mission trip, they also affect our family’s home life, even in the shepherding and development of our children. Rather than force an insincere confession of faith from them before they understand the truth, we want to trust God with the regeneration of their hearts, and will work to provide an environment that will present the truth of God to them in its fullness and majesty.

The trips have also reinforced the idea that missions doesn’t just take place overseas. Perhaps, by definition, missions happen somewhere else, but then the work of missions should not differ much, if at all, from the work of our own church. This idea has anchored our family as well, as we have sought to avoid compartmentalizing the church, and including it as a vital part of our family life instead. During our time in Tucumán, the church would have almost every meal together, and while they certainly meet together more often during our visitation, the principle of community as a platform for ministry drives our family’s willingness to spend time together with the rest of our church body. Even this serves the goal of disciple-making, since those among the family of God minister internally by helping each other grow further in obedience to all of God’s commands.

Even though we miss dearly our brothers and sisters in Tucumán because of our absence from them, God has used our times there to draw us closer to him individually and as a family even to the present.

Josue Ahualle (son of Pastor Jorge Ahualle, Iglesia Biblica Misionera)

Hello! I am pleased to be able to share with you some of my experience with the LBC visits to our church in Argentina.

The first time we visited I particularly was very small but I will never forget the joy and the unity that was produced in our congregation. It was beautiful to see how we struggled to communicate, the funny signs and gestures that harmonized an atmosphere of happiness and love between brothers and sisters. Each year we were able to make new friends and even though we do not share a lot of time together, each one of these brothers who came won a place in our hearts.

Today I can understand what it means to be part of a missions trip… Sacrifice, time, preparation… that’s why I give thanks to God for each and every one of you! Without a doubt God used you all greatly in our lives. It’s been a great encouragement and help each year you have visited us, many brothers and sisters who are attending today, are the result of the evangelistic campaigns that we have done together. There are many experiences that God has allowed us to enjoy together and I hope there are many more.

Once again I want you to know that I am very happy to have known you and I very much admire the love you have toward God and his work.

God bless you!

Missions Monday #11 – CZ Testimonies

by Hanka Rodgers (and other contributors)

I have been to so many English Camps by now that I can’t keep all the people and years straight. The only team I remember vividly is my first English Camp in 2001 that I went to as an unbeliever. Most of the people who were on that team are now not only married with children, but serving as leaders of the church. I still remember Patrick telling me about his desire to become a pastor (I guess he was trying to evangelize me?); being in awe of Brian Chan’s and Peter Park’s (now in San Jose) piano skills; Angella and Hansol Ahn being the cutest dating couple ever; Jin Lee getting a floss through his nose and mouth; and being completely confused about Jane Min dating Min Kim (I thought maybe when Asian people date, the girl takes the first name of her boyfriend as her last name?). In some ways, I am the perfect product of what Lighthouse believes missions is. The Camp of 2001 had a profound effect on how I thought about Christians and God, but it was the perseverance of the church members in Ostrava that God eventually used to save me. The LBC team did what they came to do – they shared the gospel clearly and made me think. Then they left and the local church took over. Add God’s grace and His sovereignty and you have a perfect salvation story.

Throughout the years, there were more stories of salvation, though perhaps not as many as we would all wish to see. But saving souls hasn’t been the only way that God has been using these missions trips. We have compiled a few testimonies from different people and asked them how they benefitted from the LBC Czech mission. Two of them are from the Czech church and the other two from San Diego. It’s obvious that these trips benefit the Czechs, but God also chooses to work in the lives of the team members. Even though our church doesn’t believe that the primary reason for going on mission should be to grow spiritually, I think it’s foolish to think that the team members only serve others and don’t learn anything from the trip. Jin Lee’s testimony below is (and should be) an exception, but missions often expose things we haven’t seen before and challenges us to grow in areas we need to grow in. Christian life in the Czech Republic is usually not as comfortable as it is here (especially when it comes to the number of Christians they get to fellowship with) and it’s often encouraging to see Czech Christians persevere.

Enjoy reading a few paragraphs about how God has used your financial support and prayers to work in people’s lives – often in ways that they themselves never imagined He would!

Meinolf Mellwig (church in Beroun)

I have the privilege of having seen about 15 lighthouse teams come to Czech to serve with our church.

There are many areas in which Lighthouse teams have been a huge blessing for me and for my family.

Through one of the first English camps, Jirka got saved who later became our son in law. Also in the life of Anna, our daughter in law, English camps have played a big role in bringing her to Christ. The same is true as least for one of our children. These have been very personal blessings for our family.

In addition, Lighthouse teams have played a fundamental role in shaping our church. This is true in terms of theology as well as practical issues on how to run and lead a church. The many books and commentaries that the teams have brought over the years have contributed and enforced this influence.

The teams have always been a testimony to our church members in terms of commitment, attitude and desire to serve the Lord and see people to get to know the Lord. They have been always very well prepared and their servant heart was clearly visible to everyone. Through their intensive ministry to the campers many hearts were touched and directed toward Christ. The ultimate fruit of their selfless ministry will be seen in eternity. In both churches, Ostrava and Beroun there are church members who got saved and added to the church because of the impact of English camps.

Another personal blessing has been the precious friendship with Patrick and John. Many hours of good, deep talks have helped me personally to grow and think through various spiritual areas concerning ministry and church as well as personal issues and family matters.

To wrap it up in just one sentence, for my personal life as well as for my whole family the connection to Lighthouse is one of the strongest and best influences in our spiritual walk with the Lord.

Pavla Nawratova (church in Beroun)

When I look back and remember all the times I had a pleasure to meet members of each team there is one thing that comes to my mind: astonishment. How big must be the love and passion to serve Christ that brings people who could spend this time according to their heart desires, to invest this time in other people and tell them about God. This is something that amazes me every year since the first time I met people from Lighthouse. This happened twelve years ago and I am so happy that I can look forward to the thirteenth one. Apart from these “spiritual” thoughts there are also fun memories of Hagoo times and also of those “The most smelly shoe and the longest armpit hair” contests. Also, when I was a kid I had no chance to meet Asian people. We all thought that they look same and are very serious. No way, they look totally different (some of them) and are really funny (most of them). Yeah and they think we all look the same too. So to close up, I would really, really, really!!!, like to thank all of you who are willing to come to this small strange country and serve. You are all very much needed.

Jin Lee (LBCSD)

Wow! What can I say. Our God is almighty and sovereign! I decided to go on the Czech Mission Trip in 2001 not to do missions but more to “Czech” out and travel around Europe. Almighty God was able to take my selfish motives and use the mission trip to confront me with a decision I had to make. At the fork in the road, God made it very clear that I could not call myself a Christian and continue to live in sin. Either I needed to stop calling myself a Christian and do what I wanted to do, or live my life as a Christian in total obedience. He allowed me to see how powerful the Gospel is with right living. God, rich in His mercy called me to submit my life to Him. God used the 2001 mission trip to save me. I can’t remember if we had anyone else come to know Christ in 2001 in Czech Republic but I came to know Christ for which I will forever be grateful.

Thank You Lord Jesus!

Kevin and Mabel Tse (LBCSD)

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.” (John Piper)

Dear LBC family,

We wanted to share with you all how missions to the Czech Republic back in 2006 was a blessing to us, and how even today (over 10 years later) we continue to see the spiritual fruit being born out of that trip. The goal of missions is not necessarily to make “converts”, but rather to make disciples. As part of the call to make disciples (Matt 28:18-20), it is our belief that missions ought not to be done apart from the local church. That doesn’t just mean being sent out by a local church (with all the accountability, support and prayer that comes with that), but also partnering with a local church in the area that we send missionaries to. In the case of the Czech Republic, those local church planters are Meinolf and Martina Mellwig. The Mellwig’s warm friendship over the years has been an encouragement to us, even to this day. This same kindness and love is shown through the members of the church, who treated us like family from the moment we got off the plane. It’s an interesting idea when you think about how one Gospel and one Truth really tie all true believers together – so much so that complete strangers on the other side of the world can treat each other like best friends almost instantaneously. This too was an instant blessing for Mabel and me to experience, and still is an encouragement to us today as subsequent teams report the same experience year after year, without fail.

There is also the blessing of seeing people come to faith. The English camps have been used by God to bring about true, genuine salvation to the lives of many. When we were there in 2006, we met many people who had been ministered to by LBCSD team members from previous years, and by Meinolf’s church after we leave each year. Mabel and I recall feeling like we weren’t just part of the 2006 Czech missions team, but that we were also a part of a bigger “mission” – one that didn’t just span the two to three weeks we were there, but linked us to previous (and subsequent) missions teams that were sent to the Czech Republic.

In Heaven there will be no missions because there will be no need. In the meantime, we are called to make disciples of Christ. Whether that occurs locally/domestically or overseas, the goal is the same – to make disciples of Christ and to see Him being worshiped everywhere including places where true worship had previously not existed. Being able to be a part of the summer missions team to the Czech Republic has given us front row seats to the demonstration of His abounding love as He calls His sheep from around the world to come into the family of God.

Missions Monday #10 – AR Multimedia

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

You may be unaware of this, but there are a good number of resources related to our Argentina trips over the past 12 years. If you have ever wanted to become familiar with our missions trips to Argentina, especially what we do and what we’ve learned, then you’ve come to the right place! Please peruse what we have collected over the years. We hope it will be a blessing!

TEXT

  • Our articles related to Argentina missions give many details from various trips over the years, from many different team members, past and present. I even have a number of entries from 2012 on my personal blog, if anyone is interested.

AUDIO

PHOTO

  • Check out all our photos from previous trips: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (days 1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, final), 2012, and 2016.
  • Pastor Jorge, his wife Norma, and son Josue came to visit us in 2010, in lieu of a missions trip that year. We had a very special night welcoming them to our church family, and a potluck before their departure.

Missions Monday #9 – CZ Multimedia

by Stephen Rodgers

Back when I studied creative writing, I remember being on the receiving end of the literary admonition to “show, don’t tell.” So, in the spirit of getting out of the way of the story of missions, here’s a rather wide-ranging variety of links that you might enjoy related to CZ missions!

TEXT

  • It casts a rather wide net, but we have a category of articles here on the Beacon devoted to the topic of missions.

AUDIO

PHOTO

WEBSITES

  • KSB and KSOP are the churches in the Czech Republic that we’ve worked with over the years.

Missions Monday #8 – Door to Door Evangelism

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

One of the unique aspects of an LBC missions trip to Argentina is the opportunity for the team members to share the gospel by going door-to-door in the different neighborhoods in Tucuman. In a culture that is very receptive towards family, friends, and visitors entering into homes, Iglesia Biblica Misionera (Missionary Bible Church) has taken advantage of this great opportunity to get a foot in the door, literally, to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to all who would hear. We have been blessed to be able to partner with IBM to declare the saving truth of Christ to children, youth, university students, mothers, fathers, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, blue-collar and white-collar workers.

When a team of LBC members travel to Tucuman, Pastor Jorge Ahualle, along with the leadership, plan an evangelistic campaign composed of members of IBM, LBC, and translators, who will be sent to a neighborhood for the purpose of going door to door and evangelizing the people there. Past trips have been such an ordeal, that half the team would go to one neighborhood, while the other half will visit a different one. Every neighborhood has a home base, of which one of the members of the church will open their home to prepare for the day’s schedule. Any tracts that are to be passed out, meeting with the entire group for fellowship and prayer, and instructions on where to go happen every day. Each LBC team member will have a translator and a member from IBM to give more details about the regular events at IBM.

As we go out, each small group would walk around the block, clapping our hands to get the attention of the residents, and ask if they have a few moments to spare. Sometimes they come out to the gate to hear what we have to say, other times they invite us in and even provide mate (tea leaves steeped in hot water) to share with one another. Even in the midst of family life, many are willing and eager to listen to what people from America have come all the way to say. While we tell them what Christ has done here on earth to deal with our sins, many nod in agreement, as if they understand or are familiar with what we are telling them. This can seem encouraging, but many times, it is part of the culture to not offend strangers who enter their homes.

Upon returning to the church, we usually eat and spend time with one another for a brief period of time, then spend some time back at our hotel for a nap. This is to prepare for the evening program where we return to the same neighborhood to invite the people to. We will have music, a skit for the children to watch, and a gospel presentation to the crowd. We then stay and try to speak with those who have come and continue the conversation. Any questions they may have, we seek to answer with the Scriptures, which has promised to be sufficient for every good work.

Some of you may wonder what effect these door-to-door evangelism campaigns have on the people of Tucuman. The first is the fact that every year, more and more people in these neighborhoods hear the gospel of God’s amazing grace, some for the very first time. Second, many grew up going to the Catholic church, yet never understood why Christ came to die on the cross. They were completely mystified as to the need for a perfect sacrifice, and what that means for everyone today. Parents and children are exposed to where in Scripture God calls all men everywhere to repent, how the death of Christ provides a way of escape from sin and God’s wrath, and how they can have a new way of life in Christ.

Third, LBC and IBM members work side-by-side in the fellowship of the gospel. This has solidified some of the friendships between churches, as we have come to be gripped by the same gospel that saved each of us, and now we unite together to proclaim that same truth to others. We embolden one another to call people to lay aside their sin, and to lay hold of Christ as the One who is worth living and dying for. As we continue this partnership, spiritual conversations concerning the day’s events, as well as what we are learning and growing in come to the fore. It becomes easier to talk of spiritual matters when engaged in ministry together.

We pray that as we return to Argentina this summer, the Lord would see fit to use His Word to bring about the salvation of many to Christ. We pray that He will use our feeble efforts to make us faithful to the task of making disciples, primarily by supporting Pastor Jorge Ahualle and his family. We also ask to be faithful in the task by working with those who are there full-time to make disciples of Christ in their respective neighborhoods, whether amongst their own neighbors, or within their own families. We have much to look forward to, and hope you will be with us in prayer! To God be the glory!

Missions Monday #7 – English Camp

by Hanka Rodgers

Ever since LBC started going on missions to the Czech Republic, the main focus of the summer trips has been week-long English Camps. It seemed then that the best way to share the gospel with the Czechs would be to offer to teach them English and share the gospel while doing so. That’s because he Czech Republic has about 10.5 million people, and that’s about how many people in the world speak Czech! That’s why every Czech needs to learn a foreign language, which is often English due to its universality. All kids have to take foreign language classes in elementary as well as high school and often even in college.

Sixteen years after this initial decision, not much has changed. Czechs are still very aware of the need to speak at least some English and are often willing to spend time and money working on their skills. English teachers in Czech schools are usually Czechs and even though today’s young people watch a lot of American TV shows (that’s also why they might think everybody in southern California surfs and looks good), personal interaction with native speakers is usually rare and for the most part is in demand.

That’s why a big part of the day at the Camp is spent learning English and interacting with the team. There are four hours of English classes in the morning and one hour of optional English conversation in the afternoons. Team members are assigned a class level to teach and all the campers are divided into classes depending on their English level. Seeing the same group of campers every day for at least four hours really helps not only with teaching English, but also with building closer relationships.

However, when Czechs are invited to these English Camps, it’s clearly stated that they are organized by a Christian church and there will be evening programs with Christian themes. When I was first invited to the first LBC English Camp in 2000 as an unbeliever, this was enough to deter my sister and me from going. We liked English just fine, but we wanted nothing to do with Christians. That’s how I missed the first year of the American and Czech church partnership. In 2001, due to some circumstances that year, I decided last minute that I would go to the Camp despite it being run by Christians. Thankfully, God often brings people that wouldn’t otherwise be interested in attending a church-organized event.

The Czech Republic is sometimes ranked as one of the most atheistic countries in the world. I think that in general, people dislike religion and the church more than they dislike the idea of God or a “higher being.” Whatever it is, most Czechs grow up in a worldview that the Christian God is not real and that the idea of a Christian God is an irrational crutch for people who are weak and uneducated. Even though some people think about God more than others and have a different level of understanding of the Bible, people generally don’t rush to repentance and don’t run to churches right after hearing the gospel. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I was 16 when I first heard the gospel clearly and even decided it might make sense, but becoming a Christian still felt like too much of a change compared to what I had believed the first 15 years of my life. It took months before God softened my heart completely and I repented being willing to deal with all the implications of my decision. The Czech Republic is definitely not one of those countries where people are eager to hear the gospel and believe in Christ.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to come to these English Camps ready to genuinely love the people God places in our lives. Even though we want all unbelievers to be saved more than we want anything else, they are not a project we get to work on. They need to know, see, and experience that thanks to God’s love for us, we can love others like ourselves. We want to show them that we care about them, not just about having another tally on our “evangelism list” and we want to share with them that life with God is better than the life they are used to.

As you can tell, this is no easy task. Please join us in prayer for God to soften hearts this summer and for unbelievers to be miraculously saved. Please pray for the team as a group of naturally selfish people is trying to share God’s truth in love with unsaved people. We are working hard to prepare, but we are ultimately so grateful to know that it’s by God’s grace that lives are saved, not by our own doing. Let’s plead with our Father that He saves Czech souls this summer.

Missions Monday #6 – How Can The Church Help?

by Pastor Patrick Cho

If you have been following this Missions Monday series, you know that Lighthouse San Diego is going to be sending two teams out this summer to do gospel ministry in the Czech Republic and Argentina. You have been walked through the missions philosophy of the church. You also know that the Czech team also includes members from the Lighthouse churches in Los Angeles and San Jose. You have been introduced to each of the team members, and you ought to know at least some of the details of each trip.

One thing to keep in mind is that in the Bible, the work of missions is not seen as the responsibility of a chosen few. It is meant to involve a whole church effort. The ministry of the Apostle Paul helps to demonstrate this. While he was the one who was sent out to go from city to city to spread the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth, he and his partners in ministry were sent out by the church in Antioch (Acts 14:1-3). It is important to note that Paul and his companions were not self-appointed. The Spirit of God worked through the people of the church to set them apart and to send them out.

Not only was the church a big part in sending out the “missions team,” Paul also relied upon the support of the churches to continue his ministry. There are passages in the epistles where he thanks various churches for their generosity and support. He informs the church at Corinth about his intent to stay with them and seeks not only their hospitality and but also their support to carry on his work (1 Cor. 16:5-6). He recognizes the Philippians’ gracious giving to support his ministry during a time when other churches shared with him (Phil. 4:15-16). On numerous occasions, he also expresses thanksgiving for individuals from the various churches who cared for him along the way.

The church sent Paul out on his missionary journeys, they supported him in his work, and they also held him accountable in the work. This is seen in his reporting to the church in Antioch at the end of his first missionary journey (Acts 14:26-27). He returned to his sending church to tell of all the amazing things God had done to include the Gentiles in the grace of the gospel. This was appropriate because Paul was not a lone Christian going about his ministry independently. He was send out and supported by the church such that his ministry was really the church’s ministry.

From the Apostle Paul’s ministry, then, we can conclude that missions is the work of the church. Whether the members of the church are actively going or sending, the entire church participates. This is mainly because every believer is called to be a witness for Christ. The command and call of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) applies to every follower of Jesus. Wherever you find yourself, you should consider how you can be part of the disciple making process of helping people come to the point of salvation and also helping them grow with respect to their salvation. Since God’s plan has always been to have a people for His own possession from the ends of the earth, the church’s goal should also be to take the gospel even to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8).

Our hope is that the members of Lighthouse at least desire to be involved in some way because they believe in what the teams to the Czech Republic and Argentina are doing. There is a great need for the support ministry of summer missions in both the areas of Beroun and Tucumán. It has been really encouraging throughout the years to see the support of the members of the church and their active participation to send the teams to the Czech Republic and Argentina. By God’s grace, we will continue to send teams to help fulfill the Great Commission by working with like-minded local churches to propagate the gospel. As a member of Lighthouse Bible Church, how does this apply to you? How can you be involved in the work of summer missions even if you are not part of the team that is going?

  1. Pray. We fully recognize that missions is God’s work. The Holy Spirit is the one who sets apart those who will go and works in the lives of the members of the church to make missions effective. God is gracious and desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Independent of God, the team cannot be successful and nothing the team does will bring Him honor. Just as each team seeks to depend on the Lord in every step of the preparation and planning, in the travel, and in the trip itself, so the church should pray that God would mightily use the teams to bless the churches and leaders we work with and save many by His grace. Please commit to praying that God would be gracious to provide for the teams to go, that the time spent overseas would be profitable and a blessing, and that He would protect the team along the way.
  2. Support. Ever since we sent our first team in 2000 to the Czech Republic, we have been amazed by the generosity of the members of Lighthouse to send our teams on these summer missions. This demonstrates at least in part that the church understands its responsibility to help send those who are available to go. By now, the members of the Lighthouse churches should have received informational support letters for each team. Would you consider helping to send these teams through your giving?
  3. Participate. There are several opportunities to be involved with the team’s work even if you are not part of the groups going to the Czech Republic and Argentina. You can help plan and run a fundraiser, host a garage sale, and even promote the missions trips to those outside the church. Aside from fundraising, there may be opportunities to help in some of the logistics and planning. There are shirts that need to be designed and ordered, gifts that need to be purchased, etc. You can be involved with the planning to help the team best prepare to go.
  4. Encourage. Each year, when the teams return from their trips, there can be a sense of let down as they are excited to tell about all that took place. Sometimes it seems there is a lack of interest and enthusiasm to hear of all God did. This is somewhat understandable because only those that go on these trips will know about the blessings of the trips from experience. But one way you can be a blessing to the teams is to encourage the team members, hear about what the Lord was able to do, and demonstrate genuine interest in the work. This is tremendously encouraging to the team that the church at home keeps the trips in mind, actively seeks to support the work, and wants to hear testimonies of God’s grace from the teams’ time overseas. Some specific ways to encourage include writing notes of encouragement to the team members, writing notes of greeting to the people of the foreign churches that the teams can take with them, or grab a meal with a team member when they return to hear about the trip.
  5. Serve. While the teams are away, there will be a need for the church to fill some of the gaps in ministry that are left behind. Anytime a significant number of members are gone, the rest of the church may need to increase their participation and stretch themselves to see that the ministry at home continues healthily and effectively. While you can and should be praying for the teams that go, please do not forget to also pray for the church at home to continue to faithfully perform the work of ministry to the glory of God.
  6. Go. Considering all God has already accomplished through Lighthouse in Argentina and the Czech Republic, perhaps consider being a part of the teams that go in the years to come. By the will and grace of God, opportunities may arise to go to other parts of the world as well. People need to hear the gospel, and churches, pastors, and missionaries need our support. As God opens these doors to go and be part of the global work of the gospel, pray about whether you can viably be part of the teams that go.

As you can see, even though you might not be part of the “going team,” there is still a significant work to be done by the “sending team.” Prayerfully consider how you can be involved in the church-wide effort of summer missions. This is in line with the biblical idea that the entire church is the missions team. Think of ways you can apply these principles to be a faithful part of that team.

Missions Monday #5 – Introducing the Argentina Team

Josh Liu

Hi! I currently serve on pastoral staff at LBCSD, overseeing College Life. I have learned so much in my 10 years at LBCSD–coming in as a freshman at UCSD to now serving on pastoral staff. It’s been an incredible journey! Part of that journey has led me to participate in our short-term missions trips to Argentina, which has continued to develop my theology and passion for evangelism and global missions. This year will be my sixth trip to Argentina with LBCSD! I’ve had the opportunity to build deep relationships with many of the members and leaders at Iglesia Biblica Misionera Tucuman. I look forward to serving, equipping, and edifying IBM Tucuman, and to be a source of refreshment and encouragement to Pastor Jorge and the other leaders.

Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Hello, everyone! I am husband to Andrea, on staff with Sonlight Ministry and Youth Group Ministry, and am also a Math TA at a non-public middle and high school. I have been a member at LBCSD since 2006, and have grown in my understanding of the Word and its application ever since. I became involved with LBC missions upon hearing the work this church has done with IBM Tucuman, and thought I could be of service. I do speak Spanish, and have come to embrace LBC’s vision of missions to assist churches in helping fulfill the Great Commission. Growing up, I have always had a strong desire to assist thriving Spanish-speaking churches where the pastor preaches the Bible, and men and women grow in their understanding of the Word, in their Christlikeness, and in their boldness by getting the gospel out to those around them. This will be my seventh trip to Argentina with LBCSD, and I am truly excited to see what God has in store for this trip! My prayer has always been that God be glorified on every trip, that I do my part to serve those in leadership, and to always be ready to tell, expound, defend, and unashamedly proclaim the gospel to all who will hear. One interesting fact about me is I was on television once in high school as part of the Academic Decathlon team, where I gave a few incorrect answers, but did get one right answer during the competition.

Andrea Vigil-Ruiz

Hi, I’ve been a part of the Grace Life Ministry for about two and a half years now. I currently teach a high energy, but very sweet and kind, class of 31 fourth graders that keep me on my toes! Since becoming a member at Lighthouse back in 2009, I have heard Pastor John Kim describe short-term missions as “doing church somewhere else.” My first trip to Argentina in 2012 helped me understand what Pastor John meant by that. Since that trip, my love for missions and being able to actually physically be present to help other missionaries has continued to grow! I am so excited and thankful that I can be a part of the team this year! One interesting fact about me is usually I don’t like bright colors, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. My closet currently has mostly neutral tones of grey, black, navy blue, and beige, except for this one very bright yellow cardigan that my small group gave me for my birthday one year. The girls wanted to help me branch out!

Brian Wong

Hello church! I am currently a graduating senior at UCSD. There isn’t too much to explain or a complicated reason as to why I’m going on missions this summer. When thinking about our missions teams, I considered supporting through prayer and finances, but then it dawned on me; why don’t I just physically be a part of the team? And thus, since I’m physically able to and have the availability to do so, I will be going for the sake of making disciples of all nations.

One fun, unique, or interesting thing about me is I love potato chips, and have a habit of sometimes replacing meals with a family-sized bag of chips. It’s pretty bad.

Randy Sarmiento

Hello Church Family!!! For those of you who do not know me, I serve as one of the deacons here at Lighthouse Bible Church, San Diego. I was born and raised in Houston, TX for most of my life, but due to joining the military (US Navy) I was deployed and stationed in various parts of the world. Eventually, by God’s design, and definitely not mine, I was stationed here in San Diego where I found out about the church and have been a member since 2006. Again by God’s grace, in 2008 I met my amazing wife Elaine through the church and got married in December of 2009. We are overly blessed with 3 rambunctious, fun loving, and social little girls, Charlotte (6), Isabel (4), and Estella (2). Overall I am so thankful for God’s continual grace, and I am so very humbled, honored, and blessed to get to serve His church.

In going to Argentina, I greatly hope to faithfully serve the church there, invest in others, counsel, and present the Gospel to the lost. Just as many before me have passed on the torch of Christ and His Word to people around the world, I too hope to pass on the His greatness to those in Argentina. Secondarily, since I was formerly a medical logistics coordinator for the military, and truly have a heart for medical missions, I hope to make contact with local government officials and medical providers in hope to someday collaborate with them in serving the church and community with a medical missions team of our own. I truly look forward to meeting and encouraging the our fellow brothers and sisters in IBM Tucuman.

A fun fact about me: I love to barbecue … So I’m a master chef on the grill. Just ask my wife 😉

Wesley Wong

Hi, I’m a full time evangelist disguised as a Computer Science major at UCSD. My salvation with the Lord started since eternity past when God predestined me for adoption as his son, but it wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I responded to his saving call by faith and repentance. Since then, the Lord has been tremendously faithful to grow me. That being said, I’ve wanted to go on overseas missions for a while, but summer internships have kept me busy. As I transition into full time work, God slipped in a couple weeks of down time for me to go to Argentina. As for a fun fact, I tried street preaching at UCSD!

Kristen Chan

Hello, church family! I’m a student graduating this June. At first, I dismissed the idea of going on missions because I thought missions wasn’t for me. When Mr. Mellwig came and I heard his testimony of how people in the Czech Republic have never heard of Jesus, God softened my heart to consider going. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sinful attitude in brushing off the call to obedience and putting it on others. God provided me with availability and no obligations for the summer, so I applied (late) to Argentina! I’m so thankful that God has placed this opportunity in my life as I have already been sanctified through the preparations. Please be praying for our team and that God would further his kingdom in Argentina!

Nathalie Paucar

Hello! I am a UCSD graduate, currently working as a Research Associate at a biotech company, and am a part of the Salt and Light Ministry here at Lighthouse.

For a while, since coming out to Lighthouse, and becoming a member, I’ve felt God has given me a desire to go to Argentina, since I am a Spanish-speaking native and have a desire to go on missions. Having interacted with Grace Alcaraz and Andrea Vigil-Ruiz, with their Spanish preparation last year for Argentina, it drew my heart to pray for the possibility of going when asked. So, when asked if I would go this year, God answered my prayer, by setting all things straight and perfectly that I may go on Summer Missions this year.

An interesting thing about me: I have visited more countries than I have states of the United States.