The Clapping Ministry

We are now proud two-apartment-renters! (That’s almost as good as a homeowner) We got the new place for our Bible study yesterday. Had to pay a year in advance which, though handing over that much cash is nerve-racking, excludes us from the hassle of a monthly bill. Went and bought chairs today, which won’t be delivered until Saturday, so we’ll have to hold our breath and hope that they’re done being delivered and assembled before our study starts that evening.

It’s exciting to have a new place. Makes your dreams more vivid. It’s pretty awesome to think about people being saved in that house, praising God in that house, growing in the Word in that room, praying for this city and this world in that room, making plans in that room, and training laborers in that room. They’re dreams, and I have to believe that they’re part of God’s plan for this country. We really have to thank God for the amazing opportunities that He’s given us. I really could never have imagined the excitement of all this!

Speaking of the new building, I thought this was funny. My wife studies the Bible every week with three girls who are some of our closest friends and the closest to being leaders. We haven’t taught anything in a group setting yet about giving (just answered some people’s questions here and there), especially since we really don’t have a church yet. My wife was talking to the girls about our new building and getting moved into it. One of the girls threw in, “This is great that we’re having our own building and everything – we should really give money to help with the costs.” Cool, huh? Of course, my wife had to disappoint them and tell them that God already invented that. But I am praying that God will really allow these new Christians to feel ownership of this new building, of our future new church, and of the work that needs to be done there.

A lot of stores here like to stick a couple of their employees outside the front door with a strange set of orders. They stand on either side of the door and clap together. Not to music, not in applause, not from glee. Just synchronized, rhythmic clapping. Every once in a while they’ll yell something about a sale or something inside. I don’t really get the point. I guess they think someone will walk by and go, “Man, there’s people clapping on the outside! There must be some kind of party or something going on in there…. I better check it out!” But the people generally look miserable (don’t judge – you’re job isn’t standing and clapping for hours on end!). I just think it’s a pretty good example that what happens on the outside of your store (or church, for that matter) has a lot to do with whether or not people every care to give the inside a shot. So we’re excited to have a new place. But the most important thing is making an impact in the lives of a few who will “clap” and make others come in.

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