More than Mere Existence

exist

Exist. That’s where most of us spend our time — in that one word – exist. EXIST – a word that really has nothing to do with who we were created to be at all! EXIST – quite boring really – it makes me think of words like survive, subsist. We exist because He created us – but He didn’t create us to merely exist – He created us to THRIVE and to live lives of purpose. We fail every day to grasp ahold of God’s wondrous plans for our existence. His will for our lives will glorify Him and satisfy us and He has give us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us into His perfect will for us. His will is not a mystery – but we do not seek it.

It’s true – we don’t seek His will for us; not because we don’t want to be in His will, but because we are afraid of what He might ask us to give up. We are careful to be good people; to go to church; to give to the poor; to keep the law of the land; etc. and in return we expect God’s favor to rest on our lives. He is a gracious God – and many times He does bless mundane lives. But why would you settle for the mundane when you could have the magnificent? What if He created you to bring hope to the lost? to bring healing to broken hearts? to preach the gospel in a foreign country? to be the image of Christ for your neighborhood?

I worked for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts as Corporate HR Manager in my other life. It was a fairy tale story. I was a temp in their F&B department; then a temp in HR; and the VP of HR saw something in me and gave me the job which helped me put my hubby through seminary. It was a great job! I got to see the world and stay in beautiful places. My friends loved to tell their friends where I worked. They thought it was magnificent – as did I. Some of my friends even enjoyed comp nights at some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world.  But one day God knocked on the door of my heart and said Africa is where He wanted Lloyd and I to serve. I remember telling my boss I was resigning so that we could pursue the missionary life and she asked if I could afford to do it — I told her I couldn’t afford NOT to do it. Just 3 years later we were in Ghana – leading people to the Lord; training pastors and their wives; training community leaders; giving our lives away!

10 years after that we were asked to be Africa Directors for our mission and we get to encourage, equip and empower other missionaries AND I still get to see God’s beautiful creation all over the world! The money is nothing to write home about for sure! – but I am satisfied!  AND I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is glorified through my life.

I am convinced that I am so satisfied because this life that I live is not about me – everyday my life points to and depends upon Him.

I could very well have ‘fought’ God early on and tried to hang on to my corner office with the beautiful view; to my title and the prestige it brought with it — but I trusted Him enough to believe that whatever He had in front of me would be incredible – more incredible than I could imagine. I decided to believe His word when it says that He can do immeasurably more than my little mind can conceive. I decided to believe that the one who created me knew the purpose He had for me and I decided to live a life in step with Him. I never once questioned His word to me – I knew that it was He who placed me in that job, and I knew that should I ever need a job again He would surely open the door for me. I’m not perfect – not by any stretch of the imagination; but I had enough wisdom to trust in The One who is trustworthy.

Someone reading this is on the brink – God is talking to you and showing you great and mighty things; but you have taken your focus off of the bless-er and become fixated on what you believe are the blessings (material) and are afraid to let them go in order to run hard after what He has for you. I will not tell you that following God is easy – but I will tell you that he loves you and what He has planned for you is satisfying – completely satisfying.

Don’t waste time fighting His will for you — be wise enough to trust the God in whom all wisdom dwells. He won’t lead you astray!

Look around you! This world needs the people of God on their posts. The Body of Christ needs to rise up and grab hold of God’s plan. Every believer needs to get in step with God’s will for their lives and allow him to complete the great work that He is doing within us. Take a stand to walk like God’s child today; don’t waste another minute following after the world’s lures — grab hold of Him and His will for you today!  If you want to live a life well spent – and not just exist without purpose – choose the wise way – choose His way!

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15,16)

Sweet Smelling Savor

I was asked by a friend how joy filled I was in the life I am living. They were asking if I was content and convinced that being in a life of global missions was satisfying to my heart. They asked if having to raise support and having to adjust to many cultures were not making me want to just change my focus. Well …. The truth is, my heart is joy filled. The whole satisfaction for my mind and my heart are living a life that I know brings the God I serve; the God I adore tremendous glory and sincere thanksgiving.

Having things my own way many years ago never left me in a place of full satisfaction. I always needed just one more $1; I always needed the acceptance of just one more person; I always needed to be bowed down to; I always needed to be seen and heard; I always needed to ensure that I was completely satisfied …. and you know what?!?! I never was!!!! Pleasing my flesh led me down a road of hurt, harm, sadness, danger, weakness, fear, stupidity, dissatisfaction, ignorance, arrogance … and much more.

But once I made the decision to give myself to Him, all things changed. I remember when I felt the change come … I was blown away. I did not know what He was telling me to do, but I felt His presence and only took a step if I knew He was saying ‘take the step’. I laid my dependence on my flesh and the people around me down and gave my complete dependence to Him. The more I leaned into His Word, all that I wanted to do was please Him in all ways.

Giving myself to Him completely has been a goal of mine. I mean, I truly want to be laying my life before Him as an offering … submission, bowing before Him; gratefulness, gratitude; and, delightful – satisfactory. I want the offering of my life to Him to reflect the offering of the life of my Savior. Christ gave His life willingly. Christ gave His life with willingness to suffer. Christ gave His life in true love of God. Christ gave His spirit, soul and body to The Father. Christ gave His life in obedience to God’s command.

The amazing picture of an offering, a sacrifice, that is a sweet smelling aroma in God’s Word in a couple of spots … mind blowing for me.

Father, please help me to give myself to You as an offering that pleases you. An offering free from sin and self seeking worth. An offering that expresses my gratitude for Your love for me, Your grace towards me, Your brand new mercies that meet me every day. I want You to have all of me. I want You to use me. I want Your desires to be accomplished in my life. Every thought I have and every aim I have, take them and change them. Thank You for giving Your Son for me! I pray that my life will bring Him complete glory, complete praise and complete thanksgiving.

Lloyd and Jan Chinn; 2002 – present

Thank you for reading my blog during Black History Month as I highlighted some of my heroes. I hope that you have learned a lot and that your heart has been turned toward missions. Here’s our story ….

Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX.

In 1999, Lloyd was invited to Ghana, West Africa on a short term mission. Lloyd and Jan had never even met a missionary and had no desire to enter into missionary service; they scarcely knew where Africa was – and had never heard of Ghana. God provided the funds for the journey and they took that as confirmation that Lloyd was to go. God spoke to Lloyd clearly on that trip that Africa would be his context of ministry.  In 2000 they took all of their children and 22 other people to the same little town in Ghana – and on that trip, Jan’s experience opened her eyes to the need for discipleship in Ghana.

In 2002, Lloyd received his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and that same year they were appointed as long term missionaries with WorldVenture. They moved to Ghana in 2004 with their two sons and opened WorldVenture’s new field of ministry in Ghana. The Chinn’s served in the town of Nkwanta in Ghana’s Volta Region. Their ministry focus was Pastoral Leadership Development. As they became for familiar with the community, they added Orphan Care, Educational Development, Women’s Empowerment and Community Economic Development. They were blessed by The Lord to design and begin the construction of a Leadership Development Center; a Short Term Missions home; and, a Poultry Farm.

In 2013, they returned to the USA on a home assignment which was supposed to last 10 months and during this time, they were asked by the leadership of WorldVenture to take on the role – Global Director for Africa. In March 2014, they stepped in to this new role.

Lloyd and Jan are the first African Americans to serve as Global Directors for WorldVenture. The new role has added 12 additional countries to their Africa ministry life.

Lloyd and Jan are also serving MANI (the Movement for African National Initiatives) as the North America Diaspora Coordinator. They also serve at Crossover Bible Fellowship as leads of the Missions Ministry (Front Door to Frontier).

Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church has been the same from the beginning of their journey: “Pray! Pay! or Pack!”

If you want to serve long term in Africa — WorldVenture is, in our opinion, the best organization to join. Get in contact with us, we will gladly show you the way! Email us at J.Chinn@WorldVenture.com or at missions@crossoverbf.com

https://worldventure.com/pmissionary/4000-110-chinn-lloyd-and-jan/

Henry Highland Garnet. Jamaica, Liberia, New York & Pittsburgh. Served 1842 – 1882

Henry Highland Garnet. Born into slavery in Maryland in 1815, Garnet and his family escaped to New York City when he was nine years old.  In New York City, Garnet attended the African Free School. In the 1830s, Garnet continued his education at several institutions. He eventually ended up at the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York where he finished his studies in 1840.  He became a Presbyterian minister and served as the first pastor of the Liberty Street Negro Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, beginning in 1842.

His “Call to Rebellion” speech in 1843 encouraged slaves to rebel against their owners.  In 1850, Garnet traveled to England and Scotland where he spoke widely against the practice of slavery. He also supported allowing blacks to emigrate to other lands, such as Liberia in Africa, a country made up mostly of freed slaves. In 1852, Garnet traveled to Jamaica to serve as a missionary.  Ill health forced his return to the U.S. in 1855 where he continued his work in the abolitionist movement. In 1856, he begin to serve as pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

On February 12, 1865, while in Washington, Garnet made history when he was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln to speak to the House of Representatives—making him the first African American to preach a sermon in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1868, Garnet was appointed president of Avery College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later he returned to New York City as a pastor at the Shiloh Presbyterian Church (formerly the First Colored Presbyterian Church, and now St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem).  

Fulfilling a longtime dream, Garnet traveled to Africa in 1881 where he was appointed as the U.S. Minister to Liberia.  He died in 1882, a few months after his arrival.  Garnet was given a state funeral by the Liberian government and was buried at Palm Grove Cemetery in Monrovia.

The humblest peasant is as free in the sight of God as the proudest monarch that ever swayed a sceptre. Liberty is a spirit sent from God and like its great Author is no respecter of persons.”  

Henry Highland Garnet

Serving Now

This is just a FEW of the currently serving African American Missionaries

Sublime and Rachel Mabiala

Sublime grew up in the Congo. Rachel was born in Detroit, Michigan. They met at Fuller Theological Seminary when they were both studying Missiology and International Development. Rachel’s grandmother prophesied that she would become a missionary when she was quite young; Later Rachel spent many summers on short term trips to Asia and Africa. Sublime carried a family legacy of ministry which was started by his grandfather, and served as a missionary in West Africa, the Arab world and in the USA. The Mabialas became WorldVenture missionaries in August 2017 and are on their way to teach Missiology and Business for Gospel movements within and from Cote d’Ivoire. Learn more about them: https://worldventure.com/pmissionary/4000-004-mabiala-sublime-and-rachel/



Leon and Melanie Best

Leon and Melanie met when in college and then married. They started the Impact Movement at Rice University. And then served at Impact National Headquarters in Orlando Florida. They were invited to serve in South Africa where they are helping to rebuild the campus movement. The Bests say “We have found Isaiah 58:12 to be so true: Your people will rebuild ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwelling.”


Coleman Family

Richard completed his MDiv at Oral Roberts University. He took a short term trip to Uganda while a student and answered his call to missions. While waiting to serve overseas Richard has served as missions director for New Birth Church in Atlanta, GA and he has also led the recruiting and mobilization for TMS with a great heart for recruiting African American people. He also serves on the board of Lausanne. Richard, Amanda and their children have moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he and his wife are helping to mobilize and train Ethiopians for cross cultural missions.


Senga Family

Jean is Congolese & Deborah grew up in Baltimore, MD. They met and married at Deborah’s home church in Maryland. In May 2008 Jean followed the call of God and went ahead of his family to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ministry has been powerful and productive. The Sengas have been in Congo for 10 years. They have started 3 churches and the Kinshasa Christian School. Their mission is: To equip, edify, train, and empower people in our communities by the power of the Holy Spirit, following the teachings, and the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the glory of our Father, the Eternal and living God.