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    Youth/Children
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Going Global: Southwood’s Ministry to the Nations


Going Global: Southwood’s Ministry to the Nations

In March and April, two Southwood pastors and an elder will travel to distant lands to encourage fellow believers and churches with the Gospel. In March, Will Spink returns to Nagpur, India, to celebrate the graduation of seminary students
he taught on his first trip in 2017. He will have the privilege of participating with sending these newly trained church planters and ministry leaders to their places of service. In addition, he will be involved in a pastor’s conference to encourage these leaders to remain faithful to their calling and to the Good Father that called them. After serving in Nagpur, he will travel about six hours on a train to the neighboring state of Chhattisgarh, where he will teach Bible college students, speak at graduation, and also preach at Sunday worship.

From April 5 - 15, Ron Clegg and Lance Cooper will be in Europe serving with two church plants. The first stop is Cherkasy, Ukraine. Cherkasy has almost 300,000 residents two hours south of Kiev. There is a struggling church plant there lead by Victor and Nadya Ovsyanik. Ron will spend time teaching the congregation, engaging with a group of home educators, and encouraging regional pastors.

The second stop will be Budapest, Hungary, where our global partners Rob and Tunde Futo are planting a church. Ron will meet with the leaders of the church, preach, and also meet with a network of church planters in Budapest to strategize towards partnership for furthering church planting in Hungary. Lance will be telling the story of both church plants through video. In addition, he will have the opportunity to encourage the church leaders in gospel-centered leadership.

Why is it so important that our pastors and leaders go to other lands? Why do we spend the resources to send them when they do not know the language or the culture? What can they really accomplish? The biggest reason we send them is not so much what they do in those foreign cities. It is what this exposure of God’s work around the globe does for Southwood.

We can easily fall into a myopic approach to ministry. Our view of the church and God’s Kingdom advancement is too often limited to and defined by our local context, or viewed only from the perspective of American culture. Kingdom living in India is far different from what it is in Huntsville. The surrounding culture, the persistent persecution by other religious groups, the levels of material poverty, and the sheer number of people that live in a small area make ministry different. But also, the way God is moving within that context can be just as foreign. Life and ministry in a post- communist world are nothing like India or the US. Atheistic communism has left indelible scars on the soul of Ukrainians and Hungarians and shapes how the gospel must be applied. The church in Huntsville needs this kind of exposure to see that God is not merely American. He is also working in wonderful ways outside our American experience. God’s Kingdom and His church are global in scope. We go to other lands because such a vision can empower us to proclaim the Kingdom with greater boldness and expectation.