On August 4, 2013, Dennis Moore, NMI President, and Dr. David F. Nixon, had the privilege of leading their first Missionary Commissioning Service.
Wendy, Edwin, and Joshua Lopez, members of Redland Church of the Nazarene, were commissioned by the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene, at its February 2013 meeting, “to fulfill God’s call on their lives. They have made themselves available to serve when, where, and in whatever capacity the church has requested.”
A gathering of over 100 people had the privilege of sending forth the Lopez family to missionary service in Panama. We were reminded that their commission comes from Jesus Christ, who before He ascended to the right hand of the Father, entrusted the Gospel of His kingdom to His apostles. He commanded them to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. Together we all reaffirmed that we are called to share this message of grace, love, and redemption in word and in deed with our families, our co-workers, and all our neighbors, nearby and far away.
We commended the Lopez family to God to go and make Christlike disciples by demonstrating and proclaiming the good news of His saving and sanctifying grace. We claimed the sure promise of God, that He will be with us to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). The Lopez family prayed together a prayer of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters. Open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, and the oppressed. Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as You love us. Renew in us Your Spirit, Lord; free us and make us love.”
The pastors and NMI Council members who were present joined Dennis and me for the laying on of hands and prayer. Gifts were given to Wendy and the amount of deputation offerings given by the generous people of Southern Florida was announced: nearly $16,000! Three days before their departure to Panama, the members and friends of the Southern Florida District sent forth the Lopez family to do their work as Global Missionaries. They will preach the Word; do the work of evangelism; be incarnate in the Panamanian culture. They will be used of God to love people into the Kingdom of Christ and build His church.
My first time in 19 years as a District Superintendent, I had the privilege to personally send forth first-time missionaries in the power of the Holy Spirit. We reminded them that “the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8a).
Together, we promised to faithfully support them through prayer, sacrificial giving (especially WEF), and with our love. The service ended with a blessing that “The Lord himself would bless them and keep them; The Lord would make His face shine upon them, and be gracious to them; the Lord would turn His face toward them and give the Lopez family peace” (Numbers 6:24).
Thank you to Pastor Treavor Pound and the Redland congregation for hosting a memorable event and providing food for the time of fellowship.
David F. Nixon, D.Min.
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