The Power of a God-Given Vision

September 20, 2022

More than 35 years ago I become the pastor of a small rural church in Sugarcreek, Ohio. In those early days, people would often ask me what my vision was. As I was recruiting a team, the question became more frequent. I told them my vision was to influence, impact, and bring change to the world. I could sense their reaction. Though few were directly unkind, very few took me seriously. I could feel their rolled eyes and skepticism. They would figuratively pat me on my head, thinking, “That’s an ambitious dream for a 24-year-old man. Good for you, son.”

I just got back from visiting the Middle East. Twenty years ago a friend and I were at dinner and we asked one another what God was saying to us. We each shared what was on our hearts. From that meeting, what we know now as Impact Middle East was birthed. On my recent trip, I visited the different countries and communities where IME is working. It was truly amazing. I was sitting with some of the great leaders there and could not hold back the tears. I began to cry, realizing that what I visualized 35 plus years ago was becoming reality.

I am now part of a group that is literally bringing hope and change. They help and assist the refugees who have been displaced in this war-torn area, both children and adults. Their needs are being met—emotionally, physically, and spiritually through acts of kindness, giving them a safe place to heal and become who God intended them to be.

These leaders are demonstrating the love of Christ to those in their world. The love is so dynamic and contagious that they have caught the attention of those around them. The people they are attracting have completely different belief systems but have become intrigued and very curious about the beliefs that would drive these people to express compassion and kindness to them, people who are widely different in many ways.

My friend and I shared the vision with YOU. You picked up the vision and grew it. Together we are influencing not hundreds, but thousands of people from all different backgrounds. There are many who will be part of that great multitude from every tribe and nation surrounding the throne of God on that great day the apostle John described, because we have been faithful to the vision.

Thanks for being the church, not only FOR Eastern Ohio, but literally FOR the world.

Impact Middle East