Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ancient Faith in Arkansas

Several Months ago I heard of an Orthodox layman who had the vision to build a temple with his own resources. This Greek man had met and married a southern girl from Arkansas. Finding no Orthodox presence there, the man and his wife decided to build a temple-"build it and they will come." [More of the story HERE] I had the opportunity to visit the site when it was being constructed, and returned only recently to see the completed project. It was named Saint Matthew the Evangelist Church. It was awe-inspiring. I had just completed the video log below when a man drove up and introduced himself as a "member" of the church. He offered to show me the inside. I talked with the humble tour guide for 20 minutes before I realized that I was meeting the layman who had built the temple--he did not want to talk of his participation in the building of the temple and was chagrined that anything had been posted regarding his identity--All glory to God--was his heart. I was moved that God had allowed me to meet this layman with a vision and was moved to tears by his humility. I discovered that a number of people are now attending on a regular basis and priests from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece are celebrating the Liturgy. He built it and they did come!

I, too have a vision--as should all of us, to evangelize every community in which we live. Our vision should be God's vision and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 

In America the opportunities are such that we should not be content to remain in house churches. We certainly should not despise small beginnings, but the word "beginnings" infers that something comes after that. Without a vision the people perish. 

Ask God for a vision. No matter how impossible it seems-believe and you will receive. Preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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