After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” - Revelation 7:9-10
Over the weekend our partners in North Texas held an awe inspiring event "A Glimpse of Heaven" a glocal missions fest in Plano, TX. LINC Mission Director, Rev. David Kim, LINC Bible Institute Director, Vicar Ken Chitwood, and Mission Pastor to Eritreans Kbrab Isaak were able to attend the multi-cultural service featuring speakers representing four continents and churches and ministries throughout the Dallas and Ft. Worth areas.
The event was meant to showcase the diversity of the Lutheran church's mission in North Texas. Gathering together pastors, leaders and missionaries to pray, speak, sing and share Rev. Michael Fuchs of Texas Partners in Mission prayed those in attendance would have a similar experience to his own.
"When I first started working for the Texas District's mission I was stunned at how diverse our missionaries were," said Fuchs, "I thought to myself 'what we have here is a glimpse of heaven.'"
Truly the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Texas District provides a glimpse of heaven in its mission ministries. Every week the District has Word and Sacrament worship services taking place in 24 different languages reaching people groups from countries all over the world. Pastors and missionaries, speaking the heart language of the people they minister to, every week proclaim Christ crucified to immigrants from places like Southern Sudan, Nepal, Morocco, Russia, Guatemala, Pakistan, Mexico and Ethiopia just to name a few.
19 of those languages are spoken and sung and representatives from over 25 different countries are reached through LINC's mission churches right here in Houston alone.
LINC Houston's sister organization, LINC North Texas was on hand for the event and its executive director Oscar Benavides opened and closed the event inspiring participants to look for mission and ministry opportunities among the nations right in their own neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.
"We, the Lutheran Church, should be the number one place the nations turn to" said Benavides.
Backing up Benavides' message Sudanese missionary Rev. Wichieng Wetnyangran (Peace, Hurst) shared his own testimony. Coming from a background of civil strife in East Africa Pastor Wetnyangran shared how only Christ could bring hope in the midst of darkness.
Other featured speakers Rev. Eloy Gonzales (Our Redeemer, Irving) and Rev. Karim Baidoui (POBLO) echoed the message that Christ is being proclaimed among the nations, right here in Texas!
The event was well attended and everyone enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of the nations worshipping Christ through Lutheran outreaches throughout Texas.
Attendee Mark Couser, a church planter from Dallas, summed it up well when he said, "It truly was a glimpse of heaven."