Sunday's Sermon

Kids for the Kingdom


Sunday Services

  • 9:00 - 10:10 Adult Bible Study and Children's Sunday School
  • 10:10 Fellowship time (Donuts and coffee)
  • 10:30 Worship Service (Children's church at 10:45)

 

 


Cachagua Services
Cachagua Church meets each Sunday of each month (11:00 am in the park in Caachagua). Come and see what is happening out in Cachagua yourself!

 

 

 

 

   
 

Pallet Carriers in Albania

Mark’s gospel records the event. A crowded house, full of curious listeners. Another busy day filled with teaching and healing for Jesus. Mark says that “they were coming to Him from everywhere (1:45).” And these seekers spilled out into the courtyard and even into the street. Then four men came, carrying a lame man on a pallet. But with no way to get close to Jesus, they went up and dug a hole through the roof of the house and then let down the pallet, lame man and all, right in front of Jesus. What an entrance! And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Then to prove His authority to forgive sins – something that only God can do, Jesus said, “Get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”

I love this account, don’t you?! In the face of hardened religious skeptics and a crowd so thick there was no way to get close to Jesus, four men conceive a plan that just might be life changing for their paralyzed friend. And Jesus does not disappoint. Once limp legs surged with energy brand new. Not only did the man leap to his feet, but most surprisingly, he was in that moment changed in heart, as well. His burden of sin lifted, the doubly healed man went home free.

That wonderful story rolled around in my mind as I watched the crowd of Albanian university students pack into the hotel lobby for our evening’s cultural exchange activity. Another half dozen CRU members with their families and ten pallet carriers from Monterey made up our English Camp in Shengji, Albania. Muslim by culture but secular in upbringing, these students wanted to learn English, and they were open to Christians showing them the way. It was their desire to learn from native English speakers that drew them. Some came, too, with a genuine hunger to know more about Jesus. And our team, backed by the support and prayers of scores of you back home, our team was incredibly privileged to be the pallet carriers, bringing them to our Savior.
Our week with these enthusiastic students proved to be everything we hoped and prayed for, and more. Their eagerness to engage with us and the full schedule of activities that drew us together created rich opportunities for discussions about the gospel. Christ’s love quickly spanned canyons of obstacles created by language, culture and age differences, and by the end of our camp we had almost every student’s request to be Facebook friends “forever”.

It’s not easy to capture our experience in just a few words. Every student’s experience and response was uniquely their own. They came with great differences in their English language capabilities. Our teaching teams stretched to keep the learning activities full of creativity and fun. Afternoon discussion groups around the parables of Jesus opened up lively interaction. And, evening times of cultural exchange activities brought smiles and laughter and great opportunities for budding friendships.

This is a unique time of openness in Albania’s history. It’s been just 23 years since the people were freed from an oppressive communist regime. Right now many hearts are soft to the good news of the gospel. As for this camp, we do know that one-on-one appointments with students led six girls to open their hearts to faith in Christ. Many other gospel seeds were planted. How good to know that there is an active team of Albanian CRU staff who will follow up with these contacts and commitments. Only time and eternity will tell the larger story of these and others who truly will be healed to pick up their pallets and walk. One bright young man confided, “I believe that Jesus died for my sins in my heart, but I’m not ready yet to say the words.” Our prayer is that he and many others will one day not only “say the words” but will truly come to know the love of Christ and yield to Him as Savior.
Many of our ministry team went on and are now in Greece for an extended Biblical studies tour. They will return soon with good stories to tell. There’s little to compare with the challenge and delight of being a pallet carrier to Jesus. But that was our privilege, and we won’t soon forget it. Thank you for standing with us and supporting us from here at home. You, too, were pallet carriers through your prayers and financial gifts. Heaven will be richer because we partnered in this adventure, and each of you have played a very important part. Let’s do it again as God opens other doors of gospel sharing opportunities.

That others would meet Jesus,

~Dave
Pastor Dave



 


 

 

 



 

Sanctuary Bible Church
8340 Carmel Valley Rd.
Carmel, CA 93923