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Christmas Beyond Borders

Christmas Beyond Borders Week 2: Christmas in Kenya

Christmas Beyond Borders Week 2: Christmas in Kenya

SERIES INTRODUCTION

If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?

This Christmas season we are boldly going further than ever bringing a light to what God is doing around the world.

  • What is your favorite part of the Christmas season?


SERMON GUIDE

This week as part of Christmas Beyond Borders, Gene took us to Kenya and gave us a snapshot of the need in the Mathare Valley. Eastside partners with Missions of Hope, which was started in 2000 by Mary and Wallace. 

For years they drove by the slums, not giving them a second thought. One day they could no longer ignore it and decided to do something. They have grown from 2 rooms and 50 kids to 18 years later launching 23 different schools and 14 churches. They offer education, medical, dental and share the hope giving message of Jesus.

We saw a glimpse of how they celebrate. They don’t have money for gifts or fancy celebrations, they celebrate the season by being together and celebrating the joy of Christmas.

  • Mary and Wallace had an aha moment that has changed the course of thousands of lives.  Where in your life might God be trying to get you to take notice and make a difference?

Have a volunteer read Matthew 9:36 & Colossians 3:12.

We see Jesus’ heart of compassion and how we, as the church, are called to be compassionate. While we are focusing on our Compassion partners this month, there are needs in each of our communities. There are people who don’t know Jesus and are in desperate need of hope.

  • Who is someone in your life who desperately needs hope, freedom and the message of Jesus? How can you could be a light to them this season?

Have different people look up and read the following verses:

Deuteronomy 15:10

Psalm 82:3-4

James 1:27

Proverbs 31:8-9

I John 3:17

These are just a few of the over 2000 verses in the Bible addressing poverty. The poor are close to God’s heart.

Approximately 100,000 children live in the slums of the Mathare Valley in Kenya. Sponsorship gives a child a future through education, uniforms, nutrition, medical care and a solid spiritual foundation. They provide health workshops and counseling for the entire family.

  • Who is one person who made a difference in your life when you were young?  Tell the group about them.

  • Have you ever sponsored a child? If so, what impact has it had on you?

Gene and Barbara have sponsored a boy named Ian since 2010. Gene first met him when Ian was in second grade.

Eastside has been given this amazing opportunity to partner with Missions of Hope. This next year there are six trips to Africa, where you will have the opportunity to meet your sponsored child. Getting to go and see first-hand the work being done and the opportunity to meets the kids is life changing.

  • Have you ever been on a short term mission trip? If so, what impact did it have on you? If not, do you think now might be the time to consider going on one?

APPLICATION

  1. Actually, take a step towards sharing the love of Christ to those in need in your neighborhood and community.

  2. Search out more information about going on a Compassion Trip in the coming year. (Even if you’re not sure you can/want to go, just have a conversation.)

  3. Pray about sponsoring a child.


PRAYER

Pair off (with someone other than your spouse) and spend time praying for:

  • Courage to be a light to the people in your life.

  • Eyes to see the opportunities God puts before you, to bless and encourage others this Christmas season.

  • Whether you should sign up for a Compassion Trip and/or sponsor a child this month.

Christmas Beyond Borders Week 1: Christmas in Mexico

Christmas Beyond Borders Week 1: Christmas in Mexico

SERIES INTRODUCTION

If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?

This Christmas season we are boldly going further than ever bringing a light to what God is doing around the world.

  • What is your favorite part of the Christmas season?

FOLLOW UP

  • Last week we were encouraged to read the Bible and use Mike’s “Relax, Reflect, Respond” approach. How did it go? Did you end up doing it? If so, what insights did you gain?


SERMON GUIDE

This week Mike shared from Rosarito and the Tijuana Christian Mission (TCM) as part of our Christmas Beyond Borders series.

He said he loves Christmas lights because they remind him of how Jesus came to be the light of the world. Lights are bright. They guide us, warm us up, and shine everywhere. We know people like that, people who light up a room or have a contagious, sincere optimism.

Who do you know like this and what qualities do they have?

Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Mike shared the story of Sam Lord, a pirate from Barbados, who would lure sailors using lights to make the reefs look like the harbor.  When the ships came in they would wreck on the reefs, and he would take everything.  The Bible says even demons can disguise themselves as light. We need to be aware, praying for discernment as we shine our light for the Lord.

  • Share a time something you encountered seemed good but in reality was harmful. How would you approach that situation differently today?

  • Is there any thing in your life now that seems like a good thing but that you’re concerned may actually be harmful?

Have a volunteer read John 1:4-5.

Jesus, the light of the world, chases out the darkness. As believers, we are called to be the light and have the opportunity to expose the darkness and bring light to hard situations.

Mike shared the story of Sergio and Martha Gomez, who went to Tijuana to plant churches in 1965. When a cardboard box holding a baby was left outside their trailer, it became apparent they were there to help children too. They started an orphanage, and Eastside has had the opportunity to partner with them, helping them purchase 7 ½ acres of land and bring down over 400 people each year on Compassion Trips.

  • Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, share about it with the group.  If not, how might you benefit from going on one?

Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 15:58.

The Gomez’s have left a legacy of changed lives, and their daughter Sarah is now actively involved as well. They have been a safe place and home to numerous children. She talked the impact of child sponsorship: the children feel special, loved, and that someone cares for them.

  • Have you ever sponsored a child? If so, what impact has it had on you?

Have a volunteer read Philippians 2:12-18.

Paul shares how God works through us and that our job is to shine brightly to others in our life.

  • What is one area of life where you need to shine brightly?  What hesitations do you have about being a light in that situation, and how can you take a step towards bringing light to that dark place?

Have a volunteer read Genesis 1:1-3.

The darker situation, the brighter our lives shine for Jesus. When kids are being abused, hearts are being broken, addicts are struggling to overcome, finances are tight, and health challenges abound, that’s when the light of Jesus shining through us is needed most.

We can be the light and offer hope every day. When we do, we help people see there is a way and that Jesus can’t be constrained. Our calling, our destiny, is to offer others hope as we go about our day.

APPLICATION

  1. Actually take the step towards being a light in a dark situation that you identified above.

  2. Talk with a Compassion representative this coming Sunday to get more information about going on a Compassion Trip in the coming year.  (Even if you’re not sure you can/want to go, just have a conversation.)

  3. Pray about sponsoring a child.


PRAYER

Pair off and spend time praying for:

  • Courage to be a light to the people in your life.

  • Eyes to see the opportunities God puts before you, to bless and encourage others this Christmas season.

  • Whether you should sign up for a Compassion Trip and/or sponsor a child this month.