"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Paul, the Apostle (Acts 20: 24)
Paul's call to "finish the race and complete the task" resounded throughout the annual South Florida Church of Christ All Church Worship on November 18. More than 1,400 gathered at the Broward County Convention Center to worship and witness the appointment of two new elders and the send-off of two long-time missionaries to Santiago, Chile!
Sam Laing and Dr. Doug Deam were appointed to serve as elders for a membership of disciples that spans four counties. Sam, who served in the eldership for the Athens Church of Christ, and his wife, Geri, moved to South Florida earlier this year. Known for their biblical teaching, inspirational books and their work with marriages and families, the Laings have won the hearts of the Palm Beach Region. Doug and Ann Deam have lived and worshiped in the Miami Dade Region for 23 years. Despite the demands of owning a dental practice, Doug is known for serving the saints, fulfilling the responsibilities of an elder and working side by side with Miami Dade ministry leaders John and Silvia Reus. Sam and Doug join John Brush, who was appointed in 1999, and provide the South Florida Church with an eldership that will work alongside the ministry staff in each region of the church. Future elder appointments are anticipated, as an elder-in-training group continues to meet with the evangelists and the elders.
At an age when many are dreaming of retirement, Dan and Mary Allison, who served as missionaries to India and as HOPE worldwide Country Directors in Afghanistan, returned to the South Florida Church for training to re-enter the mission field! With funding from the Florida Missions Council, the Allisons moved to Chile to strengthen the church in Santiago. In teaching and encouraging the disciples, Dan and Mary take a tremendous step in preparing the Santiago church to become a training center for Spanish-speaking leadership.
Missions has always been the heart of the South Florida Church. In 2009, the Miami School of Missions was established to send out missionaries and to have high-impact missions influence in South America. Through the strategic planning of our “Antioch Initiative,” the Miami School of Missions hopes to imitate the church in Acts 11. To hear more about the good news of God's work in South America, click on this video>>> . As directors of the Miami School of Missions, John and Barbara Porter focus on training disciples for the full-time ministry or to be missionaries outside the United States. Due to the marvels of technology, the Porters conduct online training in Spanish and in Portuguese to meet the spiritual needs of the South American church leaders.
Completing the task the Lord Jesus has given us will take faith and sacrifice. Inspired by God’s grace, South Florida Church members were challenged, like Paul, to consider our lives “worth nothing” and finish what we’ve started - testifying to the gospel and making disciples.