July 1, 2011 was a day of new beginnings for Light Bearers and ARISE. It was the end of two separate ministries and the beginning of one. And from that day to this, we have experienced unrelenting unity, fellowship, and synergy.
One of the things I most appreciate about the ARISE team is their youthful enthusiasm for God’s work and how it permeates every aspect of their lives. While holding tenaciously to the core truths, they are not inhibited by old traditions. The free and easy style of these young energetic workers allows them to reach the many youth who struggle with out-dated formalism.
New challenges are sure to surface when a team of experienced but youthful talent combine with “older” workers—Ty and I are almost 50 and are preparing to get carded when inquiring about senior discounts!—yet the transition has been surprisingly free of difficulty. A spirit of unity and purpose pervades as we move forward to chisel out new goals and directions for the now-combined ministry.
Yes, great challenges lie ahead as Satan is sure to do all he can to urge his way among us. And this is where we need your prayers! We want our office headquarters to continue to ring with “hey bro, how was your Sabbath?” and “check out this amazing thing I just read” and “love you man” and the like. I want to continue to be interrupted in thought by the strong melodious voices of Yamil or David as they lift their hearts to God in praise in a moment of particular joy or breakthrough! (Yamil’s office is right next to mine, but I can hear David on the other end of the building!) I want to study deeply and pray earnestly together and go for morning jogs in the dark and throw a 40-minute round of disc golf in the afternoon (even if it’s raining!).
Most of all, I am so happy to be a part of a team who finds their greatest joy in doing and daring for God.
Perhaps this is far fetched, but could this merger set a precedent for a new type of ministry? Are there other possible combinations of people—young and old—that might unite to create greater synergy for God’s cause? If our experience here is any indication, it just might be.
So Here They Are!
And Here We Go!
James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.