As many of you readers are aware, the McCropders were commissioned by our home church, Knox Presbyterian in Ann Arbor, several weeks ago (9/27). Although belated, we still thought the important event deserved a post.
Knox was hosting its annual Missions Sunday on the 27th, and the featured topic was Medical Missions. The McLaughlins flew out from Phoenix for the week, John Cropsey flew back from Nepal Friday night, and Abi Fader arrived from Ethiopia two weeks prior, so all 11 McCropders converged (from 3 continents) for the special event. During the service, we were invited up to the front and Pastor Bob and the elders read Scripture over us and prayed for our departure. The Scripture came from Isaiah 61 and Luke 4: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
Later on for the special music, Eric and Rachel sang a song entitled, "Sent Together to Heal," written by a woman from Eric's home church in Nashville, and then after the service, we shared both with the adult Sunday school class and with the junior high and high school youth groups. As I think back on the day, it did have a sending out feel to it. The Cropseys departed just one week later, and the McLaughlins left to work in Gallup for 2 months. The next time the McCropders converge, it will be at Tenwek.
One of the things that has been so important to us as a group of families is the idea that we are all coming from one church, sent out from an existing community, and we hope to continue to partner with that community. The church has already contributed a large portion of financial support, and more importantly, prayer and encouragement. It's been incredible to have a chance to meet with all the kids' Sunday school classes, participate in their worship, and know that they are praying for us. Also, Knox members we've never met before have approached us, made connections, and told us they are praying for us and follow our blog. We hope to have at least one group from Knox to come and visit in the next 2 years--pastors, medical professionals, and others with unique gifts willing to serve and encourage the body of Christ.
The idea is partly why I liked the special music song so much. The chorus goes, "You save us, you heal us, you deliver us from every kind of fear. So we'll go wherever you lead; sent together to heal." We go where God leads, and we don't go alone. We go in community, as the McCropders, and we go with the entire body of Christ. The church, Knox specifically but so many more people than just Knox, stands behind us, and goes with us. The great cloud of witnesses. May it be so, even as we are now sent forth.