This Sunday we welcome to our worship my dear friend Dr. Andrew Bush. Andrew is a unique person with special gifts and a ministry journey unlike any other I know. For the past twenty years, he and his wife Karen have served as missionaries on the Arab West Bank. Their love and commitment to these “least of these among us” has born much fruit for the gospel and provided more stories of courage, love, and grace than one can imagine. His ministry-reach stretches from the slums of the Philippines to the Gaza Strip to the halls of academia in the States and beyond. And since the fall of 2000, I have been blessed to be a part of his life story, and he an integral part of mine.
God is a big God. His work and his ways show up in ways that we often cannot easily see or expect. And in places and people under the direst of situations, the hope for that may be all they have. That’s the place where, for forty years, Andrew has invested his life. Out of that comes insights and inspirations for us as we seek to be part of God’s mission right here. This Sunday morning, he will bring those worlds together as he leads us in worship. In the two short days he’s been here, he has already blessed our Wednesday gathering, Impact Team, and a group of area ministers enthralled not only with his story, but his deep insight for the church and the mission of God.
When not in the field, he teaches at Eastern University in Philadelphia. He is the author of “Learning From the Least” and a new work “Millennials and the Mission of God.” These works are both products of his experience and bring invaluable lessons to the whole of the Christian world. His heart for Jesus and the church has driven him to use his gifts in the most unusual of ways. And he comes to help us understand what God is up to, particularly in the region we know as the Holy Land and all of its turmoil today. Andrew will preach this Sunday, followed by a brunch in Heritage Hall. And before returning to Philadelphia, he will join me and Pastor Alex Gallimore for an evening conversation at Bayshore Baptist Church in Tampa.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Come prepared to think, feel, laugh, and cry. Bring friends and bring a healthy expectation of seeing the gospel in a fresh light, and carrying that light with you into the world that needs it so much.