December 15 – Third Sunday of Advent/Advance

A Moment for Mission

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy." —Isaiah 35:5-6a, NRSV

Returning to the Philippines from an EarthKeepers roundtable in Liberia last year, the Rev. Israel Painit heard that three Global Mission Fellows were detained by the government in his homeland. According to Global Ministries, the young adult missionaries were targeted for participating in an international ecumenical fact-finding investigation of alleged human rights violations. 

Painit realized he could no longer ignore God's nudges toward missionary service. He decided that if non-Filipino missionaries "were advocating for peace and justice, used by God to defend rights and help poor people in Mindanao, where I live, why could I not be a missionary, too?"

Because of the critical needs in his home country, Painit never imagined being a missionary anywhere else. "But God has a way of calling people to be God's hands and feet in places where we are needed most," Painit said. He was assigned to another part of Southeast Asia.

Before becoming a missionary, Painit served as a pastor for 25 years, including six as a district superintendent.

"Those roles," he said, "taught me to be a risk-taker, engaged and responsive. I am enjoying my ministry and putting to heart my commitment to advance the work of Christ in this place. We celebrate every triumph that God bestows.

"Motivation to do mission," he believes, "should come first from the leaders as we inspire people to embrace change and possibilities."

To support Painit's ministry, please give to Advance #3022494. Thank you!

—Barbara Dunlap-Berg

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, in a world of need, you call us to serve your children. Thank you for missionaries who open our eyes, ears and hearts to new possibilities. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday in Advent — Holy God, we know this season is about preparing a way for the Christ to come into the world and into our hearts. As we move through our lives, we are bombarded with invitations to invest our dollars in things that will bring joy to us and those we love, yet we know we must cut through that noise to hear where you want us to invest. We are focused on gifting one another, and we need to hear that you would have us give to those who are the forgotten, the unloved, and  those whose need is great. May the giving we do now help us hear your gospel more clearly and see your love for the poor and meek more completely.  In your love, we give; in your love, we are sent; and in your love, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 11:2-11)

Newsletter Nugget
As a 7-year-old, Janet Lynne Horman heard a missionary speak at her home church in Plantation, Florida. The missionary described the poverty in the country in which he served and explained that the pastor's son there had died of starvation. The story made a huge impression on young Horman. "I knew that I—and the church—must do something," she said.

That "something" for Horman—today both a United Methodist pastor and an attorney—was to become a Church and Community Worker missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries.

Since 2014, Horman has directed Florida Justice for Our Neighbors, part of a national network providing free legal services, often through congregation-based clinics, to migrants in the United States.

Church and Community Workers, she noted, "attempt to embody the presence of the church in the community. Many of us are placed among populations that are the most vulnerable and among people who face many challenges."

Thank you for supporting Horman's ministry through Advance #3022259!

—Barbara Dunlap-Berg