Friday, May 20, 2016

Bare Feet Are Bearing Fruit

Dustin showcasing his artwork
Bare feet mean different things to different people.  I walk without shoes at home.  Once I worked with a volunteer who removed shoes when the work became most taxing.  Barefooted worshippers mark the places they stand as holy ground.  I was in worship at University Baptist Church, near the campus of Michigan State University when first I met Dustin.  He walks in bare feet most of the day.
Dustin with a Sunday School class
Dustin's bare feet are on mission to see students of the world know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus Christ.  His engineering studies at Michigan State University put him in walking distance of University Baptist Church.  I've watched Dustin learn more about the Lord.  He is leading his fellow students to grow their faith.  Dustin taught a Bible class from the Gospel of John.  He served as president of Connection: a Christian outreach to campus.  
Dustin and members of Connection: a campus outreach
Dustin is becoming a missionary to the campus.  He has brought dozens of students to worship experiences by invitation and as a driver of the church van.  We partner with New Life Korean Presbyterian Church to reach more students with the Gospel.  Dustin has become one of several liaisons between the churches as we work together to see students know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus.

A disciple is a learner and the best way to learn is to teach.  Dustin puts on shoes when it means being able to reach more people with his testimony.  As a member of the Air Force ROTC program, the uniform includes shoes.  When dining on campus, he gladly complies with the "no shoes, no service" policy.  His regular attendance in worship and inquiries from people are teaching many to consider everywhere we walk to be holy ground.  

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. (Exodus 3:4-5)

Dustin and a member of New Life Korean Church
I am learning from Dustin's quiet witness and have seen results.  During office hours, I've found that removing my shoes stimulates brain activity.  I take breaks from work by walking barefoot in grassy areas.  Dew between my toes enlivens more excellently than caffeine in my veins.  Removing my shoes brought me to study again  Moses' life in the wilderness.  I've been reminded that God is moving in desolate places.

Dustin in uniform [shoes required :)]
God is moving in East Lansing and in my heart as I lead a team to reach more students with the Gospel.  I'm going to take my shoes off more often; share my testimony more often; give God thanks more often.  I can hear the Spirit speaking through students.  As I continue on mission to see students of the world know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus Christ, students like Dustin strengthen my walk. 

Alex Pickens III serves as the Senior Pastor of University Baptist Church in East Lansing, MI.  He tends a vision to see all peoples of the world know, worship and grow (KWaG) as disciples of Jesus Christ.  Alex and Naudia live with their two children near the campus of Michigan State University.  

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