“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Today’s God Gold message is going to be a little different. Today, I want to take some time to give a shout-out to a guy who has been one of those relationships that God has placed around me that has moved my life forward in too many ways to count. That guy is, RC Sloan! Some of you may know him, some may have seen his face in the Rwanda posts, and some may have no idea who he is but it’s okay if you don’t because you’re about to!
I want to highlight this relationship that God has given me the privilege of having so that you too can learn from and be moved forward by the Christ-like example that RC is. But also, I share this with you to emphasize the need for these “forward relationships” in our lives. By “forward relationships” I mean, those relationships you have built with someone where that person is one who moves you forward in life, to better places and closer in your relationship with the Lord. I know we all have those relationships that seem to drain us, weigh on us and actually move us backwards and farther from the Lord after time spent with that person but those are relationships that can be impacted greatly depending on how much we spent time to invest and prioritize the forward relationships God has placed by our side. I’m thankful to say that I’ve got more than a few in my life and what a blessing that is but I too struggle at times to keep those forward relationships as a priority and important place to invest the majority of my time into. It’s those relationships that literally take you places you would have never gone otherwise, they move you out of your comfort zone, challenge you for more, and teach you so much along the way. I couldn’t find any better way to describe this relationship that I have with RC as a definite FORWARD RELATIONSHIP in my life!
To give you a little background, I would say one of the main reasons I even know RC, also known as Cory, but with his middle name being Russel and one of his favorite theologians and Pastors being RC Sproul, RC is by far the cooler and more awesome name. But like I was saying, I may not even know RC if it wasn’t for my cousin Paige getting married to him and bringing him in as a welcomed addition to our family! So shoutout to you Paige for your good taste in men and snatching up RC as quick as you could! The fam appreciates you for that! So I’m related to RC and something I always thought was cool is how in the early years of their marriage, Paige and RC would go on mission trips to Rwanda, Africa in support of the Reach the Children of Rwanda International Organization. For many years I thought it was cool because of the traveling and adventure of it but I had no clue of the real purpose of these mission trips. I honestly wasn’t in a place in my faith to get past the cool part of it and recognize the lives they were serving and leaving an everlasting impact on.
Then year 22 of life for me, my faith started to grow in ways that is too long of a story for now but I’m sure we’ll get there one day. The Lord was opening me up to the life He has called me to as a follower of Him and also in the area of ministry. So one random Sunday while visiting RC and Paige’s church to see their little daughter and probably the cutest kid in the world go through baby dedication. Just being around them for that service, the momentum of “forward” in our relationship hit turbo speed. RC and Paige talked to me after church about joining them on their upcoming mission trip to Rwanda. They knew that the Lord was turning my life in His direction and all of the stuff going on with the “call” to ministry so they just went out on a limb and asked if this was something I’d be interested in. I could honestly type out 100 pages on how thankful I am for them asking this question that after two trips with them changed my life forever! Just going back to that moment and for them to recognize my need for a place to put this fire that the Lord had been burning inside of me, for them to be intentional to ask, to not think since it was so far and wild that I probably wouldn’t want to go but for them to put the ball in my court and take the time to be intentional in serving me by asking this question to join them for a two week mission trip in Rwanda. That is quite an example in itself and one I’m extremely thankful to be on the receiving end of their generosity to open that door for me. I could just stop there and that would be enough for you to say wow, but just wait.
After taking them up on this offer, those two weeks I got to see what they had been doing in Rwanda all these years, and it was much more than just “cool” when I actually saw and got to experience the literal life changing impact that the Lord was using them to bring to those people there. I had spent time with RC before, you know, family get-together’s and at different family stuff but it wasn’t until this trip that I really got to see who RC Sloan was. They had been going on these trips for I want to say three years already so I got to see just how they had built “family-like” bonds with the people there. It was easy to see from the first moments there that the people that we served had such a deep love for RC and Paige. It was easy to notice how they had been intentional in each trip, in how they served each person and got the most out of each moment there. They were our leaders on the two trips I got to go on and RC was the epitome of what a servant leader should look like. He is defintely one planned out and passionate individual and it showed in how he led our team with the “let’s go” mentality. He was so pumped up about everything on our schedules from prayer visits with families in their homes to the physical labor jobs, and even the jobs the time we weren’t serving, he was always finding things to do that would raise our spirits after long hard days of working by taking us to Rwanda markets, different eating experiences, and whatever he could find so that we could experience all of Rwanda as we possibly could.
I could talk for days about all the lessons I have learned from RC through that first trip til now, but it was his heart that led our team and moved all of us forward in ways that we probably wouldn’t have moved otherwise. He brought his heart and passion for helping the people there that are in such great need to every aspect of the trip. Whether it was planning out our days, preparing the tools and gathering the personal connections for serving jobs in the community, or just doing the daggum work. RC was led by his heart for the Lord which led him to serve not only our team but lead us to serve others along with him at levels that I honestly had no idea could be done. His heart for the people in Rwanda and especially those kids their is the most genuine, encouraging and passionate love I’ve ever seen. It didn’t matter how tired or sick or defeated he felt by so many wild and crazy circumstances on these trips, it was obvious that he knew that mission that the Lord has called him to and all of us, so he went anyways and served people in everyway possible while still looking for more ways in the meantime. This dude is an incredible testimony to what a servant’s heart and a life lived in the mission that Christ gave us, to spread His love with world around us. RC knew what this mission meant and it meant investing into and serving others intentionally with the purpose to grow them closer to Christ. He would tell me so many stories from former trips and all the things he’s seen/learned and it’s wild but awesome that he didn’t just share these things to share them, he shared them with the intention of me being opened up to experience and feel the same powerful moves of God that takes place when serving others in need. RC has served more than he’ll ever know, more than just these kids or the people there but the people there with him also and the people in his life here in the States.
I know it sounds like RC’s heart is strictly missions but that’s only one piece of it, the guy is a crazy good guitar player and singer and he serves in the same passion as he serves with in the mission field of Rwanda in the mission field that God has placed around him daily. He is heavily involved in his churches worship team, and serves in more ways that could be noticed. What’s so RC though is even being back home from trips he is already working hard to make the next trip better, and by better I mean finding ways to be more intentional in the service done there, to hit the biggest needs directly in the mouth and knock them out. He also serves on the RCRI mission board here in the US that works to support the organization in as many ways as possible. After talking to him recently after their last trip, the guy is already making moves and scheming up ways to better support each child and family involved in the RCRI mission. That’s RC Sloan. A heart filled with so much passion and a heart that serves in as many ways as the Lord will open up.
This is RC Sloan and I could go on and tell you so much more about how awesome and what a Christ-like example this guy is but I feel like this is more than enough for you to learn from the example that God has used him to set for us and so many others. Christ has given us a purpose and mission, it’s fueled by sharing His love with not just the world around us but the people He has placed in our path. To be intentional in every relationship whether that’s across the world, or right here in front of you, to serve and never stop thinking of more ways to serve others. I pray you have learned from the example of RC here, I know without a shadow of a doubt I have and will forever be impacted by his heart to serve and his drive to GO!!! The Lord has called us to GO, to go and serve others in whatever way He makes available, but to serve even better the relationships that He’s placed in our lives. Take some time and think about who the “forward relationships” are that God has placed by your side? Who are the people that when you spend time with drive you forward in life and in your relationship with God and others? Who are those people that sharpen your iron? Find out who those people are for you, then be intentional and prioritize how you invest in those forward relationships! Why does it matter? Because on this mission Christ has called us to, we are going to face obstacles and many things that will try to push us back and stop us from living the life and loving others as God has called us to. It’s those forward relationships that keep you moving forward past all that mess and into what God has called you to, it’s those forward relationships that keep your iron sharpened at all times so that you won’t become a dull comfortable Christian, but one who is flowing with the momentum given by your surroundings and into battle, sharpened and ready to fight the good fight of loving others as Christ has loved us! Yes, those forward relationships are more important and bigger than we think at times. You know what to do, now GOOO!!!!!