Bridge Building 101

StoneBridgeSkylineNightRigaBuilding New Bridges to Latvia

By Charles Kelley, President, BBI

PHILOMATH, Oregon – What comes to your mind when you think of the word “bridge”?  Most people envision a structure that carries a road between two high points.  Sea captains issue their orders from command centers called bridges.  To a violinist the bridge is the thin piece of wood on the violin body over which the strings are stretched.  When a composer wants to connect two musical movements, he writes a bridge.  Optometrists are careful that the glasses they prescribe fit the bridge of the nose.

In each of these applications the word “bridge” is used to describe intersecting functions – connection and support.

In the spiritual world, the Lord Jesus is the only “bridge” between heaven and earth.  A good sermon is a “bridge” that connects truth written in the context of the ancient world with the needs and realities of the modern world.  Believers who build friendships with nonbelievers with the intent of introducing them to Christ are critical “bridges” in the Kingdom of God.

A bridge is what a bridge does.  Connects.  Supports.  Brings together.  Spans the gap.  Cross cultural bridges connect ministries from one part of the world to those of another.

This is what Bridge Builders International is all about.  God has called us to facilitate the building of bridges between churches, schools, seminaries, radio and publishing ministries and even small businesses in America with counterpart ministries in Europe – especially Latvia.   But the bridge building doesn’t stop there…they have the potential of multiplying and extending to regions of the world that can best reached by Latvians.

This past May (1996), the BBI staff led a group of 20 American pastors and lay leaders to Latvia for the purpose of introducing them to potential sister churches.  The trip was a great success.  Friendships were begun, hearts were touched, visions were born and new eight new partnerships were formed.  Only God knows what wonderful things will happen as these new bridges are strengthened.

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