An invite that might have changed our lives forever!
The night Jeff came home and told me about the new ministry Stan and Denise were starting and that Stan had invited us to come on board to help them, my Spirit lifted immediately. I told Jeff I could see us serving in Guatemala and helping those girls! You should have seen Jeff’s face. His mouth dropped to the floor and his eyeballs practically popped out of his head, he said, “Are you serious?” We stared at each other for a moment and we both knew something had just birthed into our spirits – another new journey was about to begin!!
Before and Now
I always rejected the idea of being a missionary before now for many reasons. It was mainly my fear of the possibility of living in a hostile environment; I was afraid of the unknown danger/future. I was also fearful about the idea of our lives depending entirely on the support of others. It was definitely a fear of rejection, maybe a bit of pride and a lack of faith to rely on help from the wrong place – on human efforts instead of God’s provision! Thinking of leaving our kids, our family and friends also troubled me the most and the longest!
I pondered in my heart what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life now that God had spared me from cancer. I was thrilled to know I would live and I wanted God to use my life, but then, I struggled heavily if I could really answer the call to foreign missions. I’ve been praying earnestly these past 6 years that if it is God’s will for Jeff and me to go serve as a couple, I needed Him to also call me (not just call me through my husband) and guide us clearly to a ministry where He wants us to serve.
In seeking more of what God’s will for us was, with a heart that was so ready to be surrendered before His throne, several passages constantly came to mind and was in almost every sermon I remember over the past year or so. I finally realized and understood that these verses were not just for us to know or to memorize, but to live by and they were NOT a choice. They were commands to everyone who genuinely wanted to follow God and to do His will.
Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Mathew 16:25-27, “For whoever wants to save (hang on to) their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul, or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul. For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.”
Philippians 3:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” or I find that the NLT version is even more direct, “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”
I understand that the basic principles are the same but how and what God asks each one of us to “deny and take up” might look very different. Not everyone is called to foreign missions, but for us, it is our calling, even though I have tried to deny it for nearly 28 years.
A Brand New Attitude.
As far as being fearful about support raising, I’ve learned that it is God who asks, not me. People don’t give to me, they give through me. If I ask, I ask for God and on behalf of a great cause, something that is much bigger than I am. The bottom line is – It is NOT about me!
I once heard of two people debating if a glass was half full or half empty. A grandma who only had a 2nd-grade education heard the argument and said, “It is very simple. It depends on if you are a drinker or a pourer.” Many missionaries, including myself, though we are drinkers, the fact is that we are mainly pourers! We are pouring our lives into others, nurturing them and giving people the opportunity to be a part of something they want to see changed, to be involved in what God is doing.
Please don’t ever feel obligated to help us in any way unless you feel God has called you to do so. Many might not have been called to give but to pray and if that is you, you are a vital part of our ministry. Our work will not be sustainable without your prayers. So please continue to be our prayer warriors and backbone as we continue to march into the front lines and fight for these girls. I will end my sharing with these two quotes:
“If we pray, we will believe.
If we believe, we will love.
If we love, we will serve.” – Mother Teresa
“When we work, we work. When we pray, God works” – Hudson Taylor