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I’m the kind of person who doesn’t worry.

Instead, I PANIC.

This week, I woke up and decided it was high time for some panicking.

Just kidding. But really, I did panic.

It was like for so long I (and we) have been in the dramatic upheaval of marriage and missionary training and moving and starting out support raising that I didn’t have time to panic, only to keep my head above water.

But slowly, things have settled. We’ve unpacked our things. We bought a comforter. Our rings became less shiny and our stuff less new and our marriage less novel, and suddenly I wasn’t just surviving.

And when I finally had enough time to stand and look around, I panicked. Not just panicked, but PANICKED. Like, freaking out, crying, full-blown angry-thrashy-sweaty-nightmare-filled sleep panicked.

Like a child who suddenly realizes they’ve swum into the deep end on accident, I’ve lost my footing. Spluttering, choking, gasping for breath.

How are we ever going to do this? Missionaries? What were we thinking? Really. There are people far smarter, far better, far more spiritual and qualified for this than us. Trust me, we went through training with them.

But here we are. With the title “Missionary” on our marriage license and our tax forms. Doing just that.

But for some reason, God chose us for this. I definitely don’t always appreciate it (last night as we were getting ready for bed, I told Clay that I really wish God could have chosen to make us something more stable, like an office-worker or full-time vacation-taker. He told me the first one isn’t all that stable and the second one doesn’t exist. Dang.) But I know we’re right where we’re supposed to be.

And honestly, it’s a scary place to be. I wish I could say that I wasn’t scared, that I was trusting God completely, that I was at peace. But I’m not. But I’m getting there.

Every day I wake up, I’m dragging these reluctant feet a few more steps, urging this stubborn heart to soften just a little bit more. I’m getting there. I am. I’m just slower than you might expect.

“I believe I will look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

I have clung to this verse like it is life itself. To me, it says so much. It says not only will I see the goodness of the Lord, but that I will see it in the land of the living. Did you catch that? I won’t have to wait until heaven. I will see it here. Now.

Oh, that gives me so much hope!

To know that it’s not the interminable waiting. To know that I’m not stuck on “this side of eternity”, a phrase to me that sounds like being a toddler stuck behind the baby gate, watching all the fun happening in the other room.

To know that I can, right now, in this place, in this situation, experience his goodness, no matter how scared or small or insufficient I feel.

I love that. I need that.

I BELIEVE I will look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of living. In the land of missionary support raising. In the land of newly-married-ness. In the land of Columbus, Ohio (aka far, far away from the ministry and the students I love.) In this land, right here, today.

I believe I will.

I believe.

 

 

Sitting here at a kitchen table, books spread out beside me, trying to study for a midterm on Monday. But I just can’t focus. My mind keeps drifting, wandering. Probing. Aching. 4.57 billion people.

4.57 billion people. Hopeless. 4.57 billion people. Truthless. 4.57 billion people. Not knowing what they were made for. 4.57 billion people. Enslaved. Entrapped. Caught. Captured. 4.57 BILLION PEOPLE who have never heard the name of Jesus, let alone that He has died and risen to pay for their sin and rescue them from the punishment that’s coming.

4.57 billion people, many dying every day, not ever having even met a Christian, let alone having had a chance to ask what it means to live as one. 4.57 billion people aching, bleeding, crying, dying. And what am I doing? Studying a book that tells me how to better convince people who already have too much to buy what they don’t need.

And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
(Genesis 4:10 ESV)

What have we done? What have you done? What have I done? My brother’s blood is on the ground; guilty, unatoned for, unforgiven, unredeemed. Because I could not get out of bed this morning to pray for them. Because you could not forgo a new outfit to support a missionary. Because we could not lay down our comfortable American lives to go and share the wonderful news that we know.

Praise God that He will accomplish His purpose, without my help. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)

But I pray, for our sake, that we would go. That you would go. Will you go? Oh Lord, help these restless feet that ache to go.

In case you haven’t heard, the middle east is in even more a state of crisis than normal. Things are not looking good, and even worse for Christian missionaries. Campus Crusade for Christ has many staff and their families in the affected countries, and things are looking desperate for them.  Here are a few excerpts from blog posts from the CCCI page dedicated to the crisis.

Struggle for Daily Life

Staff in Egypt and throughout the Middle East report that daily life has become a struggle. Nearly everyone is in survival mode. They spend daylight hours securing food for their families.

This task has been made even tougher by price gouging on many food items throughout the country. Some commodities are scarce. Shop owners are taking advantage of the chaos. Staff in Egypt report prices double and triple their normal levels.

“We’ve never seen anything like this…”

A phone conversation with a Campus Crusade staff member in Egypt revealed the anxiety and excitement in the region. The staff member relayed this message through tears:

“We’ve never seen anything like this in our lives in Egypt. People don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to behave.”

As you can tell, things are frightening, but we know that our God is soveiegn, and I believe that the doors for the Gospel are being flung open through all of this. Please join me in praying for CCCI staff, their families, and all other Christian missionaries in Egypt and throughout the middle east.

You can watch a video about the crisis here –

 

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Past Musings