Monthly Archives: April 2017

Fórum Missionário | 2017

It’s been almost a week… and I’m still not sure what to say about last weekend…
But, I know some of you were in prayer, so I have to share!!

Andy’s been planning this Missionary Forum for months— a weekend for Brazilian pastors and church leaders to come to Peniel to be exposed to the need for tribal missionaries, and to learn more about getting involved— from praying, to sending, to building a missionary care team, to perhaps…. going.
 
It was lots of work, for a lot of people. And alllllll the labor would have been nothing if the Spirit didn’t move. So, we asked God for this over and over and over.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory
for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. {Psalm 115:1}

It turned out to be a very teary weekend, as I kept seeing evidence of His presence, HIS work in people’s lives, HIM raising up His church, the display of HIS splendor!!
 
I was challenged by the speakers’ motivation for missions– “to love God and serve wherever He wants.” Not the lost, not the dying, but the LOVE OF GOD should be the motivation for our mission!

He also said, based on Acts 13:1-4– “We are instruments of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is at work, there you will find missionary work.” (the best translation I could come up with 🙂 )

I was moved looking out over the diversity in the room– diversified, yet unified.
 

I was so encouraged by this missionary couple who has stepped out of the tribe for a year to take care of some health issues. As we are about to do the same, I asked her if it was hard for them to be away. She said it is, but that she’s committed to use this year to take every opportunity she has to share a vision for reaching the unreached.
 
She also told me, “You just keep inspiring other women to love God.”
Oh, how I needed to hear that!

I am so inspired by the faithfulness of these dear white-haired missionaries, who yeeeeears ago, put their hand to the plow and never looked back (Luke 9:62).

I love that when one couple was asked what impacted them most, they said, “the faith and the happiness of your students.” SO true. LOVE it 🙂
 
We pray that the Lord would raise up more workers, that He wouldn’t just bring more students to Peniel, but future missionaries!

I guess I didn’t think he’d be raising up our boys… After the Forum, Jack told us, “You know, God did something in my heart. I mean, I’ve thought about missions. But I’m thinking about going to those places that are really hard to get to.” Jude chimes in, “Me too! I just keep thinking about those missionary stories we’ve been reading, about those men who were killed because they went into tribes who had never heard about Jesus. I want to go there, to tell them about Jesus.”

Can’t say what all that does to my momma heart…
It made me wonder if the strong-willed children of today are growing up to be determined missionaries to take the Gospel where it is most difficult. Oh Lord, give us wisdom and endurance, grace and faith to parent our strong-willed children today to be the strengthened church of tomorrow… 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however,
it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
{Hebrews 12:11-12}

From the opening prayer to the last line of the last song {Marcheremos},
there is NO doubt that the Lord is at work in and among His people!!
So, Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor. 
{We march on, in the courage of the Lord.}

      // Marcharemos //
Nós queremos ouvir tua voz
Teu louvor sempre esteja entre nós
Queremos ser, Senhor, mais sábios
Na verdade e no amor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Marcharemos cheios de coragem
Seguiremos seja onde for
Embora a dor nos cerque na viagem
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

E quando a escuridão da noite descer
Queremos só pela graça e fé viver
Com esperança e com coragem
Na alegria ou na dor
Marcharemos na coragem do Senhor

Resurrected Hope

Holidays can be hard to be away. Easter was no different.
We felt the absence of our family, friends, church, Cadbury cream eggs.. 😉
But we do our best to make it special– invited some families over for a cookout and opened our home to students who don’t have a car (or a way to get to church) for an evening Easter service.

 

While Andy was passing around the bread and the communion cups, it hit me.

Sometimes following Jesus doesn’t look anything like the path you had planned.

His disciples have always had these moments…
It’s not too hard to imagine how they felt the day their hope died…
because how many of us can relate.

The Bible doesn’t really say what they were thinking, although we can read between the lines—
the disappointment, fear, confusion— so intense that Peter would, for a moment, deny Truth Himself.

They were told they’d never be left, but sure felt alone.
They expected to reign with Him, but weren’t thinking that meant a crown of thorns.
Who would have ever dreamed He would take up a literal “cross”!

At some point, Jesus’ disciples have a choice to make—
To leave, or believe.  John 6 tells us that after some hard teachings, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. He didn’t seem surprised by this. Instead, he asked the twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” I love Peter’s response: “Lord, to whom would we go? YOU have the words of eternal life!” In essence, we may not understand Your ways, but we will trust Your word.

So, those moments of disappointment, fear, confusion— what do we do?
I think we take our cues from those who have gone before us.
We look back and see that He has always been faithful, so
we remind each other of His words.
We do what He said, and
we wait for Him to show up.

Just like His disciples have always done—

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
{Acts 2:46}

That right there is the dawning of resurrected hope!