Prayer. Participation. Provision. Ministry requires all of these. What if every missionary’s testimony was that they had too many people on their prayer team; that they had too many churches that were grooming people to join in the work full time on the mission field; that the money that they are receiving to do the work is coming in too fast?! Lloyd and I were appointed with WorldVenture in 2002 – so I’ve only been a full time missionary for 15 years. In all of that time I’ve never, ever heard even one of these phrases.
Here’s what I do know: the missionaries that I know are some of the most gifted, anointed, talented, innovative people that I have ever known. They are creatively sharing the truth of the Gospel with a dying world and suffering much loss in the process, however, they count the loss as nothing to even mention. They don’t go to the field because of some warm fuzzy feeling that overtakes them – they go because the call of God compels them to go! They are not beggars who come to your church or small group because there is no where else to go — they are sent ones who come to your church or small group because they know that just as they have answered the call to go; the Body of Christ must answer the call to participate by praying, participating and giving provisions.
In Exodus – when the people realized that God had placed among them gifted artisans/skilled people to do the work; they willingly brought their gifts so that the work could be completed – so much so that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing gifts. It would be a beautiful thing if this would happen in the Body of Christ today. The work is not done! Not for those who are sent out – and not for those responsible for sending them.
What would it take for the Body of Christ to support missions in this way?
I don’t know. But my prayer is that it will be so.
The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and aproclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it. Exodus 36: 5 – 7
Interested in giving? We have over 200 people serving in 12 countries across the continent of Africa. Click on any of these country names to see how you might become a part of our More Than Enough!
WHERE WE ARE SERVING IN AFRICA
Division in the world is front page news nowadays almost every day. It is sad to see, but the news focuses on the world. not the Body of Christ, so it is not surprising. The heartbreaking thing is to see the division within those who call themselves followers of Christ. One of the things that gave me the most delight when we were living in Ghana was the privilege of bringing women together across denominations and people groups to be in fellowship; to study the Word of God; to practice the life of Christ; and to do ministry together.
Now that my role has been based in the USA – I’ve gotten approached by a couple of ladies who would like me to walk with them. One asked me what joy I get from discipling someone. I told her that one of my greatest joys is to see those who I walk with unified in love.
As I venture to disciple Christ followers it is my duty to see that the young ladies that I’m walking with know what it means to be unified and why.
- First, I must teach that Christ has encouraged and admonished us to be one.
- Second, they must know that my love for them is a gift from God – not anything earned by one of them more than another. I love them all equally – showing no respect of persons.
- Third, I must walk in the Spirit – exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit – modeling before them a life that displays an understanding of God’s presence and a filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Lastly, I must teach a message of grace, because that is what God’s affection towards us looks like.
As I do these things – I have seen time and time again that they are able to embrace their common purpose to glorify God and are better equipped to walk in UNITY.
My prayer is that the Father will show me how to walk according to His word ALWAYS! That my life will be an accurate model to those who are watching me; showing them the way to godly love compassion and unity. That the world will see His grace through my life and unity through my own family. May my life, my words, my actions lead others to become one in Him!
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose
Have you ever been asked to do something new? odd? different? Do you, in spite of your gifts/talents, shrink back a bit when tasked with something that feels bigger than you? I’m sure you don’t – but I sure do. There is something about stepping out into some new ministry when you’ve had success in a smaller place that can take your breath. When I was in church ministry I felt like God was allowing me to work and minister in my sweet spot. But, I didn’t start off that way. I was quite content being an alto in the choir. My friend and mentor, the late Evangelist Brenda Waters, was talking to me over lunch at Picadilly Restaurant in Houston — she looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatcha scared of girl!? God has given you an ear for His music; He has given you a heart for His people; He has given you a voice that quiets a room! Just lead — you’re not a background singer; God created you to lead!” That started my life as a worship leader – my sweet spot. But just as I settled in to that, the call to missions came.
I couldn’t take my musical gift to Ghana in the same way that it had been used in the USA so I floundered for a short while and entered into a time of fear, afraid of being insignificant in the work of the Kingdom. Then the Holy Spirit helped me to see and understand what I was supposed to do in Ghana; lead people toward a life of worship; not just lead them in a worship service. Being in authentic relationships with people so that they would know what it was to live, move and have their being in Him. My new sweet spot! But before I knew it – another call came — lead!
This time He asked me to worship Him with my whole life in a way that others would do the same; to love Him in such a way that the people that I ministered to would feel His love poured out through me. Terrified! Didn’t God know about my failings? my bad attitudes? my own personal kind of crazy?! Yes! He knew all about it and we stepped into this role as ministry directors for Africa. And — you guessed it — my new sweet spot! Every time I get an email from a missionary saying that they feel heard and cared for — I know that this is place I’m supposed to be! The fears fell away – nothing is left except the power of God, the love of God and a mind that is clear about His purpose for me in this season and serious about being continually developed to operate fully in His purposes.
I want to encourage you. Push past the fear. Push past the feelings of inadequacy. Push past your fears and timidity. Push past your ego and your false humility. Push past the enemies lies that tell you that you are less than enough; inadequate; ill equipped. Press into the presence and power of God and you WILL find that your fears will cut tail and run! Trust me! More than that – Trust Him! When God asked you to do that next hard thing, that next new thing, that next step off of a cliff — know that He delights in showing forth His glory through you and doing more in and through you than you could ever have asked, thought or imagined! I don’t know who or what was vexing dear Timothy and making him feel timid — but Paul’s words to Him are for you today too…
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Exist. That’s where most of us spend our time — in that one word – exist. EXIST – a word that really has nothing to do with who we were created to be at all! EXIST – quite boring really – it makes me think of words like survive, subsist. We exist because He created us – but He didn’t create us to merely exist – He created us to THRIVE and to live lives of purpose. We fail every day to grasp ahold of God’s wondrous plans for our existence. His will for our lives will glorify Him and satisfy us and He has give us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us into His perfect will for us. His will is not a mystery – but we do not seek it.
It’s true – we don’t seek His will for us; not because we don’t want to be in His will, but because we are afraid of what He might ask us to give up. We are careful to be good people; to go to church; to give to the poor; to keep the law of the land; etc. and in return we expect God’s favor to rest on our lives. He is a gracious God – and many times He does bless mundane lives. But why would you settle for the mundane when you could have the magnificent? What if He created you to bring hope to the lost? to bring healing to broken hearts? to preach the gospel in a foreign country? to be the image of Christ for your neighborhood?
I worked for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts as Corporate HR Manager in my other life. It was a fairy tale story. I was a temp in their F&B department; then a temp in HR; and the VP of HR saw something in me and gave me the job which helped me put my hubby through seminary. It was a great job! I got to see the world and stay in beautiful places. My friends loved to tell their friends where I worked. They thought it was magnificent – as did I. Some of my friends even enjoyed comp nights at some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world. But one day God knocked on the door of my heart and said Africa is where He wanted Lloyd and I to serve. I remember telling my boss I was resigning so that we could pursue the missionary life and she asked if I could afford to do it — I told her I couldn’t afford NOT to do it. Just 3 years later we were in Ghana – leading people to the Lord; training pastors and their wives; training community leaders; giving our lives away! 10 years after that we were asked to be Africa Directors for our mission and we get to encourage, equip and empower other missionaries AND I still get to see God’s beautiful creation all over the world! The money is nothing to write home about for sure! – but I am satisfied! AND I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is glorified through my life. I am convinced that I am so satisfied because this life that I live is not about me – everyday my life points to and depends upon Him.
I could very well have fought God early on and tried to hang on to my corner office with the beautiful view; to my title and the prestige it brought with it — but I trusted Him enough to believe that whatever He had in front of me would be incredible – more incredible than I could imagine. I decided to believe His word when it says that He can do immeasurably more than my little mind can conceive. I decided to believe that the one who created me knew the purpose He had for me and I decided to live a life in step with Him. I never once questioned His word to me – I knew that it was He who placed me in that job, and I knew that should I ever need a job again He would surely open the door for me. I’m not perfect – not by any stretch of the imagination; but I had enough wisdom to trust in The One who is trustworthy.
Someone reading this is on the brink – God is talking to you and showing you great and mighty things; but you have taken your focus off of the blesser and become fixated on the blessings (material) and are afraid to let them go in order to run hard after what He has for you. I will not tell you that following God is easy – but I will tell you that he loves you and what He has planned for you is satisfying – completely satisfying. Don’t waste time fighting His will for you — be wise enough to trust the God in whom all wisdom dwells. He won’t lead you astray!
Look around you! This world needs the people of God on their posts. The Body of Christ needs to rise up and grab hold of God’s plan. Every believer needs to get in step with God’s will for their lives and allow him to complete the great work that He is doing within us. Take a stand to walk like God’s child today; don’t waste another minute following after the world’s lures — grab hold of Him and His will for you today! If you want to live a life well spent – and not just exist without purpose – choose the wise way – choose His way!
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15,16)
Lloyd and I were driving by a well recently drilled for a local community and spied some children fetching water. They were pulling together on their rope to get their bucket out – and then came shock – horror! They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! Because we live here among this particular people group, we know that no one washed container out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water – they just rinsed it in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use. This community clearly needed not only to know that clean water was important but they needed to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water. They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.
There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part. But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth. They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for entire congregations! What is the answer??? The answer is to teach the complete gospel. That means that we go beyond salvation. We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God. If they can’t read, which is often the case where we live, then we have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them to read or to provide an audio bible. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life! When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word. When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts. When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.
But alas – this takes TIME!! And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another?? I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship, that it is a 24 hour a day commitment. The women that I disciple call whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go! And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple a new Christian in only 8 weeks! Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!! It means (here I go again!) loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!
Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples. He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved! We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives. (1 Thess 2:8)