Read This!!! It is so good. Made me weep with joy and sadness.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Missions and Missionaries
that's been weighing heavily on my heart lately is all of the
posts floating around the Internet lately slamming missions,
missionaries and short term mission trips. There have been blog posts
written, books written, as well as articles and editorials. I will
admit, some of these writings have had some valid points and some have
brought up some areas of concern that I believe are wise to examine. But at the same time I think we have to be very careful to not let a few peoples thoughts or opinions influence us more than the word of God does.
I am sure there quite possibly are those out there who go on mission
trips for the wrong reason, and while I am sure there could be a few
missionaries out there who sit around and do nothing - I am even more
sure that the Lord realized we humans wouldn't get it right every time.
And yet, He still commanded us to go and make disciples in all nations.
And not only does he command us to go-these are among the last recorded
words of Jesus.
biggest concern with slamming mission trips and missionaries in
general is that many people will read these articles and then simply use
it as an excuse to do nothing- which is exactly what Satan wants.
We have all heard it before "Don't give money to the homeless guy on the side of the road because he will use it on alcohol. " And you know what- He just might.
But what if, just what if, He really was in need and you turned your back on Jesus in disguise?
And, what if we stand before God one day guilty of clinging to safe and clinging to the almighty dollar-over clinging to the word of God?
you see, God doesn't hold YOU accountable for what the homeless guy
chooses to do with the help you gave him, just as he doesn't hold YOU
accountable for the missionary that doesn't save the world. But, He does
hold you accountable for your response to His commands.
Being on the mission field first hand, one thing I can tell you is that I know a lot of missionaries who do
work long hours in often times dangerous situations. Missionaries who
have hearts of gold and who serve the Lord with everything they have.
Missionaries who give and give and give and expect nothing in return.
have served along side many short term mission teams who labor from sun
up to sun down. They sacrifice and fund raise to come and serve. They
open doors of opportunity and get things done in a weeks time that would
have taken a single missionary months to do by themselves. They bring
their gifts and talents and use them freely. They choose to come and
love on people who can give nothing in return- while investing in the
lives of the people in the time they are given. They show them the love
of Christ first hand by showing them that someone cares. These teams
choose to spent money working to improve someone else's quality of life
instead of choosing to spend money on a luxurious vacation. They dig
ditches and get dirty. They get blisters, sunburns and backaches and
smile all the way through it out of their love for the Lord.
have heard people ask "couldn't the money they spent going been
better used by just sending a check instead?" The problem with this is- I
think we often miss the point and limit God when we do. God doesn't
need our money. God is about relationship and He is about our hearts.
My life was changed on a short term mission trip. Maybe the first trip I
went on was a little more about me than it should have been... but God
knows what we need even before we do. He is so much bigger than we give
him credit for. Through that trip if even one person felt the love of
God through me and knew that they mattered through a single smile, a
pair of shoes or a hug- then it wasn't a waste. My eyes were opened in
ways that wouldn't have happened otherwise. Through that growth, we
went on to adopt more children and eventually go onto the field full
of that, today God used us by connecting us with another awesome
missionary coupled with the combined efforts of a short term mission
team. Through this- a family experienced the love of God when their
precious daughter received her new wheelchair. (And what you couldn't
know just by looking at this picture is that the guy in the green shirt
grew up in an orphanage himself. How cool is our God?)
I wish you could have heard her belly laugh, seen her joy first hand, and experienced JESUS the way we did.
I wish you could have been there to see people from different backgrounds and cultures come together....
because I know without a doubt those little faces watching- saw HIM.
the mother who has been carrying the weight of the world on her
shoulders in trying to care for a daughter with special needs had tears
streaming down her face- not only because someone cared about her
precious daughter for the first time-but because she realized that HER
life was VALUABLE to HIM.
And when we bowed our heads and praised His work- HE WAS GLORIFIED.
In a small dirty village full of garbage and poverty- Jesus was at work.
we didn't solve the worlds problems- and maybe we weren't meant to. But
we did show one beautiful little girl who has spent her entire life in a
tiny tin home with dirt floors and little else that SHE IS WORTH more
than she will ever know to the King of Kings.
So much so that He was willing to die-
regardless of the imperfect missionary who came to let her know.
And I know if you had seen what I saw today-
if you had been there,
you would understand just why God is all about missions.
even if I am only able to bring ONE person to Christ as a missionary, I
know, without a doubt, that the Lord was gloried when that one lost
sheep was found.
the best part is...God can use that one person to influence another and
another and another... and the ripple effect continues on...
Missions is the heart of God.
It is His plan.
And regardless of what opinions man has- regardless of how we mess things up and get it wrong-
He is on His thrown.
don't claim to have all the answers and maybe I am not supposed to. Who
would want to serve a God who is only as smart as I am anyway? Maybe
God just wants to know if out of our love for Him we are willing-
Iley was back messing with Tito, while Tonka lay behind her...gasp!
In digging through some stuff, we found my roller skates......these were a huge hit with the girls. They even came in handy for reaching the sink:)
They wore them around like this most of the day... using them like a scooter.
Until ....Wren ...... resourceful as always....came up with this solution for staying up right. One pulled, the other held on for dear life.
They did ok with them both on as long as they stayed on the carpet.......but when they hit the wood floor....oh my......the weeping and crashing.......
Monday eve, we went to Mom and Dad D's for a cook out.
The colorful veggies that always accompany any meal by Mama D. She has to have her greens:) They don't always come in this form.......but always colorful........and you can always count on a veggie.
Hans trying his new ripstick.
The BBQ pit.....hot dogs done, time for smores......the girls' first real experience with them.
Marisa brought these cool square marshmallows that fit perfectly on a graham cracker square! Now why didn't I come up with that idea:)
Dear patient Aunt Lucy roasted lots of Marshmallows......and she doesn't even like them.
Harrison and Teague (Teague is Troy's brother Kip's boy who is here visiting) were both sick this evening:(
Some just stuff the whole thing in at once!
I think he asked Ella here..."wanna kish"
She was like NO NO NO........but she got one anyway. Poor thing was totally defenseless with a marshmallow in one hand and a hot dog stick in the other.........wait she coulda used the stick for defense huh.....maybe she didn't mind it so much after all;) although I think he caught her off guard and she stuck herself in the leg with the stick!
Iley came to me after her first bite asking for a napkin!
Wren was right behind her!
So guess who got to hold the smores and divvy out the bites........mmhmmm.
The wood elf daintily eating her smores with her finger out.
Unca Lane and Aunt Lucy:) Aint they cute:)
These sunset pictures were from Wednesday eve. We had a big storm blow through with Tornado warnings and all.........it cleared off and left us with this amazing night sky.
Sitting outside admiring the view.....a bit chilly!
Poor Harrison is looking a little pale:( He's been sick since Monday morning, Teaugues been sick off and on since Monday afternoon, I got it Monday evening and am finally feeling better tonight. Harrison is feeling human again, and Teague I think got up and around too soon cause there are things to do and cousins to play with......so he's back down with it. He headed to Grma's tonight to quieter quarters.
Iley was all wrapped up in Kyndahls jacket. I asked her if Kyndahl had a baby in her tummy? She's like whaaaaat??? She is fascinated with pregnant people right now and asks about anyone with a slightly protruding tummy! Ack. She asked Kyndahl when her elderly pot bellied landlord came to the door......"he have a baby in his tummy?" several times...... Kyndahl tried to shush her to no avail and finally told her no he's just chubby....."oh he just chubby?" at the top of her lungs!..... never quietly! Thank goodness she's pretty dutchy still! Then tonight she's sitting on Kyndahls lap and lets a stinker....Kyndahl asks her did you just let a stinker on my leg??!! Iley looks at her like what's the big deal and says "just a little bit" Like calm down it wasn't much. I'm not sure Kyndahl was comforted! LOL Sorry Kyndahl! I couldn't help but bwaahaaahaaa.
Wren started summer school yesterday and is doing well. Her teacher said the lady from the state department who is helping out and observing her some said she was amazed at everything she was doing since the last time she saw her. We are blessed to have such an amazing teacher and a school district that is willing to help kids with special needs! Thank you all!