Life Unscripted

Sometimes life is great, and sometimes, not so great. Sometimes we’re so excited about what tomorrow holds, we can barely sleep, and other times, we can’t wait to hit the bunk because of exhaustion, weariness, discouragement, or fear.

Occasionally, life has moments that are very rich, and as Christians, we learn to accept both good and evil from the hand of the Lord, as Job did. Still, God often sees fit to bless his children with precious memories, and along with those memories, valuable lessons.

Read more here.

 

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (and here’s what God did!)

 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… -1 John 4:18 NKJV

Something that I never really thought would happen to me has happened.

Just a little over a week ago, God answered my prayers, prayers that came from the desire he put in my heart ten years ago.

I started the path to become a missionary full-time.

But what’s amazing about this is not just one thing. It’s this and everything that has led up to it. God truly paved the path for me and showed me with crystal clarity the decisions I had to make.

He opened up doors of opportunity for me I never could have opened on my own. He helped me (and is helping me) to conquer my fears. He has given me the desire of my heart.

Years ago, I had such a hard time saying anything to anyone about Jesus. I grew up in church and was saved at a young age. But I regret to say, I was seized with fear. And I knew I was wrong, because fear is not from God and operating in fear is sin. So I prayed to God that he would release me from my fear and would give me a love for the lost. In his mercy, God touched me and never let go. I began to share the Gospel with people and give out Gospel tracts. Soon, it was all I thought about. And about a year or two later, it was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

God showed me a wonderful organization called Open Air Campaigners (OAC), whose mission is to proclaim the Good News in the open air for all to hear. After volunteering for them for over two years, one of the evangelists on staff told me he felt led to ask me if I would want to come on staff with them (thanks Zane!). I had been praying about the same thing prior to then! Although I was still unsure at the time about whether I should join or not, God showed me time after time that this was what he wanted for me by continually answering my prayers. As of last week, I am officially on staff with OAC. God is merciful and good, and he has shown me he is greater than all my sins, doubts, and fears.

So right now, I am asking for prayer. Prayers and pleadings to our God for humility, strength to fight spiritual warfare, wisdom, love, the Holy Spirit, and endurance to run this race. If you want more info, updates, and prayer requests from me as I start this journey, feel free to shoot me an email at becblast@gmail.com.

Reblog: Savoring Gifts

Occasionally here at Valiant for Truth, we will reblog posts from other great blogs and websites from around the web. We hope that these links encourage you.

This post is by a missionary couple who have recently moved to Taiwan to share the Gospel with the working class people there. They have some interesting insight into what the missionary life is like from their perspective as Christians living far away from what they have known all their lives, while depending on the Lord for the increase and not taking anything for granted. I hope this piece about transition and trust in God’s Word blesses you.

Savoring Gifts

The MISSION in Missionaries: An Opportunity You May Not Have Considered, Part 3

This is the third and final part to this series, The MISSION in Missionaries. It is also available in a condensed form at Mission Network News, who published it on their website. Don’t miss out on reading the footnotes at the bottom of this post, some of which provided some great thoughts, insights, and ideas that I could not squeeze into this article.

Volunteering with missionaries is another great way to support them and boost their morale. God may provide you with the opportunity to intern for a missions board overseas. But even if you have never gone on an international missions trip, opportunities to share the Gospel abound here in the States. The need for domestic missions is just as urgent as the need for foreign missions, because no matter their income or cultural differences, all people everywhere are in need of the saving Gospel. Domestic missionaries, just like their foreign counterparts, are in need of our prayer and support. There are missionaries and missions boards based right here in the US who are dedicated to preaching the Gospel in this increasingly diverse country of ours. One such organization is Open Air Campaigners, a street preaching group which makes it its mission to preach the Gospel in the public square, wherever people gather. Another is Child Evangelism Fellowship, which ministers to children via summer camps, neighborhood clubs, and afterschool clubs. See the need in your own backyard and try volunteering for organizations like these on the home front so you can bless missionaries by helping them to reach the lost.

There are also other organizations, like Siloam Missionary Homes, that build temporary housing for missionaries and provide an outlet to bless them by allowing folks to donate food, clothing, and other items to furloughed workers on site. Siloam welcomes individuals and church groups to come and volunteer by giving them opportunities to build homes and assist with projects around the property. You may also have a chance to get to know and fellowship with the missionaries on hiatus while you are working. Organizations like this may exist near you.

In our haste to get to the “mission field,” we must not bypass the clear and present opportunities God gives us to serve locally. Serving missionaries right where we are is in and of itself a mission field. The Bible records the faithful who ministered to prophets and apostles-sometimes at great risk to themselves- so God’s Word could continue to go forth.3 One of many examples is Onesiphorus, who, after Paul was arrested, encouraged him and refused to shy away from him because of his prison bonds. When Paul was transferred to Rome, Onesiphorus did not stop searching until he found him (2 Tim. 1:16-18). This is an example of ministry towards those who do the work of an evangelist…as well as a display of the “greater love” Christ spoke of to His disciples before He was taken away to ultimately be crucified (see John 15:13).

Every Paul needs an Onesiphorus, a Luke, an Epaphroditus. Every Moses needs an Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms (Ex. 17:8-13). Every Jeremiah needs a Baruch (Jer. 36). Why can’t you be the one to stand in the gap, right here, right now?

Endnotes

1. What missionaries don’t tell you. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.themissionsociety.org/mag-templ/what-missionaries-dont-tell-you
2. Chambers, Oswald. (1993) So Send I You/Workmen of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House.
3. Some references of this nature include Obadiah in 1 Kings 18:1-16; Priscilla and Aquila in Romans 15:3-4; Timothy and Epaphroditus in Ephesians 2:19-30; Luke and Mark in 2 Timothy 4:11.

Additional Resources

Brauer, Janice. (2014, November 7). What is Member Care? [Web log post] Retrieved from http://team.org/blog/member-care/

Charity. (2014, February 27). The Naked Truth about Deputation: Can You See Through My Eyes? [Web log post] Retrieved from http://baptistmissionarywomen.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-naked-truth-about-deputation-can.html#.VO_WGvnF_jK

McVay, John (Ed.) (2010) Ask a Missionary: Time-Tested Answers from Those Who’ve Been There. Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica.

Rogers, Mark. (2010, January 6). 10 Ways to Encourage a Missionary. [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-ways-to-encourage-a-missionary/

S., Heather. (2014, July 24). Thank you, supporters. [Web log post] Retrieved from http://missionalcall.com/thank-you-supporters/

Links to Organizations

Child Evangelism Fellowship www.cefonline.com

Open Air Campaigners www.oacusa.org

Siloam Missionary Homes www.siloamhomes.org

Credits

Much thanks to Jimmy Coates for helping me edit and to Tom Fox and Chris Reick of OAC for providing additional photos.

The MISSION in Missionaries: An Opportunity You May Not Have Considered, Part 2

This is Part 2 of my post that I posted up here last week. Part 3 will be posted soon. To see the condensed version of the article, go to Mission Network News and check out the blogs and other great news stories while you’re there.

If we don’t inquire about the needs, spiritual and physical, of fellow pilgrims on the narrow road who do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5), how can we help them? Come alongside a missionary or evangelist and ask them what their needs are. Prayerfully consider supporting them with your money, your time, or both – however God leads you. If there are none in your church you are aware of, pray that God would bring across your path a missionary whom you can bless- and learn from. Oswald Chambers, a missionary himself, wrote, “When you meet a man or woman who puts Jesus Christ first, knit that one to your soul.

When asked, most missionaries will almost undoubtedly tell you their greatest need is prayer. The apostle Paul repeatedly urged those who received his letters to pray for him (Rom. 15:30-32; Eph. 6:18-20; 2 Thess. 3:1-2, etc.). Mission workers not only need prayer for provision of their physical and financial needs, but also their spiritual needs. They need our prayers, especially when they become deeply discouraged because of Satan’s onslaughts. You can encourage missionaries by asking them what prayer requests they have, and if possible, meeting with them in person for prayer and fellowship.

If you are considering becoming an evangelist (or going into any kind of ministry work), one of the best resources you can lay hold of – next to personal Bible study and prayer – is fellowship with other missionaries. Prepare for a learning curve! Preaching the Gospel and serving people in the name of Jesus is no cakewalk, and you will find it is no easier for those who fall into the category of missionaries or evangelists, as they will tell you. You will discover what a life on mission truly entails and, who knows, maybe even what God is asking of you….

The MISSION in Missionaries: An Opportunity You May Not Have Considered, Part 1

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity by Mission Network News to write an article on missions. MNN posted my article here under their blogs (thanks Katey Hearth!) I have also posted the first part out of three of the unedited edition here below. Hope it’s a blessing to you!

Some time ago, I read an article entitled, “What Missionaries Don’t Tell You.” The writer shared a trial he and his wife, Pam, faced when he served as a missionary youth pastor in Panama in the early 1970s. When Pam began experiencing severe complications in the third trimester of her pregnancy, the couple found themselves in a difficult situation as she was forced to spend weeks in a local hospital. Her husband tried to be brave for her, but at the same time he would silently endure his own agony as the father of a child he might never get to hold. The author shared what had helped them cope during this trying stretch of their lives was the presence of those in the body of Christ who reached out to them. People like Marie, who became like a mother to Pam in her troubled pregnancy; Vicki, who essentially trained the missionary couple to birth the baby naturally; and Claude and Gordon, who showed up to the couple’s trailer one night, envelope of money in hand, ready to help pay for inevitable hospital bills.

It is easy to think of missionaries and evangelists as super Christians who never let anything get them down. However, like any Christian, missionaries experience emotional pain, rejection, health issues, financial shortfalls, spiritual warfare, and of course, their own daily sin with which they have to battle. These life issues are exacerbated by an Enemy who would rather see individuals destroyed than saved from their sins (John 10:9-10), and who will do all in his power to stall the progression of the Gospel message, including trying to eliminate the messenger.

There is an evident need to minister to those who are giving of their time, lives, and families to preach the Gospel. Some missions organizations provide counselors and medical personnel to aid mission workers in the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspects of their lives while in the field. Others offer housing and pastoral care to furloughed missionaries while they take some much-needed time off for refreshment.

But what about the rest of us, the laypeople? We have the privilege as blood-bought brothers and sisters in Christ of bearing one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). Does not the responsibility of loving and caring for each other depend on us, as the household of faith (Gal. 6:10), since we are all members of Christ’s body?…

Nigeria: Did You Forgive? (Voice of the Martyrs Radio, Feb 6, 2015)

Imagine opening your door to menacing Boko Haram terrorists, who then ask you to deny your faith in Christ. Or imagine watching other Christian believers getting killed right in front of you. Maybe it’s a friend, or a father or other loved one. Many believers face this reality every day in countries like Nigeria. Voice of the Martyrs is perhaps the first of many organizations who have made it their mission to help our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Their stories deserve to be told. We need to remember them and keep them in our prayers.