"If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" – Jordan Grooms
I attended a college where the primary purpose was to train students to be leaders in Christian ministry. Because of this, I was blessed to meet some of the most amazing servants of God, who now, are serving God all over the world. Through email and facebook many of us have reconnected and it's amazing to see how God has worked in our lives over the last twenty years.
Years ago, when Bruce first started pastoring, we had the opportunity to have our college friends Brent and Miriam in our small church to share their heart for the field of Cuba. Our church took them on for support and thus began our ministry relationship with them. After a field change to Peru and many years, 2 summers ago God allowed our families to land at the same church. We were new to the staff and they were taking a year furlough and making our church their home church. Our families had expanded, and life had dealt us many experiences and blessings to share and we spent a year catching up, watching each others kids, shopping, sharing Starbucks, serving together at church and dreading the next time we'd say goodbye.
But the time came, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Pizza Inn, a hot summer day, and needing tissues. Goodbyes...ugh. Mir and I hugged and I sobbed....a little too much probably. This sister friend had become even more special as we had shared ups and downs and prayers and concerns. And as they pulled away from the parking lot, and I sat in my mini-van I tried to remember that God calls us to obedience. And while I secretly wished I could climb into a carry on piece of luggage and travel the 3,000 miles to Peru, I knew God hadn't called us to that obedience. He called us to Sulphur Springs obedience. Doesn't sound as exciting does it?
You see, Obedience to God in the things He calls you to is not always glamorous. As a mom of two, God's called me to be obedient to Him by raising my kids in the love and instruction of the Lord. He's also called me to love their daddy, keep a meek and quiet spirit, love others, control my tongue and to serve Him in my local church...somedays those things don't seem important...but they are a step of obedience. Just like Miriam traveling all those miles from the USA, my obedience to the things God calls me to do is just as important. People are counting on the Williams to show them the way, the gospel. If they are detoured by disobedience then people suffer. The same is true by those of us who haven't been called to live our lives on foreign soil. Miriam will tell you she feels her life is far from glamorous....and like most of us moms she spends her days taking care of her family. The difference is the soil she's on. And it would be just as wrong for her to be in America right now as it would be for me to be in Peru....if God hasn't called me to that obedience.
While I understand all that, I can't help but think about the heroes that our missionaries are. Their obedience requires sacrifice, selflessness, sweat, tears, frustrations...on a scale much larger than the ones I face. I've never met a missionary who wanted to be applauded. They will tell you they are just doing what God has called them to do. Humble servants of God. This is a lesson I think I could use on most days....you know....those days when I want someone to notice what I've done, to applaud me for doing something good, to appreciate my hard work. But...that's not humility. That's pride. And most of the time obedient actions are between you and God and no one notices and no one sees and no one appreciates. And it tears a little at our flesh.
But sometimes...people do notice. Like when 29 of your friends come to see you in Peru and they see the work, the struggles, the plan, the city, the heart you have, your good deeds, your spirit, your obedience...and they applaud you...honor you...rejoice with you...cry with you and in an earthly way say.."Well Done". It's like a pre-party to what will happen in heaven. And it encourages you and edifies Christ and helps you push a little more and harder and deeper.
To all those serving where God's called you....as a missionary, a homemaker, a bank teller, a coach, a construction worker..... Do your work of obedience. Do what God's called you to do where you're at. Do the best you can with what you have been given. Because it's the spirit of obedience than makes you different from the world...through your attitude of obedience to Christ others will see us as different....unique...set apart....and that will draw men and women....boys and girls to Christ.
Read Post #1 about the Road to Peru HERE
See pictures of our Peru trip HERE
More about Peru tomorrow!