Lifting those Arms

There are things about being the bossy oldest sister that are not too glamorous, but some things I do take very seriously. I feel like it is very much my job to hound my little sister about updating her blog. I listen to her enthusiastic stories and try to encourage her “write about it” I listen to her busy life and try to nag her “write about it” and finally today, she turned the tables on me and reminded me “you promised you would blog for me when you came to visit, but you didn’t.” And so,here goes, a combination article from two sisters one in VA and and one Nicaragua. (follow more of Deborah’s adventures at daysofdebi.wordpress.com )

Last weekend at the OBMM annual meeting, I became reacquainted with the story “Two men, One mission” In summary, two brothers grew up in the beautiful Michigan farmland. Both married, and by about 1912, the one couple felt called to Africa. The other couple felt called to stay home and sacrifice to support their family on the foreign field. The only stipulation was that no one knew. So for years, everyone watched the thriving mission in Africa, and speculated what could be wrong with the brother at home- why his buildings were in ill repair, why he didn’t fertilize his crops (I won’t comment on how much more $$ growing crops at maximum potential makes you) and basically misjudging the brother at home. Eventually, a lion took the life of the African brother but many lives were touched because both families sacrificed.

Romans 10:14-15 How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
Sometimes it’s easy for me to think “Well, I’m not on the foreign field, what I’m doing is so insignificant” But these verses make me aware of how important it is to be the life line from the home front. Are you sent or are you a sender?

There was a fight between the Amalekites and Israel once upon a time, but before they even showed up, Moses had a battle plan in place “tomorrow I will stand on the hill with the staff of God in my hands” and we are familiar with the story- while his hands were raised, Israel won, but once his weary arms sagged to his sides, the Amalekites would gain ground. So two men came along beside him and held his arms in the air and Israel won.

So how is the best way to hold someone’s arms in the air? There have been so many creative ways that people have been an encouragement:

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Communication: Email, cards, snap chats, boxes, whatever- which of us doesn’t appreciate random words of affirmation? Sometimes I’m guilty of assuming our missionaries on the foreign field are so busy and encouraged by the Lord, that they don’t need to hear from me.( I think this might be a false teaching 🙂 The Holy Spirit is the Great Encourager, but that doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook!)
Along with that- craft ideas and supplies: Children’s Church and kids clubs happen quite regularly. And more than that, the frequent visit of children just stopping by to get away from their home situation. Different times, a complete craft idea will show up, or a stamping set including paper, ink stamps and colored pencils. This takes the work out of researching that next project 🙂

Clothing: Sewing Circle and different ladies from our home area have carried the torch to send children’s outfits to Nicaragua. Children’s Church is well represented with the labor of love from these ladies.

Funds: People have been so generous with Deb. She has a stash of money “just waiting” for the right time. While nothing is gained by handing out random money- in fact a lot is hindered- there are dire needs. The girl that cleans the church there lost her father several years ago, and because her mother is of poor health, she (at 14) is responsible to provide for herself. Recently the nose piece fell off her glasses and she is worrying how she will find the $179 to replace them… God provides.

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Most importantly- Prayer: “I cannot tell you how important the prayer support behind a mission is! I was blessed again the other night with how amazing God is! His timing is perfect! We had went into Managua for the afternoon, and were getting home a little later then usual, around 11:30. The reality that the last time I got home at this hour, a robber awaited me,made me extra nervous. However, this time I wasn’t alone, Genessa was with me! We got home and there was a man sitting on his motorcycle waiting in the street right in front of the house. Gen was a little apprehensive about getting out of the truck with him right there, but we had to put the truck in the courtyard and get ourselves inside! I pulled up and shone my lights around to ensure there was no one else waiting in the shadows behind the stairs, and backed up to try to decide what we should do. I mean, you can’t just tell someone in the street, “Hey, I’m not comfortable with you watching me pull into my garage, can you please leave?” As we were there thinking about what would be the safest thing to do, Nathan Miller pulled around the corner in the other mission vehicle! Their family had been away as well, and they were returning at the exact same time as we did! (If that’s not the hand of God, I don’t know what is!) When Gen got out to open the gates, the man got off his bike and came over and asked to talk to her. She didn’t really respond, and as we pulled in, we shut the doors ASAP, and let Nathan go out to talk to him. He had some story about wanting translation work, but we had to wonder why he would be waiting for us to get home at 11:30 to ask for work? We are praising the Lord it ended the way it did, God obviously had everything planned out perfectly! Thank you once again for praying for our safety, I do not want to live in fear. Our God can protect me, and it is a breach of trust if I place my security in people, or things. So please pray that I can rest in Him, and not let myself give into feelings of fear!” -deb

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind”

‘I want my friends to pray for me,

To hold me up on wings of faith

That I may walk the narrow way,

Kept by our Father’s glorious grace

…I need the prayers of those I love’

-James D Vaughan

Bless you, for ministering. There are so many opportunities to come beside someone and “Encourage each other daily, while it is still ‘today’ .” Deborah and her beautiful Nicaragua are not the only outlet for that. There are brave souls fighting the good fight all over the world. There are people being faithful at home- what do I know about the local Kids Club? Or when was the last time somebody volunteered to help with our prison ministry?

May we all be ready to work- where ever He’s placed us. But most of all- Please pray. The battle belongs to the Lord!

Blessings to you,

Kendra and Deborah

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