Today was a long day but extremely fulfilling. The first session was with Campus Crusade for Christ missionary women. Many are struggling with not knowing their niche. They became involved with CCC immediately after university and enjoyed a specific role. But as the years passed, they married and started raising a family. Now their husbands are busy and fulfilled in ministry, but they’re left feeling as though life is passing them by. They’re also facing major financial challenges, especially as the tension continues between the euro and the American dollar.
I can totally understand how they feel on both issues. As the Canadian dollar has strengthened, our family’s missionary financial base has dropped by several hundred dollars per month. I’ve been learning to trust and not be afraid as our expenses increase. I’ve learned to practice praise in the “midnight hour” as Paul and Silas did. God dwells in the praises of His people, and when we praise Him in difficult circumstances, He delights to show His power. And so I thank the Lord that I can speak to them from my heart and not just give them pat answers. The women laughed and loved it when I told them that the shirt I was wearing was from a second-hand store. One gal stood up and indicated with arm gestures that her suit was also from a thrift store. We laughed again, and then someone said to me, “You’re one of us!” To me, that’s a high compliment.
I can also relate to their struggle re: not knowing their niche in ministry. While in Christian camping ministry for 11 years, my husband was the program director but I had no defined role. That was a frustrating place to be, but through it I learned that my family was my first ministry, and I discovered small ways in which I could use my gifts even from my home. My heart totally empathizes with these gals who are well-trained and gifted but wondering if they’ll ever have opportunity to use their education again.
Later that evening we met in the same room. This was an outreach meeting, and the organizers expected 50-60 women. More than 70 showed up! The room was packed full. And what an evening it was. My interpreter was fantastic; I felt she conveyed my heart, not just my words, to the audience. The Gospel was clearly presented but asking for an outward indication of an inward decision is not culturally appropriate. We have no way of knowing whether anyone committed her life to following Christ, but He knows. I have to trust that if someone prayed to receive salvation through Him, He will care for her and provide her with the support she needs to grow in her new-found faith.
As I present these sessions on overcoming fear to these Polish women, I’m realizing that this message is soooo needed. Always, several gals speak with me after the meetings. They say the messages were exactly what they needed to hear. They say these spoken words are giving them courage to face their fears and hope to face the future. And they give me lots of kisses. Left cheek, right cheek, and left again. My heart is becoming more and more entwined with theirs.