Gene and I left home two weeks ago and have been traveling through Alberta ever since. The weather’s been cold—down to minus 33(Celsius)—but the hearts of those with whom we’ve met have been warm and inviting.
Our trip’s purpose has been to connect with churches, pastors, small groups, and individuals wanting to learn more about International Messengers Canada. It’s fun to see how God nudges people of all ages, personalities and skill sets to build His kingdom. Experience tells us He’s more concerned about our obedience than our educational or vocational training. We also know that His strength shines brightest in our weakness.
Too often we fall into the mindset that says we need to be strong, brave, super-talented, or super-educated for God to use us, but Bible story after Bible story proves this is wrong. He used Noah—a landlubber—to build an ark; Moses—an 80-year-old who was still working for his father-in-law—to lead the Israelites out of captivity; Paul—a murderer—to become the greatest missionary of all times; Esther—a teenage exiled orphan—to save her entire nation from annhiliation; David—a teenage shepherd boy—to kill the giant who intimidated armies of adult men, and many other such characters to accomplish His purposes. He looks for people whose hearts are genuinely bent on pleasing Him, and then He gives them the opportunity to partner with Him and experience Him in new ways as He leads them beyond their personal comfort zone.
Here are some examples of what we’re seeing happen in our ministry these days as ordinary people say yes to whatever God asks them to do on His behalf.
This week we met with two churches that raised about $40,000 to build a home for senior widows in Romania and then sent 18 men, women, and teens last spring to build it. From a rural farming community, these folks are marveling at how God has so obviously networked them with this particular ministry. Some have expressed a desire to stay connected longterm through monthly financial donations. And one of the teens who helped build the house plans to return for six months following his high school graduation later this year. He’ll chop and stack a lot of firewood while he’s there, and he’ll help with maintenance, too.
We met with two couples who have given finances to support Eastern European missionaries and missionaries-in-training. One has also set aside funds to purchase a much-needed facility to house a growing church in one of these post-Communist countries.
We’ve been communicating with a licensed practical nurse in her early 30s. She will leave her home on Vancouver Island to serve in a homeless ministry in Poland for a couple of weeks in May. She’ll bind their wounds, serve hot meals, and share the love of Christ in other practical ways.
And then there’s the elderly man, his daughter and her teenage daughter who live in Ontario. He was born in Poland and spent time imprisoned there during the war. The three will visit several of our evangelistic family camps in Poland this July—he’ll share his salvation testimony with campers, and his daughter will present a musical concert at each camp.
Four women (one of my nieces included!) will travel with me to our staff conference in Slovakia on March 31. Three will use their massage therapy and haircutting skills to bless our missionaries there. The fourth—the 16-year-old daughter of one of these gals—will assist with the children’s program designed for our MKs.
My husband will leave for Slovakia a week earlier than my departure. Prior to the conference, he’ll travel with a fellow who drives truck for a living but who also understands the inner workings of computers. Together they’ll visit a couple of our ministry projects where computers need a magic touch to make them work more effectively.
Fifteen people will join us at our evangelistic family camp in Poland this summer. They include three teenage girls, a great-grandmother in her late 60s, a first grade teacher—also in her late 60s, a retired bank manager and wife, a young married Polish fellow in training for his commercial pilot’s license, and many more. This is only the iceberg’s tip.
I leave Alberta today, in awe and grateful for what God has done and is doing through ordinary people whose hearts are committed to serving Him. Celebrate, in spirit, with me for how their obedience is blessing countless others both physically and spiritually.
Question: Has God ever asked you to do a specific task that was, perhaps, far beyond your perceived abilities? If so, how did you experience Him in new ways after saying yes?