Written by Mary.
Well, I confess, I am surprised by the results of this election. In fact, I may have been in a suspended state of disbelief for the last year. This morning out of the melee on social media, a good friend of mine's post stood out:
Please pray for Donald Trump.
He will need wisdom.
Please pray for those among us who feel threatened.
They will need comfort.
Please pray for those among us who feel emboldened.
They will need humility.
Please pray for our country.
It needs healing.
This I can say 'amen' to. I will strive to encourage others to take a stance of power, love, and self-control. When you are tempted to fall into fear mongering, blaming, crowing, or complaining stand instead in the power and love of God and pray for our nation and for your community.
Two words have come back to me again and again through this season.
If God is for us, who can stand against us? What fear has power over us?
As the body of Christ, we are for the world:
For healing, for love, for reconciliation, for abundant life.
Our part is not to fall prey to division and fear, but to pray for each other.
In this word 'FOR', I feel challenged to orient myself toward others, even when that means engaging grief and suffering.
Do not go numb, do not give up.
Be for wholeness. Be an ambassador for Christ.
BOLD is something I have not been.
I have not been bold to proclaim Christ to the dear people God has placed in my life.
I confess I have let the fear of rejection overwhelm my love for them.
I have not been bold to prepare financially for our mission by seeking aid from our community.
I confess I have let the fear of shame overwhelm the vision for what God will do in the village of Baku, in PNG, and here in my community.
I have beat myself up inside, telling myself I should have more courage; but when the moment arrives, I let yet another opportunity to glorify God slip away.
A good friend recently shared a sermon with us on the topic of Boldness.
The speaker pointed out that even Paul was constantly pleading with the Church to pray for him to have boldness!
This isn't an attribute I can manufacture in myself. Part of a bold ministry is a dependence on the people of God. Boldness is God's gift.
So please pray for me, for Ben, for our Church to be BOLD.
To those of you who have been praying for us: Thank you, again and again, thank you!
We have had a couple answers.
First, a good friend of ours gave us the kick in the pants we needed to really get moving on fundraising. We are both feeling more empowered and focused in this area.
Second, we had a consultation with the executive director of our organization and received the following counsel:
- Do not deplete your savings to buy tickets for Romania. Start a fund drive specifically for that purpose and see what God does. Tentatively, keep the plan to go in February.
- Hold the date of April for departure to PNG loosely. Keep praying, keep raising funds, but be willing to push the date back. It may be that the timing of a later date will be better for everyone involved.
- Keep seeking prayer and advice from your community.
God is good. When we call, He answers. We trust that He will work His own purposes through all of this, and that He will provide for us to walk in His will.
We do deeply believe that He loves the people of Baku village and the people in the surrounding language groups and that He will provide for them to grow in the knowledge of Him and in healthy community. So we continue to press forward to answer the request that they have made of us, in the hope that God will use us as His tool to bless them.
Will you please pray about being a part of this long term ministry through prayer and financial support?
Will you consider being a part of sending us to our training in Romania? We need to raise roughly $3,500.
We know that this has been a rough year for many, and we ask that if you cannot support us financially that you would continue to support us in prayer - that is exponentially more important!
We love you all and are, as ever, overwhelmed with gratitude for you and for God's hand in our lives.
Stand FOR each other.
Be BOLD in the faith.
Mary (and Ben and Joya) Grimm