“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” -Heb. 3:13
|I felt so embarrassed.Recently I was at the ninja (obstacle course) gym my family has been going to the past few months. I was struggling even to do the monkey bars that day, and I was embarrassed because I was convinced the other people watching were probably thinking things like, “What’s her problem? Why is this so hard for her? I would be able to handle those obstacles better.” What they didn’t know is that at my workout earlier that week, I had ripped off several blisters on my hands. Because of that, every grip on a bar was excrutiating as I tried to power through. But they didn’t know my past trauma or my current pain. They didn’t know why this was so hard for me.|
I think that missionaries can often feel like I did. Missionaries go through difficult situations on the field that leave them torn and scarred. They struggle with things going on back home that no one knows about. They are working hard in ministry, which is always difficult, but they are doing it without the support network of their family, friends, and church. Relational struggles, daily culture stress, and spiritual attack all add up to make today’s current obstacles feel really really difficult. And then they have the pressure of feeling like their coworkers on the field or supporters back home probably are wondering why in the world this is so hard for them. No one knows that they have sores on their hands.
I recently heard the story of John Rogers, the first of many Christians to be martyred by Queen Mary for preaching the gospel in the 1500s. It is said that he was marched through the town on his way to be burned at the stake so that everyone could see what happens to pastors who opposed Queen Mary. To her dismay, as they were marching around, his church members followed along with him cheering for him, saying, “Keep going! Keep fighting for the gospel!”
Can I be really honest about something? A few years ago I was ready to quit. But God gave me grace to keep going, and I know that it was largely because of your prayers, lifting us up before God, giving us courage to persevere.
When we go back to PNG, we get to be involved in member care, which is so near to our hearts. We understand the hidden sores that might be on the hands of our fellow missionaries, and we get to come alongside of them shouting, “Keep going! Keep bringing the Gospel to those who have never heard it!” Please continue to pray for us, that we can do this important task well.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
Top/Left: My sore hands one day after Ninja. Bottom/Right: Matt and his good friend completed their first triathlon!
– The new medicine I’m on is working!!! I only had THREE headaches last month!
– God has graciously provided through his people’s generosity so that I can buy the medicine I need for PNG!
– Our work visas and entry permits have been approved!
– Things are coming together as we prepare to leave
– We are still waiting for our passports, with visas inside, to be returned to us from the embassy. Pray they get here soon!
– We are completely overwhelmed with what we need to get done before leaving
– For our hearts as we prepare to leave
– For God’s comfort for us and for our boys as we say difficult goodbyes
What are we supporting? This month’s tribal focus: Pray for the growing Dinangat church.
“In Dinangat, while the Schlegels and Markleys were in there doing some translation work, one of the Bible teacher’s houses caught fire. While literally everything he owned was going up in smoke, Jaspa quoted a verse that he and Jeremiah were just working on earlier, Matt 6:19-20 ‘don’t store up treasures on earth.’
Afterwards, it was beautiful to watch the church come to his aide by donating clothes, pots and pans, water containers, etc. The pain was still there, but he said an amazing peace was covering him!” -Gary Smith