“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Cor. 4:18
“Right now, lots of missionaries left, and some of you had to stay, but when God comes, you’ll all get to leave.” This is what a PNG citizen friend said to me the other day. “What?” I replied. I was confused by her statement, partially because of the vagueness of Tok Pisin, and partially because it felt so out of context. We were just talking about how empty our center is right now, because so many missionaries had left, and she all of the sudden was talking about Christ’s return.
Maybe if I was a little more eternally-focused it wouldn’t have felt so strange. If I were her, I might’ve encouraged me by saying, “You’ll get to go to your home in another year,” or “At least you can enjoy being with the people who are here.” Instead she reminded me that this life is temporary, and some day soon we will all be with Jesus.
Five Iron Frenzy has a song in which they say, “The farsighted see better things,” and I’ve always liked that way of saying it. When we have an eternal mindset, it changes how we live. If I were focused on the here and now, the best thing I could see would be a life where I’m around family and friends, eating good food and having a good time. Those are good things, but if I’m focused on eternity, I can see even better things. I can see being with Jesus and other believers for eternity, enjoying life, food, fun, worship, togetherness, and happiness that is untainted by anything sorrowful and that never ends. And I can see doing that with brothers and sisters from Papua New Guinea that haven’t yet heard about Jesus, but because of our team’s work here that God is enabling, will someday soon hear and believe.
It’s so easy to get focused on the daily and lose sight of the eternal- yes, even for missionaries! Let’s focus on eternity and let it transform how we spend our todays. Psalm 90:10 says that “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures, yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Even the BEST of our days on Earth are but trouble and sorrow, because they are fleeting. Therefore, we should ask God to, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
When I was a kid, and we’d see the sunset, my dad would always say, “Well, kids, Jesus didn’t come back today, but maybe tomorrow.” May I always live with that in mind.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
I have this sign in my bathroom to remind me!
Matt hard at work in his office
– Karissa has been able to use her extra time this summer to connect with some other ladies here
– Matt has been able to talk with some people who are considering joining our team here
– A family who was gone from PNG for 2 1/2 years was just able to return
– People are continuing to come to the Tok Pisin Bible teaching here on campus
– Wyck fell and knocked a baby tooth out the other day. Pray that it heals well and doesn’t get infected.
– Ty is sick for the second time this summer. Pray that he gets better and stays healthy.
– Pray for continued wisdom for Matt in his new role
– Pray that this summer will be a fruitful time of encouraging and connecting with other missionaries
What are we supporting? This month’s tribal focus: Pray for the Lavongai people. The Lavongai church was born in 2016, and the missionaries have been training the believers to go and teach others, which they are now doing. Missionary Jon says, “This one thing I have learned and would like to share– it was worthwhile: sacrificing, persevering, spending lots of heart and time teaching, discipling, laying a solid foundation for the first-generation Christians. Now they remain solid in their personal faith in God and can continue teaching others despite persecution. And, I’m so excited that in a few months time, Lord willing, Janet and I will be spiritual grandparents!”