Thursday, March 20, 2008

A missionary is like a deep sea diver

A missionary is like a deep sea diver. He dives down deep into the ocean to find the treasure, but without his oxygen tank he will die. Without someone watching from above for signs of danger, he will be injured. He can collect artifacts on his dive, but who can he pass them to? Who does he hand his treasure to if there is no one in the boat?
Some of you in the boat are tired and weary. Please know that we need you and are so thankful for you. We need more people to come in the boat. We need more people to fill our air tanks and pray for our treasures. We need you. We need you to be a active member of the boat crew. You are so important. We know that without a strong support team each diver or missionary will sink. There will also be times when a boat crew member will dive down and help the diver during an interesting situation. On the mission field that is a mission trip or a short-term assignment. These are wonderful opportunities to see the work and be a part of the catch! Please, find a boat, be an active crew member, and jump in!

Goodbye Albania

Empty boxes fill the room. A home once full of children's voices and scampering feet now is a quiet room full of reminders. Birthday parties for orphans who have never had a party just for them, movie night, good strong Illy coffee, laughter and spilled kool-aid, girls night out, Bible lessons, and hope.
Missionaries come and go in every country, but they also leave an impact each time. As I pack up the pieces of their lives I realize that each book, each plate tells a story. They came to stay forever. They sold their house in the states, the kids beds, the bikes, even their dog to come to Albania to serve. Now, their dreams are put on hold as the Lord has allowed circumstances beyond their control to take them stateside.
It is a chapter closing in their lives and even in ours. It is a difficult to see our dear missionary friends leave the country. It is sad to see the people left behind who are affected by their leaving. I know their hearts are still in Albania, but for a missionary there is so much more needed to continue a ministry.
As missionaries in a foreign land, we are family to each other. We laugh together, cry together and eat burnt or raw or fatty or grisly or delicious suflaqas together. When one of our members is gone, we notice. We miss them. We LOVE you guys!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What do you need?

"What do you need?"
I am asked this question now and then by churches and friends alike who want to encourage us on the mission field. I have thought about the question a lot and when I get beyond the usual answers that pop into my head like brown sugar and kool-aid, I realized what we really need.
We need HELP! Sometime I feel like a very small person trying to win a whole country to the Lord. The task becomes overwhelming. The needs seem so great.
I believe we need help. Our arms are getting tired and we need someone to come along and hold them up for a while. We need to hear an encouraging verse or prayer request answered. We need to hear that more people are coming to the mission field. We need help.
How do we get help? We pray. We pray that God will send help. We pray that he will send visitors to see the country, we pray that he will send missionaries to work together toward the same goal. We pray that Albanians hearts will be open to the Light of God's Word. We open our hearts and share our passion for Christ, and we pray.
Could you pray too?