The beginning of this year was notably uneventful, actually we didn’t have plans at all until a friend texted and said HER family didn’t have anything either. We joined forces for a quiet goodbye to (horrendous) 2017 and warm welcome to (a more hopeful) 2018. Their family tradition is to ask God for something big in the New Year, so she asked me, “Michelle, what’s something BIG you want to ask God for? Ask for something that only HE can do!” I thought for a while… this should be something of ETERNAL value… hmmm…
My job as a Mission Mobilizer for Africa Inland Mission is tricky. In a lot of ways we’re like a “sales force,” networking, traveling, setting up the display at conferences, establishing partnerships with churches, universities, training organizations, and generally making it known wherever we go of the need for workers in Africa to carry out the Great Commission. There’s a big difference between this and selling a product, though. You see, we have numbers we’re expected to bring in. There are job openings on the field, teams that are waiting to be staffed, and people dying without knowing Jesus. There’s an urgency to what we do, BUT we’re not selling material goods here, we’re looking for PEOPLE in whom God is already working who are willing to leave their lives behind and MOVE to Africa. That’s no small thing, as you know. I’m sure you’d agree that it’s H-U-G-E! Which brings me to my “Big Ask…”
“I’ve GOT it!” I proclaimed! “I’m going to ask God for TEN people to be sent from my region to serve in Africa this year!”
Even speaking it was a little scary. Our region, the whole COUNTRY as a matter of fact, had been in quite a slump. It was a bold ask, but we serve an even BIGGER God! By mid-February I realized that I had TEN people who had filled out a Pre Application!!! Some had even applied without any solicitation at ALL, they were simply obeying God’s nudge to seek out AIM. I was motivated to share all of this with you because it really gives you a glimpse into the ways God is working as I serve Him on THIS side of the ocean. One example is this: I received an e-mail from a man I met A YEAR AGO who told me that he’s ready to go NOW. He had a degree to finish and God had prompted him to begin the process at this point. So, now, not EVEN half way through 2018, I am talking to THIRTEEN PEOPLE who are answering God’s call to serve in Africa and are in various stages of that process (a couple of them STARTED the process here, but will most likely be sent from South Korea)! It’s not just me, either! The rest of the team is experiencing similar numbers. The Holy Spirit is MOVING!!
I can’t stress enough how CRITICAL your partnership and prayers are to this work! I often speak to groups of people about the fact that it takes the WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST to reach the Unreached People Groups who have never had an opportunity to hear the name of Jesus. Like those who are answering the call to GO to other countries to proclaim His name, others have to answer the call to SEND, to GO AHEAD and sacrificially give, to GO tell people of the need for workers, to GO next door and love your neighbor to Jesus, training THEM up to GO. It has taken me almost two YEARS to really grasp and REST in the knowledge that this role is the most strategic one I can fill right now within the greater mission. I pray YOU can grasp your critical part in it too. Here are some other BIG ASKS as we finish out MAY… Can you BELIEVE that?! I look forward to looking back at God’s answers with you by summer.
- Joel and Julia moved back to San Diego in March! PLEASE pray God’s provision for them. Julia is working full time (although not loving it) and Joel is working a new, full-time job with great potential AND a part-time job on the weekends. Their BIG ASK this year is to become totally INDEPENDENT and God is answering!
- Olivia is working hard FULL TIME, but she often cries from the stress of the job. She’d really like to have a job with PURPOSE. She’s beginning the application process for a job she REALLY wants. Please pray for favor!
- I covet your prayers in being a good steward of these people who are in the application process. In addition to them, I have another couple and a single woman who are in the Partnership Development phase. Please pray God’s provision for them so that they can make it to their teams as scheduled.
- Continue to pray the Lord of the Harvest for MORE workers! The harvest is indeed plentiful… People are having dreams and visions, some are even ASKING for missionaries!
- All of this means TIME, travel, and lots of WORK while my responsibilities at home continue. I’m thankful to have family and friends who often stand in the gap for me, but it’s still an overwhelming, exhausting task. Please CONTINUE to pray for GOD’S STRENGTH and wisdom. I OFTEN remember and SENSE your prayers in this area. People ask, “How do you do it?” I KNOW I have an army behind me…
- A praise:I’ve been reflecting back to this time of year 2015… I was in Kenya at RVA and asking some of you to pray for God’s will as I was processing the length of my impending Home Assignment. How crazy to be walking in God’s answer, though it was a plot twist I didn’t anticipate. I SEE HIM working in my life and I’m THANKFUL.
THANK YOU!!! Considering that tax day recently passed, you may be thinking about tax-deductible donations… If you’ve noticed that your automated payments haven’t been consistent, it may be that your debit card has been renewed and needs to be updated. All of that can be done on our website. It’s new and improved!