“One does not surrender his life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime” -Jim Elliott
Some things can’t truly be understood until they’ve been lived.
We’ve all heard tales of people leaving everything they know and love, about the joy that comes as fetters are loosened and they fly away into the unknown for the purpose of glorifying God in very dark places. And it sounds so beautiful, perhaps slightly painful, but beautiful anyway.
What we don’t see is that the pain is real and it’s ugly and dark, that there’s nothing beautiful in the midst of it, at least nothing that we recognize as beauty at first glance. That sometimes those people have doubts, forget to rely on Christ, begin to wistfully look back to the life they once lived.
And that’s when their idols are exposed.
Those idols that were seemingly defeated, that have been absent for ages, begin to chip away at the resolve that was once held so strongly. This, my friends, is when the real beauty begins to shine through—the unsurpassed beauty of Christ. He begins to do what is necessary to tear down those idols, to rid his beloved child of the struggle that would eventually defeat even the strongest among us. The beautiful pain that follows is what God uses to refine them even further and prepare them for the battle that is to come in those extremely dark places to which they will journey.
“That’s how God works. He gets at our most fundamental idolatry and He ruthlessly crushes it in His unfathomable love and fatherly kindness and inscrutable wisdom and He goes after our greatest treasures and He leaves us with nothing but himself so that we go limping on our way for the rest of our lives having learned: ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Don’t underestimate God. Don’t underestimate His ruthless compassionate gracious commitment to His glory or His commitment to your everlasting joy and good. He will pursue you graciously and ruthlessly and rip out the idols of your soul that would otherwise consume you. He is working for your joy and your good even when you cannot perceive it and have ceased to be able to feel anything anymore.” ~Ligon Duncan
Friends, please pray for us this last month as we prepare to leave all that we know and love. Our time back in Birmingham has been challenging in many ways; there are aspects of this journey that are so much more difficult than we thought, but we praise God that he has brought us to this place of total reliance on him. Pray that no matter what is going on around us, and no matter how much we fail, we will cherish Christ more than we ever have before, that we will continually remember that he is enough. These are no longer mere words for us. This is what we cling to in order to get through each day.
Warfare Prayer by David Sitton
David Sitton, president of To Every Tribe, has written a short book about how to pray effectively for missionaries. It is available for free by clicking the following link.
We have put together an Amazon wish list of some medical items that were recommended by the doctors and nurses at the Village Medicine course I recently attended. If you are interested in purchasing some of these items for us which will be immensely useful on the field, please click this link:
- Plane tickets have been purchased and our departure date is December 5th.
- We’re at 95% of our monthly support goal!
- God has provided in miraculous ways and we have reached almost 90% of our one time financial goal!
- Pray that we would continue to rely on Christ as we finish up last minute logistics.
- Pray for unity among our family, and that God would continue to draw us to himself and to each other.
- Pray for our physical health as we see our doctors for final checkups before we leave.
- Pray that God would grant us peace of mind as we take our final steps into the unknown that awaits us in Papua New Guinea.
If you would like to financially partner with our ministry, please click this link and choose our name from the drop down menu.