Thursday, February 15, 2018

An update on few changes happening...

Hello!

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.  We consider it an honour that you take the time to read our blog.  I do not keep track of our page views or our subscriber numbers, but occasionally I do like to see where all our readers are from, here is a map that pins your rough location when you visit our page (I'm sure this isn't 100% accurate, because it hasn't pinned where I live and a few of you apparently live in the ocean, a houseboat perhaps?!):

Visitors from the past month.

We try to post weekly, but there have been a few weeks without any posts.  The reason is that many of our contributors have been with us for several years and are no longer able to write for us.  With that being said, we have a few new contributors that will be writing weekly or monthly.  In the weeks to come I will share their bios with you so you can get to know the faces behind the blog posts.

If you are a baptist missionary wife and are interested in writing either just a guest post or writing regularly please let me know.  You can either comment below or send us an email - baptistmissionarywomen@hotmail.com.  

Also, we'd love if you would comment below what you'd like to read more of...recipes, ministry updates, a day in the life of, posts from MK's, book reviews, other?  Let us know!

Please subscribe to be notified of our posts or follow us on facebook (click here).



Monday, February 12, 2018

Adjusting to Life on the Mission Field ~ Part 2

For Part 1, click here

As I continue to dwell on lessons I’ve learned, there is one I am still learning and that is not to compare myself and my situation with others. 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells me that if I do this, I am not wise! There will be someone who raised support faster, learned the language faster or has a bigger and better house to live in. We prayed for a teacher for our children. God did not see fit to give us one; but yet, I saw Him supply this for another family. Another friend has been on the field less time than I have and she already has the language ability to lead a Bible study. My language study is slow and difficult. At this middle age that I am in, sometimes I feel too old to do it! Someone younger would do a better job! Some missionaries are able to plant a new church every term. In our country of service, it may take the rest of our lives to plant one. We are all different. Every country and language is different. My focus must be on God and His will for me today. I cannot compare myself to others. God has put me where He wants me to be and has given me what I need to accomplish His will (2 Cor. 9:8, Phil. 2:13). 

I remember well when the “culture shock” started to set in. In the USA, we talk about “bad hair days.” Here, we have “bad culture days.” =) On one of these kind of days, I was reading the fruits of the Spirit in my study Bible and the notes that went with them. I realized as I read, that these fruits manifested in my life will take care of any “culture shock.” Longsuffering is “the willingness to accept irritating or painful situations.” Gentleness is “a humble and gentle attitude that is patiently submissive in every offense, while having no desire for revenge or retribution” (MacArthur Study Bible). When I offend the culture unknowingly, when I am stared at because I am different, when things are done differently than I would do them, when I am mistreated or misunderstood, what fruit do I exhibit? Is it longsuffering and gentleness? The only way I can do this is to be in the Word, walk in the Spirit and have lots of grace from my Lord (2 Cor. 12:9-10). 

In closing, I want to share some practical things that have helped me. 
1. While on deputation, I begged the Lord to give me a verse that would keep me on the field when the going got tough. As we went through the Netcaster program, the Lord began to burn 2 Corinthians 5:15 into my soul, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” My life is not about me, it is about the One Who died for me! 
2. Several years ago, a friend counseled me to fill my mind with good Scriptural music. I play it in the car, on the subway and while in the house. This has helped me countless times when I couldn’t seem to control my thoughts. One time in particular was after a rough day of language school. I put in my earbuds on the subway and started to listen to the cd A Quiet Heart by Soundforth. One of my favorite songs, “I Could Not Do Without Thee” began. When I arrived at my destination, the frustration and turmoil were gone. God met my need through the music. Another favorite cd is Come and Sing by the Stouffer men. This brought me tremendous comfort during the days before and after our departure for Japan. 
3. Keep a journal of what God is teaching you and the blessings He gives. The entries don’t have to be long. A simple “I was so lonely today and God gave me Matthew 28:20” or “I wanted cheddar cheese and God led me to it and it was on sale!” is enough. When the emotions are threatening to drown you, get out the journal and read. It is hard to remember God’s help in the past when you are overwhelmed. Having something to read will help you to remember and encourage your heart. 
4. And last, but certainly not least, read missionary biographies. Others have gone before us and we can learn from them. The circumstances are different, but the struggles are the same. I have been helped greatly by the writings of Isobel Kuhn. She is very candid about her struggles. My two favorite books of hers are In the Arena and Green Leaf in Drought. 

I hope that you will be helped by these things. It has been worth the time for me to reflect on them. I think that we do others a disservice when we hide behind a mask and pretend that everything is o.k. We are human and we will struggle. We can help someone else through the struggle, if we are willing to humble ourselves and be transparent. God knows that we are dust (Ps. 103:14)! How marvelous that He still chooses to use us! 


~originally posted by Kim at Life in the 10/40 Window


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Adjusting to Life on the Mission Field ~ Part 1



Several years ago, we sold our first house and bought another on the other side of town. We were so excited. Our family had grown and we needed a 3rd bedroom. The Lord had answered our prayer abundantly. A few weeks after the move, we were finally settled and I was so lonely. My kids did not change schools, we were attending the same church, I was hanging out with the same friends, but I felt so isolated. I missed my old neighborhood and familiar stores and roads. I told my friend that I did not understand this. She told me the grieving process was settling in. I didn’t quite understand this at the time, but I knew she was right.

When we moved to the field, I experienced this at a new level. Part of grieving is adjusting to a new way of life. It’s sort of like after a funeral. The hubbub of the funeral is over, the family meal is finished and everyone returns to their normal routine, except for the immediate family of the one who died. They have to learn to live day by day without the lost loved one. When you move to the field, the old way of life is over. If you add to that the unfamiliar, it is overwhelming. We have to turn to the God of all comforts (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). He is waiting with open arms. “The Greek word for ‘comfort’ is related to the familiar word paraclete, ‘one who comes along side to help,’…’comfort’ often connotes softness and ease, but that is not its meaning here. Paul was saying that God came to him in the middle of his sufferings and troubles to strengthen him and give him courage and boldness” (MacArthur Study Bible).

When we arrived in Japan, I felt unprepared for the emotions that I would experience. I had no choice about the home we lived in. I was frustrated because I could not communicate. I felt lost driving on the “wrong” side of the road and not being able to read the signs. I didn’t know where to shop. I didn’t know what prices were good. I had no friends and I had to put up a good face for my children who were watching me. It was terribly overwhelming. I remembered what my friend said about grieving and I was helped. It is o.k. to grieve. It is not a sin to feel sadness. It’s even o.k. to cry. The attitude behind it is what can be sinful. Where do we turn when the emotions flare?

Many times, when I have shared my struggles, I was told that “we all have to go through it.” I did not find this comforting. If our comfort comes from the Lord, we have an obligation to share with others what brought us comfort and gave us strength (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I was determined to find some answers in the Word. When another missionary lady came to me, I wanted to have an answer.


Memorizing God’s Word has had a life-changing affect on me. Find verses that help you and memorize them. If you do this, God will bring them to your mind when you need them most. For example, I had to have a mammogram here. It was not something I looked forward to. I will not go into the whole big, long story. They do things differently here and it was pretty traumatic. I couldn’t talk to the doctors, so my hubby was translating. That was a different stress of its own! As I was lying on the examining table fighting the tears, the Lord brought to my mind 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” I had instant peace and the tears fled. If I had not memorized those verses, they would not have been there when I needed them most!


Several verses have helped me on a regular basis. I meditate on the fact that God is present with me (Psalm 46:1, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Psalm 139:7-10, Matthew 28:20). Others may forget me, but God does not (Isaiah 49:15). When I am overwhelmed, I must go to the Lord. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed, that I can’t remember to do this and then He leads me to Himself (Psalm 61:1, 2). Spurgeon said about these verses that “he who communes with God is always at home.”

Perhaps the most exciting truth to me about God is His faithfulness. He keeps His promises. I have seen this in my life before, but it has been magnified on the field. He strengthens me, helps me and holds me up (Isaiah 41:10). He guides me with His eye (Psalm 32:8). He goes before me. I do not need to be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:8).

When we moved to the city we are in now, there was no one living here to show us around. When we needed a doctor, God led us. When we needed an eye doctor, God led us. Both of these speak some English! I needed a friend. God went before me and hand-picked one and put her in my path. Then there was the time I needed something at the store and I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t ask the clerk and even if I could, I wouldn’t have understood her answer. After several minutes of searching and mounting frustration, I cried out to the Lord and He led me right to it. I could go on and on…



~ originally posted by Kim at Life in the 10/40 Window ~

Friday, February 2, 2018

Rose-Colored Glasses


Probably the most important item to pack when you go to the mission field—besides your Bible—is a pair of rose-tinted glasses. You’ll need them!

In my years of being a missionary, I’ve been able to see lots of things. Some are very nice, and some are just awful. On any field, you can see a lot of sin. When we gaze at it with regular, clear glasses on, we see its ugliness. We see the sinners, too. We’ll begin to realize that sin is rampant in our country, and that all the people indulge in it. We’ll start to see everything as black—or at best, charcoal gray.

So, we need to put on our rosy glasses. Voilà! All of a sudden, we can see people as the lovely human beings they are. We have compassion on those trapped in sins and we have hope. We see the possibilities. We quit looking at specific sins and start to see souls. We want to share Christ. We become joyful.

On the mission field, because we come from home countries of comfort and Christianity, we have a real problem when we use clear glasses. We need to don our pair of rose-tinted ones—the same color as the heart. We need to see our field and our people as God sees them.

Of course, you understand I’m using glasses metaphorically. They are the lenses through which we perceive the world. It is so important to train ourselves to look for the good on our mission field. Why? Simply because the Lord wants us to think that way. Consider Philippians 4:8. (You’ve probably got it memorized.) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. I think most of us have forgotten this verse from time to time. We start thinking about criticisms (of good report???) and moral deficiencies (pure?? virtue??). We dwell on unfairness (honest?? just??) and on lies people tell (true??). Are we going around looking for the lovely and good? (Hint: become a photographer.) Are we actively seeking something for which to praise God?

Oops! We have those clear glasses on!

In every culture, there are prevalent sins. In Spain, common sins would include: lying, cheating, gluttony, jealousy, drunkenness, rampant porn use, revenge, an unforgiving spirit, holding grudges, arguing, amorality, and disinterest in God. But, that doesn’t mean we throw up our hands and give up. That doesn’t mean there’s no good here. That doesn’t mean the people aren’t lovely and loveable. They are! Some of the real positives in this culture include: friendliness, warmth, loyalty to friends, families that stick together, delicious food, a sense of time and purpose, valuing history, the preservation of architecture, art, and culture. I could go on and on.

Putting on rose-colored glasses helps me look for the good. My glasses help me to dwell on the positives. I begin to direct my thoughts in a more godly way.

When Jesus looked at the multitudes—and at individuals—what did He see? He saw souls. No one, not even lepers, were disgusting to Him. He touched them. He cared. He healed. When he met up with sinners, He offered to meet their needs. Some refused Him. Even His own half-brothers put Him off. But, many believed. I think Jesus looked at people in a very different way than we do. I think we all have a long way to go in learning Christ-like compassion.

Can you imagine the Creator of the universe walking around on the earth he’d made—by speaking it into being? Can you imagine what Jesus thought when He looked up into the stars at night? What went through His mind? He remembered the Great Flood. He was there, orchestrating the whole thing. He remembered Sodom and Gomorrah. He was there, too. He knew everything about every thing. He actually made rocks, hills, animals, and seashells. He planted the plants.

Jesus could read hearts and minds. We only have to read a little part of the Gospels to witness quite a few “How did you know that?” moments—beginning when Jesus was twelve. Indeed—and this is impossible to comprehend—while Jesus was walking on earth and getting His feet dusty and interacting with men, He was also inhabiting every part of the universe.

There’s an interesting verse in 2 Corinthians 10:5, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. What a concept! We need to get rid of anything in our heads that’s against knowing God. Throw it in the trashcan. We also bring into captivity every single thought so that we’re obeying Christ. When I think of capture, I think of corralling, tying it up, and making it do what I want it to do. That’s what we’re supposed to do with our thoughts! A negative thought or attitude shows up in our mind. What do we do? Tie it up and throw it away. That’s biblical! How do we think right thoughts? We forcibly bring them into conformity with godliness. We make them obey Christ. This is powerful.

What really bugs you on your field? What do you hate? What characteristics of the natives really burn you up? Take those thoughts and throw them away. Ask the Lord to help you bring your thoughts into obedience. Cultivate a Philippians 4:8 mentality. Look for the good and beautiful, and …

 don’t forget to wear your rosy glasses!


God bless you!


Friday, January 5, 2018

The Faithful Missionary Woman


When I think of a few generations back and what it took to be a missionary, I think today we have it easy in comparison. Reading missionary memoirs and biographies might tend to glorify the lives of missionaries, but if you’re careful to read autobiographies and real stories, you find that your heroes deserve to be heroes.
  • David Livingstone, after his wife died, rode thousands of miles on horseback, suffering from bleeding, malnourishment, and malaria while befriending chiefs and leading many to Christ.
  • Scottish Olympic champion Eric Liddle was separated from his family and later captured by the Japanese and kept in a prison camp. He used the opportunity to teach people about the Lord. He also started children’s sports teams in the camp, and all while suffering terrible headaches from a brain tumor. He died in captivity, not ever seeing his wife and daughters again.
  • William Carey nursed his wife, who was mentally ill, while working on translations of the Bible into several languages in India. He suffered from opponents, fire (which burned about three years’ work), and he kept doing what he knew the Lord called him to do.

Just getting to the mission field killed many willing servants. Long ocean voyages, overland portage, disease, parasites, fatigue, heat, and poor medical care doomed many aspiring missionaries before they even made it to their target field. 

Opposition came. Because of lack of experience and information, supporting churches and organizations back home didn’t have a point of reference. Even though missionaries tried to tell the truth—while softening it—they weren’t believed. People back home were shocked. How could the mission field be that bad? How could sin be so prevalent? How could our proper missionary even mention these subjects? The home base didn’t understand.

I think of Elisabeth Elliot’s biography of Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die. Amy was a Victorian lady in every sense of the word. She was single and probably very naïve, yet God gave her a burden to rescue children who were used as sex slaves in Hindu temples. Amy sensed in her heart something awful was happening. She might not have understood the facts of life, but she knew those children needed help, and she risked her life to save them. Her orphanage gave hundreds of children the opportunity to hear the gospel in a safe, loving atmosphere.

Today, travel and field conditions are much better. We even have Skype and Facetime. Missionaries can email their home pastor in the time it takes to type out the message. We (usually) have electricity, water, and mail service. We enjoy a few prepared foods, even in the most primitive places. Missionaries have house help or machines. Life is different.

Yet, the battle is the same. Most missionaries live in societies that have gone more and more amoral. Most minister to people who either serve false gods or no god at all. They are either slaves to traditions or slaves to sin—or both. There’s a prevalence of vices. On some fields, it’s alcoholism. On others, it’s drugs. On most fields, it’s immorality, including pornography. And, then there are the diseases. Aids, STDs, dengue, cholera, malaria, parasites, and others are all around us and can threaten our families. Those in earthquake and volcanic zones often wonder if this is “the big one.”

And they serve.

Missionaries do things for people that few could even comprehend. They cut old ladies' toenails, bathe children, rock HIV positive orphans, and pull folks out from the rubble of their homes. They make meals, clean churches, teach Sunday school, take care of children, and organize neighborhood outreaches. They distribute tracts, give oral witness, and homeschool their own children. They faithfully keep in touch with churches that never contact them.

They serve every day.

Missionary women are as much a part of missions as their male counterparts. Singles, married, and widows all contribute to the strong witness that goes out from their ministries. Without them, missions would be different—and not nearly as effective. I believe God enables each ministry team to use its gifts together for evangelism and edification.

What does it mean to be faithful? I don’t think we can box it up, put a ribbon on it, and say voilà, here it is, wrapped up in a neat looking package. Let’s see what the Bible says about faithfulness.

First, God is faithful.
  • Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9)
  • God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9).
  • Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
  • But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
  • And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness …. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:5).
  • And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11a).

The Bible is faithful.

  • Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful (Psalm 119:138).
  • And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful (Revelation 21:5).

The Bible lists people who are faithful. I’m surprised how many there are!
  • Moses (Numbers 12:7)
  • Hanani (Nehemiah 7:2)
  • Shelemiah, Zadok, Pedaiah, and Hanan (Nehemiah 13:13)
  • Uriah and Zechariah (Isaiah 8:2)
  • Lydia (Acts 16:15)
  • Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17)
  • Paul (1 Corinthians 7:25)
  • Abraham (Galatians 3:9)
  • the saints in the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:1)
  • Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7)
  • the brethren in Colosse (Colossians 1:2)
  • Epaphras (Colossians 1:7)
  • Onesimus (Colossians 4:9)
  • Moses (Hebrews 3:5)
  • Silvanus (1 Peter 5:12)


God requires faithfulness. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).

God actually says the saints—that’s us, ladies!—are faithful. Of course, it’s only in Jesus that we are anything at all. He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14b).

God rewards faithfulness.
  • O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer (Psalm 31:23).
  • His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21; also Matthew 25:23 and Luke 19:17).

We serve.

May we be found faithful!

  

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ministering Around The World XII- "The Middle East"

I admit I have been approaching this section of the globe with trepidation.  Not with dislike or disfavor but with mild fear in my abilities to dig out details about the hidden life of those ministering in the "Bermuda Triangle of Missions". So many within this area hostile against Christians has left many Christians terrified of the prospect of ministering there and those who do brave the battle clothed in secrecy to protect their families and all that they hope to accomplish for Christ and eternity. I admit I have but a few resources to work with for this article but I feel very blessed to have found them and further burdened for the ones that I know are working in anonymity without notoriety, attention or a local support system.



I so admire all of those who have followed God's call to this area of the world. An area rich with history, heritage and turmoil. An area starving for the gospel and yet many times ferociously attacking it; it is much like an aggressive child that screams and rails against the things that they direly need. This is an area that has long been the seat of biblical history and the spreading of the gospel throughout the centuries; from Paul's journeys to modern day.

Few have dared to cross these borders in recent decades, with mounting hostilities against Christian nations and the fear and prejudice that sadly often fills the hearts of patriots and Christians alike. But today I wish to talk about those who have not been bound by fear nor hatred but whose heart has remained tender to even the darkest area. They have seen the greatness of the challenge and have allowed the Lord to bolster their confidence in Christ as they follow his leading into very formidable area of the world, The Middle East.  I will not be using any full names in this article, to protect those who are serving in these areas.  Let us dive into how these faithful Christians have been ministering in this part of the world.

The first missionary I spoke with, who we will call "S.J." are serving in Jordan. The second missionary I spoke with, who we will call "Sandra" has been serving with her husband in a country that has been called the "Gateway to the Middle East", Armenia.  I did not know this until speaking with this lady. But apparently Armenia is one of the few places, butting up against the Middle East that is considered a Christian nation (Orthodox).  This gives Missionaries a little bit of freedom to work with their neighboring countries that are highly difficult to live in for a foreigner; such as Iran and Azerbaijan. This is what this couple has been able to do, through some visits across the border but also training nationals from Armenia to cross over and minister where they cannot. S.J. is serving in Jordan for the moment but has a hearts desire to reach the people in Iraq. They are waiting on the Lord's timing to open up the door for them to be able to enter the country.

These countries vary in size and population. Their census is as follows: Armenia 2.9 million, Iraq 37 million, Jordan 9 million, Iran 81 million and Azerbaijan 9 million. As for religion in these areas, it comes as no surprise that it is overwhelmingly Muslim.  The only country that claims probably more than 3% Christian is Armenia, which is 92% Orthodox Church which is not a church that believes in salvation by grace. In Iraq, the amount of Christians having always been small is continuously decreasing due to the fact that those who are Christians of any sort are fleeing to other countries because of ISIS. The blessing of the situation is, that many who have fled to other countries for any reason are coming to know Christ in their new country of refuge.

As I mentioned before the amount of missionaries in these areas are very limited. Jordan has less than 10 missionaries and there is none in Arab Iraq that I can find. However there are a few serving in the Northern area of Iraq, Kurdish Iraq. There are 2 foreign missionaries in Armenia and I have no data on the amount in Iran. These areas are definitely not easy to break into. S.J. has been serving faithfully in Jordan for 5 years now as they patiently wait and pursue an open door into Arab Iraq.  And Sandra can only minister to these people through satellite countries. The challenges are definitely plenteous. But it is also miraculous and amazing to listen to these ladies' journeys as they have obediently served where they can. The Lord has been able to use them in many ways in these less than ideal circumstances. Our God is far from bound by these challenges.

Not only do these families face a geographic challenge and language challenges, they also face spiritual challenges when it comes to reaching these people. Islam, like so many other devout religions, have a stronghold on these dear people. It will take years of friendship and "reasoning together" about faith and the Word of God for these precious souls to be freed from their captor, the Devil. But it does happen! S.J. talked to me about how the Syrian refugees in Jordan are the most tender to the gospel right now. She said that after 3 years of working with 2 of them they were able to see them trust Christ and they have seen 60-70 other refugees come to Christ through others efforts.

Most of these countries are either third world or third world with a glossier finish. Some of these countries have some modern amenities dispersed within it but it is not the overall feel of the country. That is only really from Jordan and Armenia.  I am sure Iran and Iraq have many war torn areas that are extremely rustic and torn down by the fighting.

SJ said that the biggest challenge of their ministry is the time it takes to see someone come to Christ. It is a huge personal investment with very slow return. She said that emails from the states from friends and supporters letting her know they are praying for her is her biggest encouragement. Sandra said their biggest challenge is dealing with reaching people that are in a different country than they are living in.  That is definitely an understandable challenge. 

Both of these families also face the difficulty of outreach being very scrutinized. There cannot be any form of public outreach. It is illegal in most all of the areas. Therefore they definitely have to be creative and sensitive to the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them. In countries like this it is a must to put yourself into the community. SJ's children attend a Jordanian school and she teaches English in a school there. It is a cultural norm in Jordan to invite strangers on the street over to your house for tea or coffee. SJ's husband said,

“Coffee is the fuel of the Gospel advance. A shared cup of coffee provides natural opportunities to speak of Jesus.” 

So through many visits and shared times of friendship and discussions about religion and the Word of God they share the gospel seeds.

A surprising blessing for SJ and her family has been the Jordanian's peoples curiosity about them as Americans and their lifestyle. You see Jordanians watch TV and that is their only view of America.  So they have been awe-struck by this family that does not drink, smoke, do drugs and sleep around as they believed all Americans did. As in every Christians' life, obedience to Christ in our lives can open up many doors to share the Gospel.

SJ shared with me that through their time in the Middle East that the Lord has stripped them of so many ideas and misconceptions and has shown them, " the simplicity and power of simply lifting up Jesus!"
What a powerful thought. We can so easily be distracted by so many trappings and current events that we forget our number one job of lifting up Christ. Let us all as we read and learn about these dear ladies' ministries in the birth place of our Saviour, the Middle East, pray for them diligently and continue as a whole to SIMPLY LIFT UP CHRIST.