I just read an email that Dalton forwarded on to our whole team from a young man who’s laboring for the Lord in Europe. His brother was also serving the Lord in the Mid East and was martyred earlier this year. This young man was writing to encourage our team and affirm what we are doing here. His words were simple. As I read it “The Lorax” was playing in the background. My children were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the table. I was sitting on a nice comfy couch with my husband. And tears began to stream down my face as I felt once again the holiness of what the Lord has called us to.
Before we came here, when the Lord initially put forth the invitation to “lay down our lives” and forsake all the comforts of this earth that we cling to for the sake of the gospel going forth in regions of the earth where they still haven’t heard the name of Jesus uttered, we felt the weight of what He was inviting us to enter into. There was a deep sobriety and deep level of surrender that was taking place within our hearts. It was intense. On some levels we felt like we were marching to our death, because in very real ways we were. Our spirit man was clinging to our own cross and following Christ up that hill to Calvary. He was calling us to such a real place of surrender that we of course felt the heaviness of the call of Christ to forsake all else for the sake of His name.
But then we got here…and for a while we felt the weight of the sacrifice we made. It felt hard. We didn’t understand the language (still don’t). We missed our families. We were hot. We missed familiarity. We missed the ease and comforts of home. It all felt big and overwhelming and in so many ways we felt ill equipped for the task ahead of us.
After a while we started to settle. Things weren’t necessarily “normal” but they were beginning to reach a new level of normalcy to us. We were starting to get the hang of things. We got our TV to work. The weather started to cool off a bit. We got the hang of things around here, the bus system, grocery shopping. Cooking, the markets…foreign things started to become “normal”.
Just like life anywhere, things just get normal, and when they do, it’s easy to forget the honor and holiness of what we have been called to. I put my hand up, I forgot, even living here in the middle of this foreign land surrounded by people that do not have love for this Man. I forgot.
I am humbled that He has brought me here. That He would consider me worthy to be an ambassador of Christ. I don’t feel like one most days. I feel like a failure and a disappointment. But then in His kindness, for just a moment, He lets me feel the dignity He has bestowed upon me. The honor He has placed on me by inviting me into this holy calling of displaying the beauty and glory of God before man and before the principalities of the air that strongholds might be torn down and blind eyes might be opened and see for the very first time the worth of Christ, His beauty and splendor, and that their soul’s might be saved from an eternity spent apart from Him.
Excerpt from the email: “I’m blessed to see (from a distance) the grace that God has given you and your team. I am highly convinced that these teams will shake the world in such dynamic ways as I have no doubt about the price for such world shaking…your words give me hope that God is and will continue to raise up many more people in our generation who will live for the advancement of the Kingdom instead of the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory…If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure with Him; we will also reign with Him.” 2 Timothy 8-12