Posted in Christian, Missions, Women in Leadership

The Least of These: Lessons From Liberia

It was a step of faith to say “yes” to a missions trip to Liberia (Africa); I had no idea what this opportunity would encompass. I knew I would have the opportunity to teach and minister with other PAOC pastors and leaders, but I had no idea how this experience would impact my worldview, let alone how my heart would be so profoundly impacted by the things I saw and experienced.

With my own eyes, I have now seen mission work in one of the poorest countries in the world. And though our family has been Compassion Canada sponsors for over 25 years, we have only ever seen pictures of what life looks like in a third-world country. I’m changed. I don’t know all the ways that I’ve changed as it will take me a while to process all that I’ve seen and experienced, but I know this: my eyes have beheld suffering and hardship, my arms have embraced others who have endured sufferring I will never know (Civil War & Ebola), and my ears have heard stories of death, trauma, future dreams and God’s goodness.

I have a new found respect for missionaries and the ministry of missional workers, and I am asking God how I might reorder my life to give more because it is needed, desperately needed. And what we do for the least of these, is serving Jesus. I’ve been thinking on this: if God’s people are his vessels for kingdom advancement, then it seems to me that we need to be supporting our missionaries as they seek to serve Jesus and advance His kingdom is areas with limited resources.

One of my teammates, Pastor Donna Drisner, said this: “They don’t want what we have, they want who we have.” That who being Jesus. They want Jesus to strengthen their weak knees, to encourage their hearts, and to help them learn. They welcome opportunities to influence their country and its’ people for the better, and they take every occasion to share Jesus’ love with each other.

Here are a few of my photos. (For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may have seen some of these already.) 

As I process, I will be sharing more about the things I experienced in Liberia.

 

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Our PAOC missions team at the momument in front of the school. All the 500 school children daily come here to here announcements, the raising of the flags, and to say the Lord’s prayer. Very moving!
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The dwellings where the TLP workers live.
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Some of the orphans that are cared for my Pastor John and Cecelia. Beautfiul, passionate children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Women in Leadership

God Is Pleased With Me.

It is my last day here in Canmore, Alberta where I have spent the last four days with my kids. (Not all could be here, but most were.) We’ve shared laughs, meals, walks, and done some incredible hiking together. And amidst it all we read together the book of 1 Peter. It was a random choice as I wanted to be able to finish what we started, so I chose a book that I knew had 5 chapters. 

It came as no surprise to God as he knows exactly what we need and when we need it, and even though we think it may be a random choice, God’s Word to us can be so timely. In the right season it is healing  balm for our soul – and that is exactly what happened! It was day 2 that God, through His Word, spoke powerfully to my soul.

For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 

Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.  (1 Peter 2: 19-20)

I have felt a sense of “calling” to serve in the Body of Christ since my early twenties. It is a call that has taken me on a long unpredictable  journey, and on that journey there have been seasons of intense happiness and times of deep grieving. Things that have caused these seasons can be attributed to both external and internal circumstances. And for the last number of years I have been going through a season of deep refining. It’s been painful. But I now experientially know this: God is pleased when we endure.

There are season of enduring in relationships with people who do not have our best interests at heart. Heck, they may not even like us much. There are seasons of leaning into discipline/correction/hard feedback at work or church or school that, though the fruit is not immediately seen, can transform our life. 

During the last few years there were so many opportunities where I could have chosen an easy path, but I chose to lean into hard. Hard cost me. It cost me my pride – which needed to go anyways. It forced me to remain silent when all I wanted to do was fight! It forced me to lean into God and ask him to fight my battles. It forced me to learn new skills. Hard allowed me the opportunity to be broken and changed, and I like who I am becoming. Why? Because God is pleased with me. Because in and with Christ I have discovered a much better path and viewpoint that had I not leaned into hard, I would have never discovered. 

If at the end of my life it could be said of me that she suffered for doing good, she endured patiently, she encouraged Christian women to lead with confidence, she loved others well, and she knew God was well pleased with her so she kept on choosing hard over easy, that is enough for me. 

The view is better the other side of hard.  

Wherever you are in the hard (suffering for doing good), may you experientially know God is pleased with you.