11 Years and Slowing Down!
Dear friends, Regina and I have been in Africa for nearly 11 years! It’s hard to imagine.
And in Zambia for 8 plus years!
Last week our Board made the amazing declaration that we should take a year sabbatical! We are sort of beat up – body, soul and spirit. As soon as the meeting concluded the reality of the decision hit us both – this is another one of those portals we have gone thru in our lives, where we walk into a new dimension of serving – the same Lord, with the same heart, but in a different realm.
Don’t be alarmed – we will still be in Zambia, still be taking the lead of Love’s Door, still encouraging the Church to love the Least and the Lost with us. But somehow a season is changing.
We don’t know all the particulars yet. But this we know – He who began a good work, will complete it! This is not the sound of retreat or defeat – but a clarion call to more leaders to rise up to stand with us, to focus on building a solid foundation of partners who will carry more of the weight of this unfinished task, so we walk more as a Team.
It is a treasure of fathomless worth to live with the poor of the earth, to carry their burdens, to bring light to the darker regions, to uplift the orphan and surround the widow with care. Every moment I sit in the village with one of these I am richer. Every child we seed with a spark of hope for a brighter future; every single-mom trodden with degrading poverty we are able to lift up to dignity and accomplishment; every exquisite sinner who learns that repentance is a pure door to new dimensions of Life; every grandmother with insurmountable mountains of difficulties who sees the church surrounding her with Love – these are the jewels that will radically alter lives forever – ours and theirs. No man or woman, once touched by this rich fare can be content with the wealth of this world again. We are forever branded. And happy in it.
But it is not easy. Jesus said, “Blessed (fortunate, to be envied, the best life that could be lived on earth) are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…” Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. To live with the poor, the sinner, the downtrodden; to struggle with the sin and grief; to engage in the battle for lost souls – this is the life of sorrow and grief. It is hard on the flesh. No doubt about it. One becomes a target for the enemy. All the arrows of the enemy are focused on such a one.
It is not an easy life Christ is now calling you, the Church, to. Count the cost. Pick up your unique cross and die to self-interest. Fight the master of this world system – the spirit of mammon and self-centered pursuit! Give yourself away! Invest your time, your money, your talents, your future plans – into Kingdom securities that will never fail you – the poor, the widow, the orphan, the lost. Leave the 99 and go out in a soul-gripping commitment to the lost one – not returning till you have him!
As Regina and I step away for a time I sense the call of Jesus for others to step up to the task. Our Sabbath has already started. Would you search your heart and see if God could be calling you to a deeper level of commitment to the least and lost? Here are ways you can help us:
- Come and serve with us in Zambia for 3 years! Even one year! When Christ asked the rich young ruler to sell all and follow him – what a deal he passed up on! To gain such riches at such a bargain price! So is this life – come and see that your professional pursuit pales in comparison…
- Take the burden of fund-raising from our shoulders by gathering a small team and organizing a fundraising event once a year. Or maybe you are able to give a once-in-a-lifetime legacy bequest to advance our opportunities this coming year. Let Christ direct you!
- Join the prayer team and really pray like a warrior! A seasoned minister of Christ, after hearing of my many brushes with catastrophe wisely cautioned me that it seems Satan has a contract on me, that only the prayers of the saints are keeping me shielded from. I have seen so many times God responding to the prayers of our prayer team.
- Adopt a project, start a Go Fund Me, then get a team together to do it! Our solar power system needs upgrade, we need new benches for the church, we would love lighting on the pathways and grounds, a new toolshed/shop/skills training place. It will be hard for the team to do many such projects unless there is some Team from God coming to save the day!
- Or best of all – just listen to God and ask Him how you can throw in your service to help. He will have just the right idea best for us all.
Thank you so much for the many things you have done for Regina and me, and for these ones we are serving. We are truly one Body – we have been sent to touch the weakest ones, and you all have been a part of the same arm extended with Christ’s power flowing thru us each one according to our intended function.