Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
- TITLE: A Missionary Plan
By Cherry Bieber
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Karen sat on a chair by the window sipping hot coffee and watching the pouring rain. Quiet moments like this were rare and deeply appreciated since she and her husband, Daniel, had accepted their mission field. As the rain pattered on the window, Karen’s thoughts drifted back to the day that decision had been made.
Daniel was 21 and she was 19 when they were married. As many young couples do, they planned out just how many children they would have, where they would live, and how life would unfold for them. Karen smiled over her cup as she remembered this. The call of the Lord to the mission field had come right away, but they had not yet fully understood it and therefore had not yet fully given themselves over to it. Their awakening to the mission field into which the Lord was leading them came in increments at first and then burst wide open. They embraced one another and gave themselves over to it and to the Lord with complete abandon. They knew this was what the Lord desired of them. Through much prayer and praise, their mission was born with passion and assurance that the Lord was with them all the way. They knew many in the Lord’s service had rejected this particular field. Assurance of peril and pain as well as social persecution, rejection, and condemnation came with every mission and theirs was no exception. Such darkness would come even from some within the church. They moved forward undaunted.
The days were long and sometimes grueling and the nights were often short, but never did one day pass without its rewards. Each day they looked into the eyes of the lives God had placed in their care and they saw anew the hope and promise the Father had given them. Money was not abundantly available, as is the case with most missionary work. However, the needs were always met. They had learned quickly to lean into the Lord at every turn and wait patiently for His provision. Be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, they knew He would always provide. None placed in their care ever went hungry or lacked in shelter or clothing. Through prayer, Bible reading, and times of worship, the spiritual, mental, and emotional needs were covered. Karen marveled as she thought of the Lord’s ongoing provision of energy and wisdom during what sometimes seemed a perpetual weariness of body, which they had known the past ten years.
At one point in their work, the enemy had nearly taken Karen’s life through a terrible illness. Just when it seemed all hope was gone and life was ebbing away, the Lord shut down the work of the enemy and she recovered. Within a year of her illness, government authorities had received false information and threatened to shut them down. The Lord strengthened them mightily during those dark times. It was not long after these two events that a fellow traveling missionary couple had stopped by to fellowship, minister, and pray. At one point during their visit, they began praising God and literally wept for joy over the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place. The visiting couple, who were not yet aware of the attack Daniel and Karen had been under, told them that the Lord had placed a special guard about them to complete the work He had begun. This was a time of confirmation and revival for Daniel and Karen after so much had threatened to take them under.
Karen was brought back to the moment by the sound of voices outside on the walkway. Daniel had taken their six children on an outing to give Karen a little quiet. She watched them through the window as they jumped and giggled under their umbrellas. The child she was carrying began moving and she placed her hand lovingly over her belly. It wouldn’t be long now, just a couple of months to go before she held yet another life in her arms, another life for the work and the joy to which He had called them. She felt the tears of joy welling up as she pondered the many blessings God had given them in this, their missionary field. Together Daniel, Karen, and the Lord had weathered many storms. They knew more trials would come, but they knew the rewards for their submission to His calling on their lives would be greater still.
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