Entry 21 / Norway and England

Thanks for helping me!

Acts 16:8-10 

So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia (Europe) and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

 

Paul later wrote, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.”

Well, here it is, the blow-by-blow summary of my recent ministry trip (April 12-26, 2010) . I hope you enjoy following along with me and meeting my friends and being a part of this ministry. As you all know, I never charge anyone for anything that I do. This means that I rely on the help of people who have been benefitted from my ministry. Your continued help keeps the bills paid and me in the air.

I arrived home on Monday evening and leave again for ten days this coming Saturday. I will be serving in Sussex, NB and Halifax, NS, Canada. Please continue to pray and partner.

In 1979 I was promised the following and independently confirmed three times in two days,    “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8

The Lord also asked me if I would be willing to serve Him under three conditions and I agreed…

   1.   No Results (He meant nothing to glory over)

   2.   No Remuneration (He meant no steady income guarantee)

   3.  No Reputation (Remain unknown by doing small things)

He has kept His word (no results, remuneration or reputation) and I have tried to keep mine.

A word about life and death…

I used to be fearful of flying. I remember the first time I ever got on a plane. My knuckles turned white with every shudder and I broke out in a sweat every time I heard a sound that seemed unusual. I suppose that I now board a plane twenty or more times a year. It all seems rather mundane to me now – still I am aware that anything can happen.

Sometimes parents of the missionary students I have taught want to know, “Is where my son (or daughter ) going safe?” This can sometimes be an annoying question for me as I wonder if the same question would come up if we were at war against a foreign enemy. I have seen Christian parents proud that their children are serving in the military but reluctant to give them to the service of Jesus. In my view, this should not be so. It surprises me that people who have dedicated their children to Christ as infants are willing to send them off to a battle against flesh and blood and not willing to surrender them to war against the enemy of men’s souls. That, I suppose is for them to grapple with.

The standard patronizing  Christian answer goes something like this, “Being in the will of the Lord is the safest place your child can be.” This is supposed to assure family members but of course this is a lie and everyone knows it. A person can get themselves killed in the service of Christ. The historical record of the church is full of martyrs from Stephen to several hundred last week in Nigeria. But, in the end, I like the question of the hymn writer Thomas Shepherd….

Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
and all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
and there’s a cross for me.

How happy are the saints above,
who once went sorrowing here!
But now they taste unmingled love,
and joy without a tear.

The consecrated cross I’ll bear
till death shall set me free;
and then go home my crown to wear,
for there’s a crown for me.

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.”   

Jim Elliott  

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