Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Heroes of the Faith

We just got back from a month of training in Colorado.  I have to tell you about some people I met.  For about a month my family lived in the same building as fifteen or so other missionary families.  I’ll just highlight some of them here so you can see why I’m so encouraged/impressed.  These people are representing Christ around the world.  Yes!

Since some of them are going to dangerous locations I am not going to use any names here.
  • I met a man with great charisma and energy.  We were so moved by how he listened and cared for others as they spoke to him.  I told him about a sermon I was preparing and he found time to sit with me and talk about the things of God.  When we left I hugged him and said, “You changed my life.”  He smiled a huge smile and repeated several times, “Praise Jesus.”
  • I met two families preparing to go to Palestine.  They were quiet, humble, encouraging people who knew Jesus intimately.  If you spent time with them you would feel the warmth of their faith soften your doubts and fear.  God dwelt in these people.  I saw them cry at the thought of what may happen over seas and I saw them praise God for asking them to go.
  • I met a woman who is following God’s call to India even though she struggles with the idea of being there.  She requested, “Can you all pray that God would help me to love it there?”  I was blessed to witness her courage and submission to God.
  • I met a family preparing to move to Lebanon.  Late one night in a parking lot I discussed obedience to God with the father.  We talked about those who discuss the will of God as a suggestion or a possibility.  With a humble and confident posture he stated, “If God is Sovereign then what are we talking about?”
  • I met a husband in his 60’s who has decided to retire by moving to an area populated by Muslims and share the gospel with them.  We thanked him for his example of Christian retirement.  He smiled as if to say, “What else would I do?”
  • I remember the missionary who joined in our time of public grieving.  He approached the place of prayer, stood in quiet tears and then said, “Lord, please…”.  He said no more as he remained in that place crying.  After a couple minutes he sat back down.  We understood.
These are our new peers.  They are our heroes of the faith.  Our family is incredibly grateful to have met them and developed friendships with them.  In a matter of weeks and months our peers will be spread across the world.  Our daughters developed friendships with girls headed to China, Japan, India and Ireland.  I hiked a mountain with a friend headed to Indonesia and laughed often with a friend headed to the Middle East.  Jade shared coffee and late night chats with her friend headed to Jordan and went shopping with a friend headed to Africa.  We’ve seen the conviction in their eyes.  We’ve heard the desperation and passion of their worship.  May you all be as encouraged as we are to know that generations are being raised up in the faith and sent across the world.  Praise God!

Metz kids in the grass of the MTI playground where we spent nearly every evening.

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