Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who are we?

Sunday evening we were commissioned by our church to be sent out as missionaries to Zambia. It was a blessed day. It was very emotional and tearful and wearying, but good. We have received so much love and support and prayers by so many people, and it really causes us to think, “Who are we?” that we would be loved so much. That so many people would give of their time and energy to help us. That we would have a church family that cares for us as they do.
We know it is a direct expression of God’s love and care for us.

Pastor Jim preached the 3 messages for the day and then in the evening, after the preaching he had our family come up to the front where we sat while we were given a “charge” by Pastor Stephen Gambill.
Then our elders and deacons and other men represented from sister churches gathered around us to lay hands on us and pray.

It was quite an awesome thing. To be sitting there and have 12 men praying for us, earnestly seeking the Father on our behalf. It has been such a joy and comfort to know that we were being “Sent Out”. That we were (and are) brought before the Father, to be filled with the Spirit and leaning only on Christ!

After the prayers we stayed up front and our brothers and sisters in Christ came to say goodbye. Our hearts were overcome with such emotion, of sadness, thankfulness and anticipation of what we are being sent out to do. There were many tears and sorrows. We left church that evening, very worn out, and emotionally weary and spent!

Our time is drawing to an end and our bags are almost done being packed. We have been in this process for a year, and we are ready to get there and begin whatever “new normal” will be.

Please pray for us to have the physical and emotional strength to get through these next several days and weeks. And that we would have some time of rest. And that we would not just “get through them” but work together as a family with love, showing much kindness.

We sang this song at church in the evening, and though I couldn’t sing it all the way through, it was a delight to think on the words and hear our church singing it! My friend Heather had referred me to it, when I had just gotten back from Zambia in the summer and was quite overwhelmed. It was a blessing to sing it through many tears.

Speed thy servants, Saviour, speed them;
Thou art Lord of winds and waves;
They were bound, but thou hast freed them;
Now they go to free the slaves:
Be thou with them,
'Tis thine arm alone that saves.

Friends, and home, and all forsaking,
Lord they go at thy command,
As their stay thy promise taking,
While they traverse sea and land:
O be with them;
Lead them safely by the hand.

When they reach the land of strangers,
And the prospect dark appears,
Nothing seen but toils and dangers,
Nothing felt but doubts and fears,
Be thou with them,
Hear their sighs and count their tears.

Where no fruit appears to cheer them,
And they seem to toil in vain,
Then in mercy, Lord, draw near them,
Then their sinking hopes sustain:
Thus supported,
Let their zeal revive again.

In the midst of opposition
Let them trust, O Lord, in thee;
When success attends their mission,
Let thy servants humbler be:
Never leave them
Till thy face in heav'n they see.

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