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My M&M Experience

You are probably wondering what these things have to do with each other. They all teach us how God is able to work through the most unusual things in our life to bring about His plan. Let me explain:

The first week of July Donna and I were returning from a week of camping in some great State Parks in Alabama. We have enjoyed the camping experience since our children were small and we were all in a pop-up camper. Now our children are grown, our camping is done in a little larger RV, but the hiking, biking, and just being in the awesome Nature that God created is still something we enjoy.

22 miles west of Tallahassee, Florida, God gave us an experience which proved to be the highlight of our trip. Now in the previous week we had hiked to waterfalls, done some biking, eaten at some great local restaurants, viewed July 4th Fireworks, and  even toured a battleship, the USS Alabama. But what happened this day topped it all, We had a Flat Tire!

Usually a flat tire isn’t that big a deal, but when it is on your RV it becomes bigger. Couple that with being on the side of a busy major highway I-10 and it further complicates matters. No problem, we have AAA. So I called them for assistance only to be made aware that our coverage does not include our RV. We needed help so they did get someone coming to our rescue.

I then called our insurance company as we have Roadside Assistance coverage on all our vehicles. This call proved to be of greater success as they said we were covered up to $400. They even offered to pay directly for the service call.

After a couple of hours of waiting and rocking as vehicles sped by us, Steve, the Tire Service Tech finally arrived. Upon looking at our situation he began working to replace our shredded tire. It was about 15 minutes into his work that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said it is time for you to go to work for Me. I knew exactly what I was to do.

Right there on the side of I-10 I began a conversation about the Lord with Steve, an older gentleman. He said he lived across the street from a church and attended occasionally. I then asked if he knew for sure that he was going to heaven, to which he replied, “No, but that would be a good thing to know.” As I shared with him about God’s love for him I could tell he had not heard this before. Just as we finished talking about how our sin separates us from God, it was time to move to the other side of the RV. Steve wanted to check the other tires.

Now we were on the traffic side of the vehicle with cars and trucks speeding by just inches from us. Steve, said to me, “Go on, I want to hear the rest.” My heart rejoiced and feared at the same time. With my back to the on coming traffic, I remember thinking, “O God, Please keep us safe. I know I am going to heaven if I get hit, but Steve isn’t until I get him to a prayer of salvation.” Donna could see in the mirror what was happening and began to pray for me. I continued, now yelling so he could hear, telling Steve how Christ died to forgive his sins and desires to save him. Right there on the side of I-10 Steve prayed to receive Christ as his Savior.

I could see an immediate peace on his face as we talked about his decision (away from the traffic). I wrote the verses down I had shared with him and encouraged him to share his decision with his family and Pastor. He said he would.

Then I asked Steve if anyone had ever told him they were glad they had a flat tire. He said, “No one.” I told him I was glad because God had given us a Divine Appointment to meet and talk. Steve agreed.

You may say what does this have to do with Here 2 There and our work. We are all about being “On Mission”. That isn’t just about work done on a foreign field somewhere, but it is about each follower of Christ being ready to share their faith Anytime, Anywhere, with Anyone. The work of H2T is about training up believers who are ready, willing, and able to be Mobilized for Mission when the Spirit calls.

H2T is focused on establishing “Partnerships” with Missionaries, individuals and Churches. We desire to have an ongoing relationship that focuses on preparing Churches and Missionaries to accomplish the Vision God has given them for His work.

Would you say that most people in your church know how God has gifted them to serve Him? Is the majority of membership engaged in an area of Service for the Lord some place either in the Church or reaching the Community and World? Have you ever considered that You are “On Mission” with God every minute of your life. Are you equipped to be Mobilized at any moment to do His work? Our Resources and Training Materials do exactly that for Missionaries, Church Leaders and Members.

On our website you will find training tools and resources which are available to assist Missionaries, individuals and Churches in training people for Kingdom Work. One resource you will find is a witnessing tool called STEP OUT, which gives 4 Simple Steps to a Church On Mission – Serve, Tell, Eat, Pray.  I encourage you to check us out at Here2There.org.

By the way, our tire repair came to a little over $400, which the insurance company is paying. For a couple of hours delay on the highway Steve knows he is a Child of God.

Now, that’s a Great Flat Tire!

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

Cast your cares on the Lord

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall (Psalm 55:22).

A few months ago I wrote a blog about anxiety. In that blog we discussed that everyone has anxiety. This month I am going to continue with that same theme.

In the verse above it states Cast your cares on the Lord.  I wonder how heavy your load gets or how burdened you feel before you decide to cast your cares on the Lord?

Often, we as Christians (and many times those of us in ministry) feel like we have to do everything ourselves. We have so many things to balance. Not just our ministry-seeking to bring people to salvation, but having to raise money, budget wisely, parent our children, be a good spouse, and maintain our home, not to mention all the meetings to attend, and spending time with friends and neighbors.  

Its no wonder that we feel stressed and burdened. But, as the scripture says, once we give our care to the Lord, he will SUSTAIN you. Sustain. What a great word. According to Websters dictionary it means to give support or RELIEF . Isnt that something we all want? Support and especially RELIEF!? Isnt it great to know that once we RELEASE our cares to the Lord, he will give us RELIEF. And, then it doesnt stop there. He gives us another promise. He will never let the righteous fall.

I think sometimes the reason we dont want to release our cares, isnt because we doubt relief, I am sure we know and acknowledge that letting go, will feel good, but I think one of the major problems is realizing that he wont let us fall. Holding on to our cares can be like a false sense of security or confidence. We think that if we can just handle all of this then we will become successfulBut in reality the more we pile on, the less we can and will succeed, and tend to fall!

1.) Think about something that you need to give to the Lord today?

Is it your time? Money? Family? An obsessive thought? A difficult decision? Or something else?

2.) How can you give this burden over to the Lord?

Through prayer? Speaking to a loved one? Asking for help? Or seeking professional advice? Or something else?

3.) What would it feel like to have relief from your burdens or cares?

4.) Through the coming weeks I encourage you to RELEASE cares to the Lord, feel the RELIEF from your burdens, and trust that God will not allow you to fall.

For more information or if you need to talk to someone please dont hesitate to contact Here to There Ministries at here2there.org@gmail.com

Christy Paul, LMHC

Your Land of Milk and Honey

In Numbers 13 Moses sends out a leader from each of the tribes of Israel to spy on the land of Canaan which the Lord had promised to his people. So we see these men spend 40 days surveying the land and preparing a report to bring back to Moses and the Israelites.

Now, they know that this is the land that God promised to give them but all they can think about are the obstacles that they perceive are in their way. They even bring back fruit from the land to show how lush it is. The first thing they said to Moses was, “It really is a land flowing with milk and honey.” So, God tells them this is what I want for you, they go and see that it was what God said it was.

BUT, the next thing they say is Anak is there, the people are very strong, the cities have very high walls. Then, the lies start to spread throughout the camp convincing the rest of the Israelite’s that they would have been better off to die in the misery of slavery than to follow God to the promised land.

What promised land is God trying to lead you to right now? What are your Anaks? What are the high city walls? What are the lies that you’re hearing that are scaring you from the milk and honey that God wants you to have?

Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Yet, we allow fear and lies to scare us away from the Good that God has for us. Don’t let the lies of Satan keep you from the land of milk and honey.

Partnering with your missionaries can be messy and difficult but God desires to guide you to a place of amazing joy. Don’t believe the lies that make it seem impossible but trust that God will make the way. Missionaries and churches can help each other get to the promised land. Here2There can help you learn more about what partnerships are and how to create them. Please check out our website at http://www.here2there.org/resources/. If you have any questions you can email us at Here2there.org@gmail.com.

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

Glorious Unfolding / Church Partnerships

A couple years ago Steven Curtis Chapman recorded a song that describes the way God works in our life on His time table to bring about His will and accomplish His purpose. It speaks of being in the midst of a trial and not giving up, but understanding God uses all things to bring His good will in us. When this happens it becomes a “Glorious Unfolding” in our life as we see Him turn our trial into triumph.

The work of Missions and Church Partnership development is like a “Glorious Unfolding” in the life of a Missionary and Church. Through trials and unexpected situations which arise God is able to teach us lessons He desires us to learn which lead to victories  in ministry down the road.

In the last month I have been presented with the same “trial” from two different missionaries from parts of the world far apart from each other. Both stated that a loss of support was causing a critical need in their ministries and that this loss was related to churches with new pastors revamping mission budgets resulting in dropping their support. Each said they were going to have to return to the States to work on support raising.

In one situation a Missionary in Haiti needed both funding as well as new transportation upon his return. I was in a church where he presented these needs. At this church a substantial offering was received. A few weeks later I saw on his facebook post a picture of him standing in front of his new Ford F250 4×4 truck which had been given to him by a person attending a service at which he  usually doesn’t attend. We know God had him at this service to hear the need of this Missionary and respond with this gift. Now there is a “Glorious Unfolding” which came out of an unexpected trial, but I’m sure will result in a new Church Partnership that will be a lasting blessing to both.

Back in October the other Missionary attended one of our Missionary Trainings and heard our team teach about the benefits of establishing Partnership Relationships with Churches. This Missionary met with us and invited us to come to Kenya to meet with his leadership team. After seeing and meeting his great Missions team, we are now in the process of working with him to establish Church Partnerships that will assist him with long term funding of his ministry.

James talks about the trials of our faith building patience within us. None of us enjoys the experience of trials and tribulations. We would rather learn patience another way, if possible. But, God uses these times to bring us closer to Him and willing to make adjustments in our life to bring about His glory.

Here 2 There Ministry is purposed in being used of God to bring about His “Glorious Unfolding” in the lives of Missionaries and Churches. As we work with each to help them identify their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Uttermost (Acts 1:8), we also seek to lead them to discover His plan to minister within each of these areas. This involves many components such as: Vision Casting, Recruiting and Training, Mission Strategy, Mobilization, just to name a few.

Missionaries and Churches with whom we work have a desire to see great things for God happen, but often lack a plan to bring it to pass. It is the joy of H2T to work with Missionaries and Church Leaders to expose, educate, and experience the benefits of Church Partnership. When this happens there truly is a “Glorious Unfolding” of God’s working in lives and ministries. To discover more about the need for Church Partnerships and how this works read one of our resource books Antioch Revisited by Tom Julian.

For more information on Here 2 There Ministries go to the web at here2there.org.

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

It Can Happen To You

We have been reading in the news recently of two celebrities that committed suicide. If you follow social media, you will see that some people felt very close, for different reasons to these celebrities, others were outright shocked to find out that celebrities, who appear to have it all, would want to end their life. Others have shared memes that highlight how suicide affects a lot of people, including many veterans who die by suicide each day.

The truth is we all may have been affected by suicide in some way. It could be a friend, a family member, or an acquaintance that we heard about that committed suicide. It is very sad and something that no one, even Christians, fully understand. There are many reasons why someone is suicidal, and even feels that they are at their last straw and need to end their life. People who are suicidal will often say “people will be better off without me”, “I am not needed”, “I am just making things harder on everyone else”, “no one is going to miss me”, or “I just can’t do it anymore”, “I am not good enough”, and even “God doesn’t care about me, if He did He would take this *thing* away from me”.

Nearly everyone has been through some sort of hardship. It could be the death of someone close to us, it could be a job loss, a financial problem, or a strained-even abusive relationship. There may be thoughts that cross our mind that tell us that it would be okay to die, or that if we died it would be so much better than having to deal with what it is we have to deal with. We may not want to take our own lives, but we may fantasize about death. Even Christians. We know that we have a wonderful home in heaven waiting for us. We won’t have pain, we won’t have sorrow, and we won’t have to deal with anything bad for eternity. Although that is a good thing, and we SHOULD look forward to heaven, and be so grateful and thankful for the promise of a better life on the other side of this earth, it’s NOT an invitation to want to get their faster than what God’s plan is for our life.

The reason why it may make more news when a celebrity, rather than someone local, or even a veteran, commits suicide is because celebrities aren’t SUPPOSED to commit suicide. They have it all. They are famous, they have money, they have anything and everything they want. They have MADE IT in life. So when someone like that who has a disposable income, who is loved by the world and who doesn’t seem like they should have any problems or reason to die..dies by taking their own life, we go into shock, and we try to figure out how in the world could that have happened?

The same goes for people who are in ministry. Just because you are a missionary, or a pastor, does not mean you aren’t going to get down at times, it doesn’t mean you aren’t discouraged and it doesn’t mean that you don’t sometimes think “God, please take me now, life is too hard”. But, at the same time, just like with celebrities, men and women of God, aren’t “supposed” to have thoughts of death and dying, they aren’t “supposed” to feel in despair, I mean, they are close to God right? They know that God will take care of them right? So, they “NEVER” feel like they wish they could just crawl up in a hole and die. Well, surprisingly, yes, even men and women of the faith, those who go across the world to share the gospel, those who stand on stage each Sunday morning, yes, even they can feel worn out, hopeless and like they have lost all purpose.

Take a look at Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God. In his day he WAS the man of God. He was the person that would point others to God, and who heard from God and was to do the will of God to bring the nation to the Lord, and keep God’s people on the right path. One of the best stories of all time is about Elijah. In I Kings 18:16-41 we read the story of Elijah taking on the prophets of Baal. In this story, we see God’s power and how he showed who HE was through Elijah. It was amazing, and very clear who the ONE true God is. The very next chapter, in I Kings 19, we read that after Elijah, God’s chosen prophet, who just defeated the prophets of Baal, who just saw one of the greatest miracles of God, of all time, was threatened. What did he do? Did he say, “oh that’s no big deal, I serve a living God, one who can produce miracles, one that is always by my side”. Did he clarify that he had a relationship with the God of the universe who wouldn’t let anything happen to him? NOPE! After becoming afraid and running for his life (vs 3) He said in verse 4 “I have had enough, LORD, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” How could this man want to die? How could he lose trust in God so quickly, after seeing with his own eyes, and having complete faith in God, all of the sudden, lose faith, and beg to die? A few verses down, starting in verse 9, God speaks to Elijah and Elijah basically responds by telling the Lord about all he (Elijah) has done for God. Then he gets a “woe is me” attitude. He basically thinks, after all this that he has done for the Lord, it means nothing, and he feels that he might as well die. Elijah feels that although he has tried so hard, he is not seeing the response that he wants, he is feeling very down about himself, and thinks he is going to die anyway, so the sooner the better and asks the Lord to take his life.

Similar to celebrities people may think a follower, and even a minister of the Lord shouldn’t ever think about dying, feeling despair and wanting the Lord to take his life before his time. The attitude is they have it “altogether”. They SHOULD be the ones trusting God, knowing God and recognizing that God will help them through any difficulty. But if it can happen with a man like Elijah it can happen with anyone! No matter where we are with our walk with God, life can be very discouraging. We might feel that our ministry is not producing the way WE want. Our family may not functioning the way we hoped that it it would, or we might just feel that God isn’t present. We may feel God is there in certain circumstances, but then He leaves at other times, which can lead to feelings of despair, discouragement and failure. We can become so caught up on our own depression, that we may wish to God that we can just die.

God has a plan and purpose, ALWAYS, for our life. It may not be what we hope, dream, or envision, but he still has plan. Even if we get off course, God can still use us to complete his purpose (Romans 8:28).

If you or someone you know is having a difficult time and feeling discouraged, you feel like maybe your ministry would be better off without you or your thoughts may be that you wish you could die, or that something bad would happen to you, or maybe you do love your life and realize that it’s not your time to go, but you still fill like quitting or giving up, here are some suggestions:

1.) If you are considering taking your life and feel like you can’t go on, and life would be better without you, please call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255, 911, or go to your nearest hospital.

2.) If you are feeling down and discouraged please contact a close friend, family member or pastor, before giving up or quitting. Having someone to talk to and see things from a different perspective could make all the difference.

3.) Seek professional help to deal with any feelings of depression. They can help find the source, techniques to cope, and ways to move forward.

4.) Continue to seek God. As we continue to read in I Kings chapter 19 verse 12, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper. We may not be hearing God, not because he isn’t speaking but because he is speaking to us in a gentle and small voice.

5.) Take time for yourself, in I Kings 19:5,6 Elijah rested and ate and drank. Do not neglect getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy and remaining hydrated.

6.) As always feel free to reach out to Here 2 There ministries at here2there.org@gmail.com

Christy Paul, LMHC

The Great Urbanization Migration

How does urban population growth affect the face of missions? As my wife Gina and I served as missionaries in Uganda, our eyes were opened to an entirely different view on the immigration struggle. The capital city of Kampala had swelled from an estimated 33 Million in 2013 to 45 Million by 2018. In our travels, we learned the many reasons for the influx of people was not just local population growth, but something much darker was behind the scenes. The increase of people is not only Ugandans, but displaced people from the war-torn Sudan in the North, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the west, or even leftovers that escaped the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda in the south. War and HIV/AIDS have driven people to not just look for a better life but to seek survival itself.

Webster’s describes urbanization as “the act or fact of urbanizing, or taking on the characteristics of a city.” The fact is that people are migrating to the city looking for a better way of life. Many will search for a way to provide for their family and send the provision back to the village in which they came. This search is prevalent in the increase in urban growth worldwide. Whether it is for jobs, or escaping war-torn areas; cities are growing by leaps and bounds. The United Nations Global Health Observatory (GHO) reports alarming increases in metropolitan living.” The urban population in 2014 accounted for 54% of the total global population, up from 34% in 1960, and continues to grow.” When it comes to Urban population growth, less developed countries of the world will continue to decline, and most people will be living in urban areas. The GHO estimates growth at “approximately 1.84% per year between 2015 and 2020, 1.63% per year between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44% per year between 2025 and 2030.

Harvey Cox in his book The Secular City “The rise of urban civilization and the collapse of traditional religion are two main hallmarks of our era, and are closely related movements.”

So, how does this future projected spike in urbanization affect the gospel mission at the local church level? Although we are all one body in Christ worldwide, the local church will have to strategize for their area and be focused on the people groups that migrate to that area to be useful in the future. Some of the challenges that the local church may face can be large. God is bringing people to our cities from all over the world, and we must prepare for this to be effective. First, the local church will need to be grasping the demographics of their city and finding a way to connect with them. If there is a significant influx of immigrants, then it would be essential to key in on them with some type of outreach in their native tongue and maybe even focus in on their culture. If History dictates a growth of this size, we must seize the opportunity to use it to our advantage for the kingdom. God is using the decline of the western missionary movement to bring the mission field to us. Secondly, is that someone must hear the call to go and others must pay for them to go. Urbanization happens worldwide, and someone must be willing to get out of their comfort zone and go. Equally, someone must send by providing finances for them that are at the tip of the missions spear. Both being sent and being the sender require obedience.

Joshua Project.com describes Unreached People Groups (UPG) as “an ethnic group without an indigenous, self-propagating Christian church movement.” These are people that have no church or Bible in their native land or language. As these peoples are intertwined into the big cities, there is a need for outreach to do an inner-city “in reach.” The Ministry that can understand and adapt to the global concept of being kingdom minded will be able to unlock an endless array of resources and be ready and willing to great the new frontier of missions, the melting pot of the worlds inner cities.

These resources are interwoven into the very fabric of scripture that was there the day it was written. The fact that God’s plan from the beginning was and still is to bring his people back to Himself. The rural community as we know it is migrating to the big city for a reason. People groups that are displaced are searching for safety, shelter, and security. People groups are coming by the thousands to the world’s cities seeking the answer to the international question of “why am I here?” and “why is this happening?” The church needs adaptability to be ready to minister to the inquisitive minds and give them the answer to the things they seek. Because regardless of the people group or the language they speak, the answer will always be Jesus.

Simply put, God has brought the mission field to us, the big city. God will send us a people group representative that can and will, fulfill the great commission in his homeland. The church that learns to welcome them, love them and train them will become a fruit producing branch of the vine. Resources show us that the great urbanization migration has begun and will only increase. Evil causes the displacement of tens of thousands of people worldwide, but if the church is ready, it will drive them into the arms of a loving God. We all have our part to play in the great commission, and we need to grasp this concept for fear of being left behind. God’s will be done, using us or someone else.

Steve Gant

Volunteer

 

Flying High

A few weeks ago my Grandson, Aidan, competed in the Florida High School Activities Association State Track Meet for Pole Vaulting. He has only been jumping a little over a year, but has tremendous determination to develop this skill. He has done well with it, winning Districts and qualifying for Regional and State competition.

In trying to encourage him as he prepared for this experience, Donna (my wife) and I threw him a one man Pep Rally at PDQ restaurant. We gave him a goody bag with various items to help him think and feel positive as he approached this event.

One item was a story of inspiration about another high school pole vaulter, Michael Stone, who competed for the Junior Olympics. He had desired to jump his entire life. His mom encouraged him; took him to endless practices and events; made sure he had what he needed, even when she couldn’t afford it. She was the ultimate cheerleader for him.

Michael tells of his excitement and anxiety as he was on the runway preparing to jump. All kinds of thoughts were running through his head as his nerves caused muscles to tighten. The thing that calmed his fears and nerves were the words of his Mom in his head that said you have this, just do what you have prepared to do, I believe in you. These reassuring thoughts enabled him to set a new Junior Olympics record for this event.

The miracle of the story is that Michael Stone is blind.

Like Michael’s life, there are always obstacles to overcome. Satan will be certain of that. Whether they be of a physical or spiritual nature, God is always able to pave the way for us to Fly High above any obstacle and accomplish His purpose in our life.

What Michael Stone accomplished is an example of how we are to trust the working of God in our life to carry us to victory against any odds. His Word is our Trainer, His Power is our Strength, His Will is our Guide. He desires for us to be Victorious. Like Michael on the runway, the key is listening to His voice in the face of adversity and challenge.

As Here2There Ministries works with the many Missionaries and Church Leaders in the US and abroad, we see that Christian Leaders are not immune to the obstacles of life and ministry. The percentage of Missionaries , Pastors, and other full time Christian workers who call it quits each year due to stress in ministry or family is very high. Surveys show these often feel like they are doing ministry “all alone”. Such obstacles can easily become barriers to accomplishing the Vision and Mission God has placed in hearts.

H2T promotes a different approach to doing ministry we call “Church Partnership”. This focuses on closing the gap between the Missionary in the field (whether it be foreign or community) and the resources in the pews (Church).

Church Partnerships address the real needs on six levels of those doing missions: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Relational, Intellectual, & Financial.

H2T has developed training materials to help Missionaries and Churches meet these needs and overcome many of these barriers by establishing a better way of doing Missions in Partnership. I encourage you to check us out further at www.here2there.org. Contact H2T to get your Mission Partnerships going today!

Oh yea, Aidan competed well at State and came in sixth in the State of Florida in High School Men’s Pole Vaulting, which is pretty good for a 10th grader. Olympics here we come. Can you tell we are  Proud Grandparents!!!

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

 

The Anxiety In Us All

Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

When reading this recently some things struck out to me. The verse starts out with “do not be anxious”, and in another version “be anxious about nothing”. What strikes me about this, is that it doesn’t say.. IF you become anxious..THEN. It doesn’t say for those of you that MIGHT have anxiety.. or list certain situations that might bring about anxiety. It says “do not be anxious”. This is talking to everyone, not just some people. This is referring to any situation, not just in some cases where things might cause more anxiety-such as when losing a job, or a marriage is on the rocks, or a financial problem.

Why this is important to me, why this strikes me, is that it implies that ALL of us will have anxiety. That it’s something everyone struggles with. Some have anxiety about everything. Other’s may go through a bout of anxiety, while others may only experience it in certain situations like close quarters, going over bridges, motion sickness, or public speaking. In any case anxiety is something that everyone has endured. It is something that we can all relate to. So when Paul says in Philippians, do not be anxious, he is first of all talking to everyone, second of all not referring to a specific time or situation to not be anxious, but in all things.

He then goes on and tells us why we shouldn’t be anxious, and what to do about. It’s not our anxiety that is a problem. Its how we handle the anxiety. The Lord knows that in this world “there will be trouble”. With trouble comes anxiety, comes fear, and comes doubts. But, he continues that we should “take heart because (He) has overcome the world”  (John 16:33).

When we are in the midst of our anxiety, we might feel completely out of control. Our heart may be pounding, we might begin to sweat, we may feel the room spinning out from under us. Or, we might have some obsessive or negative thoughts that we just can’t shake. We  might think the worst possible scenario is going to happen, and although we may realize none of this is true, we just can’t seem to turn it off. In other situations we might feel like we are never going to get ahead. We will never make enough money, or we aren’t going to keep our job. We are just waiting for “the shoe to drop”. We are so worried and anxious that something bad is going to happen that eventually it does. This is what is called self-fulfilling prophecy. We have negative thoughts, which cause us to make negative choices, which then causes something negative to happen, and therefore we can say “see I told you that would happen”.

In reality we have control over our anxiety. It may not feel like it at the moment, but we do have control as long as we continue with what Paul suggests in Philippians. Paul continues and says BUT, in EVERY situation by PRAYER and Petition, with Thanksgiving, present your Requests to God. If we are allowing our anxiety to have control, then we are forgetting that God is in control. If we are allowing negativity to flood our thoughts, then we aren’t focusing on being thankful. If we are worried about a particular outcome, then we aren’t presenting and giving our requests to God, or petitioning Him in prayer.

When in ministry, whether working for the local church, or as a missionary. Sometimes it can be much harder to deal with things like anxiety. You may feel like you can’t allow anyone to see you struggle. If you are someone in a spiritual leadership position, and it *looks* like you don’t have faith in God and therefore you are anxious, it could cause you to not only lose sight of your ministry, but it can cause even more anxiety. Trying to force ourselves not to be anxious, when we feel anxious, is next to impossible. It’s like if I tell you right now, don’t think about pink monkeys. You can think about anything you want, but don’t think about pink monkeys. What is on your mind now? I bet it’s pink monkeys!

Anxiety is a real thing. I don’t want to present it lightly, or make it out like it’s no big deal, that there is a really simple solution and all our problems will go away. That is not true. Often we can pray, and we can be thankful, and we can do all that God asks us to do, but because of the free will of other people, because we live in a fallen world, there will always be reasons we struggle, and there will definitely be times where it is so much harder to overcome our anxiety.

If you are one of them, if your anxiety has become much larger than what you can change on your own, I suggest reaching out to someone. It’s okay to ask for help, and to get the right treatment that will allow you to carry on in ministry. As is often said, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, then it’s going to be that much harder to care for others.

Suggestions to help with anxiety:

1.) Pray and ask God that he will remove this “thorn’ from your side. Make it clear that you aren’t going to allow this to be a -thing- in your life and that Satan will not have control and make you feel less than, doubt yourself, or be worried or afraid.

2.) Take control of the anxiety. Think about what is bothering you and making you feel anxious. If it’s money, try budgeting. If it’s having to have a difficult conversation with someone, make plans to meet and talk as soon as possible and ask the Lord to give you the words to say. The sooner you deal with what is bothering you, the sooner you can release it.

3.) Recognize what is NOT in your control. If you are trying to control something, that can’t be controlled, then let go. Pray to God that he will release that burden from you. If you have too many tasks, then ask Him to help you delegate and find the right person to help.

4.) Be thankful. A change in attitude often makes your situations look much differently. When we are thankful during the busy times, then it allows us to see all God is doing in our lives. If we are thankful during the slow times, it allows us to catch our breath and get much needed rest. Look at what season you are in life, and find at least one reason to be thankful.

5.) Be realistic. After being thankful for the season in your life, be honest and real with God, letting him know what is bothering you. Asking him to work through the situation, change your circumstances, change your heart, or even someone else’s.

6.) Talk about it. If you are anxious, someone else is too. By talking about it you will see you’re not alone, and may be support for someone else as well.

7.) Seek help. It is okay to go to a professional for their opinion. They are trained to help you with steps to overcome your anxiety, and sometimes will be able to find the original source.

As always you can contact Here2ThereMinistires at: here2there.org@gmail.com

 

Christy Paul, LMHC

Kenya Update

Thank you for your prayers and giving as our team made a quick trip to Kenya. During our time with the Horne’s we visited several ministry sites, met with local leaders and talked about the next steps and vision of the ministry.
Jim and Susie have been serving in Mombasa for over 30 years and have seen God grow the work tremendously. They have 3 main ministry sites, with churches, schools, bible colleges, children’s homes, feeding centers and a soon to be crisis pregnancy center. The lives that are being changed through these works are innumerable.
Our purpose in going to Kenya, was to see the work for our selves. See what was happening, see what the next phase of ministry is and see how we can better connect the local church as well as the US church to join in the work that is happening. We believe in partnership – The Church – operating in full capacity in all areas of the world, hand in hand with the missionaries and the ministries they are connected with.
God has filled our churches with talents and gifts that are overflowing, needing to be used to further the kingdom!
So, now that we are back, we are constructing a strategic partnership strategy that will help gain greater support from the church body there in Mombasa as well as the church body in the US. This will ensure the ministry continues to grow, making a kingdom impact and will out live the Hornes.

Help them have fun!

I straddle the fence when it comes to being the partner or being the missionary. Here2There is the partner and supporter of several churches and missionaries world-wide and at the same time we are the missionary partners for many churches and individuals who help us exist. So, when I teach, write, and consult with our partners whom we help, I feel like I am preaching to the choir on some of the issues. Last week I had the awesome opportunity to volunteer at Leadercast – a leadership simulcast put on by Andy Stanley. Although I was there to work with the high school students at my table, I was also able to take away several good nuggets for me too! One being SELF-CARE & REST. I love it and hate it all at the same time.

This post is a challenge to churches to help the missionaries you work with.

At the Leadercast Michael Hyatt emphasized how important rest was to us physically, but he also showed what happens when we rest. With rest and self-care we see results in ourselves physically, but also in our work. He showed three areas we see the benefits of rest in our work lives too.

  1. Gives you energy
  2. Gives you an edge
  3. Give you confidence to endure

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know this is something I have to really focus on and make a point to do myself – for many reasons, my second bout with shingles being one of them.

As leaders in our churches and in our teams, we know we need it. We, hopefully, take the time to practice it, but we also need to demand it from those around us, INCLUDING OUR MISSIONARIES. A huge part of partnership is caring for the actual missionaries themselves. They need to be healthy (emotionally, spiritually and physically) in order to do the work they are there to do.

Let’s get create this week with our missionaries!!! Let’s think of ways we can DEMAND rest and fun from them. Here is a list of NINE EASY THINGS you can do that will demand rest, or self-care from your missionaries. It is one thing to emphasize it when you talk to them. “Did you take your vitamins today?” but it is another thing when we actually provide it for them. This shows how much you really care.

  1. Pinterest Family Date Night Ideas and send them the links
  2. Do some research on the area where they live and create a scavenger hunt for them
  3. Send them $25 extra bucks and demand pictures of what they did with it (FUN STUFF ONLY)
  4. Send them a prepaid itunes card (region specific) and provide them a family night at home
  5. Find a local gym near them and pay for a months membership
  6. Create a challenge between all of your missionaries on who has the most fun (set date, time, proof)
  7. Send them a care package with all the resources they need for family Olympics challenge
  8. Provide them with the opportunity to go to a local hotel (or the equivalent) for the weekend and order room service and be spoiled.
  9. Help them create a rest-self care schedule that ensures long-term focus on their part, to get what they need.

Create your own list, share it with your Missionary Support Team leaders and start helping your missionaries have fun and take care of themselves too.

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We would love to see what you come up with and what your missionaries do for fun!!! Please share your results with us at here2there.org@gmail.com

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Stefanie Nicholson

Founder and Team Lead