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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

God Did It Again!

A few years ago I was teaching through Pastor Francis Chan’s Bible Study “Forgotten God”. In one of the lessons he makes the statement that he desired to live his life in such a way that it can only be said, “God Did It”. We all have had those unexplainable things happen in our life where there is no other answer to the why or how this happened other than, “God Did It”.

In my life there have been many of these, including an automobile accident of one of my children where the car was totally demolished and dismantled and God protected them enabling them to walk away from the crash. Upon seeing the car I knew there was no way anyone should have survived, much less walked away from that accident. God Did It!

When Donna and I stepped away from our Church Staff jobs of 45 + years to work with Here 2 There Ministries our income stopped, but the responsibility of bills to pay didn’t.

The work of Missionaries calls for support raising which we had never had to do until now. Concerned about our financial future, we began seeking funding and Partners to join us in this work. Immediately God began to touch the hearts of those wanting to Partner with us and His divine provision was evidenced in many ways.

You have heard the saying which Christ Followers often use, “I don’t know how, but I know Who”. That certainly applied to our lives and continues to do so. From sources totally “God Sent” He has provided for us  every step of the way. He most recently used a hurricane to do some damage to our house so that He could use sources in place to provide our needs far above our expectations. PTL!!

I was at a Missions Funding Conference last month to learn more about raising funding needs for Mission work. The one thing that was hammered home speaker after speaker was that “God is our Source”. How easy that is to forget when we get caught up in the day to day hustle of trying to be our own provider. That doesn’t work well at all. It is only in coming to the realization that God is our source for everything that we truly can experience peace in our walk with Him.

We all know people who put their trust in so many different places, from the growth of a stock portfolio to the expansion of a company. There is nothing wrong with these unless your focus and dependency is so much on these worldly “things” that your trust is not in God. There are many very wealthy individuals in the world today, all with one thing in common – the amount of money they will leave behind when they die, All of It!

Matthew 6:20 & 21 speaks to making “eternal” investments which will not deteriorate in this world. It also gives us the answer to the question, “how do I get my heart into something?” Verse 21 says to put your “treasure” there and your heart will follow.

When our treasure is where God is working we can experience joy in our heart that only trusting in Him can bring.

So, what has God done for you lately? Maybe a better question would be “What have you done for God lately? Are you trusting in Him? Is your treasure in the right place?

Are you experiencing those “God Did It” moments in your life?

In Acts 2 we see the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon people at Pentecost. This was the key to the rapid spread of the gospel and the growth of the New Testament Church. Vs 11 speaks to people hearing the Word in many tongues and telling others of “the wondrous works of God”. These were people who had lived and been present when Jesus had performed His miracles and taught His lessons on life. No doubt what they were telling others were the things which they had experienced with Jesus.

That is what will make a difference in the lives of others with whom we share. Just telling them of the “wondrous works” He has done in our lives day by day. Those “God Did It” moments.

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

 

Is Your Manger Clean?

Have you ever been reading the Bible and come across what would seem like a fairly innocuous verse and felt like God was wanting you to dwell on it? That happened to me the other day. Here I was reading Proverbs 14 and all of a sudden comes verse 4, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve read this verse before and zipped right by without thinking much of it at all. So, it was pretty strange when I felt this pulling to read over that verse again and then it became cleat to me about what God wanted me to see.

It’s easy to keep the manger clean if you never let an oxen in to mess it up. The downside is that you have both a clean manger and abundant crops without the ox. So what does that mean for us? Well, I can have a pretty clean, normal life if I control what comes in and out of it(as much as we can possibly be in control, right?). However, I’m not guaranteed any crops or fruit as Jesus calls it in in John 15. In order for my life to bear fruit it’s going to get messy. Jesus is the ox that is going to bring the crops.

I think our desire is to keep things comfortable and nice and neat but Jesus would have us live very differently. This is a daily struggle. In Luke we read Jesus say, ““If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” We have to make a conscious decision to live this way every day or even minute by minute at times. Following Jesus doesn’t bring comfort to our lives. In the Gospels Jesus tells us over and over again that people will hate us on account of him. We’re told to deny ourselves and what is it that ourselves want most of all? To be comfortable and have nice things. There’s very little, if any, room for that in the life Jesus has told us to live.

Is your manger clean? We must decide to deny ourselves and allow God to lead us into messy lives for His glory. Pray that you will open yourself up to his leading. Ephesians 3:20-21, “20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

Mission Minded

I am sitting here at the airport waiting for the first of many flights that will take us to Mombasa, Kenya, our home for the next week! I am one of the strange few who look forward to the long flights, to the long days of travel as it means new adventures ahead. As exciting as the coming adventure is, the preparations for that adventure are tiresome. The long flights give me opportunity to get my head ready for the coming days. The last couple of weeks have been preparing all the personal details of leaving the country, making sure the team staying behind is equipped to keep going while we are away, buying and order the supplies we need and thinking about what needs to be done before we leave.

The details of life can keep us busy. When we are busy our minds get out of sync. When our minds get out of sync our focus can stray and then we miss the “thing” we were working so hard for.

Here are 3 focal points to help keep your church missions minded. When you are always thinking, planning and implementing these 3 areas, your church will stay focused, even when life is busy.

  1. Global Focus – in order to be a church that is outward focused, that is constantly thinking about ways to impact the globe, we have to have our focus on what is happening around the world. Beyond the updates you receive from your missionaries, you need to know what world events are going on, what people groups are being affected, who is serving in those areas and how (if any) you can make a difference there.

Studying people groups, staying up to date on world events, persecuted Christians and other organizations will begin to soften your hearts, show you where God is moving and begin burdening you or your church to get involved.

 

  • What can you do to exposure your church to what is happening globally or learn about unreached people groups?

 

  • How can you pray for what is happening around the world or people who have not heard the Gospel for the first time?

 

  1. Global Strategy – when we have a plan and a strategy on how to reach that goal and plan much more can be accomplished. Churches that have strategies to reach specific people groups, countries or regions often have greater success than those who just waited for missionaries to come to them. Global strategies help us identify specific targets, specific needs and specific goals. Although it seems like this would be limiting on the type of people that could meet those needs, the opposite is quite true. A strategy allows you to know what types of people, what types of resources to gather and look for instead of just making due with what you have and not accomplishing the real need at hand.

 

  1. Globally Focused People – If you want to make an impact on the globe, you must be preparing the people to make that impact. Training and equipping the next wave of missionaries from your church is a must if you intend to move the gospel out. We must make intentional measures to prepare the people we presently have to join our current missionaries or start new works amongst unreached peoples.

 

  • What classes can you teach that will train people to get ready to serve?
  • What programs can you create that will give people hands on experiences to get them ready to serve where they are or full time?

 

Stefanie Nicholson

Founder

“ Un” Necessary Returns

What comes to mind when you hear these words? Most of the time it has to do with a gift given us which we didn’t need or a garment that didn’t fit. If it’s at Christmas time you are wishing you didn’t have to say them as it means standing in long return lines explaining to store clerks why you need to return something.

To a Missionary these words are “Most Dreadful” as it means an interruption in ministry plans due to an unexpected reason or situation resulting in an unplanned trip home. Sometimes it occurs because of family needs, but most often due to financial issues.

Last week a Missionary friend of mine called to tell me they were having to make one of these “Un Necessary Returns” due to the loss of support while on the field. They were distraught at the situation and all the hassle and expense being caused by the situation.

But more than this, they were concerned for the future of their ministry, now having to return to the States to raise income. This truly is an “Un Necessary Return”.

Here2There Ministries is focused on a new concept for doing Missions called “Church Partnerships”. The main aim in this way of conducting Missions is to close the gap which exists between the Missionary in the field and all the Resources in the pews. We call it “turning ‘Supporters’ into ‘Partners’”. The idea of Partnership certainly isn’t a new one. It has been a part of our life fabric for generations, whether it comes in the form of a sports team, business deal, or friendship. The concept applied to Missions may be new, but the application is the same –  That is two (or more) coming together with common interests and goals for the accomplishment of a greater good.

Applied to Missions it is a Church and a Missionary joining hands “In Partnership” to reach others for God’s Kingdom. This idea isn’t new, but doing it as “Partners” is. You see “Partners” watch out for the others best interest; make sure each is working in harmony toward the common goal; provides needed assistance at all times; gives liberally to help the other; never does anything to hurt the other; is concerned about all the needs of the other (not just work related); stays in constant communication with the other; serves in any way to meet the common goal together; is concerned in every way about the well being of the other; sees the relationship as being deeper than a contract. We could go on and on with this analogy. You get the point – Partnership is more than just someone sending a check, reading a prayer letter, visiting every few years, sending a monthly newsletter. It is everyone becoming integrally a part of the ministries of all involved parties and truly engaged in relationships which have the others at heart.

Here2There conducts Training Seminars for both Missionaries and Churches to teach how this “Church Partnership” concept works. Our next Training opportunity is April 24th at Fort Caroline Christian  Church in Jacksonville. For more information about this and Here2There visit our website at here2there.org.

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

I followed God now I’m homesick

According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, the word homesickness was first used in the year 1748, but the concept dates back to the Old Testament.  Psalm 137:1, “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion”. Homesickness means “longing for home and family while absent from them”. There is a couple of modern sayings about home. One is “home is where your heart is” and the other is “home is where your stuff is”. The second one is a try at humor, and although it might make us feel better that we can make anywhere we are, home, based on the fact that is where we live, and it’s where our “stuff” is, it doesn’t completely help when our heart is left elsewhere, or with someone else.

Homesickness may come in many different forms. It might be a longing for people that you left behind, such as family or friends. It could be missing something you used to have or enjoy, when you had to purge, or maybe a tradition or activity, or an actual thing that you can’t buy where you have moved. It could also be a certain food that you no longer can get, or it might be a culture, a familiar way of doing things, that now is so different in your new environment.

As missionaries or ministers in a church, you may feel homesick often. It may not be due to leaving and going to a foreign country, although that is a major cause for homesickness. But it could also be strictly ministry. Christianity is about relationship. So, in order to be successful in ministry it is important to develop relationships. Not only are relationships a very important aspect of bringing others to Christ, but we were made to be in relationship with others. So, when a minister or missionary is serving Christ in a particular area, one of the main goals is to make relationships with the people there. You will naturally grow very close to many people, and they will feel like family, which is what the Bible teaches, that our church is family! But, when it is time to leave that ministry and serve God somewhere else, then you can really miss the people that you used to commune with. It can be a difficult transition, one where you feel you have to start all over developing friendships, but also having to let go, in part, of the relationships that you had elsewhere. It’s a time of needing the energy to start again, but also being guarded in starting these relationships because of the pain and hurt you are feeling when you are not with those you love and have left. During these transitions you may have to learn a whole new culture and way of doing things. Some ministers may experience what is called “culture shock”- “the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes”. This can occur from city to town, from one city to another, state to state, or going abroad. On top of trying to mourn the loss of relationships, developing new friendships, adjusting to a new culture and way of life, you are also doing ministry, and don’t want that to suffer. This can be a lot to take on at once, and be the source of homesickness.

The Apostle Paul was also a missionary. There are several places in scripture where he talks about missing people close to him. Philippians 1:8, and 4:1 says “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!” Also, II Timothy 1:4 “Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.”And, Romans 1:11-14: “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.”

 Paul knew what it was like to be close to people but then have to leave them. He knew the heartbreak of being away from his loved ones, and that being in ministry meant that he couldn’t be in two places at once.

Sometimes a person can get so caught up living in the past or trying to maintain former friendships and family relationships that it prevents them from doing ministry and making new relationships. If you are in ministry, are a minister, or head over missions at your church. Here are some things to consider:

1.) It’s okay to be homesick. It means that you made close relationships with others, which is what you were called to do.

2.) Grieve your loss. It’s okay to take the time to recognize what you are missing out on, who and what you miss, even if it’s something that seems small and trivial.

3.) Continue those relationships from afar. We now have technology that allows us to video, or instantly message those that live far away, even in a foreign country. But, we also have the good old pen, paper and mail carrier to send letters and pictures.

4.) Make new friends and new memories. Even while you are still in touch with those that you left behind, and are grieving their loss, take time making new memories, with new friends.

5.) Join a support group. Many ministries and missions groups offer support groups for people who are transitioning from one place to the next. Take advantage of this opportunity, or start your own group, if necessary.

6.) Try to separate work from life. Even though your life calling is ministry, try to take time with friends where you don’t talk “shop” but instead make it about having fun, or talking about other subjects rather than just ministry.

7.) Support those that are in ministry whether in the states or abroad. Send them letters, call them, or send them messages via e-mail or social media letting them know you are thinking about them, praying for them and that they are still a part of your life, even though they are far.

 

Another reminder, is thinking about Jesus and how he felt while on earth. We know that through is life and ministry, Jesus had very close friends. Not only was he close to his 12 disciples but he was also close to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. In fact when Lazarus died, Jesus was not there, and Scripture reports that Jesus wept. We also see how he spent most of his time with Peter, James and John. And, at the last supper he was reclining at the table with his 12 disciples, which paints a picture of how close he was to them. Jesus left his home and Father in heaven, to come to this earth for a short period of time. He knows what it’s like to leave someone behind, and he knows what it’s like to be in ministry developing close relationships and having to leave them as well. He went from place to place here on earth, but he was also only here for a little while.

Many people in ministry find comfort in knowing that they are in the will of God. They know that they have a purpose and meaning to why they are in ministry. Continue to seek after God, continue to make lasting relationships, continue to take care of yourself, and consider these wise words from Winnie the Pooh:

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”

 

The Importance of Sacred Rhythms- Part 2

Rob and Shini Abraham lead Soul-Care retreats internationally with Sonscape Retreats. They have lived and served with YWAM on 3 different continents  and have over 26 years of international experience as missionaries. While including American missionaries serving abroad, Rob and Shini focus much of their efforts on the several often forgotten missionaries that God is raising from Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. Many of these “forgotten missionaries” have little if any support systems, resources, and soul-care training opportunities in their nations. Rob and Shini are based in Colorado where they enjoy the outdoors, hanging out with friends and experiencing as many cultures as possible.     y360.org/abrahamssonscape.org

 

As missionaries, we multiply what we stand for in the fields we serve in. What are we multiplying? Are we multiplying exhaustion, workaholic patterns, driven behavior, maybe even death? Or are we multiplying life, the way our Creator meant for us to live?
We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We are His beloved. Learning to make rest and renewal a part of our everyday lives is acknowledgement that we are His sons and daughters. Not slaves or servants that are driven by a difficult task-master. God’s heart for us is to be whole and to serve out of wholeness, not to burn out.
May we truly learn to set healthy rhythms for ongoing rest and renewal in the midst of the busy currents of life! And to sit guilt-free sit at the table God sets before us, as His rightful sons and daughters as we understand His heart for us.
Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Practical Steps to Take:
Ask, “What is rest for me?” Most of us struggle to answer this question but knowing what our specific needs will help us determine how to get the rest we need.
Learn to read your body, to recognize when you are operating in exhaustion and when you’re operating at “optimum mode” (ie. you’re well rested, are thinking clearly, are functioning in healthy ways). And learn to stop when you’re exhausted and to take the time you need to for rest and renewal.
Schedule in times for rest and renewal during the day and week. Protect these times and do not let anything take them away from you. Do not think of these times as “free time.” They are not!
Think of these scheduled times as essential “margins,” in your life.
Establish rhythms for rest and renewal. Go to bed on time and get the sleep you need. Make sure you eat on time. Take time on a regular basis for exercise, outdoor activities, etc. Make time for silence and solitude.
Set aside time for a weekly Sabbath. Not in any legalistic way, but in away that honors God’s intent for the Sabbath.
Talk to your sending agency, church or donor base about rest and renewal being a part of your life and calling. Cast a vision for member-care and help the church to grow in understanding this area that is often ignored or overlooked.