Saturday, November 16, 2013

Please Pray For Me

Please pray for me.  I awoke today feeling the discouragement of spending 4 years in the mission field without the support of a local church back home.  I pray that as you read my thoughts this morning that you hear the pain in my heart and know that I really had to pray through sharing these feelings.  Please hear my heart as a father, husband, and brother in Christ to my Indonesian family as well as my American family.

Half way through our fourth year in the field, it has been abundantly clear that the Lord has used, is using, and intends to continue to use us to plant seeds for the harvest to come.  There have been many days when the Lord heard the rejoicing of angels around his throne because of the work that He is doing through us and the ministry he has planted at BAIS.  We are so certain of his calling in our lives and the fact that he is present daily in this ministry that we recently committed to extend our contract for two more years after this year.  We signed our intent the same day the official invite was offered because the Lord impressed on our hearts that he is not finished with us here.

However, looking ahead at the coming years of ministry to Indonesia, knowing that our relationships back home have fallen off because of the distance of time, miles, and daily demands, it is a very discouraging notion.  It requires complete faith and trust in our Father’s care and love for us to approach the future ministry with joy.

Specifically, as Paula and Tori get ready to head to Singapore tomorrow morning for Tori’s knee surgery, I am wondering what it must have been like for those who came before us.  Those courageous instruments of the King that gave up the lives of their children and spouses to the diseases and perils of the kingdom work to which they were called without the opportunity to feel the support of family and friends back home.  My heart breaks for their sacrifices.

When we came to the field in the summer of 2010, we did so knowing that our small church plant was facing a season of change and would not be there to support us.  We knew that our local body at the Christian school where we worked was limited in their support options because of denominational requirements.  However, we knew that God had opened the doors for us to make contacts with so many godly people over the preceding years, that prayer support would be certain and in abundance.  However, after these years apart, I am discouraged wondering who still remembers to pray for us?

Financially, the Lord has met our every need in getting us established here and in continuing to provide us with our daily bread.  Over the years we have received from various generous supporters an average of $150 a month.  This has been a blessings and has been used to bless others as we have sought to further the Kingdom work and the Gospel everyday in too many ways to list here.  However, we have seen the value in other organizations requiring their workers to raise an abundance of support before coming to the field.  Our salaries have met our daily needs but are inadequate for so many other reasons.

There are so many needs around us.  So many of our Indonesian brothers and sisters in Christ live off a monthly salary equivalent to what many American spend each month on fast food and Starbucks.  When they have medical needs, tuition needs and needs in general, we are unable to bless them through our supporters.  As Tori gets ready to have this much needed surgery, we are unable to go as a family to get her through the pain and week long stay in a hospital.  We are unable to afford the $100 a night room for Paula to stay with her in the hospital.  She will be alone each night, in a strange country and in pain, without her mother’s presence.  We have been unable to afford to come home for holidays, funerals, and summers because there is no extra support for travel.  These needs are great and do not even begin to address the needs of the unreached population around us living on less than $5 a day.  Oh what we could do with our Father’s cattle scattered through the hillside for his glory and the expansion of the Kingdom.

So you see, I need your prayers as I am greatly discouraged and Satan is intending to steal the joy and peace that my Lord imparts to me on a daily basis.  I would love to begin a dialogue with your pastors and churches if there is any chance of them adopting us into your family.  We need a church home to send letters of encouragement, birthday cards for the kids, to ask questions about how the kingdom is growing here, to pray for us without ceasing, and to financially partner with us in the ministry that we see becoming our life calling.  Please pray for me.

In the love of Christ,

Chaplain Steve