Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lord, I will follow Thee; but ...

 I've struggled quite a bit this last week.  Someone I respect questioned our call to missions.  When drilled on why he questioned he shared he saw the call on our lives and he saw the evidence of God working in our lives, but since our house hadn't sold in 8 months could that be God telling us we were not supposed to go.  I've cried many tears this week - all out of anger.  If you have been reading this blog very long you know that the house has been the place I have struggled with faith all along.  I've finally let go and am just thanking God that He will allow it to sell in his time frame at the exact moment He needs it to sell for us to move on to the next phase of this journey, then someone comes along and uses it to question our call to missions.

You know what - our call doesn't make sense in manly terms.  We are trying to sell our house in an economic time that screams "don't sell if you don't have to."  We have a teenager who will hopefully move to Spain with only a year of high school left.  But we truly believe in all our heart it is what God has asked and we are ready to "bank our faith in the character of God."

And God is faithful to encourage us along the way.  Below is today's reading from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  He says "We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.."  What about you?

"YES - BUT . . . !"
    Lord, I will follow Thee; but ...      Luke 9:61

Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to
your common sense, what are you going to do? Hang back? If you get into the habit of doing a thing in the physical domain, you will do it every time until you break the habit determinedly; and the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will get up to what Jesus Christ wants, and every time you will turn back when it comes to the point, until you abandon resolutely. "Yes, but - supposing I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?" "Yes, I will obey God if He will let me use my common sense, but don't ask me to take a step in
the dark." Jesus Christ demands of the man who trusts Him the same reckless sporting spirit that the natural man exhibits. If a man is going to do anything worth while, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense. At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ's statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Church Visit

This past Sunday Hannah and I were blessed to visit with the missions team at Center Grove Baptist Church.  It is their team that supports the church staff in reaching the world, both nearby and far away, with the good news of Jesus Christ.

What fun we had!  We were motivated and inspired by the team and had a great time just sharing.  We are so excited about what God has in store for us that we love every opportunity we have to talk about.  Spain is lost and most people do not realize how great the need. 

More than that, we were moved by the prayers of the team.  I believe you could have almost physically touched the Holy Spirit in the room as the team prayed for us.  Their hearts were truly broken for the number of people in this world who do not know Jesus.  It was a privilege to be prayed for by this team.receiving financial support (which we still need) I will be honored to be supported with their prayers.  I truly believe that if this church commits to praying for us, we will be covered in prayer.  And not just prayers that are mentioned in a busy life, but ones with a true desire to see God answer their prayers.

Thank you Center Grove for the time you gave us on Sunday and for your desire to reach the world for Christ.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It Happened Again

We have a guest from Ukraine visiting us and have a wonderful time, however, she did not know about our journey to Spain.  She had been a translator for me so she knows of our love for missions.  She wasn't surprised that we had surrendered to missions, she was surprised we were going to Spain.  In a very friendly way, she asked Why Spain?  Much more comfortable of a place to go than Ukraine?  You won't have to give up so much there?

We have actually gotten similar responses since we first publicly announced our surrender to missions in Spain?  We even got from one friend "well, if I was going to surrender to missions I'd pick some place easy to move to like Spain too."  Other responses have included "you picked a beautiful spot to "suffer for God," (with a little tone of sarcasm) and "'what a "hard' place to have to go." (again with a little sarcasm).

We are definitely blessed and grateful that God has called us to a place where the running water and electricity are almost always available.  I am so glad that they have indoor bathrooms and they flush and have seats (I've been to third world countries - seats and flushing are a blessing).  We are being sent to country where the language is a little easier to learn than other Asian languages.   Thank goodness as I struggle to speak any language other than southern English.  We will have school options that are great.  We are giving up very few modern conveniences.  Yes, we are blessed in the location.

But before you (or we) get too comfortable in where God has called us listen to what a missionary from a 2nd - 3rd world country said to me a few weeks ago:

"I serve in a South American country where electricity is questionable and bathrooms outside of our home are usually a temporary structure where the latest hole was dug.  Water cannot be drunk directly from its source.  Many of the areas we reach are only accessible by dirt roads and some of the roads are questionable as to whether they are a trail or a road.  Our living conditions are what you think of as a stereotypical lifestyle.  Our material sacrifices are difficult, but we serve in a country where people desire to learn of God; where we are welcome because they see that we have the key to a hope that they do not have.  We see visible fruit from the seeds that we are planting.  Our friends and family are excited about ministry because we can tell them regularly of people that have come to know Christ and of baptisms that are occurring and churches that are being started.  However, where you are going will be much more difficult than any material sacrifice we have been asked to give up for you will probably not be able to share of great numbers coming to know the Lord right away.  You are moving to a country where they see no need for God and no need to make relationships with people who know God.  You will have almost every modern convenience you have here in the states which is going to make your task harder, for people in Spain do not believe they need what you have to offer and people in America think you have moved to an easy place to life and wonder where the results are going to be from the financial support they have given you."

I do not write this so that you feel sorry for me.  I cannot wait to be in Spain and I cannot wait to meet people that I have already developed a love for without ever seeing.  I am so excited that God has called us to Spain and that He has a plan for us.  I am also very excited that I'll have electricity and indoor bathrooms.  But be cautious how you think of missionaries in European countries with all the modern conveniences of America.  It just might not be the "cushy" assignment that comes into your mind.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The far reaching influence of Spain

A few weeks ago I had invited a missionary to Uruguay to speak to the children at Cornerstone.  We had never met before so I knew little about him and he knew nothing about me.  More specifically he did not know that we had been appointed to be missionaries to Spain.

Before the children arrived he was telling me about his 20+ years of service in Uruguay.  He talked about how slow the response to Christianity had been in the beginning and how he was now seeing an increase in the spread.  Then he began to talk about those who were leaving Uruguay for Spain in hopes of finding a job.

Now my ears really perked up.   What did Spain have to do with Uruguay?  He then shared one story after another of a Uruguayan moving to Spain, hearing the good news of Jesus Christ, and then calling home and sharing with his family. 

Yesterday I shared how slow the evangelism of Spaniards is, but there is a movement among the immigrants.  And the immigrants are not keeping Jesus to themselves.  They are telling their families in other countries.

Do you get it?   A missionary in Spain is reaching more than just Spaniards.  Hondurans are fleeing to Spain in hopes of a job.  Uruguayans are going.  Many other Latin American citizens see Spain as a source for employment. 

Our prayer is that our presence in Spain will not only influence the Spaniard, but countries all over the world. 

The missionary told stories of the Uruguayans not keeping Jesus to themselves.  Made me wonder.... am I keeping Jesus to myself?   How about you?  Is Jesus in a neat little box tucked away in your heart for those moments you really need him or are you sharing the good news with every breath of your life? 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For the average cost of dinner out....

There is an urgency to reach Spain now.  We know God has called us to Spain as missionaries and the more we learn the more we feel a need to be there.  We do not have all the answers and we know God can reach Spain without the use of anyone, but we are blessed to be included in his plan. 

Consider these statistics:
  • Islam is the 2nd largest religion in Spain, 2nd only to cultural Catholicism.
  • Approximately 6% of those who consider themselves Catholic actually participate in the Catholic church more than twice a year.  The rest of them consider themselves Catholic because it has always been the religion of the country or because their ancestors were Catholic.
  • There are nearly as many Mormons as evangelical Christians in Spain.
  • There are nearly as many Jehovah Witnesses as there are evangelicals.
  • 48% of the population of Spain believe there is a "supreme being," but not sure who it is
  • 41% of the population of Spain claim to be agnostic
  • 58% of the population of Spain says they "hardly ever go to church."
  • Islam is the fastest growing religion in the country of Spain
What are we waiting for?  There is a battle to be fought in the country of Spain and we are preparing our armor for it, but we need a strong force behind us.  That force is our prayer and financial partners.  That force grew really fast right after we shared our calling, but for the last month it has grown very slowly.  It is time for it to grow.

Will you consider giving up dinner out one time a month and use those funds to reach the people of Spain?  Everyone eats out at different places - but lets consider a family of four eating at Applebees.  By the time each family member orders an entree and a drink and you tip the waitress you are at nearly $50.  The average partnership is $50.  At that rate we need 180 more partners.

I encourage you to ask yourself what eternal impact is that dinner out leaving.  Is it making a difference?  Is your heart broken over the number of Spaniards who will die today without ever hearing who Jesus is?

This post is way out of my normal comfort zone - but guess what - so is laying it all down at the feet of Jesus and saying "yes, I'll go to Spain."  Did you read those statistics carefully?  There are more Muslims than evangelicals in Spain.  There are nearly as many Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as evangelicals.  You wanna know why?  They are sending missionaries to Spain on a regular basis.  What about Christians? 

Do you want to know how to become a financial partner?  Send me an email at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hannah, Rain, and THE Test

According to NC driver's license laws for 16 year olds to obtain their driver's license they must have their permit for 365 days.  To get your permit you must complete both an in class and on the road driver's education course.  The schools are backed up so you rarely complete this by your 15th birthday.  Hannah was blessed, they were only about 3 weeks off - so her 365 days was up on Saturday.  We have now anxiously awaited this morning (which I have been reminded is actually 367 days) for the driver's license office to open.  She has an appointment at 9:00 and the rain has been coming down since last night.  The roads are puddled and wet and the clouds are dark and more rain is falling - but off we go anyhow.  So pray for her and for the examiner.  Pray for me as I anxiously await on them to return with my car (and my daughter).  Life is about to get fun again!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ready to Scream

I am still telling God thank you every day that he is going to answer our prayer for the house to sell - but I am about ready to scream at the process.  Four showings in a week - two had a whole list of things they didn't like from the windows being open, to the cat on the front porch, to it needing paint, ... one was positive but decided the open floor plan wasn't for them and the fourth showing hasn't sent any feedback.  Isn't there anyone out there who just wants to buy our house?  It's ten years old and is in good condition for a ten year old house.  It's priced right and is in a great neighborhood with the best schools in the district.

Please continue to pray for the house to sell and for us as we walk through this process.  We believe without a doubt that God is faithful and will answer, but in our humanness we want it to happen now.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jeremiah 29:11

I know all the blog rules about being a paragraph or less, but I tell you today's is gonna be long, so grab a cup of coffee or diet coke and join me as I share about my Monday that required me to declare that God is good!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

God is good was my status on facebook Monday evening.  Not that I didn't always believe it, but I saw the above verse come to life on Monday and it just needed proclaiming from the mountain tops and the closest mountain top was facebook.  Let me tell you a little about my day.

Monday Morning - I serve on an associational leadership team and our monthly meeting was Monday morning.  I wasn't really looking forward to going.  I enjoy most of the work and am learning a lot, but we had discussed a sensitive issue last month and tabled it for more discussion this month. I had a very uncomfortable feel for the decision we were being asked to make and as much as I hate confrontation I also knew I couldn't vote for the proposal as it was.  The problem was, that at the last meeting when the discussion was brought up, I felt like I was the only one with concerns so I dreaded walking into the discussion having to say what I felt I had to say.  I prayed and prayed and God left the unsettled feeling.  When we reached this item on the agenda and discussion was opened the room fell silent.  I finally spoke up and then I quickly learned I wasn't the only one struggling.  The discussion got intense but good.  God answered my prayers and the prayers of the team.  I saw Christian brothers and sisters disagree and work through an issue until a decision was reached that glorified God.  My favorite line in a favorite movie is that there is a fine line between faith and wisdom.  I think the team found that line.  But more importantly, we allowed God to direct and we saw Him move.  God is Good!

Monday Afternoon  - About two or three weeks ago my prayer for the house changed.  I quit asking God to sell it like I had for day after day after month after month.  I finally decided I ought to be taking him at his word.  He called us to missions and therefore all that is required to get us there is part of His will.  The bible says anything we ask according to His will we will receive.  So I quit asking and just started thanking God for the fact that He would sell our house.  Sounds easy and maybe a little silly to some, but it isn't easy.  There have been mornings when I didn't necessarily feel thankful, but I meant it and said it anyhow.  I know God is going to sell it (just don't know when) and I am going to praise and thank him for it until it happens and then after it happens.  So after the house sitting for a month with no activity and a showing on Saturday that was not met with love by the lookers we get a call on Monday asking for an appointment for a showing on Tuesday.  God is Good!  (it got even better on Tuesday afternoon as we got a request for another showing on Tuesday evening - two showings in one day after a month of nothing - God is good!)

Monday Evening - As part of raising our financial support we mailed out more than 20 packets to churches in the area.  (if your church didn't get one and you'd like to help us, let me know).  One of the packets was to Center Grove Baptist Church, the church where I spent my teenage years and where I was married, the church where I learned the love of serving God.  I received a very nice letter back from them saying thank you for the information but unfortunately there was no money in the budget.  Last Friday I called and left a message for the author of the letter just thanking him for taking time to write a letter (most churches just toss the packets and you don't hear anything back) and shared that we love to share our journey with them and become a missionary they pray for.  Well, on Monday afternoon he called me back and we talked for half an hour.  He promised to pass our name on to the missions team and have them call us.  He kept his promise because Monday evening the team chair called and we talked for nearly an hour.  He joined the church after I left, but we talked about all kinds of people that we both knew and talked about the positives of being a missionary that has to raise their own support (that is a whole different post) and by the end of the conversation he was working to set up a time for us to come share with the congregation our journey, had committed to praying for us specifically, and to throw our name on the table when the discussions began for the 2011 budget.  God is good!

But why did I entitled this post Jeremiah 29:11?  The entire time I was talking to the team leader Monday night God kept reminding me that back in 1978 when my family moved from Tampa to Lewisville (I called it podunkville back then) and transferred our membership from a huge church to a church with 9 pews God knew the plans He had for me.  God knew that in 2010 I would be working to raise my support so that I could tell the people of Spain about him.  God knew from 1978 - 1987 when I was learning about serving Him and the joy that comes from it that I would need those lessons in 2010.  God knew that economic times in 2010 would be difficult and the relationships that he allowed me to have over the years would be a part of Spaniards hearing of the love of Christ.  God knew and knows the plans He has for me, plans that don't always make sense or seem only for the moment.  God is definitely Very Good!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

After a month of waiting....

... our house is finally being shown tomorrow.  Please pray for wisdom on our part and that the lookers might walk through the front door and know that they are home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do you have the government you prayed for?

That was the question asked yesterday at our National Day of Prayer gathering.  Most of you who follow this blog are believers so you are thinking to yourself "no way, I didn't pray for this."  But you know what, I got what I asked for.  Or better yet, I got because I didn't bother to really, truly, ask for something different.

I have to confess that I didn't spend time on my knees pouring out a true request to give me a government that was blessed and led by God.  I half heartily said a prayer when reminded to in church.  I will offer a prayer when I hear of something I disagree with.  But have I really asked God to anoint the government of the United States?  Have I asked from the bottom of my heart that God return this country to its christian roots?  Have I believed He was capable of answering the prayers that I half heartily threw his way?

James 5:16b says "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."  Do I believe that?  Do I think that God can get a hold of America or have I just thrown my hands up and said whatever happens will happen? 

So, I ask you to seriously ponder that question yourself... "do you have the government that you prayed for?"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Creative Partnership Development

Once again I am amazed at the creativity and encouragement and love shared by friends and family as we learn to depend on God for our financial partners.  About a week ago one of the beautiful girls (she is a senior in high school) in this photo asked me if it would be OK if she sponsored another Parents Day off to help our mission fund.  Now realize, my paid job includes leading short term mission trips and I am helping the team raise their costs, so I just assumed she meant to help with that mission fund.  This morning as I was going through status updates on facebook I found the announcement below.  God is good!  Not only does he desire we have an intimate relationship with Him, he places people in our lives to have close relationships with too. 

Meghan - you are a special girl and mean the world to us.  Thank you for support not only in words, but in actions.

Local parents - feel free to contact her and sign up for the day.

"Its time for another Parents day off. This is a time for parents to leave their children ages baby up to 5th grade, with the youth for a while. All we are asking is instead of paying us, please give a donation. This time all the money that is donated will be given to the Hunter family for their mission fund.Every child will be given lunch, unless told otherwise. Fliers will be at the welcome center. Hope to see ya there! if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message! (

Parent Day Off

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 10:00am"

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Do you remember those days in college when every decision before you carried the weight of your future? 

Zach needs to make a decision before the end of the day tomorrow.  He has an internship offer that is incredible, but it got sent to his junk email folder so he just found it last night.  The deadline to accept is tomorrow. 

It would change his summer plans for sure - as the internship is June through December.  But it might also change his college plans.

Will you pray for him today and tomorrow as he seeks God's will for his life both today and the long term future.