When I look at the stars…

Well, here we are, a missionary family in the Dominican Republic with Project Mañana, passing up just recently being here for 9 months! It’s hard to believe. What a time of refinement on my end from the Lord, in these uncertain times happening all over the world. Tomorrow would have ended our mandated quarantine but it has just been announced that the government will add another 12 days more with curfews staying in place. 15 days ago they approved for only 15 more and that the country could essentially start their re-opening phase as follows:

Of course these are all subject to change. Please continue to pray with us.

So the light at the end of the tunnel was starting to appear. Or was it? Personally, I’ve felt within the last few days of quarantine, that things had never been so unclear. I know that God is in control with everything, He reminded me to stay in His word to not worry about tomorrow and I needed to continue to rest in Him daily. However, in my flesh, sometimes that’s very hard to do. I know God understands that. Even as Jesus was in the garden before His death, sweat of blood fell upon the ground.

“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”-Jesus

Matthew 26:41

In such a time as this and especially in our ministry here in the DR, through the quarantine two things were happening to me and one of them I couldn’t even see. It’s as if I was blinded to it at first and in reality, I was starting to honestly believe in the lies that were beginning to take root as it was being fed carefully and quietly.

The scenario…as a Christian, we know that we live in a spiritual battle. Our souls, created by God, long to follow after Christ. We want our desires to become His desires. That’s our character. Sadly our setting is in a world that belongs to the prince of the air, the father of lies. You know all this right? There’s heaven and there’s hell. God is in His kingdom and will one day rule over all and Satan was kicked out down to earth, the location where for now, our stories take place.

As each day progressed with limited abilities to be with the people whom God called us to walk along, my heart was feeling a little restless. My position within our ministry was starting to build up over His position. My insecurities were once again (and I believe this to be a ongoing battle) rising to the surface. But as the song says, “Oh, how He loves us so.”

Our work with Project Mañana is a beautiful effort in “working together today for an eternal tomorrow”. Helping to restore families, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through various projects. In this pandemic, the projects have been somewhat delayed by our limitations brought on by government orders. Yet in each position, we know where we stand and still serve to follow those guidelines with the upmost respect and obedience. So we stayed and we continued to press forward. We provided people with food and essentials, we developed connection efforts in education and discipleship through messaging groups, and our prisons gave way for open communication and provisions. What a joy it is to see the smiles behind the masks and thankfully, tomorrow, we will finally reopen our nutrition center. We Praise God!

But then there’s me. 1 person. Why can’t I be satisfied with the humble position that He would allow our family to partake in such wonderful work for Him? Remember the setting in which we live? The ruler of this world wants to bombard us with daily noisy nuances and tear apart the truths that are in place from the one that created us. As a missionary family, I know some might get the idea that we are now a family free from troubles or strife. To the naked eye, if we are people that choose this work given by God, then we should have it all together.

And again, for myself, here are some of the lies that begin to come in-

  • “You don’t know the Spanish language yet. You can’t go and share anything worthwhile until you fully understand it yourself.”
  • “You can’t leave your home and be with someone at the hospital during a pandemic. What about your work? What about your family? What about your own life?”
  • “Just because God brought you here doesn’t mean that you can help with anything significant.”
  • “Your supporters? They give so much for you, yet what do you offer them? You don’t share enough for them, care enough about them and you certainly don’t communicate well.”

Thankfully our God, with His love and truth overcomes any darkness…

  • Before any of our flaws, He chooses us. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
  • I only want to give, if I can give giving up something of myself. “…I will not…sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” 1 Chronicles 21:24
  • The God of all the universe sees me. “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
  • And our supporters, the church…THANK YOU to everyone that continues to give sacrificially, lovingly and faithfully! THANK YOU for your encouragement and engagement! You reflect the love of Christ for us, for them. Everyday, without needing recognition. Our humble heros.

And even in the midst of so much discourse, confusion and unknown in the world today, I’m reminded in the stars He places in the skies and pray that you will see your place in Him..

…with the humility of Christ, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

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