It is no wonder that Jesus told us to go in order to fulfill the Great Commission. I have sent out hundreds of e-mails to local businesses regarding the Millennial Summit. Only a handful have responded, but the places where we have actually gone to in person have given us great feedback and support. The next few days will be busy with putting the final touches on everything, lining up the last of the donations of gifts, and prepping all our helpers. Please pray that God will use the summit to reach many of these young people with the Gospel.
I would like to share my heart about what it means to missionaries to be suddenly uprooted from the field by something out of their control and forced to return to the States for an unknown period of time. I was in Puerto Rico teaching when covid hit. This year, I had been given opportunity to lead some of my students to Christ. In all of my journeys to PR, I have led about 12 students to Christ. When I found out that the country was remaining closed, and that school would not be in session for the rest of the year, I had to quickly make plans for coming back to the States. When I am in Puerto Rico, I am paid for teaching, and it is with that money that I pay for my expenses when I am not on the field. I am usually only home a few months, and then I head to a new place for several months to a year. Because my time in Puerto Rico was cut short, my at home funds were also cut short. When I am in the States, I try not to use missions support for expenses.
Since returning to the States, I have been caring for my mom who has had major health issues. Because of her health, my dad and I have not left her alone for any extended periods. My dad is the pastor of the church, so many times he needs to go to the church or to visit members... This leaves me at home to be with my mom. My mom's health, and the covid situation have kept me from getting a job. I have applied to many online jobs, but so far none have accepted my application. I have been paying for many health products for myself and my parents as well as my cell phone bill and a few other expenses. I try to help with groceries as well. While I do not want to use missions support when I am at home, I may soon be forced to do so.
I am involved in our church as much as my mom's health will let me be. From January to April, my mom was not able to be left alone at all due to blood clots on top of her other health issues. I stayed with her during that time so that my dad could pastor the church. Mom and I only went out for doctor's appointments. When mom was finally able to get out of the house, I was able to get back into my areas of service in the church. I teach the young ladies Sunday school class, play the piano, and fill many other needs that come up. At this time, the needs I am filling have to do with the Millennial Summit: PowerPoint creation, footwork to get the info out to the community, emails, packets for the attendees... even though I am home, my service has not ended, and nor have my needs.
I think sometimes churches assume that because someone has returned to the States for an unexpected furlough, they no longer need support. As you can see this is not the case. I think also, that sometimes churches think a missionary is only someone who goes to a foreign country, so if they are the in States they are not a missionary. A true missionary is a missionary wherever they are. The things I am doing at home for my family and our church are the same things I do when I am on the field. Just because a missionary is in the States does not mean they are no longer serving, and it doesn't mean they do not want to return to the field. Sometimes, God has other plans for the missionary, and that missionary who has been moved out of their zone many times needs more prayer and support than when they are on the field.
I have a goal of at least completing the promises I made to missionaries in England and Europe. Right now, those countries are still closed because of covid. when I finish those trips, I will see what the world situation is as far as traveling, safety... If I am not able to serve overseas, my plan will be to return to the States and serve pastor's wives in the same way I have served missionary wives.
Now is not the time for me and other missionaries who have been uprooted from their fields to quit, and it is also not the time for churches to stop praying and supporting missionaries who are home due to the political situations around the world. Yes, Paul was a tent maker, but he could not always make tents at every stop on his journeys or when he was back in Jerusalem. Many times he spoke of those who were meeting his needs by their giving and prayers.
I am working on creating a class to help other ministries teach English to the many foreigner we have in our state. We have two African refugee families in our church. A church north of us has many Russian refugees, and other churches have pocket peoples of other nations. Maine is becoming a melting pot. Then of course, we have the Millennials. The average age in Biddeford is between 25-35 years old. I have thought of several outreach ideas which will require money to implement. I am not sitting still and doing nothing while I am home. There is a world to reach right outside my door, and I truly believe Jesus is coming soon. Jesus said occupy till I come, and that is what I am doing whether overseas or on US soil.
I was thinking about history in regards to the Bible. The flood occurred about 2000 years after earth was created. Jesus came about 2000 years after the flood, and we are living about 2000 years after Jesus came. I truly believe Jesus will come in my lifetime.
My goal in what I said above is to help churches and pastors think before ending missionaries' support just because they cannot yet return to their field. Needs don't end because governments make bad decisions. If anything, needs for most missionaries have become greater whether on the field or in the States.
That airlines and countries will end all the covid restrictions
My mom's health
The Millennial Summit
The decisions being made in the Supreme Court in regards to abortion, voting laws, health, the Constitutional rights, and so much more.
Cuba- Now is a time when missionaries may be able to get in and give the Gospel to very receptive hearts.