Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The #1 deterrent to new missionaries

"How do your mom and dad feel about your going overseas?"
"That must be hard on your parents."

I hear that kind of thing often, especially in church. I find it a little difficult to answer, since yes, I know it's hard on them to think of their daughter across the world. I'm pretty sure it's easier on them when I tell them I'm going to Zambia (probably the world's most peaceful country) than, say, Nigeria, or when I talk about possibilities in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan. Wherever I go, they track my flights so they know in real time what longitude I'm at. But it's not as if I'm at odds with them about it. They're proud of my career choice. They wanted to be missionaries themselves when they were young--I got my heart for God's renown from them!

Last night I realized why I hear those questions about my parents' response so much. At Perspectives, it was reported that for young-adult Christians, the number one deterrent from the mission field is Christian parents.
That's sobering to me to realize just what state Christianity is in. Yes, we want to go to heaven, we'll go to church and listen to Air1 and share the "biblical values" memes on Facebook. Just don't ask us to sacrifice.

It's so sad to me that these Christian parents don't know God's heart at all, don't see that when God invites us to pray that He be gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us, it is SO THAT we may be a blessing, making Him known among the earth, His salvation among all nations. As Bryan Padgett said last night, being a disciple who loves Jesus means being willing to lay down life and limb, and yes, even family, at the opportunity to make His Name glorious among the nations.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Turtle-herding mad scientist not selling anything

     Now that I'm full-time, what's my job like these days? Well, sometimes I feel like a salesman. I'm visiting lots of churches asking if they'll consider helping acquire and set up laptops. Even though I'm not selling anything or even asking for money – I just want a way to bless churches as they bless Africa – it does have the challenges of "cold calling." But when I get to meet with people who have a heart for the Lord and His kingdom, it's such a delight. I've raised about 15 laptops so far; please pray for many more. Also, please help by making this need known. I have brochures I can send you to share at your church or workplace. You can also help by sharing our Facebook link.
     Sometimes my job feels like herding turtles. That's when I'm running slow processes on several computers at once. While waiting on one, I go to another, and then turn back to the first one, exclaiming, "Wait a second—what are you doing!?"
     Lately I feel like a mad scientist. A mad scientist in the discipline of geekiness attempting to restructure the anatomy of a hard drive, accidentally killing it, and now trying to resurrect it.
     The programming course we've been working on continues to make progress, albeit with difficulties. We're mainly struggling through the technical side now, so please pray that for that as well as the discipleship within the course.
     And what is all this accomplishing? Christie got to share Mothers & Media with 700 pastors' wives recently. She has many requests to teach it to church congregations as well. Parents are starting to sense that technology is taking their children's minds and hearts from them and from the Lord, and are pleading for help to fight back. Please pray for helpers for her to spread this ministry all over Nigeria. She also told us a few weeks ago that she's had five more CTO students give their lives to Christ.
     I am so thankful for all of you who keep praying for me. In the war for the hearts and minds of the millenial generation, there's obviously a call for my work (silly analogies and all), but the vital need is for prayer warriors.