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June 7th, 2019
But [the time is coming when] the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14

I remember the day when I was 18 years old (10 years ago) and was invited to go on my first missions’ trip. My mom had asked me if I wanted to go to Guyana. At that time, my vanity was still intact, and my first thoughts was yes of course I will go on this missions’ trip to South America because that is where they have all the pretty gold jewelry. I was not thinking of the people, or their suffering or what God wanted to use me to do. 

I always admire the way in which my mom addresses my issues, especially the critical ones. She told me to go and pray about it and that it may be best for me to not come if I was going to remain with that mindset. I did pray about it and I did end up going. As the plane descended, my spirit descended right along with it. I thought to myself, “what on earth have you gotten yourself into Leah!” I recall my eyes frantically searching for concrete buildings, the marks of a developed country. But I could not spot any, just wooden houses, lots of grass, sand and donkeys. To be frank, I spent the first few hours after we landed trying to talk myself out of panic and begging the Lord to give me the strength to survive this shock. The Lord did sustain and strengthen me for that journey and he gave me a boldness that I never knew that I had. I recall witnessing in a “dangerous area” at night. We were advised not to go but I felt compelled to go even though I should have been afraid. I cannot tell you what I said but I do remember that I was filled with conviction and power.

I have often heard new believers say that they feel that they can accomplish anything, and they seem to be void of certain doubts, fears and concerns that seasoned believers may have. They possess a carefree childlike faith. They don’t waste time considering the many obstacles and oppositions but instead rush out to conquer the world. As I look back on that first trip and the others that followed before setting foot on Africa, I marvel at that childlike faith that I once possessed. I ask myself now, how could I have ever been so reckless, so fearless, so untarnished by the cares of this world. My faith always overcame my fears, doubts and insufficiencies.

May the Lord take us back to those days when we first fell in-love with Him. When we believed every single word that came out of His mouth and never doubted for one second that His promises were true and that He is who He says He is- the I AM. Let us not become like the seed that was planted on rocky soil or amongst the thorns and became burdened and distracted by the cares of this world. What a sad say for many of us who have started well but are unable to finish well because we have allowed people, circumstances, situations, obstacles, fears, personal limitations and world events to blind us from looking up at the cross and the resurrection faith that God has given to us. We must fight back, we must press on towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He is our eternal reward. We must keep our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Walking a few kilometers in the sand.
Flat tire, one of many
Heading from one country to the next

 My musings on Paul
 

On my trip to Guyana, we got on a canoe boat and headed down the Demerara River, into the Amerindian villages. This again was my first time going into a village, with no electricity, running water or market. It was there in the midst of nothing that I experienced a freeness of spirit. The irony of it all is that I had no idea at that time that God would call me into full time missions and that I would be taking boats to go places many years down the road. This last PGA (People Group Assessment) trip, we made 22 stops between 2 countries, which included 9 boat rides, several motor cycle rides and lots of walking. Can you imagine waking up at 6 in the morning and walking 2.6 km out into the sea to catch the early morning boat? I had lots of time as we sailed to contemplate the life of Paul the missionary. He talked about sailing to Cyprus and then heading to Damascus… I am pretty sure his boat was not as small as the ones we were in but what were his thoughts? He was even shipwrecked once. On one of our boat rides we ran out of gas but thankfully we were not far from our destination and  was able to row our way to the shore. On a few occasions we saw others stuck at sea amidst the waves trying to break free. I cannot say that I know what is was like for Paul since I have not travelled to any particular location by boat with little possessions and remained there for as long as 2 years to preach the Gospel, nor have I been shipwrecked, imprisoned or beaten to death. But I have been contemplating what such a life would be like and what level of faith and commitment is required to do so. I have been reading some books on missions and one of them really stirred my heart. There were some Chinese believers speaking to a visiting missionary and they informed the missionary that they were unsure about their new pastor since he had not been imprisoned as yet. For them hardships and persecution are a normal part of the Christian life and imprisonment is a normal expectation. One’s faith is only accepted as tried and true when a believer endures such temptation without giving in. When I hear of such faith, it often leads me to question a lot of things in my life. Why is it that they can abandon themselves recklessly to God while I doubt God sometimes for little things? Having someone steal from me is not worthy to be compared with being imprisoned for my faith. One book stated that the persecution amongst Christians right now in the 21st century surpasses that of all the others combined. But amidst this persecution God’s church is growing and expanding in the South and East. They are called the Majority World church. Another author says that by 2025 most of the Christian denominations will be amongst the Majority World church( believers outside the Western world). Can you imagine that? The Gospel is going around the world and we get to be a part of what God is doing. If we ever did need reckless faith, the time would be now.

 Books
Western Christians in Global Missions: What's the Role of the North American Church?- Paul Borthwick
Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence- David A. Livermore

 

Prayer Requests

Please pray for my physical health. I have been having aches and pains for about two weeks and now I have the flu. It also has been very hot and the rainy season is also approaching and sometimes it takes a while for my body to adjust to the atmospheric change. I don't know if there is a problem, if I am just fighting off an infection or if it is just exhaustion. 
Please pray for the months of June, July and August. In my following Newsletter I will be informing you of some important upcoming changes. 



Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! 
Yours in Christ,
Leah.
Copyright © 2019 Leah Joslyn, All rights reserved.


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