Monday, July 17, 2017

Sacred Space in a School Infirmary


We use milestones collected in our hearts and minds to construct altars of remembrance. Sometimes we find ourselves building them in a most unlikely place.

One morning while working at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, we were shocked to receive a phone call telling us our son, Chris, had a seizure in PE class at his boarding school. We quickly handed over duties, packed a bag, and started out on the long drive to be with Chris.

Upon arrival at the school infirmary, our hearts ached to see the many bumps and bruises and a cut from his fall against a wire fence and then down onto the ground. Chris was started on medication and needed to be monitored through the night. The nurse invited us to stay in the infirmary with him. After a late supper, we settled in for the night.

I was startled awake as my spirit cried vehemently within me, “I am so disappointed in you, God! I trusted you to protect my son. I am very disappointed!” God joined my heart-space conversation. “I can handle your disappointment, but I have a question for you. Do you trust Me?”

“I do trust You, but I am disappointed.”

“Do you trust Me?” I felt Him gently ask. 

“I think I trust You. Why do You ask? You know the answer better than I.”

“For what lies ahead for you and your family, for where I am leading you next, you MUST know if you trust Me. Do you trust Me?”

I invited God’s Spirit to reveal what was in my heart. I saw incomplete trust. “Oh, God, I do trust You. Increase my faith to trust You more. Holy Spirit, always remind me that I know I trust God. Whatever comes my way, I trust you, God.”

Suddenly, within that room, my heart space became sacred ground and a holy quiet filled my being. Using every bump on my son’s body as building stones, along with other mental stones from experiences past, I constructed an altar of remembrance in worship to God, whom I trust.

In the years since building that altar in the school infirmary, I have often gone to that sacred heart space to worship the God I trust. He was right. I needed to know that I know that I trust Him.

Pray
PRAY: What building stones can you gather from your memories and experiences to build an altar of remembrance to the Lord? Being intentional to remain aware of these moments will strengthen your faith, allowing you to take greater steps of trust in the Lord. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Two Altars

Nathan Metz, Missionary, Uganda

Nathan Metz and his two oldest children kneel on the altar he made out of an old church pew.“That one is for the men. This for the women. Those two smaller ones, the children.”

Dusk was just minutes away, and we had a muddy van ride ahead; it was time to get going, you might say. I didn’t take time to soak in the vision to my right. We moved along the path through the marsh, returning the same way we’d wandered in about an hour ago. 

I saw the tarps the first time when they were on my left, but I thought nothing of them. They appeared to be covering rocks—flat on the top with little jars and vessels tucked in around the base. As a new missionary, I knew very little about this place, just enough to feel fear. I trusted our pastors—a couple Kenyans and a few Ugandans—assuming they knew what they were doing since they were acting like guides. 

They picked up the pace, so I followed suit. One turned to me as we scrambled back to our van, “Those altars, they are for sacrifice,” she whispered from the corner of her mouth while she glanced quickly over my shoulder back in the direction from which we had come. She then gathered her dress and turned with a small wave of the hand to keep me close.

Several years earlier, I stumbled across an altar of a very different kind. This altar has a story that began with a wedding. Floyd was a young man who waited nervously at the front of a small chapel in central Indiana. His fiancĂ©, Alberta, stepped happily down the aisle in a beautiful white gown. 

Over 50 years later, a pew from that wedding chapel was strapped in the back of a red pickup while my father and I sketched out a plan to give the wood a second life. We kept the beautiful curves and notable features of the pew in plain view while thoughtfully piecing together something functional and strong. When finished, it looked like a kneeler...an altar. Its old pew shape still trimmed the sides and the top on the right and left. 

While we were building, we knelt together, holding the top before it was fastened while we marked and measured and tried to get the spacing and angle comfortably correct. We used strong door hinges underneath to keep it from buckling, and we supported the whole thing firmly against the floor with our attempt at hidden feet. It ended up at my house. I prayed there many times.

There is no mistaking the vast difference between these two altars—one meant for evil, another meant for good. However, with all their differences, I find the similarities quite fascinating. Both altars are cared for as designated, sacred places. Both are intended to connect humanity with the supernatural. In both cases, humans approach the altar with sincerity, most always confident and expectant. I suspect Elijah saw this, too, on Mount Carmel as he faced the prophets of Baal. Two altars—vast in difference, striking in similarity.

In my ministry, I desire to see the lost come to the altar and seek the Lord in prayer. Yet, there is a great work that must occur before any man or woman comes to the altar of God. Before we kneel at a new altar, we must leave the one we’ve been using. A battle over the soul begins every time a person kneels at the altar of God before they’ve left their other altars. In the marshes of Uganda, in the twilight of that memorable day, I realized that my work in missions was somewhere between two altars—the death and the second life.

PRAY: The chains that keep people from a life of freedom in Christ can be blatantly obvious or hidden and secret. Pray for Nathan and others involved in sharing this message of freedom, that the power of Jesus will reach past the barriers that keep people from Him. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Building My Altar

Kelly Hallahan, Missionary, Uganda

Building My Altar
It’s just two hours until my deadline. The girls are needy. The boys are playing video games. And this topic of building an altar in the midst of chaos is all too relevant. As a missionary, wife, and mom of four children, the demands on my time are many and urgent. I don’t know what you face today, but I am sure the needs around you are urgent as well. We all need to build altars and meet with God; but, it isn’t easy. I want to share three things I am learning about building an altar.

1. God knows my frame. He understands the demands on my time and how many times I have been up in the night with a needy baby. There are days when I don’t have 20 minutes to sit by myself and “do my devotions.” But on those days, He reminds me that just a glance from my eyes ravishes His heart (see Song of Songs 4:9). It’s the attitude of my heart that matters. My desire to be alone with Him is a pleasing offering even when actually being alone with Him cannot happen. This is the altar of desire.

2. God accepts my living sacrifice (see Romans 12:1). As I cook, clean, and care for my family and neighbors, I can worship God. Everything that is done in love can be turned into worship. My motives are not always pure, and sometimes I serve with a spirit of resentment. When the cry of my heart is “for You…for You…for You…,” this is the altar of diligence.

3. God delights in my neediness. I don’t like asking for help. My American independence is a hindrance to my spiritual growth. He loves to meet my needs. And whenever I call out to Him in poverty of spirit or body, He comes (see Matthew 5:3); He fills me. This is the altar of dependence—it’s one of His favorite places to meet me. My prayer today is that we will build an altar wherever we are in the world and meet with the living God. He created us to bear fruit for His kingdom, and, without Him, we can do nothing.

Act
ACT: Start small in building an “altar-making” space into your life. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than usual or stay up 10 minutes later, and find a quiet place to be with God. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Discover Your Calling

Jared Gleason, Director of Mobilization
The Call, April-June 2017













Are they waiting for you?

God is doing so much around the world, which you have learned as you have prayed through the many available ministry opportunities highlighted in this issue of The Call. So many exciting ministries are happening, and only God knows what He has in store for the future. 

As you prayed through these ministries and opportunities, asking God to send more workers, did you feel God calling you to be the one who goes? Perhaps that brings feelings of excitement and joy but also feelings of apprehension and fear. That is all right. If God is calling you, He will make a way; and our team is here to help you.
If you do feel God speaking into your heart, asking you to answer His call and serve on His mission field, here are two ways you can do that:

1. SHORT-TERM SERVICE

Maybe your availability is limited or you don’t feel God calling you to serve for a long period of time. There are many ministry opportunities that ask for short-term commitments—one month to a year. We can customize a shorter experience for you that will enable you to invest in a ministry, experience missions life firsthand, and serve in a vital way. WGM has great volunteer programs for individuals, couples, and families. Visitwww.wgm.org/serve for more information.

2. LONG-TERM SERVICE

Perhaps God is calling you to explore a career in missions. I encourage you to consider the Missionary Discipleship Program, which consists of two years of service. It is designed to equip you to serve in long-term, cross-cultural ministry, focusing on discipleship and training. You will have a team of people who will work together to prepare you for service as an individual, couple, or family. Learn more at www.wgm.org/md

GO: Are you ready to take that next step now? Want to talk to someone about your calling, or what you wonder may be your calling? Contact mobilization@wgm.org to get started. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Muslim Ministries

Muslim Ministries

Muslim Ministries
Father, Your heart breaks for our Muslim brothers and sisters who do not know the Truth. There are millions who don’t even know one follower of Jesus who can tell them about the Way. Whether a tradesman, businessman, or medical professional, may Your people eagerly accept the challenge to follow Jesus into the Muslim world. Amen.

A missionary serving in a sensitive area
SPECIFIC NEEDS
Volunteer
Missionary
Elementary Teachers
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Junior High Teachers
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
High School Teachers
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Guidance Counselor
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
School Administrators
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
English tutors
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Computer tutors
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Nurses
Volunteer needed? No
Missionary needed? Yes
Muslim Ministries USA
 
 
Children's/Youth Ministry Workers
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Community Transformation Coordinator
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
English as a Second Language Teacher
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes
Social Worker
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes

Auto Mechanic
Volunteer needed? Yes.
Missionary needed? Yes