|Roman ruins an hour from my house.|
My husband always says that the real reason God brought us to the Middle East was because He wanted to mold and shape us. We thought we were coming to share the message and encourage others in their faith. Perhaps God did bring us here for those reasons, but He obviously had so much more in mind because we’ve learned far more than we’ve taught. We’ve received more than we’ve imparted, and we always come back to the point of realizing that the task here goes beyond our own strength and capacity. Any small way in which God has used us is a miracle of his grace alone.
If you are serving overseas, do you ever feel like God has done a greater work IN you than He has THROUGH you and your ministry?
I suspect that bringing me here was just part of God’s plan to continue the good work He began in me. Through the daily dilemnas of overseas living and the spiritual challenges of seeking a harvest in a hard land, He is shaping and changing me.
Here are some of the things I think I may be learning:
- Flexibility. (The water, electricity, or telephone might go off. Guests might arrive one hour early)
- Spontaneity. (“Can we come over right now?”)
- Hope and joy, even in the face of discouraging circumstances.
- Faith to believe God for a great harvest I cannot yet see.
- To serve out of obedience and love for God, not for the personal satisfaction of seeing the results of my ministry.
- To rejoice and be thankful for small victories.
- To keep laughing.
- To go out on a limb for God.
- To trust Him for things that go totally beyond my abilities.
- To treasure family and friends.
- To be an abla (older sister), hopefully one that looks like Jesus.
- To actually love Turkish coffee, ayran (salty yogurt drink) and lokum (gummy Turkish delight) rather than just tolerate them
- To remember that Jesus is my closest friend when family and friends back home seem far away.
- To go to God when I’m thirsty for more of Him, trusting that even in this dry land His Spirit will be a spring of water welling up to eternal life inside me.
Can you relate to feeling like God is doing a greater work IN you than He is THROUGH you? What are you learning as you serve overseas?