Earlier this year, Coy Webb came by my office with requests from Baptist Global Response (BGR) for two teams to go to South Africa in December and work with Tabitha Ministries in Pietermaritzburg. We asked if we could bring one larger team and do both requests in one week. BGR and Tabitha said yes and the date was set.
The team was requested to come in December because it is school break in South Africa. Seasonally it is summer there. Being December and getting close to Christmas, I wondered if we could fill a team of 12. After putting out the word to the Kentucky WMU Executive Board, I was amazed that the team was nearly filled in just a few days. I wanted Lee to go with me this time and with two other couples going, this seemed to be the perfect opportunity. Lee has blessed me with his support as I have traveled all over the world and I wanted him to have the experience, too. He is a capable VBS teacher and works well with kids. Plus, we needed him on this team to be a role model with orphan boys.
But as we got closer to this trip, the cost of our obedience hit home. There will be three of us from Clayvillage Baptist Church, Lee and I plus one of our Sunday School teachers. Being away at this time has impacted our small choir and traditional Christmas activities at the church. We will not be there for some activities and plans have been changed because of our absence. I will also miss the KBC Mission Board meeting and some December activities with the Kentucky WMU staff.
In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers speaks to my angst in the January 11 reading entitled “What My Obedience to God Costs Other People.” He says, “If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight…” Chambers goes on to say that “it costs those who do not love Him a good deal.” I would add that it also costs those who do love Jesus even if they willingly support our obedience.
Chambers also points out in this reading that one of our options is to say “I will not cost other people suffering.” He writes, “We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.”
So I must trust that God will look after Clayvillage Baptist Church, Kentucky WMU, and the KBC Mission Board. I am grateful to those “who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience.” Thank you to all who have blessed us to make this mission trip and allowing us to be away at a time that is not convenient. I am also praying for the family members, friends, coworkers and fellow church members of each person on our team, that as you pray for our missionaries and give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, you will experience what it means for each of us to be Totally His – Heart, Hands, Voice.
Please pray for the South Africa team. Travel dates are December 5-16 and activities include:
- Lead morning VBS sessions in the township of Sweetwaters with about 100 children
- Lead morning VBS sessions with about 40 children in the Hope Centre orphanage
- Provide afternoon instruction sessions and play with orphans in the Hope Centre orphanage
- Food parcel packing and distribution in Sweetwaters township
- Deliver Hospice Care Buckets to families caring for someone with AIDS
Join us in observing the Week of Prayer for International Missions, December 1-8, and in giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. On my very first overseas mission trip, as I sat in a mud brick church in Rwanda, the missionary said “And by the way, the tin roof on this church was provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.” I cried most of the way through that service as I experienced in a significant way that what we do on this side of the world truly makes a difference on the other side of the world. May we pray faithfully and give generously this year!