Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
What do a ladybug, sharp thorns and a dew-covered leaf have in common? I’ll share with you in a moment.
Thank you for your encouraging support in many ways over the past twelve years since Debbie and I stepped out in faith to serve God full-time in missions, initially in Nigeria, West Africa, and more recently home-based in leadership at SIM East Asia.
Turning 50 earlier this year had certain effects – chief among them was in becoming more time conscious. I felt prompted by God to seek Him once again, to be in the centre of His will, and to be clear as to what He wants me to be involved with in the remaining time I have. And this was very much a Kairos moment, because by September 2017, I would also have completed my term as Deputy Regional Director, SIM East Asia. It was thus with this seeking mind that I went for a personal retreat a few weeks ago to reflect on the past 4 over years of ministry, and to seek Abba Father and His will and direction for my next steps.
Amazingly, God showed up as I learnt to quiet my noisy heart and through the ladybug, the sharp thorns and the dew-covered leaf on a stretch of rosebushes – spoke gently and yet firmly to me. You see, ladybugs eat aphids (pests that can harm plants), the thorns were protecting young, tender shoots, while the dew represents essential water which is essential to life! As I prayed, I was reminded that God called Debbie and I to serve Him in missions while we were undergraduate students, and we remain committed to that call. But God just reminded me through the ladybug, the thorns and the dew, that missionaries do not appear out of nowhere, fully formed. Instead, missionaries and full-time workers all have their roots in His church, and receive nurturing discipleship through His church till they are ready to serve in difficult contexts.
He thus laid upon my heart a clear and unequivocal burden, to return to my Sending Church, to mentor and disciple the next generation of missional disciples. It is thus that Debbie and I ask for the Lord’s grace, and for you, our dear brothers and sisters in Christ to please continue to come alongside to continue to support us in prayer, because the task of mentoring and discipling the next generation of missional disciples is a weighty responsibility – one that can only be borne with the Holy Spirit’s help.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)