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Monday, July 21, 2008

"I pray for them every time I poop."

Yes, that is my husband's direct quote. I shared this with Sally in an e-mail, and I'm sure it touched her.
To explain, I put our wonderful missionary friends, the Estes', picture on the wall facing our toilet. It didn't start out there. It used to be on our bathroom mirror, but I quit seeing it there. So I moved it to face the toilet. I sit down there several times a day. I forget boys only sit down to poop. Good thing my husband's very regular. TMI??)
I try to keep it visible on a daily basis so that I NEVER FORGET to pray for them. Why? Because, we are their Senders.

Rom 10:13-15
13 For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Jon and Sally were in our HOPE group. We heard their hearts, broken for the lost, and burdened for North Africa, where you could fit all the Christians in their large country in our one church building...probably in our fellowship hall...maybe in our house. Anyway, this young couple with a little boy (the same age as Treston) left everything and everyone behind for atleast a season of life in North Africa. They are learning what has to be the hardest language to learn, Arabic. Sally has been so good to share with me the joys, struggles, and culture shocks along the way, helping me to know how to pray for her. I have tried, and could definitely be doing an even better job, to let them know they are not forgotten.
We are all called to be missionaries. And all of us should play a part in international missions. I want to not only financially support mission work in places that are so dark and desperate for the Light of Jesus, but I want to encourage and help hold up those who are actually going!
There was a time when a missionary was completely disconnected from home, except by letters, if they made it.
Now, we live in a new time. We have SKYPE!!! Wow! We have e-mail, we have cell phones, we have texting!
Sally and I can talk face-to-face on Skype on our computers, and I get to pray for her, see her belly grow, (she's due in about 2 weeks for their second baby!) and love them.
I need to do that more! I need to send more packages! I need to do a better job of keeping them updated from home! I want to be the Sender that we're supposed to be.
So here's my encouragement in this...pray for your missionaries. The kids and I cover our missionary friends daily in prayer.
Make sure they know they are not forgotten.
Pray like crazy for their effectiveness in the Kingdom where they are.
See their fervor for their mission field, and be convicted for your own.
Pray for Jon and Sally, little Jude, and baby Brennan to come. They will be delivering with medical care not quite up to our standards, and language barriers are their biggest enemy in that. (They are learning Arabic, but people also speak French there. They are not learning French.)
Pray for their team, and their continued guidance on where God wants to use them.
Be a native missionary, and a Sender.


Jen said...

I feel like I need to "introduce" myself to you, so I don't feel like such a stalker! My name is Jen Whitmarsh and I came across your blog through a friend-of-a-friend.- Mostly because I recognized your name, or actually Rusty's, as someone my husband, Steve, trained with in Waco (FPC) and deeply respected. I think Rusty was a third year while Steve was an intern...
Anyways, I just want to thank you for being so candid about your heart for the Lord and your deep desire to honor Him. They have been inspirational to me as God is calling me out of a difficult season - one where I've been selfish and haven't wanted to seek His face. Just wanted to encourage you, that in this format (as in others, I'm sure), God is really using you!

Anonymous said...

Amen... amen! What a great post. This is something that God broke my heart about when I was in Malawi. Broke my heart because for the first time I realized the important role people back home play in the day to day life of a missionary. As I went through days that I felt like no one I knew back home gave a flip about me or even remembered I was still alive, I quickly realized that I did the exact same thing to missionaries that I knew were on the field. It is so easy for us to just forget about them I guess. SAD!

But, God really placed this burden on my heart while I was there. We need to do better about this as a church (global church). It should not be acceptable that practically half of the missionaries that we send out end up coming home within their first term because of emotional reasons.

You are right... there is so much that can be done... so many little, costless things that can be done to let people know you care. Luckily, I had a great support system back home that did a good job with this. So this isn't some bitter rant about my experiences.

But, I will testify that there were many days that I was battling depression and just wanting to give up, and it was just a simple 2 line e-mail from someone I loved back home that completely changed my outlook on it all.

So... pray for our missionaries... but don't be shy in sending them an e-mail letting them know that you prayed!

Thanks Jenn!

Emily said...

This post made me laugh so hard. I can just see Rusty saying that. It is a great idea. I use the restroom at least every half hour it seems. It would be a great way to remember all my prayer people.

I just love Sally, Jon, Jude, and Brennen. They are so blessed to have senders like you and Rusty!

Jennifer Bacak said...

Jen, thanks for commenting! Yes, I remember y'alls names. You'll have to e-mail me and let me know where y'all are, and how it's going! thebacaks@yahoo.com

Jon & Sally said...

I'm so with Ryan, I'm so thankful for the army fighting with us back in the States! It's a MUCH bigger job than it seemed before! I cherish EVERY word written in encouragement!
I think, in pride, it's easy to isolate ourselves over here and think "no one understands" or "no one hurts like I do". But what a wonderful gift He's given us through community!!! He sharpens us, even through Skype!!
Thanks so much for this exhortation!! Thanks also for teaching your kids about the importance of their involvement in Kingdom work!! I pray this reaps a GREAT HARVEST in their hearts!
You are such a wonderful "fighter"...I'm so thankful to be prayed over and loved on by all of you!