In Response to “Does Missions Separate Families?”

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I never expected that my recent post “Does Missions Separate Families?” would be so widely-read. But in the past week or so, I have had the privilege of a whole audience I never imagined: missionaries.
From all over the world.

And I just wanted to say to these missionaries and your families: thank you.
As I read your comments, I got just a small taste of your daily reality. Your real thoughts, your real feelings, and the real cost of what you are doing. More than anything, that you are real people.

I couldn’t respond to your every comment. Not because there were so many, but because…sometimes I just didn’t know what to say. Reading your perspectives, and testimonies left me often just whispering, “Wow,” and pushing myself away from the kitchen table, lost in thought about you. I had no words to simply “reply” to all I feel for you.

But this is what I want you to know, if you find yourself here and are now following:
I love what you are doing. I love that you are following Christ and proclaiming Him in the darkest places of the earth. Even when that darkness seems to invade every part of you. Even when you feel completely and utterly, alone. Even when you can’t talk to anyone (in English) and just want to scream at the sky. And even when your families, and showers, and clean sheets, and sanity seem a million miles away.

Surely you will be give one hundred times more in the life to come.

The other day, my brother-in-law in Africa (whom I wrote the post about) emailed us and said protests and riots broke out in their city (due to what happened in France.) The next day, the protesters burnt down eighty percent of the churches. And the day after that, he visited one the smoldering churches just two miles from their home.

There he met two men, who said the protesters tried to burn the church down, while they were still in the building—but they managed to escape. Nearly all the teaching curriculum and bibles were burned.

Listen, I don’t know where you are. I don’t know the threats that lurk outside your door. I don’t even know if you will be able to read this. But this is what I do know—Your mission stands. It is of God. And it cannot fail.

They can burn down your churches. They can burn up the bibles. But they cannot take away the Spirit of the Living God. And He goes everywhere with you. And you go everywhere with Him. And His Word is in your heart, like a fire. And He will not be mocked. And this mission, regardless of what you see in front of you today, is not a failure.

My brother-in-law tried to encourage those two native men, who escaped their burning church, but instead they turned and encouraged him saying, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” And then went on to assure him that even though their building was destroyed, the Church still remained.

I was later sent this amazing video footage of the believers from their country worshiping in their church the day after it burnt.

They get it. They know where their treasure is. And that He is faithful, and He will do it. “He will not fail or be discouraged.” Isaiah 42:4

He will not fail or be discouraged.
And I guess that’s the only reply I have for you. I’ve searched it out, and these are the most soothing words I can find: He will not fail or be discouraged.

And neither will you.

Thank you for sharing your stories and lives with me. Thank you for laying down your lives. And for making our family grow. For the day is drawing near, when we will meet, face to face, every brother, sister, son, and daughter at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, and we will all rejoice wildly together at the greatest reward of all. That is, Christ.

For He will not fail or be discouraged.

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16 thoughts on “In Response to “Does Missions Separate Families?”

  1. Thank you for sharing what is so hard to put into words. We are sharing your blog with the many missionaries we serve through Eden’s Song. Perhaps some of your new followers come from that. I hope so. They deserve to hear the beautiful way you speak life into what they are doing and who they are in Christ.

    *Serving Those Serving Others,* Roy and Deb Killian Edens Song Ministry, Inc. 1226 12th Avenue Lewiston, Idaho 83501 http://www.edenssong.org 208-798-1809

    • Roy & Debi,
      I truly appreciate your encouragment and want to thank you for sharing this with many of your missionaries. I pray that they may continue to be encouraged in this kingdom building and family growing work. Blessings to you both, and thank you again for getting in touch with me!
      Rebekah

    • Mandy,
      You are welcome, I’m so glad you were encouraged. May God continue to strengthen you as you minister in Central Asia! Thank you for expanding the family of God!

  2. I admit I have come back several times to read more comments, more stories, more of the glory of God being shared one country to another at such cost. Blessings to you, Rebekah, for your lovely words of reminder about these hearty souls following the heart of God. Blessings to those souls as well. Prayers as you persevere against tremendous odds.

  3. Hi Rebekah!

    My name is Puleng from South Africa, I am married now for 4 years. I was exposed to you and your blog through the very article of “Does Missions Separate Families”, I also shared it on my facebook page; I could relate with it so much because 3 years ago my hubby and I decided be in missions on a full time basis.

    But what captured my heart more, was when I decided to go check your blog and I discovered something much deeper- your reason for the blog. You won’t believe, I’ve read since last week every article on the blog, and the reason I got stuck on the screen, I could really relate…because you blog is about my current situation, trusting God for children. The Lord has been faithful in walking me through this journey, and the attached document is one of how God is upholding me.

    I love how you write, it is so simple yet so profound.

    Blessings

    • Puleng,
      I am beyond touched that you have read my every post. But I am even more moved by the reason you have shared. I remember so well that waiting feeling, and having no idea of what God was doing, or when He would give us children. Keep holding on the the hope you have in God. I pray He ministers to your heart and strengthens you and and your husband as you are in this season. Just know the things God is teaching you now, are shaping your heart for later too. May you find joy in the surrender of being completely His. And surrendering to His time, and His way. Much love to you. P.S. I did not see the attached document. I’m not sure if you can attach a document in a comment. Perhaps you could paste the text as a comment? I would love to read it!

  4. It is by far the greatest honor that God has in His great wisdom bestowed on us. It is in His choosing to use us broken vessels to shine His light of love to a hurting and lost world. Each moment of our lives is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and all He asks is that we obey. Don’t do more than He asks, don’t do less. It is a pretty simple equation if don’t allow our own finite understanding to stand in the way and confuse us. Satan is always watching for weakness and will attack God’s faithful kids, but he will NOT succeed! If we have God as our Father and we have asked Him to adopt us, He is able to use us for his glory! AMEN!!

    • Anne,
      I am touched by your response. I love how you said, “Don’t do more than He asks, don’t do less.” And how simply that sums up obedience! I think it’s hard in a culture that is always telling to “do more, be more.” Just hearing God’s voice, and obeying what He is saying is really the most important thing. Thanks for this reminder. And also that He uses us in our weaknesses. Blessings to you, and thank you for reading. I hope to remember your wise words!

  5. Rebekah,

    I just wanted to let you know that this blog post was such an encouragement to me. I am currently serving as a student missionary in Mexico, and I really needed to hear these truths today. I began following your blog after I read your “Does Missions Separate Families?” post. You are an incredible writer! Thanks for writing the words that the Spirit lays on your heart.

    Blessings,
    Darby

    • Darby,
      I’m so glad to have you following. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. And I pray that God will continually minister to you through His Spirit where you are. I’m sure you are learning so much in an experience like that. May your view of God continue to expand and overflow with joy as you see Him for who He is. Much love to you. Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂
      Rebekah

    • Paige,
      Thanks for reading. And I’m so glad it encouraged you as you plan and prepare for this journey ahead. From reading your blog, it seems as if God is doing some pretty amazing work in your heart. (And I think that’s one of the best preparations you could have.) One of my mentors has always told me, “God makes the man, before the ministry.” She has always encouraged me when she says this, because I know it means that God is working in my heart, and leading me through some unglamorous experiences to form my heart for what’s ahead. There have been times I feel ready to do ministry, but God is teaching me some very simple thing in my heart first. So, this time you are spending in His presence is truly just as important as what you will encounter ahead. May He continue to reveal Himself to you more and more!

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