The Waiting Game

God asks me to wait so often that sometimes I wonder if He understands the concept of time. Then I remember He created it. Do you every feel this way? Jeff and Christine Stanfield, who have served as missionaries in Kenya and now Uganda since 1990, have experienced similar feelings. Read on for an update and life lesson from Christine as she explores the idea of God as our gardener.

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Photo credit: Christine Stanfield

We moved to Uganda late in 2012. In February of 2013 we planted two starts of lemon trees. We asked, “How long does it take for lemon trees to bear fruit?” The answer we received was, “Usually 4-5 years here.”

That sounded about like forever then. However, we were delighted to discover in the spring months of 2017 that our lemon trees were blooming. “Don’t get too excited,” we told ourselves. “The trees may just bloom this first year and not yield any real fruit. But just imagine NEXT year!” Yumm, we could almost taste the lemon!

We have been thinking a lot about first fruit. We are about to complete our first term (two years) in the position of Country Director of WGM in Uganda. We feel like first fruit times. We had our scraggly spots through the term. We were cautious about the beginning.

To read the rest of this story, visit the Stanfields’ ministry blog.

ACT: Meditate on the idea that God’s plan for you at this moment could be to wait. God asks so many things of us; and oftentimes, when He asks us to wait, we can get impatient. Today, ask yourself, “What can I be learning about God? How can I grow closer to Him while I wait and look forward to what’s next?”

Impact the World

World Gospel Mission was honored to be part of the latest Great Commission Congress at Asbury University. Our very own John Rinehimer, vice president of Mobilization and Communications, spoke at the event. In the article below, Cathryn Lien of Asbury shares the story of how God is working to “impact the world.”

Illustrating a commitment to “impact the world,” Asbury University hosted its annual Great Commission Congress — a week-long exploration of missions and outreach (Oct. 23-27).

The weekend kicked off with a flag-bearing processional in Hughes Auditorium. International students carried flags from their home countries to place at the altar — a visual representation of Asbury’s global reach.

“Seeing all the flags represented was a beautiful picture and reminder to me of diversity in unity,” said Jaci Spencer ’20. “The Great Commission is a call to the nations, whether that be your own nation or a foreign nation.”

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During Great Commission Congress, a Missions Expo challenged students to explore global service.

This year’s speakers included Dr. Dan Nesselroade ‘91, a physician and missionary to Mali; Rev. Nicole Sims of mission organization TMS Global; and John Rinehimer ’01, vice president of Homeland Ministries (World Gospel Mission). The speakers explored our collective Christian calling and the individual call God instructs to each of his followers.

Sims challenged students to seek God’s guidance prayerfully in all aspects of life, from seemingly small decisions like summer plans to long-term serving commitments.

“God has bigger dreams for you than you have for yourself,” Sims said. “When you ask God for a calling, how willing are you to hear his answer?”

Rinehimer encouraged students to have faith in God’s plan for our lives, even when the future is uncertain.

“We want the floodlight, but God gives us a flashlight,” Rineheimer said. “He wants us to stay close and trust him. He shows us a few steps in front instead of a hundred.”

Every year during Great Commission Congress, the Asbury community takes up an offering for a mission or need. This year’s giving initiative supports 12 Salvation Army officers — enrolled in Asbury’s online Ministry Management program — who are serving with The Salvation Army’s hurricane disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico. The offering is still open — give now to support The Salvation Army’s work in Puerto Rico!

Throughout the week, various organizations promoted opportunities to serve abroad. The University hosted 22 mission organizations on campus, including Wycliffe Bible Translators, World Gospel Mission, The Salvation Army, and One Mission Society, with booths outside the Z.T. Johnson Cafeteria and a missions’ expo in the Student Center hosted by the Global Engagement Office. Organizations shared what God is doing throughout the U.S. and around the world and invited students to serve.

Personal Time with God Is Life Saving!

“Last night I wanted to end my life. When I fell asleep, I had a dream, and you were in it, so I have come to you this morning.”

John and Linda Spriegel are missionaries serving in Kenya. Linda helps coordinate a women’s Bible study and ministry project called Tabitha Ministry. The needs being met by this group are significant!  

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“Tabitha leaders fit snuggly into our new living room”. Photo credit: Spriegels

“Julianna, one of our top Bible study leaders, welcomed the distraught woman into her home and listened to her hopeless story. When the knock on the door had come, Julianna had been in the middle of her quiet time with the Lord, meditating on Matthew 11:28–30. She knew the Lord wanted this woman to hear His words of comfort and hope. ‘Come to me, you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ After a heartfelt time of sharing and prayer together, her friend left with renewed faith.

“Peris and I (Linda) have given our top twenty Bible study leaders a Sabbath rest from any responsibilities for three months, to give time for all of us to focus on deepening our personal devotion to Christ. With their busy lives, it is difficult for our leaders to take the crucial time to sit before the Lord, to be rooted and established in Him. And without this vital ‘abiding,’ our work will be shallow. God is blessing these weeks, as the scenario above testifies.”

ACT: Will you pray for Tabitha Ministry in Kenya? May the leaders continue to have the encouragement and protection they need from God. May the participants feel the love of Christ and understand His vision through these groups.

Your Prayers Can Shake the Earth

The year is 1967, and under Communism in Albania, all mosques and churches are closed and all religious observances are prohibited. For the next 34 years, private religious practice will not be allowed, and the first Albanian Bible will not be printed until 1994. Can you imagine growing up in such an environment and not knowing the joy of Christ?

Today, 70 percent of Albanians are Muslims and less than 1 percent are evangelical Christians. WGM is on the front lines in Albania, reaching Albanians for Christ. WGM can help you get involved in reaching this culture. Visit wgm.org/Albania for more information.

Prayercast is an organization that specializes in video, photography, and other mediums to bring attention to the need for prayer around the world. Watch this video by Prayercast and join thousands of others in praying for the country of Albania today. Do not settle for quick prayers, but get down on your knees and lift up the country of Albania to the Lord in a way that will shake the earth and bring about a great change! Together we can change the world!

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”  – Charles H. Spurgeon

Video by Prayercast.com