A heart for the world

How do I even began to put into words what it is like being back in the States after 2 years abroad? I have been seeking to do this for days. To be perfectly honest it is just hard. How does one serve in a foreign land and not come back changed. I have always heard that reverse culture shock can be harder than culture shock and am finding this to be true. When we first went to Korea, I indeed experienced culture shock, the sights, smells, food, language were all overwhelming. Yet, since returning the same has been true. How does one fit back into a culture that seems so different especially when God has changed me and given me a different perspective than before. To be honest, I have felt quite lost and alone this past week. It has been wonderful to be with family but there is a void in my heart of those we left behind.

I have always had a heart for missions, yet that has grown dramatically in the past few years as we have had the privilege to teach and learn from people all over the world. God has given me a heart for internationals and a desire to serve them wherever He has us. Yet, I also long for others to see the world through God’s eyes. To truly understand the millions around the world who don’t know Jesus, who have not heard, who don’t have a Bible in their own language. This is whats important, this is the need, this is what matters to the Lord.

Mathew 28:18-20:  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I want to encourage you if you aren’t already, to pray for the lost all around the world,there are people who have never heard of Jesus. Pray for missionaries who are serving the Lord away from family and friends. Also pray for the persecuted throughout the world, who aren’t afraid to take a stand for what they believe. God indeed has a heart for missions, for He longs for all people to be saved and for all to bring praise unto Him.

Great links to help you know how to pray

http://www.persecution.com/

http://www.joshuaproject.net/

After serving in Korea, I doubt that I will ever be the same as before, but that’s okay. Because after catching a glimpse of the world through Jesus eyes, I truly don’t want to be the same.

Wrestling with God……….

Has the Lord ever asked you to do something you really didn’t want to do, something quite honestly you didn’t understand? This has been where the Lord has had me for the past week. Just flat angry and struggling with the direction He is leading. Last night Lauren woke up with a runny nose and couldn’t sleep, as I was laying with her, it seems I continued my debate with God. My biggest question being why? Why must we leave Korea? Why are we to go back to the States when we have no job awaiting us. Why can’t we continue to serve here? These questions have plagued my mind constantly. Last night I kept pleading with the Lord for an answer. As I laid there, the Lord seemed to whisper, I desire to use you elsewhere. See Korea is great and there are numerous people who need the Lord, but there are also an abundance of laborers here. The Lord has already brought about people to fill our gaps. Yet, as I lay there, I was reminded of all the places where this is not the case, places people are hungry to hear God’s Word and long to be taught. At this time we aren’t sure what God has for us or where He’d have us serve, but the question, I felt Him asking me was, “will you allow me to use you elsewhere?”

Every stage of our journeys with the Lord are in essence to prepare us for what is next. Seminary prepared us for pastoring in Arkansas. Arkansas prepared us for pastoring in Tennessee. Our time in the wilderness as we waited on the Lord prepared us for Korea. And I know that God too has used Korea to prepare us for the next place. Is it easy? No! Yet, serving Him makes it worth it all. I have learned in Korea the great joy of teaching God’s Word, whether to adults, children or college students. I have learned that God has indeed called us to such a life and has given me a heart even more than before for missions. All of which will not be wasted but used of the Lord. Nothing is ever wasted in the Lords eyes.

So though I still struggle with leaving, the Lord has given me a great peace that all He has taught us here, will be used for what lies ahead. He has given me a peace knowing that He will show us the next step as we follow in obedience what He has told us to do. How thankful I am for the wonderful time and memories made here in Korea, never to be forgotten, yet look forward to what lies ahead, believing the Lord has good in store for us as we trust in Him.