A ministry of Riverside Church of Christ in Gassville, Arkansas.
Lynn and Joy Nelson are missionaries to the Chiriqui & Cocle´ Provinces of Panama´... this is a journal of their experiences along the way...
Do you ever feel so down that you don’t want to ask God for healing or peace?I mean, I deserve this righteous indignation, right?I am suffering and I want every one to know!So, no, I don’t guess it is a conscious thing.I don’t actually consider asking for peace and decide not to because I want to suffer more.I just get so wrapped up in my pity party that I ask for other things.For example I have prayed for wisdom to discover who has wronged me, and how to live with this disappointment and pain, but I didn’t ask for peace in my soul.I just expected that to come with finding those responsible for causing my pain.That is until, once again, our dear brother Tim Martin wrote a blog just for us - when do you really show them Christ?Click on the title words if you would like to read the whole thing.But the jest of it reminds us that now, in the middle of bad times and pain is when our best opportunity to show Christ arises.That was our first clue that we were failing miserably at the moment.Max Lucado said something along the same lines in one of his devotionals this week. Then Holly emailed us with encouraging words, and then on Friday, as the message was digging in deeper, and convicting us both a dear sister from David reminded us of Jesus’ precious forgiveness given freely, and that we must do the same.That was really at the crux of the matter.We needed to just put it aside and forgive, regardless of who was responsible.We needed to pray for peace for the church and stop the accusations before the church was torn apart.Our petty pain is far from being as important as these people seeing and feeling Christ in us.So, I have spent the past few days praying for peace, and beginning to just behave as if I have forgiven all.Now, amazingly, I have that peace, as does Lynn.We told the church Friday night that we did not want to hear another word about the robbery.If there was something they needed to say, or confess, they should talk to God and the police.We loved every one of them and wanted to hear nothing more.
We have withstood many nay-sayers for years criticizing benevolent work for one reason or another.In the past few weeks we almost became them.Last Sunday as Lynn sat staring out the window, quite depressed, I reminded him that not one ofthose he was watching with such a frown were responsible for the robbery.He was watching my children’s class as they were soaking up God’s love.It was just a comment from me, certainly placed there by God’s infinite wisdom and power.It impacted Lynn powerfully, and we are healing almost as one.God is truly amazing in his works.We are reminded that this work is not ours, nor was the money ours.It is God’s.It has always been his, and will survive and grow as He sees fit.
Amazing we had donations come in last week out of the blue that will cover the ladies going to the Convention next weekend.Please pray that these women will be touched and drawn closer to God as a result.
On another note, we begin a Harding class on ‘Ethics in Ministry’ this week.It is an on-line course being taught by Brother Phil Thompson.I say ‘we’ because we will do all the reading and work together, so that we both learn the material, but only I will be getting credit for the class.This will place me at the half-way point in attaining my Masters degree.I am not at all sure that I will complete the degree program, but I continue to feel the need for more knowledge and understanding of how to best minister to others.The classes offered by Harding are top-rate with the best of professors, but the price of the classes has become quite excessive.With a minister’s discount we are still paying over $1000 for a 3 hour course.At this point, the class has got to be really good for us to sacrifice the money for it!That is 2/3 of our monthly income!
The last of the puppies went to their new home today.We met Ingrid and her husband in David with their two pups.They drove over from Chitre, about 4 hours away.We had a KFC lunch together before they headed toward the hot, flat country and we headed back to cool mountain air.
We were also blessed with two extras from David today.Brother Norman Ponce and his sister Urian came and helped with the song leading and meeting.Norman preached and Inocensio (also from David) taught the class.It was a real treat for us – We love Inocensio, but he can’t sing worth a flip.Norman has a wonderful voice, and is a great speaker as well.Urian is a good friend, who just happens to speak fluent English, so that was especially nice for us.We took them back to David for lunch as well, and had a good visit.
We had 30 in attendance today.Things are smoothing out.It was good to hear the voices lifted in praise, and to join in.I guess my thought for today is not ‘be careful what you pray for’ but ‘remember to pray for God’s will and not you own!’he is so much smarter than we are!
Tim, Holly, thanks.We love you and need your support always.You are both great blessings to us.To all of you whom we love dearly – we really do love you!We love to hear from you when you have time.Hannah – remember, boys are BAD!!!!I know I taught you that!Keep you heart on God, and your hands playing ball!!!!!Love you lots!
Richest blessing from the forgiven, the healing, and the blessed!