Our thoughts today are with the families of those affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso. An American missionary was among those who lost his life and we are saddened for his wife and family. We also remember those who have been kidnapped.
It makes us stop and thank God for His hand upon us during numerous mission trips. We realise more than ever than we need God's protection in these days.
We know that in Kenya, families are also mourning the lost of their husbands, sons, brothers who were part of the armed forces in Kenya and who were killed last week. We pray for the peace of God to be with them.
Closer to home, we know of those who have lost loved ones. Maybe the circumstances haven't been so dramatic, but the pain and loss is just the same.
As we think of these events there is much to discourage us. But today I have been thinking of the verse of scripture which says, "David encouraged himself in the Lord." David was having a pretty bad day, realising that so much of what was important to him was gone and even his own men turned against him. But he encouraged himself in the Lord.
Serving the Lord is a privilege, but it isn't all glamorous. There are challenges and sometimes very heavy burdens to carry that very often can't be shared. When speaking in meetings it can all sound very exciting, when sometimes we have heavy hearts. But we thank God that we can encourage ourselves in Him.
David didn't have many to encourage him, but we thank God for those who have encouraged us over the past few days.
We received a phone call from a lady who has heard us speak and who receives our prayer letter. She doesn't have access to the internet very much and so she isn't just as up to date as other prayer partners. However, a few days ago she phoned just to ask how we are keeping, how the work is going on and what she can pray for. She was so excited to hear that we will be speaking at a meeting in her area in a few weeks time. That was a real encouragement to us. In all honesty, we can only remember about 2 or 3 other times in the 10 years of FML that someone has phoned us to specifically ask for prayer points. There have been emails and personal contact of course, but still this call stood out.
Then we were speaking to someone whom I barely know, someone I met maybe only once before and who William has never met. Yet they could tell us that we are prayed for every month in prayer meeting they attend. That was an encouragement to us.
We shared in a meeting on Thursday evening. It was a Church we had never been to before and those gathered were certainly interested and focussed as we spoke. That was an encouragement to us.
On the way to that meeting, I received a message from a children's worker in Kenya. He had been to our office. He is so excited by our Bible Lessons that he wants to introduce them to other Churches he works with....and hopes to encourage them to enrol their children. Approximately 1000 children. That was an encouragement to us.
On Saturday I communicated with a School Principal in Nairobi. The children had been using our lessons but they stopped for a while due to some challenging circumstances. He was delighted to know that they can still continue and I have today asked Eunice to contact him and resume the lessons. That was an encouragement to us.
In all of these situations the Lord encouraged us. It brings great joy. However, whilst we often look for encouragement....what a privilege to be an encourager ourselves. To know that through us, others are encouraged. We thank God for an opportunity we had to do just that over the weekend. It gave us great joy to know that others were encouraged and excited because we did something simple.
As we continue in the work our prayer is that we will be an encouragement to many. Over the next number of weeks we will represent Feed my Lambs at 12 different meetings. It will be a busy time as William also continues with his course and we have various personal commitments also. However, it is a wonderful opportunity to work for the Lord.
Please encourage us further by praying for each and every one of these meetings. The presentation we show and the message we leave will not be the same at each meeting. We need guidance as to what the Lord would have us share and we need help in preparation. We also need some inspiration in putting together some more literature and we need God to provide for the printing of it. Through these meetings we have an opportunity to encourage others, please pray for us and be part of what we do.
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regular updates and thoughts from Northern Ireland and Africa...