Posts Tagged ‘Missions’

3
Apr

Long, but worth reading…

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

This Easter I have many things on my heart.  But the most prevalent is the Sacrifice and Rising of Jesus.  The most important fact in Life. 

I want to share scriptures today.  Why?  Because it points out something important about God that people forget.  I have repeatedly been warned by others that speaking out is not becoming of a missionary.  Yet, is it not what the Lord has asked of those he calls to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We are speaking out against a world that wants what it wants, when it wants it.  People do not know the truth and we are called to tell them.  We are pointing the way to God and that means making a commitment that requires the uncomfortable role of speaking out, stepping out, and going where the Lord calls us no matter how uncomfortable it may seem or be.  I do not expect to be popular by any means, and if I am then I must ask myself if I am really doing the Lord’s will.  For Jesus himself said that for following him, and doing what he has asked, people will hate us. (Mark 13:13 7 & Matthew 10:22, Luke 6:22, Luke 21:17, John 15:18-19)

We have experienced people having doubts as to the call of our mission.  We have had people who have given us words of discouragement or warning.  Churches and Pastors telling us their reasons for not being able to even hear about this mission God has us on.  Often it has been because of a fear that there is not enough money.  Or because they just don’t do that anymore.  And it has been discouraging on a very human level.  On a spiritual level it is just disconcerning how people think that in this “modern time” that we are no longer under the same call that Jesus originally gave.  People may have changed, times may have changed, but the call of the Lord has not, nor has the Lord himself.  Mathew 18:19-20  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)  God is not saying go to all the nations and share me.  He is saying go and make disciples.  That means that he wants us to go, show, and teach.  Just as he did 2000 years ago.  And he reiterates that he is with us to the end of the age.  That would speak the end of this world to me. And we are not there yet.

We are stepping out to do exactly what the Lord has asked us to do.  We are praying for his encouragement, but also the encouragement of those who have been called by Christ to walk along side us in prayer, to stand up for us, and financially support us.  Many times in history people have decided the work of God was done.  Many times people have fallen away from following God.  Many times people get comfortable in their lives and decide that if it is to be done, well, then there is someone else to do it.  But maybe God wants you to do it.  Don’t be afraid to ask and lay fear aside so that you can actually hear the answer.  God is not through speaking to us and our work is not done until the Lord Jesus Christ returns again and says “It is finished”!  We need your help and we need you to hear God when he tells you that this is His will.

I love this scripture from a little read book of Haggai, in the bible.  It tells of another time when God’s people grew comfortable and got lost in themselves.  I fear that at times we do this too.  And I want to learn from the mistakes that people made prior to me so that I do not have to learn things the hard way.  Some day each of us will stand before our Lord.  What will your testimony be?  I pray that the Lord will speak to you and be with you and point you in the way that is often not easy, but His way.  Much Love, Stephanie.

Haggai 1

A Call to Build the House of the LORD

 1In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua [a]son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

 2This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the LORD’s house to be built.’ ”

 3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

 5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

 7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”

 12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.

 13Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD. 14So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

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8
Mar

Uncharted Territory

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

The part of this journey we are on involves steps in faith where we have not ventured before.  Going to people we do not know.  Sharing our passion for God’s call.  And asking people to support us.  I do not believe there is any fail safe way to do this, other than follow God’s guidance and know that if we are taking the steps, and we let Him, he will guide the way.  We have had good visits, and we have had ones where we felt like intruders.  We have gone on visits to churchs 3 days now.  Ron is taking one day a week off to be able to devote to missions preparation.  I am terribly impatient in this process.  And I need to surrender that to God.  I remember thinking last summer that a year seemed like forever when they told us that it would take that long to do this part of the process.  Now I feel like the months are slipping away and we are not able to keep up.  This forces us to deal with a lot of emotions.  We know God’s call.  But we do not have the calendar of His time line and ours is often drawn up with impatience.  We would like to petition you to pray for us during this process.  Prayer for patience for me.  Prayer for God’s will to be fulfilled.  Pray for the finances to come in His perfect time.  Maybe there is something we still need to learn before we go.  God, thankfully, knows it.

We are doing well in our homeschooling.  I cannot believe we are down to just 14 weeks of this school year.  It has really been smooth and enjoyable.  We have all learned many new things.  I am already collecting curriculum and books for next year.  Thinking ahead saves money because I can get many things used and save hundreds of dollars.  The blessing with the curriculum that I use, Sonlight, is that it fills in the gaps in what I know.  I have been so impressed because, really, it is teaching me too.  We get excited as a family as we learn new things.  The kids will say something and I am just so impressed with what they are getting out of this. 

I am on my 4th theology class.  It is a New Testament Survey Class.  I do not quite know why they call it that, at least the survey part, but I like it.  It goes over the logistics of the New Testament and I find that very interesting.  I am a logistics person.  I like to know how things tick and run and why.  I have also started a disciple journal that I found at the Goodwill.  I find the neatest things there when I least expect it.  It is a small three ring binder and it approaches your spiritual life like  you didn’t have one before.  It has tabbed sections for prayer, goals, biblestudy, worship, and discipleship.  I love it!  It calls to minds things that may escape me and it enhances my devotion time by posing the questions that I may forget to ask.  it also makes me think about things that I had never thought of before, like what does a scripture touch me, am I remembering to praise God in my prayer time, what is God saying to me in the silent moments when I am done.  All Good stuff.

Ron just finished up his first and is half way through his second (it is longer).  He has spent 2+ years doing school and working.  I am often blown away at how he can even function with all of that.  He has late nights and long days and just keeps going.  I am very proud of him for that.  He has been leading our small home group with the material from one of his classes.  It is part of his assignment.  I am really challenged by it.  I think our small group has never had such meaningful and targeted discussions before.  It is almost exausting to be touched by God so much.  Ron is a really good teacher and the Lord is teaching us both much through this.  I love it that I am not a part of the teaching.  I get to see Ron in action and I really like how he teaches.  He has such a big heart and cares for people so much and it shows in his teaching and his ability to have so much patience.

We are starting a marriage Sunday school class and are enjoying it very much.  We realize that after 20 years of marriage that you never stop needing encouragement in your life relationship.  Sometimes you can get that from each other, sometimes it helps to get it from good examples and wise couples who have traveled on the same path.  Preparing for the mission field puts all kinds of stress on a marriage and relationship and anything we can do to strengthen it will only be serving God better!

Blessings and have a great day!

Stephanie

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14
Jan

Praying how to give out of a tax refund

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

56586779Are you like most Americans that would love to support charities, but you never seem to have the funds available?  This may be the year for you!  Most people are afraid of some new tax laws actually costing them more taxes, but many people will get refunds that will feel like a relief.  Before you start spending on the stuff you always wanted make sure you give to God what he deserves out of it.  I am not going to name a percentage.  I have watched many people debating that lately.  But I will say that God has laid an amount on your heart and, unless you are ignoring him, you are feeling prompted to give.  I am not talking about just to us, though that would be nice :), but I am talking about what ever ministry God lays on your heart also.  It may be just a bonus tithe to your church, over what you can usually give.  But let’s give as graciously back to God as he has given to us.

We are a 5th of the way there on our monthly support and only starting on our outgoing.  But when you give monthly it will go into the outgoing expenses until we are in Peru.  And all of it goes to missionary expenses.  Ron still works and still supports us in our daily needs while we are here.  All that you give is stored up for use for the mission God has us preparing for.  Which a portion of what you give actually goes towards the ministries we will be doing in the  form of supplies, repairs, and other things that are required to fulfill the ministry needs.

We want to thank you all.  Whether you are just starting to give our have been giving for most of the year.  it is a blessing to see your faithfulness and it makes us work even harder on our end to prepare.

Blessings to all,

Stephanie

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