Posts Tagged ‘support missionaries’

3
Jun

God’s Growth Chart

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

I think I remember growth charts unfondly because they represented either being sick, or being too short to get on a ride growing up.  I am reflecting on that today for a couple of reasons.

First, my kids wanted to get measured on the door frame.  Something I have been doing for almost 19 years.  As soon as Ryan could stand he was up against the wall with a pencil on top of his head.   Now it is only the two youngest that care.  The Ryan is done growing and Bree is pretty sure she is done.  Andrew and Gabby, on the other hand, are growing like weeds.  Since October both of them have grown almost 2 inches.  The days of pants too short, and clumsiness (due to being off balance from the growth) are upon us.  I am glad that I started this tradition with my kids.  They love looking back through the years ( I transferred the information every time we moved.) and see how much they grew and when one passed the other.  They are only 22 months apart but the Gabby has come close to Andrew a couple of times.  I think those days may be over now, but they still do a good job matching up growing spurts.

Today this seems significant because of the other reason that has been on my mind.  I read today about another missionary family in Peru that sounds like a sister family.  We both are living in barns, turned homes.  We both have bugs, though I have no doubt theirs are bigger and scarier, and we both home school children that would not be classed as your “seen and not heard” children.  Normal in so many ways but, speaking of my own children, some learning difficulties that we have had to hurdle along the way.  I laughed and sympathized with much of what they had to say in their blog. 

My heart is so divided between here and Peru.  But I started thinking about how I would have handled living as they are without the time to grow in contentment.  There are many types of growth.  And as people, from the time we can express it, cannot wait to grow up.  When we are grown up we cannot wait for other things and often run ahead blindly.  We make mistakes, we learn, we grow in wisdom.  I started looking at where we were when the notions of being missionaries first hit us.  Oh we were spoiled.  Not by American terms maybe, but by most of the world’s standards.  Nice home, nice income, got what we wanted, ate what we wanted…. the list could go on.  There was much we claimed as our own.  And most would see no problem with that.  We worked hard.  We got what we worked for.  We had much growing to do before we could see God’s will for us as missionaries.  We needed to see that none of it was ours.  When we gave our lives to Christ and committed ourselves to serving Him it meant coming to terms with the whole truth, not just the parts that sounded nice.  Not just the parts that felt good.  But everything we have is God’s and we have to not just be will to reluctantly surrender it, but be willing to give it all to him if we are to truly serve Him.

This learning process has taken time.  Not time we wanted, but time God used to grow us to this point.  And I know that if there is delay in us going to the field that it is a delay that God is using for more growth.  Either for us or for others.  I am not a patient person by nature.  Once I know what I am suppose to do then I want to “get er done”!  But God did not exercise a lack of patience with his creation and I look at the time that he took so often to teach his people.  Sometimes he required much sacrifice from them and sometimes little.  But always with great wisdom and purpose did he plan out their lives and I cannot help but realize that truth in my own life.

We wanted to be to language training by the beginning of the year; this year!  We went to training last July with a time table that rushed us where we wanted to go.  I just about died when they told us that we would more than likely project going January 2011.  I think I was almost depressed about it.  I wanted to go then…not wait a year and a half.  Now, that we are 2/3 of the way to that date, I can see why, in all wisdom, they would tell us that.  There was, and still is, much to do.  Most of what we can focus on is schooling and fundraising, but I see what God has on his agenda for us to accomplish too.  One funny thing was us living in this barn/apartment.  We are living more simply than we ever have and are forgoing luxuries that we would have considered necessities at one time.  We did not plan this as training, but God did.  We have had so many vehicle breakdowns and needed to depend on God for the answers that we would not have planned out, were it our choice.  Yet God deemed these good experiences for our training. 

The one that is heaviest on my heart right now is the fundraising.  I know that God is able to provide for all our needs according to His will.  And we are confident that His will is for us to be missionaries in Peru.  For what ever reason he has deemed us to wait.  The funds are not coming in by our time table, yet we are doing all that we have learned to do.  What is God waiting for?  I don’t know.  But my faith and my heart tell me that God is teaching someone something and this is a growing time.  Maybe he has spoke to someone, or many someones, that they are to give big and He (and we) are waiting for their obedience.  Maybe there are more life lessons that He sees us needing.  Maybe there is someone or something that needs us here before we go.  We just don’t know. 

But we wait in faith and we keep our eyes on the growth chart.  Marking off the new growth and know that we are on our way to being tall enough for the ride.  Praise God for His divine wisdom.  Help us in thanking God for this and for how Great He really is.  Pray for our paitence and for God speed to always be the speed we grow at!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4
May

Where is Your Treasure?

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

Matthew 6:21 (New International Version)

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It is hard for me to just write about things without it becoming some kind of devotional because I get so inspired myself by something I have read in the bible or in a devotional that I end up going there.  I think what some may not get is that often it is to pass on how the Lord is encouraging me in the moment.  This leg of our journey is not an easy one.  No one could have told us that this would be the hardest part thus far, before we got to it.

We operate on so many different levels right now that often it is hard to keep straight what we are, and need, to be doing.  We go through monthly re-evaluations of our goals, progress, and needs.  This better helps us to focus on what our next step is and how we can do better what we are already doing.  We find that we change our route to our treasure, but when we refer to God’s map it was there the whole time the way he intended.  We just don’t know how to read it sometimes. lol. 

One area of revamping for myself has been in job priorities.  I have had a very full year and had to quit doing some things as more mission specific projects have come up.   Between homeschooling our children and missions life has been very full.  One wonderful thing about that is that I find that I am more centered on the purpose of God rather than just the purpose of our local church.  I do think that it is giving our family a broader Christian view and that is only a benefit as missionaries.  Most of my internal church involvement has come to an end because there is a lack of quality and attention that comes with being too divided in your focus.  Ron and I have each chosen a ministry to stay focused on in church and work on that.  But the days of multiple ministry involvement here are changing as we take on those multiple roles for the mission field.  We are working hand in hand with God on so many levels that we feel purposed in most everything we are doing.  From our constant communication with God through prayer, reading books in preparation, praying for our field assignments, communicating with those we will be working with on the field, our theology classes, our language learning, our devotions, going and sharing with others, conversations with the kids… there is so much that it seems tiring trying to list it all, but the funny thing is that it is not.  It is exhilarating and fills us with so much that we don’t even know how to say it all.  It is because it is our hearts desire.  To serve the Lord, and to serve him where he is sending us.  Where he is sending us.  Not where we alone want to go.  Where our treasure is, that is where our heart is.  Serving our Risen Lord to spread the good news and serve his church in Peru!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,