I do hope everyone had good Christmas and New Years. December and January have been super busy for me I had to rush from Indiana right after New Years’ down to Cocoa, Florida to attend Overland’s annual conference and staff retreat. I was able to catch up with a lot of other Overland Missionaries and hear stories from the field. so many good things are happening all over the world.
I should be receiving a PDF of our End-of-Year report soon and when I do, I plan on putting the PDF here in my newsletter so you guys can also read about our statistics and stories. It was all really quite amazing. Throughout the Conference and retreat, I have been able to raise some more monthly support, praise God. At the time of this writing, I know only have $100 left to raise in monthly support before I am fully-funded!!!. I’m planning on just knocking that out of the way shortly. I am so close! I have some leads I am going to pursue, then hopefully before this month ends I will be fully funded. There is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t hit my goal before the end of the month. Thank you all that have been with me since the beginning, it means a lot to me, and shows a lot about your faith. It truly is amazing and honorable. I was talking with the Director of Expeditions in Overland and he said he may send me to Asia this year. Of course, that is still tentative right now, but we will see. At this point, I am more or less starting to transition from full-time fundraising, into expeditions. Before long I will start recruiting for new missionaries; and then in April or May, fly out to my God destination!
Just for some housekeeping, for those of you who support me, and/or have given a
one-time donation, you should be receiving an end of year tax summary in the mail soon as all your donations through Overland Missions are tax deductible; so just keep an eye out for that.
While in Cocoa Beach, being able to speak with many of the Overland missionaries was really nice. Everyone has a unique story how they got into missions. It is so cool. After hearing them, I noticed a trend. I find it present in my life also. One guy was telling me his testimony; but something really interesting stood out in it to me. He told me he was planning to commit suicide one day, he had a gun to his head, and was starting to squeeze the trigger when he heard God say, “go into all the world.” He listened and after that his life radically changed. He decided to get involved with Overland, but listening to him talk about his decision and he realized that if he did anything else other than preach the Gospel to the unreached, it would be no different than if he had shot himself that day. To him, spreading the Gospel is not just a job, but it is a, “I can’t do anything else.” He has to, it is like a mandate, which is super powerful. I find this conviction in many missionaries. They can’t do anything else. It isn’t that they don’t want to do anything else, but they can’t, because their conviction is so strong.
In my case, God revealed to me how he was my Father. I prayed a simple prayer, “God raise me up in the way that I should go, so that I should not depart from it.” He revealed to me that He had been doing that long before I ever prayed that prayer. If I did anything else other than spread the Gospel, I would be denying who God raised me to be. I can’t dishonor God or spit in His face by ignoring what He has raised me to do. That would be blatantly immoral. Everyone’s story is so unique. The mindset of the missionary understands that there is no task greater than spreading the Gospel, because Christ is the hope of salvation; and it is in that, where we see the difference between heaven and hell for people. We have no problem sacrificing the American dream in pursuit of the Gospel because what are we sacrificing? It is the flesh. What kind of sacrifice is that? I choose to pursue the eternal things. God was willing to give up His own son for me, what are we willing to give up?
I want to see something change. I want to see the mindset of the missionary become the mindset of the believer. So strongly convicted in pursuit of the salvation of others that they can’t do anything else. September of 2016, God showed me what love was. This is how we love... we crucify the flesh and pursue others for the Kingdom, just as Jesus gave Himself up in pursuit of us. I can’t do anything else because He taught me how to love others. If I did anything other than what He taught me, it would be a denial of who He made me to be.
David Livingstone, the pioneer to Africa who brought the Gospel to many parts of it once said, “if a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” I really want to hit home on what the mindset of the missionary is. We are people who are willing to go through hell and high water to reach people. I know people who have landed in third world countries not knowing where they were going to sleep that night. I know people who have slept in terrible conditions, like so terrible, I don’t even want to go into the details! I am only in the beginning, but understand... I know my conviction and I know my mindset. I know the mindset of other missionaries and they know
too, that there may be dirt, bugs, rude people, lousy weather, sunburns, chapped lips, sore legs, cuts, bruises, jail time, guns, muggings, etc. And it is all worth it to spread the Gospel.
I know this newsletter is a bit long, but I feel that I can’t quite capture our conviction in writing. I have barely grasped our mindset and how little the troubles of the world affect us. God is worthy of our intentions and actions to pursue the hearts of others for Him. God is worthy of our worship and servitude, and He is worthy of our devotion.
I thank God for all of you, because you are equipped by the Spirit of God for every good work, which He has prepared for you.