Revelation Motivation

Why be a missionary?  What would drive someone to leave a family and a church and a county (Lewis) that she loves?  What causes a country girl to go to a faraway country and learn another language and spend all kinds of money on passport and visas and plane and bus tickets to do it?

Two sections of the Bible answer all of those questions.  In sharing them, I share with you my very heartbeat – what gives me life and what I live for.

“The four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb [Jesus]…And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy…for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.”  Revelation 5:8,9

After a few years of reading these verses, I have them memorized in both English and Portuguese.  Although written for everyone, they have become God’s personal call to me, a challenge and a choice-shaper.  Day after day, night after restless night, one early morning after another, these words have motivated me, encouraged my heart, and reminded me why I am pursuing certain goals.  Yet, despite the familiarity, this is the part of the Bible that still makes tears run hot down my cheeks tonight, as my jaw clenches with determination, my fists in supplication, my heart tight with adoration.  Jesus is worthy!  Jesus died!  Jesus bought us back and set us free for God!

But the story is not just for me.  Not just for us, in our English-speaking, privileged lives, with a world of information and Truth in our language, just a page-turn or a mouse-click away.

Jesus is universally, globally, internationally worthy.  And He died for every person, speaking their own language, living anywhere on earth.  He loves us all that much, and He wants all of us to know and love Him.

And someday, at That Moment which I believe will be the greatest we will ever experience, we, the Redeemed Ones, will sing to Him, in front of His throne.  That will be the most sensational choir and band that ever existed, with singers from every tribe, language, people group and nation.  It’s really going to happen.  And I am really going to be there.

But I want to participate not just in That Moment, but in the MAKING of That Moment.  I want to invest my life in loving people from other tribes and languages, sharing the Good News of who Jesus is and what He did for them.  Why?  Because Jesus deserves it!  And I want to help make Him famous everywhere!

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be…He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”  Revelation 22:12, 20

Our time here on earth is running out.  Jesus is coming quickly.  Surely.  Behold.  Why did He say it so emphatically?  To remind us that we have an important job that we better not procrastinate on.  If we don’t spread the word, share the news, and love the unreached, they may be lost forever, without even one chance to be saved.  I am a born procrastinator – it has been proved on school assignments, documentation and activity planning at work, mailing birthday cards, calling people, and much more.

But with this motivation from Revelation, may I never procrastinate on talking about Jesus and doing my part to take His name and the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  If you know Jesus and believe He is worthy, I hope that you too will take on this challenge today, and for the rest of your life.  Until That Moment.


NBBI Revisited

Written late Tuesday night, posted today.  

Tucked away in a quiet potato-growing region of Canada, on the dscn3558banks of the St. John’s River, there is a very special place.  It is called New Brunswick Bible Institute, and it has played a critical role in my life.  During the three years I spent there, God used classes, professors, friends, daily life and ministry opportunities to deepen my faith, push me out of my comfort zone, and strengthen me in His Word.

This week I am back on campus for a couple days, visiting professors and other staff members who are still serving faithfully.  In the halls between classes and around dining hall tables, I have talked with many students, young people who are dedicated to the study of God’s Word, excited to serve Him today and in the future.

But how is it that I am being introduced as a grad from 7 years ago, as a missionary serving with New Tribes Brasil?  There must be some mistake.  And they are asking me to share in the evening service and prayer bands and missions class, and even chapel?  It doesn’t seem right somehow.  I don’t feel like a real missionary, or even a real grownup.

It isn’t about feelings or experience or qualifications, though, is it?  It is about Jesus!  It is about saying “Yes!” to every opportunity He gives to touch lives and speak Truth and share stories of His grace toward me.

And this one is an especially exciting privilege, an unbelievable opportunity.  Many modern heroes of the faith have stood on the platform where I’ll stand tomorrow.  Missionaries and pastors with decades of experience have shared with this same audience in recent months.

Father, as I stand before these students, let the words coming from my mouth be directed by You, sharing clearly and beautifully Your work in my life.  Please use my victories and struggles and passion to challenge them to consider serving You on the mission field.  Help them realize that you are still the God of the impossible, who calls the nobodies of this world to the farthest places and the most forgotten people.  Let each student see Jesus, not me.  Let them hear the Holy Spirit’s still small voice, not my words.  Let them be impacted not by this humble servant, but by my Lord and Master.   I love you, Father, and thank you for transforming my darkest moments into light.  In Jesus name, Amen

My “Little Vacation”

Last week someone mentioned that “my little vacation” is almost over.
There are different names for periods of time that a missionary is in his or her own country – “furlough,” “home assignment,” “deputation,” or “partnership development,” but “vacation” is not an accurate term.


This is where I get to live soon!

Please do not interpret the above statement as a complaint.  I LOVE the activities I have been involved in since returning to the States, especially time with family, church, and friends. Also volunteering, babysitting, traveling to visit people, and sharing about missions with churches and other groups.

(The only not-as-fun activities have been the paperwork and business aspects, researching taxes and voting and visas and such. And working a couple days a week at a minimum-wage job that is not meaningful and that I do not love).

Overall, the wonderful activities have far outweighed the annoying ones, for which I am thankful.

HOWEVER, this season has been busy.  And it has contained very few restful stretches – no more than the average person’s life.  Only a couple quiet Saturdays in four months, one weekend family getaway to a cottage on the lake, sleeping in until 7 or 8 a handful of times, but never two days in the same week.

As usual, I frequently pushed myself to the limits of fitting as many people and relationships and activities into a day as possible.  God has opened up so many doors of blessing and being blessed, and always provided just enough strength and joy and health and coffee to get through.  Yet in the ensuing tiredness, sometimes exhaustion, I have occasionally thought longingly, “Oh!  It will be good get back to Brasil, where schedules are emptier, where clocks can sometimes be ignored, where less activities are expected, where people typically make more time just to be together.”

And then I remember that after Field Conference and Orientation I will move to a village of 39 people.  There will be no store, post office, road, or telephone.  Although I have not yet been there, it is easy to imagine a slower pace, where no one knows or cares what time the clock says, where villagers sit and talk and sing for hours, or go out to fish or harvest or do other daily chores without rushing off to a pressing engagement afterwards.

Life there will probably get busy and crazy and overwhelming in its own way, but I must admit looking forward to the variety.  While the hustle-and-bustle of Partnership Development will be fondly missed, for it has been a wonderful and encouraging time, village life might even seem like “a little vacation” in comparison.


Another photo taken by missionaries already in the village.