Confident in His Mercy

I asked the Lord at the beginning of this year to teach me what He says of justice. I’ve always struggled with understanding God as just in my life. I believed He could be and was but I struggled with seeing day to day in my situations how He is. The Lord has been faithful to my request and almost every day He has shown me what His word says about His justice.

Job 35-38 shows us how Elihu had a false understanding of justice. He believed God didn’t pay attention to the transgressions of man. When speaking into Job’s situation he spoke arrogantly telling him what he believed God would say to him. He tells him to just “get out of this rut”. He “comforts” him by saying consider God’s works and wonders and fear Him. Putting Job in his place which is far underneath and from God.

Many people today struggle with biblical agnosticism. We shouldn’t be agnostic about what you can know. The secret things belong to the Lord, but the “things revealed belong to us” (Deut. 29:29). This is what we know from the Bible on why God allows injustice: Job asks God for answers to why he allowed all the unjustice in His life. God replies by asking Job 49 questions in Job 38 about the natural universe. These questions show us that there is so much of God’s creation and ways that we don’t know or have the authority to. Even though God doesn’t tell us “why” He tells us there is always a good reason!

Job got an answer! He recognized there are things “too wonderful to know”. But God transcendent, immanent, loving & is in control. “Job learned through the theophany that God had not abandoned him. And it gradually dawned on Job that without knowing why he was suffering he could face it, so long as he was assured that God was his friend.” (Smick)

The more I’ve studied His justice the more I can trust that He is a righteous God. This has given me a freedom to look at all the injustice in my life with a renewed perspective. God is just in everything in even the unjust circumstances. We can ask Him for answers and expect answers in assurance that He is just.

Most importantly, we learn in understanding His justice and righteousness that God is merciful!

“At the end of the day we all need mercy more than justice”-Nicky Gumbel. Ephesians 2:4 says “God is rich in mercy”. When David was wrongly accused and faced oppression (Psalm 22:7-14) He cried out to the Lord “be merciful to me”. David was able to look at his unjust situation with a heart full of joy in the Lord.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps.22:13)

Where will He lead me next?

For the past three months I’ve been working as staff with MDT in Moldova. I have loved the opportunity but have felt misplaced. I’ve made many great friendships with OM staff & students. But what has kept me from being able to thrive is problems I would never expect to be facing. Problems that have brought set back, uncertainty, and distrust. In return they’ve left me feeling distrusted, uncertain, and unsettled.

Support is so vital to the missionaries work. Not just the support of prayer partners on the field & at home. Not just financial support or support of a mentor on the field. But also the support of a sending church and sending field.

Many of you know before I left the US I didn’t have much time to inform people I was leaving. I didn’t have a chance to allow my sending church to actually send me. In addition, I’ve struggled from the time I left the US with very little support from my sending field. In the UK when I was training I kept my supporters in the loop but I didn’t actually have the continued support from everyone. With my complicated history with being supported by the church I realized how much I still needed healing. This healing has shown me I can’t just believe the church can support me but I have to allow them to.

Long story short, because of paperwork needed to prove cooperation between my sending church and the Moldovan Baptist Union the Lord used this as an opportunity to inform my pastor of the support needed.

In the midst of all these problems, I have learned I have been misinformed about the paperwork needed for my residency permit. This means in two weeks time my 90 days allowance without a permit will be up and I will have to leave Moldova.

The Lord has been teaching me about His justice recently. That even in unjustice He is just! He will set everything right. I have been shown how when I can’t trust others, when my items are stolen, and when people disappoint me that He is reliable! “The ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous” Psalm 19:9

I’ve been able to rely on Him completely in provision, support, and guidance. I’ve been studying what God says about how He used unjust situations to show His justice. Jesus used scripture in his struggles with disloyalty, abandonment, & false accusations (Matt. 26). He has taken me through these struggles in my life as well and in His justice has prepared me to forgive and overcome these things.

These past few months He has lead me and given me a task of trusting Him. Just as he gave the Israelites in Exodus 13-14 the task of trusting Him when he lead them with a pillar. He has been preparing me and increasing my authority. He has shown me that not only is He trustworthy but so am I. That I am capable, I am dependable, and He is pleased with me (Mark 1:11).

One thing He illustrated to me recently was how trust is the center of my relationship with Him. One day I got turned around walking back to the Mission Center I needed help and didn’t feel I could call someone for directions without bothering them. When I finally decided on who I could ask for help from my phone froze because of the cold weather. I pray for God to show me the way and He did. Even in our low points, we can trust Him (Psalm 22:1-11).

I’ve been praying about where the Lord will lead me next but I have taking it one day at a time. I’ve been so thankful for His continued provision, presence, and peace. He promises to lead us one day at a time & He has been doing this in my life. God teaches us to pray: “give us this day, our daily bread..”. God provided manna in Exodus 15-16. He gives us all we need each day and promises His presence through everything! I love that after the great commission He said in Matthew 28:20 “I will be with you always”. He hasn’t just commanded me to go in the mission field and spread the gospel but to find peace in His presence & this is what I’ve been able to do!

Speak the Words

I struggle to find the words of You
The words I once knew
Words that the enemy once stole
Yet these are words still within my soul
Where these words will forever remain
For they are what help me sustain
Your spirit breathing these words into me
Words that created everything I see
Words that brought me to life
Words that separated the day from night
Words that bring peace in the pain
Words that comfort us in suffering
Words that bring us closer to You
Words that speak love in truth
Words I can’t comprehend
Yet I am still called to speak of them
To take the facade down
To show off this treasure I’ve found
To talk of everything I feel
To not just speak but to say something real
To form these words into my story
To live these words full of life and full of glory
To follow the words no matter how far
To let all my life speak of who You are

January 2020

I’ve been enjoying my time in the villages of Soroca this past week. It’s almost like the new year allowed me to leave my troubles from last year behind. I’ve finally felt I could let go off my Bible and journal that I lost. I’ve grieved, prayed, and am thankful for how God has given me a new journal, & a new perspective of the trial. I’ve been using my new journal & got the Youversion app which isn’t the same as my study Bible but it is still nice. I watched Passion 2020 webstream & was encouraged by it’s goal this year of bringing the Bible to the world. I was also encouraged by a woman from Sudan who spoke of her life without a Bible in her language. The Lord reminded me again of how blessed I am to even have the Bible in my language.

One night, I was in a village house church & they were studying the Bible. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to help me understand what they were speaking on. I only understood a few words I had learned but then I was able to understand one conversation where they were talking of baptism by fire. I got to partake in this conversation & help point them to what some of scripture says.

The past few days, we’ve been going village to village delivering gifts. We’ve got to partake in a Christmas play where the gospel is shared and I had the chance to lead a game with the kids. Some days we get to walk house to house delivering gifts and singing Christmas Carols. One carol we sing I know now in both Romanian and English called “Give Me Oil in My Lamp”. Spending an entire day walking through the snow, rain, mud, and darkness can be rough. But it is such a privilege to be a part of. Seeing the kids receive the gifts is such a blessing!

We only have one more week here and then I head back to the city to start preparing for MDT. We walked to a park where we saw the Dnister River (on the other side of this river is Ukraine). While there we saw the most Swans I’ve ever seen. I was interviewed by a news station about my reaction to the amount of swans which is apparently unusual. Today we saw the Soroca Fortress which is just a short walk from where we are staying. I think it is sad that this country is one of the least traveled to in Europe because it’s full of amazing sights. Nights in Soroca are my favorite. They are so beautiful with all the stars. The fellowship and very nice meals we enjoy with the Local Missions Team has made evenings very enjoyable.

We have had many adventures including the time I broke the shower because I couldn’t get the water to turn off. My favorite adventure was getting the van up the hill. The van kept sliding with the snow down the hill so we all stood in the back of the van and jumped up and down on the wheels while driving up the hill at full speed.

We also had a really great New Years party that we hosted at our place. I made Chicken Parm & Mirjam made her fantastic Banoffie Pie. We played German Board Games that were very difficult to understand. Then we ended the night with sparklers, traditional Dutch donuts, and watching all the fireworks. I enjoyed being in 2020 seven hours ahead of my friends and family in the US haha!

Celebrating the New Year!

How we deliver the gifts

Singing Christmas Carols

A child receiving a Christmas gift

The Christmas Play

The Dnister River

The Soroca Fortress

Prayer Requests:

-Pray for the new year and Mirjam and I as we spend this last week here in Soroca to have more chances to impact others and learn from God.

-Pray for the family’s we will continue to visit next few days as they celebrate Christmas to be filled with an overwhelming joy and understanding of who Christ is!

-Pray for the LMTs in Soroca who work year round in these villages. For blessing, provision, and guidance as they plant house churches and spread the gospel.

-Pray for my MDT students and myself as MDT starts February 3rd. Pray for my training and preparation. Pray for God to prepare my heart and their hearts for this season!

Christmas in Panașești

We left Chișinău to stay in a small village this past week. While we’ve been here we’ve got to work with a children’s program & celebrate Christmas with the village. I’ve really enjoy all the celebrations we’ve been a part of and how they’ve invited us into their homes. One night the part didn’t end till 2 am since they gave everyone a chance to share encouragement and pray for one another. The fellowship was beautiful & despite not knowing the culture or language we knew their hearts and were able to be apart of the fellowship.

At one of the Christmas celebrations we had a white elephant gift exchange and I got a journal. This meant a lot to me since I got my journal and Bible taken from me in the airport with my other things. Ive struggled a lot with this in adjusting. My Bible and five year journal were very important to me and without them I’ve been struggling to have quiet time with the Lord. My journal brought me a lot of healing and was a good way for me to reflect on what the Lord has taken me through the past few years. The Lord knows how important they are to me and I believe He could still preform a miracle and return them to me. Until then I am very thankful for this sweet gift from Him of a new journal. Christmas was a bit hard being all alone and away from family. It hard since I was sick with a sinus infection with no medication and then I got injured after blacking out.

Thankfully I had my friend Mirjam to help take care of me & prepare all the games with me for the children’s program today. Without her I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten this far. Communication has been rough but we have google translate and we’ve learned a lot from observation of the children this past week.

This past Sunday morning I got the opportunity share this message:

2 Corinthians 8:1-9

1Fraţilor, voim să vă aducem la cunoştinţă harul, pe care l -a dat Dumnezeu în Bisericile Macedoniei. 2În mijlocul multelor necazuri prin cari au trecut, bucuria lor peste măsură de mare şi sărăcia lor lucie, au dat naştere la un belşug de dărnicie din partea lor. 3Vă mărturisesc că au dat de bună voie, după puterea lor, şi chiar peste puterile lor. 4Şi ne-au rugat cu mari stăruinţe pentru harul şi părtăşia la această strîngere de ajutoare pentru sfinţi. 5Şi au făcut aceasta nu numai cum nădăjduisem, dar s’au dat mai întîi pe ei înşişi Domnului, şi apoi nouă, prin voia lui Dumnezeu. 6Noi dar, am rugat pe Tit să isprăvească această strîngere de ajutoare, pe care o începuse. 7După cum sporiţi în toate lucrurile: în credinţă, în cuvînt, în cunoştinţă, în orice rîvnă, şi în dragostea voastră pentru noi, căutaţi să sporiţi şi în această binefacere. 8Nu spun lucrul acesta ca să vă dau o poruncă; ci pentru rîvna altora, şi ca să pun la încercare curăţia dragostei voastre. 9Căci cunoaşteţi harul Domnului nostru Isus Hristos. El, măcar că era bogat, s’a făcut sărac pentru voi, pentruca prin sărăcia Lui, voi să vă îmbogăţiţi.

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Romanii au luat averea și pământul macedonienilor după ce i-au cucerit

The Poverty of the Macedonians was recorded in Roman History when the Romans took most of their wealth and conquered their homeland

Pavel vorbește despre două moduri în acest pasaj pe care romanii l-au dat

Paul points out the two ways in this passage that the Romans gave

Au dat în funcție de abilitatea lor (ceea ce înseamnă ce aveau ceea ce nu era mult)

They gave according to their ability (meaning what they had which wasn’t much)

Și au dat liber de bună voie (inima lor era să dea și să dea dincolo de capacitatea lor)

And they gave free willingly (their heart was to give and give beyond their ability)

Când eram mai mică, familia mea traversa o perioadă dificilă și avea nevoie de sprijinul bisericii

When I was younger my family was going through a difficult time and needed the support of the church

Nu am ajuns la biserică pentru sprijin

We didn’t reach out to the church for support

Biserica nu a fost un loc în care am căutat să sprijinim

The church wasn’t a place we looked to for support

Biserica era plină de respingere și era greu de încredere

The church was full of rejection and was hard to trust

Abia după 2 ani de la ieșirea din biserică, am găsit o biserică în care am putea avea încredere

It wasn’t until 2 years after we left the church that we found a church we could trust

Nu a trebuit să ajungem la această biserică pentru ajutor, pentru că ne-au întins

We didn’t have to reach out this church for help because they reached out to us

Ne-a sprijinit în rugăciune și ne-a ajutat să ajungem la o casă

The supported us in prayer and helped us get a home

Toți au fost chemați să dea ca biserică.

Orice sprijin pe care îl poți oferi este modul în care le arătăm altora Evanghelia

Were all called to give as the church.

Whatever support you can give is how we show others the gospel

Este modul în care noi, ca biserică, îl arătăm pe Hristos celor care au o vedere ruptă asupra bisericii și a lui Dumnezeu

It’s how we as a church show Christ to those with a broken view of the church and God

Nu știi niciodată cum să oferi ceea ce puțin ai avea un impact asupra altora

You never know how giving what little you have can impact others

nu considerați niciodată darul vostru ca fiind prea mic atunci când impactul îi îndreaptă pe ceilalți către Hristos

so never consider your gift as too small when the impact is pointing others to Christ

The church after everyone left the morning I spoke

The journal I received, my Christmas sock which bring me joy and the heater I spent this week huddled by

Making Christmas cards

OM Christmas party last week ( with Mirjam, Marina, & Deborah)


The kids playing games we set up

Pictures from around the village

Prayer Requests:

-One OM couple is in the process of planting a church in a village nearby but the community is getting signatures for a petition in order to stop them. Please pray for the enemy to back off and the church to be opened and people see the power of the Lord through this trial.

-Pray for me to make a quick recovery from being sick

– For Mirjam and I as we join the LMT (local ministry team) & go to 8 different village January 2nd through the 10th to deliver hundreds of gifts and present the gospel.

-For the safety of those out celebrating during New Years which in this country can be very unsafe since everyone is out drinking (alcohol here is very cheap and it is everywhere-Moldova has a big reputation for their wine)

In Moldova the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th. The country today with many Moldovans celebrating on the 25th have Christmas celebrations from December 25th-January 7th. They also celebrate New Years after January 7th. The month of December and January in Moldova is full of celebrating!

Here I am!

Am făcut-o în Moldovă!

I have made it to Moldova!

On my flight I had the song “Here I am” by Bryan Adams stuck in my head. I love it’s lyrics: “It’s a new world it’s a new start 
It’s alive with the beating of young hearts 
It’s a new day it’s a new plan 
I’ve been waiting for you 
Here I am

I prayed these lyrics feeling it was a good representation of my perspective of this opportunity in Moldova I have been praying for. To work in discipleship and with young people. To go into the unknown and by His grace to start a new thing for His glory.

My graduation from MDT UK was last week and I flew in last night. The transitions weren’t awful even though going through Vienna I had customs misplace my items. But I was so thankful to not have trouble with passing through airports that I was too busy celebrating when I arrived to notice a third of my things were missing. I’m feeling very at home in my room I share with my friend Mirjam who went through training with me in the UK. Having her here has helped me transition. Tonight we will share who we are with the team during a prayer night. It’s always weird to be the outsiders especially in a foreign country. The excitement makes the culture shock seem bearable. But I’m sure we will experience it. Especially tomorrow when we go out to explore using public transportation, money, and buying food. Thank God for Google translate! We got to tour the the offices and meet the staff today. OM Moldova has over 70 staff that work in several different areas of outreach and ministry. We have a full schedule planned out including village outreach, prayer meetings, and a woman’s retreat. I will post another update soon!

Moldova OM MDT/Office 23

view of Galati (the girl’s home) from the road

Me & Mirjam practicing Romanian at breakfast

We have a good amount of free time scheduled

Prayer:

-For learning the language and culture

-For my items (Bible, journals, wallet, and toiletries) to be returned to me

-For things to go smoothly as I finish applying for my residency visa

The Visitor

The inside was full of people but the outside seemed grim
Everyone dressed nice and the place was well kept in fact the only thing that seemed to be dirty was the floor
People gathered while the bells rung
When I walked in the greeter told me of the donation boxes at each door
Then he mentioned the praises the church received for how well worship by the choir was sung
I asked what was valuable to the church
The focus wasn’t on fellowship, community, or support
Instead I was only told that it’s the reputation of the building’s history, architecture, and art
I ask how people contribute to the church
They explained everyone has a role but few are a part
The schedule showed lots of services but didn’t mention repeated gatherings
Restriction signs were everywhere but on the art that was hung up high
Request for prayers on the board seemed to be ranked by which was focused on sadder things
Waiting for service to begin I sat alone
Everyone grew silent expect the clicks of one woman’s heels down the hall
Prayers began and were focused on the world
There is no mention of people’s requests nor mention of the individual at all
The leader begins and ends asking:
Contintion for God’s mercy
Peace from God who is our defense
For God’s grace this day and always
Guidance for our journey in this life and the next
All repeat the prayers and participate in hymns to “The King”
We ask for forgiveness once again and just like that the service is over
The organ plays as people leave & crowds push past me to the door
Stepping out I am stopped only by one man giving me a volunteer card entitled “How you can Serve” and telling me he hopes I’ll come back again