First off let me say Thank You for joining us in this very special Season of Prayer. It has been several days since I wrote an update for you and I wanted to give you just a brief explanation. The last few days have been filled with Christmas and family activities. As I write this update, Hope and I are sitting in the “Tree Top” restaurant in Hua Hin, Thailand. It has been many years since we have been able to take a “beach” type vacation so on Friday at 6:00A.M., we loaded up our truck and began our trip from the far Northern part of Thailand and drove 16 hours straight South with our two teenage boys and two of their friends. We will be spending a few days here and then on Tuesday we will load up the truck again and head back with another 16 hour drive, but this time straight North. So let’s consider this PRAYER DAYS 28-32.
Today we want to shed a little light on some of the struggles that most missionaries face so that you will know a little better how to pray for us/them.
The first struggle I want to ask you to pray about is the struggle I call “Missionary Church Life Adjustment.” Most of the people that come out as missionaries have been very active in local church life in their home churches in their home country. However, when they arrive on the field, because of language and cultural challenges, many do not make the transition well and instead of trying to assist current local churches in evangelism and discipleship, many loose heart and begin to form what some have called “Club House Churches” which are almost if not in completely and exclusively made up of native English speakers and they never really make the transition to genuinely serving and reaching out to the native people who need these Christian relationships in order to grow and mature.
Please join us in praying that missionaries – especially new ones – would realize the importance of being intentionally involved and serving in a local church in the country in which they serve and love the nationals enough to be involved in local church life in that country.
Many of these missionaries for example serve as a “missionary in Thailand” without any genuine connection with a local church and do not see the value of “church life” on the field with nationals and there are so many ways in which they could assist and serve and strengthen these local churches even if they do not know the language or if they are only going to serve in those countries for only one or two years.
Prayer Example: “Oh, Heavenly Father, we thank you for raising up and sending out missionaries all over the world. We pray that You would bless them and help them through their adjustments and help them to make the right adjustments to “church life” as they serve you in a foreign country. Help them to be intentional and make the “local church” a priority in their lives. Help them to provide not only the right example for national believers but also help them to be intentional about making disciples and joining you as You have declared Your intention to “Build your church” all over the world. We pray in Jesus name.”