During June we’re focusing on finding strength in God. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Jill Riepe
In some ways, missionaries are blessed. We have to find our strength in God. There is no other way around it. All the things that people back home use to prop themselves up in times of crisis or difficulties are miles and miles away. Of course, this is not always fun and frequently, very difficult.
Last month, I was working with the Mussau language group to consultant check (the final check before publication) 2 Corinthians and I was struck by the constant theme throughout the book about being weak or foolish in order to further the gospel, glorify God and help others to grow in their Christian life. In chapter 12, Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh. He asked for it to be removed, but the Lord said no. This happened three times. Then finally, the Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul takes this message and runs with it. He is willing to boast in his weaknesses, in the insults that he has received, the hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
Missionaries have many opportunities to do this and we tell the stories of our language learning mistakes and cultural misunderstandings. The things we can share with humor are easy, but it gets harder when it’s something alarming like armed men coming to attack your village. Fortunately, I was able to communicate with my director and arrange for a flight out of the village, but these things have a way of knocking you off your feet. I’ve found myself in need of a retreat. So as this post is going on the blog, I will be at a retreat spending time with God and seeking to find my strength in Him. May the God of peace and comfort be with you always.
Jill serves as a Bible translator.