Seems like we’ve been going a mile a minute since moving to Africa. First, just settling in and getting used to a lot of new routines and ways of doing things (not to mention geography, culture, and so on). Then, figuring out how to balance ministry with life, since there are more opportunities than we can reasonably take advantage of–invitations to teach, discipleship meetings, community interactions, drop-in guests, and even short-term missions visitors. And finally, trying to wrap up our school  year before a new one gets started!

Last week I (Cindy) had scheduled a trip with two ladies whom I’ve been discipling, to speak to a group that was eager to hear more about the Gospel of the Kingdom. I’ve been making more of such trips than I had anticipated, and I was suddenly feeling burdened about being gone most of the day, leaving my still-nursing baby and many things at home that I wanted to attend to. As well, I can see (in various ways) that I have not been giving some of the children the attention they need. I talked to Marc about my concerns, and the questions I had about what a woman’s role in “ministry” is, and how to balance these various aspects of life.

Marc decided to step in and talk to the other two ladies that I was to have gone out with; he explained the situation and told them that for now, I would be re-focusing on things at home and that they could continue with any group meetings or teachings that we had previously planned. I think this is very healthy for them, as they will gain confidence in sharing the Gospel, answering questions, and actively making disciples. I trust that God will continue to open doors for ministry that He wants to see me participate in, but in the mean time I am taking a needed break and working on that discipleship process with my own children at home–something that I feel has been to much neglected lately.


4 thoughts on “Interlude

  1. Hey sister. I just wanted to affirm you in the Lord. I strongly believe that you made the right decision. Though some use “busy at home” as an excuse to focus only on their own families, I have also seen the other side of the pendulum leave children vulnerable to ungodly influences. I think of Psalm 127–“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guards keep watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go to late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.” Don’t you love being called his “beloved”! My real point, though, was that God has impressed on me in these years of raising, training, teaching, feeding, changing, healing, holding…little people that the work of the kingdom is His work. My part in that is obedience. He will build the house. I think also of Jesus’ words in Mark 4:26-29–“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” I love that. Before I had kids I could disciple 3-4 women and study the Bible with 2 or 3 non-Christians every week. We were also in a church that had a very clear evangelistic plan. I could see how the kingdom was going to advance. Now I feel like we are kind of forging our own path and figuring out discipleship and evangelism in a very different context. And, of course, so much of my time and energy go into keeping our home, growing and feeding the family healthy food, and training their minds and hearts. But, wonder of wonders, God doesn’t need my time to work :). I have been so amazed to see kingdom hearts blossom in friends and neighbors who I had no idea how to teach. My best friend was a Disciples of Christ minister when I met her 4 years ago. Last winter her husband and I baptized her in our horse trough and now she is striving to learn true submission to both God and her husband (aren’t we all). Anyway, I didn’t mean to write so much, I just wanted to strengthen and encourage you in your decision because I believe that it honors God, but I know it can’t be easy with so many needs right before your eyes. I will pray for peace in your heart as you “rest” in His word and watch Him work.

    With love and constant prayers for your strength and blessing,

    P.S. Our morning routine is greatly improved with the new mindset that I gained from that other post. Thanks :).

  2. Thank you, Sister!! I have to admit, I’ve always been happy to be “busy at home” and believe that my first priority is to support my husband and love and disciple my children, which includes (of course) taking care of all the “to-do’s” at home. However, the population here includes so many more women than men (one of the consequences of things like AIDS, tribal violence, and other issues that leave many women without husbands), and Marc and I both believe that women should disciple women, sooooo…that’s me! But I have spent some time investing in three women in particular, who I believe are strong enough to step out and start hearing from God and “doing” on their own. Others who come to me are now getting “referred” to those women. It is good.

    We strongly believe in Titus 2:4-5, that the older women should teach the younger women to love their husbands and children and be busy at home, so stepping back and re-focusing is necessary in that regard (in addition to what it means for our family personally). One thing that is *unheard of* here is homeschooling, and the “Women’s Empowerment” movement has made some great headway here in the churches as well. I think they are about 40 or so years behind the US in that regard, and we have already seen what havoc public school and “women’s liberation” will wreak on the family and, therefore, the Kingdom, if committed Christians aren’t on their guard against the subtle influences of the world. Example is, therefore, important in showing women how to invest in their families as God has intended for us to do.

    Your prayers are greatly coveted and I so appreciate your encouragement!! And happy to hear that you are enjoying a new morning routine. 🙂

    1. Wow! I will pray specifically for whole-heartedly devoted older single women who have more time available to disciple younger women, and for your example to be multiplied in its effects.

      Blessings, Lorna

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