Last night I failed to post–was exhausted from a busy day, I went to bed at 8 pm and slept the night away! Well, here we are for tonight, more from my autobio.
Chapter 40 Next Step Towards Missions
Through that winter as we grew in our parenting skills, we also made preparations for our short term trip with Operation Mobilization in the summer, filling out the applications and doing the required reading. Our monthly prayer meetings continued, and we were becoming more and more burdened for the Muslim world.
After one of these meetings, the thought came, “Are you willing to be part of the answer to your prayers for Muslims to come to Christ?” Our response was a strong, “Yes!”
In June we left for Germany, two weeks before the OM training session in Belgium, so we could spend some time with Barbara’s parents. Josh was now nine months old and his grandfather, “Opi,” had not yet seen him, so he was very happy to have us come.
The weather in Europe was very hot and without a car it was difficult to go anywhere, so we sweltered at Barbara’s parent’s home.
Near the end of our visit Josh got sick with an ear infection. We prayed that he would get well in time to go to Belgium, but there was no improvement.
Several people in Barbara’s village had asked us what we were doing after our visit there and we told them about our plans for going with OM to Austria to do an outreach. Through this the Lord gave us the idea to write a letter explaining about our trip, including a brief presentation of the gospel, and deliver a copy to every home in the village.
I made eighty photocopies and walked through the village, putting them into all the mailboxes. When I came to the last street in the last section where the rich newcomers lived, I found that I was two letters short. I gave my last letter to the man who came to the first door on the street.
It turned out that he was a businessman who knew Barbara well because she had worked for the Chamber of Commerce. He asked me a number of questions and noticed that I didn’t have any more letters.
“I’ll make some more photocopies for you and give them to these last two houses,” he said. That offer may seem like a small thing, but as I walked home, I marveled at it. My last letter went to the man who noticed the lack and made the offer to help. That was a God sighting! God arranged things so everyone would get a letter, even though I didn’t have enough to cover every home.
Then the Holy Spirit led me to another conclusion: if God can fill this need for extra letters in such a way, He could choose to heal Josh, if that were His best for us; or He could choose to not heal him resulting in my going alone to the conference. This turned out to be a prophetic thought.
Since Barbara had been with OM twice before, at her request she was granted an exemption from repeating the orientation week; this allowed her to stay at home with Josh until he was better. I went on alone to Belgium by train and was put into the men’s dorm.
As I chatted with my roommates, it turned out that two of them were going to the country on our heart. They told me stories of the great spiritual needs there: less than fifty known born-again believers out of Islam among fifty-five million inhabitants.
As I was taking this in, I saw in my mind a picture of a log. At one end was a crowd of people helping to lift it; this represented all the Christian workers in the West. At the other end were just a couple of people, struggling ineffectually to lift their portion of the log; this represented the evangelization of the Muslim world.
I thought, “If I were going to help, I would certainly go to the end of the log where there are very few workers.” Looking back, I believe this was another thought from God.
Since we were going to be sharing the gospel in German while in Austria, I hung out with the German speakers, which helped my comprehension some. I learned how to say basic things like, “We’re selling Christian books. Would you like to buy one?” But my German ability to share would need some help in order to be effective and the Lord had something planned.
Picture: Barbara’s parents