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Making disciples among the unreached
     

Not Forgotten

Tags: SEND North, Story

Do you look forward to Thanksgiving and family gatherings?  Maybe you experience the holidays with a heavy heart and a broken spirit which feels more like harsh slavery.  We get it!  Life is hard.  Even ministry in the beauty of Alaska / Northern Canada can bring an emotional struggle.  That is why I want to share with you some encouragement that our Area Director, Jim Stamberg,  shared with us this week.   As you read on, may God confirm in your spirit that you are not alone and He has not forgotten you!

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“Today my reading took me to Exodus 6:1-13. In this passage, God tells Moses that He hears the groaning of His people and has not forgotten His covenant with them. However, when Moses begins to tell the people of Israel God's plan, they did not listen "because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery." 

This struck me. How often do we give up hope and simply ignore the promises and movements of God because our spirits are crushed by years of disappointment? I would encourage you to examine your heart. We all live and minister in one of the harshest physical and spiritual environments in the world. So often our spirits are broken not only because of the lack of spiritual fruit around us but because we are depressed or struggling emotionally. Yet God is working in our midst. He has not forgotten us or His promises to us. This year we have seen people come to Christ, believers baptized, and mountains moved (aka overwhelming airplane hangar projects completed). These are only a few of the things that we can see. What about all the ways God is moving that we may have missed?

At Director’s Council this past week, I was impressed with the fact that SEND North is NOT as unique of a field within SEND International as we often want to think. The truth is that all of the "low-hanging fruit" of missions has been picked. The harvest remains white, but the harvest fields that are left in the world are very difficult places to minister. They are places where it takes a long time to build trust, where we are hesitant to label ourselves as "missionaries," and where there are very serious and overt spiritual battles that are taking place around us. 

I find this reality comforting. As I looked around the table at Area Directors from China, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, etc., I was encouraged by the global movement and spiritual family that we are a part of. We are not alone, and there are believers all over the world who are wrestling with the same joys and struggles of ministry that we face. 

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

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