Come Apart and Rest

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“By the way, we’re going into the mountains for a few days, from Monday to Wednesday next week,” stated John. I was visiting one of our teams in Turkey when I was informed that we would be gathering in the mountains for a little time of spiritual refreshing, team building and general togetherness. This would be a time when the two teams in the country could connect and get better acquainted with each other, a time when we could step back and see how the projects were doing and take time to pray for each other. It had been organized by John and Mary Smith, the country team leaders, and though not everyone could attend due to prior commitments, those who were able to gather spent a wonderful few days together.

I don’t cope with high temperatures very well, even though I enjoy the warmth and sunshine, so I was glad to swap the 30° C in the city for the more pleasant 23° C at our destination.
We took a walk the following day, enjoying the beautiful surroundings of forests and mountains, and tasted the lovely fresh water from the mountain stream. I was reminded of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isa. 52:7, NKJV). Isn’t that what we are doing in the various countries around the world? Isn’t that the message we have been commissioned to proclaim to all peoples in this world, that God lives and reigns in our lives, that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords in this world and throughout the whole universe? That it is He who brings joy and peace and gladness, and hope of better things to come to those who know and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Our ministry may not always take place in the mountains, but we can all be bearers of the glad tidings.

From what was shared as we spent time together, it became evident that Satan is attacking the health of nearly every team member in order to derail the proclamation of the good news in Turkey, and prayers are needed to combat the spiritual warfare that is taking place.

We had just a few days together, but what a lovely time of spiritual, mental and physical refreshing! Our missionary families work so hard all the time, so it is good to “come apart and rest a while,” as Jesus Himself admonished His disciples. Everyone was able to return to their place of labor with renewed energy and a deeper sense of camaraderie, knowing they were part of a larger team and that others were upholding them in prayer. When was the last time you took time out from your day-to-day activities and responsibilities in order to enrich your spiritual self and deepen your relationship with God, family, friends, or even your church family? Maybe you, too, need to “come apart and rest a while” with Jesus, to be refreshed and reinvigorated to “proclaim glad tidings of good things.”

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