Bruce and I had fulfilled the years for full retirement from denominational service. However, we both felt that we were not ready to give up our ministry and our commission from Jesus to go into all the world. The fire still burned within us. We longed for Jesus to return. Was there something more we could do to make a difference for eternity?
We prayed and talked and listened to others who told of finding fulfilling activities after retirement. We prayed about this more, much more.
The Lord had brought us from Canada 20 years earlier to work in the Adventist hub of Berrien Springs, Michigan. Over the years, we had been acquainted with many missionaries, supported several and prayed for many. Adventist Frontier Missions held interest for us, and we loved to read of the adventures, challenges and miracles that God was doing through these courageous individuals and families.
But could the Lord use us at this transition time in our lives? We both had some minor age-related physical challenges, but the Lord had blessed us, and we were enjoying very good health.
Now, after two plus years in Southeast Asia as AFM field directors, we look back at the hesitations that could have held us back, and we see that God has taken both of us through a huge learning curve of faith. Our worldview has dramatically shifted. Our appreciation for God’s church and our passion to help spread the gospel cross-culturally has grown exponentially.
Is God providing for our needs financially, emotionally and relationally? Are we using our unique skills and experience and finding our personal “bucket list” fulfilled? Yes, Yes, Yes! And more than I could have imagined! Are there tough situations to deal with? Oh, yes! And our gracious, merciful Lord is using those challenges to round off our rough edges.
Yes, we long for Jesus to come, but we are also longing to see the many honest, sincere and wonderful people among the hard-to-reach throngs of the Asian world come to know of the living God who loves unconditionally and is preparing an eternal future for them.
We, along with the rest of the world, face uncertainty because of the coronavirus outbreak. Is international travel and exposure wise for us? They tell us that our ages put us in the “high-risk” category, but we suffer from no known health challenges.
As I write this article, we are flying back to our home in Thailand to go into self-quarantine for 14 days. Are we afraid? No. Are we being extra careful? Absolutely. As Bruce often says, “The safest place in the world to be is where God wants us to be.” We are at peace and excited about how the impact of this world crisis might open doors for the spreading of the gospel in the Buddhist and Muslim world in which we serve.
Are you wondering what God’s plan might be for your future? You may have gone on short-term mission trips and enjoyed a taste of something that might bring fulfillment for a longer period of time. Are you approaching a transition point in your life and wondering how you might hasten the coming of our Lord? I urge you to open your mind to experience a transformed worldview. Be a missionary!
Contact AFM at email@example.com. There are still about 7,000 people groups that are unreached with the Three Angels’ Messages.