“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
We have been in Guinea-Bissau for about a year now—a very quick year filled with a whirlwind of experiences alternately testing, confirming, cheering and discouraging us—so many different feelings. The people of this country suffer much due to inadequate drinking water, lack of electricity or poor sanitation. Seeing their suffering is not easy; it moves us greatly.
Some days we wake up excited, full of courage, ideas and plans and willing to change the world. Other days we cry, don’t want to be here, get stressed, and are ready to jump out of the boat and get back to the safe shore without ever looking back. Often the feeling of incapacity and impotence is powerful, and the desire to give up appears.
It is at times like these that God surprises us. He is an expert at doing amazing things and showing us that there is no reason to disbelieve nor give up. As we move forward, we witness miracles, decisions for Christ made, people transformed, families rebuilt and hopes planted. And how is all this achieved? It is through the preaching of the Word of God and the sharing of the eternal gospel through friendship, actions of love and words of affection.
Friends, mission work is complicated. It hurts. It makes you bleed. In practice, it is nothing romantic. But without a doubt, it is spiritual, divine and miraculous. And if so, then it is God who makes it possible. Because of this, let us press forward; let us work; let us dry the sweat and tears from our faces. We can move forward smiling from ear to ear, confident that the One who called us will do the work through us and in us.
Praise the Lord!