"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." - Edward Sandford Martin
FROM THE DESK OF: the Director of Communications
The nature of our work dictates that most of our time is spent on things not yet realized. Such is the life of trail blazers. Missions has always had a pioneer spirit, taking the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world where Christ has not yet been proclaimed. Sports missions, in particular, is now at the forefront of that movement, charting new territory and changing paradigms within the missional conversation. We are constantly occupied with unreached countries, potential projects, hypothetical placements and future donations while navigating old models and difficult contexts.
If we’re not careful this can lead to discouragement. The needs are so great. The workers are so few. And the darkness is so vast.
Perhaps November is a helpful time to pause and remember how the Lord has continually provided, not only for our small office but also how God continually brings people to Himself despite the apparent lack of resources and personnel all over the world. Thankfulness has a strange (but good) way of creating perspective, which produces confidence.
I’m reminded of a conversation I heard on a detective show once. The two protagonists have just closed a brutally violent case that left both men physically and emotionally shaken. While recovering from gunshot wounds at the local hospital, the cop turns to his partner, looks up at the night sky, speckled with faint stars, and reflects on their recent ordeal,
“In the battle between light and dark, it sure seems like the dark has a lot more territory.”
His partner pauses, noting the obvious truth in his partner’s statement.
“Yeah, you’re right about that. But you’re looking at it all wrong.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, in the beginning there was nothing but darkness... so I think the light’s winning.”
We have a long way to go, because millions of people still don’t know of Jesus; but look how far we’ve come. The Lord has been faithful, and for this we give thanks.
For the Wind[dow],
Bubby Bryan, DOC
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: NAMIBIA
The Republic of Namibia, located in southern Africa, is bordered by Angola, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean. Namibia was a German colony from 1884 until the end of World War I; it is now one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with only 2.3 million people in an area of 318 thousand square miles. The Christian majority in Namibia is 87% and only one unreached people group remains, although afro-spirituality is often practiced alongside Christian traditions. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly difficult for foreigners to get visas into the country, including missionaries. Pray for a movement of prayer to continue among Namibian churches, to lead to revival and purity of Christian practices. Pray also for continued religious freedoms and gainful employment for the 35% unemployed in the country.
- We are thankful God has raised up additional overseas staff to join the team in 2015.
- We are thankful for a corporate camp sponsor who funded a soccer camp last summer.
- We are thankful that several displaced workers have found new, temporary locations and are discovering God's plans for them there.
- We are thankful for God's provision during 2014 and a chance this week to reflect on His goodness!