Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Call to Missions Realized

Today is the first day of your life because it has never been before, and today is the last day of your life becasue it will never be again.

- Frederick Buechner

As Jason reached his teenage years I began to feel the pull of the call to missions I heard when I was eleven. I still had not been introduced to ministries or organizations that could help me walk in that call but I had begun to do some research when God led Mark and me to a missions-minded church for the first time in our adult lives. I still remember feeling my spirit leap within me the Sunday morning I first heard the annoucement that our new church was having an informational meeting about their next mission to Trinidad in 2001.

Over the next 5 years I averaged two foreign missions per year. As I prepared for each mission I would send out support letters to family and friends, make items to sell, and pray for opportunities to work extra time to finance the missions. And God used these efforts to provide all the resources I needed for each mission. But God had something new for us in the spring of 2006.

Mark had triple by-pass surgery on January 31, 2006 and although there were a few "bumps in the road" of his recovery, overall it was fairly uneventful. So, at the beginning of April he was feeling well enough to be antsy but was not quite ready physically to return to his 48-72 hour work weeks and he began to "putz", as he puts it, around our home office. One of the end points of his putz-ing was that after 8 years he found that book CD!

One month later while on my first mission to India, the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that He did not want me to ask people for financial support for my missions any longer.

" don't want me to go on the mission field any more?"

"I didn't say that, Kathi, I just want you to trust me to provide the funds for your missions."
"Ok, Lord," gulp, "with your help I'll trust you."

In July of 2006 I finished the book, in September we signed a contract with our publisher - Wheatmark, and in April of 2007 the book was published! As we prayed about what we should do with the funds from our book it was obvious that this way one of the means that God intended to use to provide resources for my missions. God was using Peanut's life to fulfill His call on my life!

So, why the 8 year delay? I asked the same question! In that time God introduced me to my now cherished friend and divinely gifted artist, Connie Beecher, who did all of the art for my book. He brought us to Calvary Chapel of Delaware County, the vehicle He intended to use to "launch" me onto the mission field. He introduced us to various mission ministries including PUMA that would mentor us on our road to Touching Lives. He introduced us to the ministries in India and Kenya with whom we would eventually partner. And He introduced and reunited us with the people He had choosen to be on the TLM board at the birth of this ministry. During those 8 years God was working "behind the scenes" to do His perfect will in His perfect time!


butterfly studios said...

Kathi, my heart is to see your vision for medical missions soar! May you keep yours eyes on Him, your ears attuned to His voice, and your feet in motion, to where ever He directs. I pray I can step on the same foreign soil with you, sister,and bring the gospel to the nations.

Kathi said...

Con, thank you for the beautiful encouragement that I woke up to this morning! Hey, what were you doing up at 4:30am? Don't you ever sleep?! By God's grace, we WILL live out the call and passion He's put on our hearts - to the glory of His precious name!