In the World War II years, fronts referred to specific areas of fighting, whether the Eastern Front or the Home Front. The soldiers on the front lines may have been doing the actual fighting, but there were plenty of folks back home who were working in factories, collecting scrap metal, planting “victory gardens” and rationing supplies to keep those soldiers on the front lines.
I feel like these past couple months since I returned from Istanbul, I’ve definitely been working hard on the “home front” and fighting my fair share of battles. Sometimes that’s looked like helping my parents remodel and move into a new house after 10 years at the previous location. At other times, it’s the daily grind of working full-time and traveling to ball games for work, so I can save the money needed for plane tickets, visas and other expenses. These past weeks have also been filled with fund-raising efforts, whether sending out letters and meeting with potential supporters to speaking at churches and preparing those materials.
And, of course, my personal ministry continues. Immediately following my return from Istanbul, I participated in my biggest ministry event of the year – it’s always a huge highlight for me! For the past 10+ years I have participated in some way in an evangelistic walk-through drama at my home church. The drama follows the story of several people in the last hours of their lives and into their eternities, and provides an opportunity for attendees to respond and talk to someone about what they have seen.
This year I participated as a tour guide, who leads a group of 30-40 people through the drama and narrates the events. During the two-week period, over 5,000 people from Kansas and surrounding states saw the drama, and of that number, over 2,000 indicated first-time decisions to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We praise God for working in this incredible way, and for allowing us to be a part of it! Being a part of this life-changing ministry comes with its own challenges, though. Satan often tries to discourage the workers in the drama with health problems, interpersonal conflict, accidents, etc. and this year was no different from previous years. We never forget that in the Spirit’s power we are battling for souls for Christ’s kingdom. As we say, “Satan will make us pay, and God will make it worth it!”
Another battle for me has been the fund-raising process. I am not someone who enjoys the spotlight, so speaking at churches and events about this opportunity with OM has been a huge faith challenge for me. In addition, very few people whom I have contacted about this ministry have responded or supported me financially. As of a few days ago, I only had enough support to stay 2-3 months in Carlisle doing the communications work for OM, and I admit I was quite discouraged. But the Lord is faithful, and over the past couple days He provided a host family for me to live with and additional donations, so with some budget adjustments I should now be covered through 7.5 months out of the one-year term originally planned. Others have expressed interest in financially partnering with me in this coming year as well, so we continue to pray and trust God to provide the funds as they are needed. Approximately $5,600 is still needed in one-time donations or monthly support for me to stay for the full year. If you’re interested in becoming a financial partner, please see my Give page for further information.
Though I still have a few weeks left before I am scheduled to leave for England, there are many more battles to be fought here on the home front. Visas and other documentation need to be acquired, a new computer purchased (my old one finally died), suitcases packed, and special times of farewell spent with family and friends. The spiritual resistance is definitely felt, as practical, emotional and spiritual roadblocks are thrown in my path as I go “down the stretch.” But I persevere, carried along by my amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who truly have made me family. It’s so reassuring to know they have my back, so I can focus on the work and ministry to which God has called me.
As one of these dear friends said to me yesterday: “Focus on what you’ve been called to do, and let the folks at home worry about how to keep you there.”
I pray that you will have blessed times with friends and family this Christmas season. And for those who find the holidays an especially difficult time, Christmas becomes even more meaningful. We celebrate the coming of the only true King, in whose kingdom there will be no more terror or strife or grief or illness or pain. He is the Hope that has come into the world, bringing light to the nations. And He is making all things new. (Rev. 21:4-5).
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Is. 9: 2, 6)