Ekballo

A Man’s Plans

Man's plans“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

A testimony of God’s faithfulness in the life of a man whose plans were not coming to fruition.

Having spent the majority of my life in rural Missouri, where oak and lead keep the people fed (oak logging and lead mining), I only could dream that the call on my life to missions would be fulfilled. I had dreams of working in a remote village where there had not been white people in years–if ever. I wanted to be like many well know missionaries I had heard or read about only less known; isolated, suffering, but diligently serving the Lord that the people may be reached. More

From Ecuador to Canada

Ecuador to Canada“Canada! These men are the future missionaries to Canada!” We had just entered a room in our church filled with young men who were interested in ministry. By my side was Frank Drown, our guest, visiting to address the group about his time serving as a missionary in Ecuador. Little did I know, when Frank spoke those words in 2006, what God was going to do in our church and in my life. Those words were more than just a dream of one man; they became marching orders. Let me tell you a story. More

Go, and Let God Stop You

Go Let God Stop YouWhen I was exploring and testing the stirring in my soul to abandon my career, the comfort of my community, and the fellowship of my church in order to possibly serve with To Every Tribe, I made a seemingly “christianese” comment to a highly respected theologian friend of mind. Little did I know that his encouraging rebuke would change my perspective on how I move forward in life. As I surveyed the landscape of risks and rewards of such reckless radical abandon for the sake of the gospel, I simply said, “If the Lord opens the doors, I will go.” My friend’s octavian Dutch brow furled and he gave a small growl before he said in a mocking manner, “I am so sick of hearing Christians talk that way, ‘if He opens a door, I will go.'” Then with a deep rich tone of authority he bellowed “Go, and let God stop you.” At that moment, I envisioned God had a heavy Dutch accent. More

Mission resolve: I Dare Not Stay Home

The Center for Pioneer Church Planting begins its 7th year in 10 days. Natalia Perez, missionary trainee from Miami, is beginning her first year of training in the CPCP. We received permission from Natalia to post her answer to our question on the CPCP application, “Tell us why you think that God is calling you to be a missionary”. Her answer is indicative of the resolve fueling the missionary trainees who are coming to Chachalaca Bend for training :

“I Dare Not Stay Home”

Natalia Perez

In all honesty, I get all weird when people ask about my “calling”. I would like to call it more like a response to the Gospel and to what His Word says, even an act of obedience to the desire, passion and burden He has placed in my heart. Pete Fleming put it this way, “I think a ‘call’ to the mission field is no different from any other means of guidance. A call is nothing more nor less than obedience to the will of God, as God presses it home to the soul by whatever means He chooses.”

Which leads me to the point that John Piper makes in Holding The Rope,

“So, you have three possibilities in world missions. You can be a goer, a sender, or disobedient. The Bible does not assume that everyone goes. But it does assume that the ones who do not go, care about goers and support goers and pray for goers and hold the rope of the goers.”

We are all called to the Great Commission. I am sure of this, that the words from Rev. 5:9-10 &12 will come to pass: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”.

He will make Himself known among the nations. I am just a speck of dust that He chooses to use for His glory. The Creator of the universe gives His children the privilege to go and share what Christ has done! To go for Him. Like Isaiah, I simply shout, “SEND ME! SEND ME!” As Jim Elliot used to say, “I am as sure of His direction as I am of His salvation”.

My prayer is much like Betty Stam’s:

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.”

I relate to Elliot when, “He (Jim) was given new assurance, and wrote to his parents of his intention to go to Ecuador. Understandably, they, with others who knew Jim well, wondered if perhaps his ministry might not be more effective in the United States, where so many know so little of the Bible’s real message. He replied:  “I dare not stay home while Quichuas [and I would add, unreached and unengaged peoples group; natalia] perish. What if the well-filled church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust of their Bible covers.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor, p. 10)

To me, Natalia Perez, the foreign mission field is an avenue of obedience to the simple word of Christ. I dare not stay home.  Karen Watson, a martyred missionary to Iraq, wrote,

“When God calls, there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn’t called to a place; I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward.

The missionary heart:

Cares more than some think is wise.

Risks more that some think is safe.

Dreams more than some think is practical.

Expects more than some think is possible.

I was called not to comfort or to success but to obedience.

There is no Joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving Him.”

Finally, like David Sittion puts it, “Let’s go get some of them (unreached people) for Jesus!”

– Natalia Perez

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