Missionary Mom: Have You Heard?

Romans 8:18-27

I love verse 19: The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. God is definitely at work in this world whether we are on board with it or not, and the Holy Spirit is preparing lives to be “sons of God.” Our work here is all about spreading God’s kingdom. I have learned in the almost 2 years that we have lived here that God provides the increase, and there is a big reason that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. 

On Friday mornings I have been studying the women in the lineage of Jesus with Paty and Coki.
The first three women, Tamar, Ruth, and Rahab, were all Gentiles. They were not “in” with the people of God. They were, however, used by God to fulfill his purpose in carry- ing the lineage of Jesus. Just recently, we read about and studied Rahab. I was so intrigued by the idea that Rahab lived and grew up in a fortress of people that served false gods. But when the spies entered her home she professed a faith in their Jehovah (a god she had never been taught to believe) because she had heard of the works he had done: 

When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
— Joshua 2:11

This is a confession in God based solely on what a woman had heard through the grapevine. God worked through his people, the Israelites, and word had spread. When Rehab took in this information, the Holy Spirit worked in her life to prepare an easy escape for the spies and later her part in the lineage of Jesus the Christ. 

I have been so encouraged by the “land” we spied out in 2005. There are many people here that have heard about what God is doing, and now that we are here it is encouraging when someone hears about what God is doing through us. Not everyone is interested. Many still cling to their false gods. But it is when we meet a Rahab that we know that the Spirit was at work here before we ever arrived. 

If you haven’t heard the wonderful news, Manuela has decided to take on Christ in baptism. Manuela is a woman that has experienced a life that many of us could never imagine. She has been mistreated and misguided in the way of faith and promise. She has clung to her false gods (the different virgins) for hope. Despite the bitterness she could have chosen to live out, she is a generous, loving, and respected woman in her community and in her family. She has been “hearing” about God’s work for the past 2 years as she has worked for our families and built a strong relationship with us. Like Rahab, she has been open and honest in teaching us about her people. I am confident that the Spirit was working in her life before we ever arrived. She was the gateway to our developmental work in her community and our first loan projects. She has been revealed in this last week as a “daughter of God,” and we rejoice with the angels in heaven over this news. 

Who else will be revealed while we are here? Where is the Spirit’s foundation, and who needs to “hear”? There are several relationships in my life that seem to be going nowhere or seem to be moving very slowly. It gives me confidence and perseverance to know that God gives the increase and that patiently waiting is part of the process. Manuela is one of the first contacts we made here. What a joy not only to see her as the Peruvian grandmother to our children, but to know that she is my sister in Christ. With tears of joy I proclaim,“Praise be to God!”