April 28, 2019
This particular blog entry is to shed light on all the spiritual warriors who live behind the scenes—the faithful ones who practice their righteousness in secret and who will be greatly rewarded by our father in heaven.
Sundays in Burundi are not easy for our family. Shammah, our home church, is a very sweet congregation, and we would not want to be anywhere else on Sunday mornings. They have a translation team that serves us every week, and they give us the best seats in the house (we sit near a window that helps with the tremendous heat created by a metal roof that is very low). So from Shammah’s standpoint, they have served us so well, but to be honest going to church is hard with 4 children when the service is in another language and it is hot. The Sundays when I am not preaching, it is a little easier because I can help Anna with the kiddos during the service. But on the weeks that I preach it is very difficult for Anna. She would tell you that on the mornings that she knows that I will be preaching, there is a twinge of dread that rises up in her heart. Yet despite the known sacrifice, she willingly serves me, our family, and the church. See, all that she does is behind the scenes. No one is looking at her. She is not on stage; she is not offering public prayers, and for sure she is not receiving the encouragement given after service for preaching the word.
One Sunday a few weeks ago was no different, as I was selected to preach again. From the stage, I watched Anna get up and walk out to calm Judson and then come back in and create order with our children. (Sidenote: we are thankful for our team and their help, and we feel for all the missionaries around the world who face the same challenges without the help of team.) So that Sunday, the one who worked the hardest was Anna, not me.
At the end of the service, Onesphore asked any of those who wanted to pray to receive Christ to come forward, and 6 dear people surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. To God be the Glory! After church, Anna and I were preparing lunch at home for the team, and I could tell she was tired and discouraged from the day. She had been out of the service when the 6 people prayed to receive Christ, and I reminded her and thanked her for battling behind the scenes. If she weren’t caring for the kiddos, I would not be freed to preach the gospel. She said it helped her so much to hear that the sacrifice was worth it. So to all those sweet women and saints laboring behind the scenes, be reminded that what you are doing will indeed be rewarded by the father.
If you have a moment, please pray for Anna and all the missionary wives she represents around the world who are laboring faithfully behind the scenes.