Citizens of Another Country
Dear Wives of the other team members, family members and all who love those leaving to go to Japan on Monday,
I woke up on Thursday morning with the news that the US was calling all US officials and citizens to get out of Japan before a nuclear disaster happens. So, on top of the lack of sleep and long to-do list and the immediate needs of four small children, I was hit by a truckload of worry, despair, fear, sorrow and grief. How could I send my husband into this? How could I send young Daniel Josiah’s, Trinity’s, Katy-Grace’s, and baby Benjamin’s Daddy into this? But, on the other hand, how could I not? We have heard the voice of the Lord in this, Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39) We have counted the cost, and we, both Danny and myself, and you all will not turn back. We belong to a kingdom much greater than the United States of America. That kingdom seeks peace, prosperity, safety, but only in the physical realm. We follow a Leader that also seeks for His citizens to grow in peace, prosperity, and safety, but HIS is a peace that comes from the Prince of Peace, His prosperity is found in the Refiners fire, and His safety is one of the soul.
I, too, am struggling with the waves of emotions that come as I think about sending my husband and father to my babies into such a dangerous situation. My mind, too, reels with the implications that this trip might bring. Will they get stuck in Japan and will I be raising these four small children by myself for a longer period of time? Will our men get exposed to harmful radiation and get cancer in ten years? Will they die? Even in the immediate two weeks, I am running a Backyard Bible Club AND will be on my own with the kids, with no breaks. This trip will be hard for our men. But it will also be really hard for us. But, sweet sisters, what a privilege to get to suffer alongside our men for the sake of the Gospel. And that is what this trip is about…its about the thousands who entered into eternity without knowledge of the Eternal One and its about the millions that have yet to hear about the Good News of a God who loves them, sent His Son to die for them, and has redeemed them. We have hope, they do not, and this is why we send our men to labor, sacrifice, and be willing to suffer.
Just this week I was reading about the Christian Pakistani Cabinet Member, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was the only one standing up for the persecuted minorities. He received constant threats to his life, and in light of that shared with a journalist before his brutal slaughter at the hands of the Taliban, “These Taliban threaten me, but I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ who has given His own life for us. I know what is the meaning of (the) cross, and I am following the cross. And I’m ready to die for a cause. I’m living for my community and suffering people, and I will die to defend their rights”.
The only thing that can give a Christian this kind of hope, and the fortitude to face our individual crosses, is to know and abide in the One who faced THE cross….. and He conquered it. Our Conquering Hero, will be ours as we walk through this present fire. And “on the far side of the sea” our Conquering Hero will be living and active through our men. And our Conquering Hero will be present with us no matter what physical, emotional, or spiritual fires are to come. We hope in another Country. The eternal one. And our Conquering Hero will guide us to it.
Much Love and many prayers,