Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tired, burnt out, and ready for a nap

Friends, I've hit a wall. Pray for strength, refreshment, and faith.

This feeling typically comes a couple times when I travel for more than a couple weeks in Africa. I'm surprised it took this long.

All that I'm seeing adds up. I'm totally trusting God to deliver and meet the needs that I believe God is calling us to pursue. I'm praying, resting, reading scripture, all of those things, including just delighting in the presence of God.

I'm just tired. It's sooooo emotionally draining to come here. If I'm very honest, it typically happens when I think about all the people I'll tell these stories to when I get back, how many "wows, that sounds like an amazing trip" responses I'll get, and feeling inadequate about asking people for money to help all that I believe God has called us to do.

I get to the point here, where I'm at now, KNOWING that we are so deep into our ministry that God is the only one that can provide. Looking back, even as I write this blog, I am remembering how many times God has provided for us when the need seemed impossible to reach...and how each period for Forgotten Voices has involved a plateau, then another level, then another.... it's that journey that is so humbling, as I again see what I've told you all so many times.

I am Ryan and God is God. We are not the same.

As I was reading Job 1-3 this morning, I found myself laughing at how MUCH God loves us and how quickly I forget how God has provided, the promises He has made to us as people, and the joy we should experience KNOWING that God is God and we are us.

So, as you go about your day, I ask you to pray for refreshment for me, that I continue to trust in God, and choose joy.

I've been traveling now for 16 days, but have been to sooo many places and sat with so many dying people...and those choosing joy in the midst of suffering.

I only don't say the following lightly, but the more I come here the more I believe in spiritual battling. Some reading this, especially those that aren't Christians, will call me crazy. That's fine. I would not expect you to believe. As a virtually life-long Christian & Pastor's kid my whole life, even I have doubted this.

I think just when I get to the point where I'm completely walking by faith, trusting in God, delighting in His presence, and celebrating the good work He is doing through Forgotten Voices, I come under attack. Yesterday, I was refreshed and today I'm burnt out.

So, pray on as I walk on. Tonight, I'm having dinner with 2 folks that know a thing or two about trusting in God... Rich & Kathy Stuebing have been missionaries to Zambia for about 40 yrs of their lives. Incredible! Two other friends who were my Sunday School teachers when I was at Messiah College, Amy & John Yeatts, are visiting and they'll be at dinner, too. :) God's timing is perfect, as I dine with people who have lived far longer and have walked lives of faith for longer than I've been alive.

I walk on, KNOWING that God is bigger than the troubles of the 3 abandoned children I met just a couple hours ago, BIGGER than the burden on a 70 yr old grandmother caring for 7 children by herself that I met a couple hours ago, and bigger MUCH Bigger than the amount of money I believe we need to raise to help the churches I believe God has called us to assist here in Ndola, Zambia.

Thanks for praying and believing in Forgotten Voices' ministry. I'm soooo deeply, deeply thankful to God and to you.

I have the greatest job on earth. Lots of love,


PS All my experienced readers, you'll be pleased (and maybe surprised) to know that I'm 100% healthy! :) Praising God for that!

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