Dear Friends and Co-Workers in Missionary Ventures,
We send heartfelt greetings to you, wherever you are serving our Lord Jesus Christ. Sandy and I recently returned to England from western Russia, where we spoke to hundreds of fired-up youth, ready to give their lives for missions. Now, we are preparing to lead a teaching team next week to rural south-western Uganda, where Nigel Harding has organized a four-day conference for nearly 600 pastors and leaders.
We know your lives are busy, too. We thank the Lord for His call upon your lives and appreciate the sacrifices you are making. He is with you as He promised, even to the ends of the earth!
In our travels over the years, we’ve found that God speaks to us poignantly through challenging circumstances. I remember the first college graduation in Uganda around nine years ago. As teachers and founders of the college, we were given thick, heavy black robes and caps to wear for the ceremony which lasted five hours under a big top in sweltering heat. Speeches seemed endless as dignitaries from all over the district had their turn at the lectern. Then one Ugandan pastor stood and expounded one phrase that I’ve come to treasure, “Sacrifice does not mean loss.”
Another simple sentence hit me when Bruce Olson spoke at our conference several years ago. “God is not careless with our lives.” I had just listened to his story of how he had been captured by guerrillas, tied to a tree for months, suffered from terrible diseases, and was dragged in front of a firing squad!
At best these are paradoxical! Yet they came from men who walked intimately with God who proved faithful in spite of overwhelming odds.
As you face sacrifice today, remember it is a means of gain rather than losing something or someone. Yes, it is hard but the offering brings fruit for God and life for others. For Bruce Olson, obedient sacrifice led to God’s miracle of salvation for the Motilone Indians. May you also find your miracle as you cling to the One who loved you, called you, and calls you His own.
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (NIV) Isaiah 58:11
With every blessing,
Luther and Sandy Meier
Vice President at Large