April 26, 2017
Spring greetings from the entire staff at International Outreach Ministries. I trust this letter finds you and your family doing well.
Like I am sure it has for many of you, 2017 began for us with much activity. Last month, three members of the IOM Board of Directors joined a team of some 20+ people to help build a house for a deserving family in Guatemala. Also in Guatemala, IOM Associate Missionary, Riechelle Buchanan, is working with the victims of the tragic fire that recently occurred in a Guatemalan orphanage. Behind both endeavors is an unwritten, yet firmly held, guiding principle behind much of the activity of IOM missionary associates: “While we can’t help everyone, we can help someone, so I’ll go and try to make a difference.” Your support makes the “going” possible.
I’m writing from the Kenya Ministry Training Institute in Kitale, Kenya. I had the privilege last weekend to address the annual KMTI alumni gathering and I shared from the following familiar passage in Luke 10: 38-42:
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Among other things, I believe this incident is recounted to remind us that we can be very busy and still miss doing the very important. More precisely, I think Jesus wants us to remember that we can only discern the truly important by spending time in His presence. Like Martha, I too easily find myself “anxious and troubled about many things” and thereby often miss the most important thing: access to the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, our Helper. It is in His presence that we ultimately learn His priorities—what is truly important and how and where we need to spend our life and resources. I so appreciate God’s faithful reminder of this simple yet powerful truth.
To each of you, let me say “thank you” for the difference you’re making by supporting IOM Associates around the world. Without your ongoing financial support, they could not keep doing what they are doing, and we would not have the resources necessary to support them. And when you pray for your IOM missionary, please remember to pray for us as well. In the next six months, I will be traveling to the Ukraine, Mexico, Cambodia, and several countries in Europe. Ronald Gray, our Director of Mission Support, has a likewise busy travel itinerary for the remainder of the year. We both travel and do what we do because we believe deeply in what IOM missionaries are doing. That said, intense seasons on the road without the Lord’s grace and traveling mercies is not just very difficult, it’s impossible.
Amid what often seems to be a terribly dark world, I remain challenged—and yes encouraged—by God’s promise to fill the earth with the knowledge of His goodness and glory. Thank you for partnering with IOM in this great effort; we are truly grateful.
His servant and yours,