This article was originally published in the May 2018 edition of ITMI Monthly.
I had to stop short when I read it. “If God can turn night into day, He can turn your burden into a blessing.”
What a great way to view our challenges - through the lens of God’s greatness and sovereignty. The victim mentality so prevalent both around the world and at home is cut off at the knees.
What other “God statements” can you think of? How about, “If God can create a precious life in the womb, He can surely heal what ails me.”
“If God holds the hearts of the kings in His hands, He is surely able to change the heart of a loved one that is away from God’s best.”
We have been able to experience so many of these wonderful displays of God’s intervention through “If God, then…” experiences over the years. Many of you have been a part of them.
“If God can help Piotr Zaremba translate for almost 20 years to give Poland a Bible while being a full time pastor, He can help you and me be faithful in what we are called to do.”
ITMI's Piotr Zaremba translated the Bible into Polish while being a full-time pastor.
“If God calls Kent and I to encourage and disciple in South Sudan, He can keep us from being arrested and interrogated.”
There are many more that we all have been a part of. In days to come, we will be called to trust God with our time, our energy and our resources so that God’s marvelous ways will be experienced by those that are still waiting for the “then” part of their struggles to be revealed.
Some of our ITMI team are among them. Jahim Buli, our young South Sudanese partner and pastor, should be, as you read this, at Kukuma Refugee Camp in North Western Kenya providing leadership training for droves of South Sudanese displaced by tribal warfare.
A South Sudanese Refugee Camp
Kukuma is the same place Jahim escaped to as a “Lost Boy” and later found Jesus.
To get there, Jahim must take a road where travelers were recently attacked and kidnapped.
David and Taru Raj Kumar just completed a Vacation Bible School with 200 children from the slum heard and learned truth, and observed adults that display God’s love.
Unfortunately, David and Taru didn’t have the room in their facility to allow all the children hoping to be let in to experience Him.
David and Taru’s tiny rooms were already packed out, so not everyone who wanted to come to VBS was able to.
Our South Africa partner, Charl van Wyk, needs our support as he waits for his burdens to turn to blessing.
He didn’t ask me to share this, but I will ask that you all hold Charl and his family up in prayer as life in South Africa gets increasingly difficult due to corruption, poverty and lack of accountability.
Charl and two of his sons at a youth camp in Zimbabwe.
Allow me to reveal an excerpt from an email from Charl.
“The 5 times I had to go to the city office to register my motorcycle, the 6 times my car had to be returned to the agent for repairs, and the other car returned twice after a [poorly done] service, I have to stand hours at Home Affairs to collect passports because they can’t trust couriers to deliver; late delivery for bank cards and the months spent fighting with bank lawyers and the new internet fiber company… and after all this I had to start laughing at your (inside humor from an American Director to cheer him up).
With Roberta (his oldest daughter) at college and Jason at YWAM (his oldest son in the U.S. at missionary training school), my excess [repair costs] on the smashed car (Roberta was rear-ended by a Cape Town police car), and loads of medical bills, my finances haven’t looked so bad in a long time…”
Will you pray with us that all our partners will be encouraged and sustained during the times of challenges and struggles, so that they will be faithful until the end, when they clearly see burdens turned to blessings, and experience first-hand another “If God, then…” miracle.
Yes, life in the field, whether it be Poland, Romania, Africa or India, consists much more of “survival” and less of “ministry” than we would hope. Yet, God is able to turn that burden into a blessing when we rest in Him and obey His direction.
The more I ponder these realities, the more that I realize: we all need to follow these directives so that we can see and experience His “If God, then….” moments. May we be faithful in what He has called us to do.
In His Service,
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.