Well, friends, I’m a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University! I can hardly believe how quickly the last four years have gone by. I am blessed beyond measure as I reflect on my time at PBA and the way that Jesus allowed me to serve Him as I studied and learned.
My heart has always had a pull to go overseas and serve Jesus in a culture different from my own. I’m thankful for the ministry I have in this country, and I am certain that it is in this place that God has called me to work tirelessly for the proclamation of His glory and His goodness. Yet still, I am burdened to go as often as I can for as long as I can.
I am thankful, humbled, and grateful that this is one of those times. Tomorrow morning I embark on a journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Lately, my favorite verse has been Acts 28:1-2, which reads, “Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” Paul visited this island on his third missionary journey and I am simply tickled, and honestly a little bit giddy, that it was recorded in Scripture!
My team of ten is traveling to serve in a camp of African refugees. Thousands of people are trying to escape the turmoil in Africa, and Malta often becomes the (unwanted) pit stop for many on their trek to Europe.
We will be staying in a 24 hour prayer house and traveling into the refugee camp each day to teach English and love on people who are displaced and without hope. There is much work to be done and I earnestly ask for you to come along side this mission with your prayers and petitions.
Here are some specific requests:
1. This morning we received word that the Maltese Police Department is requiring a background check for each person on my team. This is a minor set back, and shouldn’t prove to be a problem, but please pray that these checks will go through without any issue so that we can smoothly enter the country tomorrow evening.
2. Language barrier – We will have some translators going with us into the camps, but we desperately need the Lord to intervene in this way. We want so badly so share the love of Jesus with these people, but unless we are able to communicate with them it can’t happen. I believe with every ounce of my being that Jesus can [and will] break down those walls. Would you ask Him with me?
3. The vast majority of the people we will serve are Muslim. It is necessary for us to embody 1 Peter 3:15 and declare the hope that we have with “gentleness and respect.” I feel like there is often a great pressure for short-term missionaries to return home with numbers of converts: “So, how many people got saved?” If we go with this mentality we will certainly do more harm than good. Please pray that God will give us the grace to speak winsomely as we share His goodness.
4. Team unity – Please, please pray that our team will continue in the blessed friendships that we have been able to form. God has been so gracious to allow us that closeness, but I know the attacks will start the moment we leave for the airport.
5. Boldness – Pray that we will share at every opportunity we are given. “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” ((Colossians 4:5-6)) Please pray this over my team.
6. Leadership & missionary contacts – Jordan and Hannah are our student team leaders. Please pray that God would give them a humble confidence in the fact that He has called them to lead our team. Pray that He would give them wisdom and guidance at every moment. Pray also for Ben and Eve, the missionaries that we are traveling to serve alongside.
7. Safety – Knowing without a doubt that Jesus has called me to this trip, I am certain that I will be safer in Malta for the next three weeks than I would be roaming around on “summer vacation” anywhere in America. Where He has called me is where I want to be. With that being said, my desire for “safety” is more so a desire that we would remain in His will the entire time, for I am confident that there is no safer place.
8. Last, but certainly not least, I beg you to petition the Lord for the hearts of the Maltese people. Our trip is pointless if the gospel of Jesus Christ is not proclaimed. I rest in the confidence of Isaiah 55:8-11 –
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
His purposes will prevail; I have no doubt. Please join me in asking Jesus to move in them and to draw them to His name. I care nothing if we see the fruit of this trip on this earth as long as I know that His word has gone forth.
I am hoping that I will have the opportunity to update you from Malta. If that is so, I will be asking you to petition consistently.
I love you deeply, and I treasure you for praying me through this journey. May His name be glorified above ALL else.
In Christ alone,