Each year the Global Offering helps sustain Brook Hills missionaries and support various projects and initiatives around the world. This past October, a Brook Hills short-term team had the opportunity to deepen support and partnership with both missionaries and a project in which we invested, by spending some time in Southeast Asia. Hear from Hannah S. as she reflects on her time serving with this team.
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the same when I’m sad. He is the same when I’m happy and when all is right, or when all is wrong.
Sounds simple enough, but oftentimes it’s easily forgotten, which is something that the Lord reminded me of this past October. In October, our team headed to Southeast Asia, expectant but unsure of what the Lord was doing and would do in our time there. However, we knew much of the trip was designed to encourage our Brook Hills Sent Ones in the region.
During the first part of the week, workers gathered from around the region for a few days of fellowship, teaching, rest, and good food (of course). We met families who have been sent out over the years and heard what life and ministry look like in their contexts. I remember one family saying, “We are not doing anything we did not do in the US. Our job here is to leverage our lives for the gospel by our work and in our home.” Other friends around the room mentioned the “wins” of ministry and friends they had made over the years. Others grieved the difficulties they had experienced. There is nothing quite like being with our Sent Ones and getting to hug them and hear their stories in person.
For the remainder of the week, our team worked alongside Gospel City Network to host a conference for 300+ pastors and leaders to equip and encourage them. It was an opportunity to connect with ministry leaders in the area and learn from key leaders on important ministry topics. Our team got to sit next to leaders and church pastors who spoke of the challenges of ministry, while others celebrated new things in store for their churches. These pastors do not have access to training and theological education, while every week here at Brook Hills we hear solid teaching from the pulpit. We so easily take this for granted.
One evening after the conference, I sat around a dinner table with people who were now friends, yet had been strangers the night before. They discussed the struggles of friendship and singleness, the difficulties of work, and the ups and downs in marriage and raising a family. (Side note: We also laughed and had fun…just go with me here). Recognizing the naivety I had, I found myself shocked at how all of their problems were the same as mine.
Friendship is hard? You’d rather not go to work tomorrow? Marriage is hard?
It’s the same rollercoaster of emotions many of us all face every day. Throughout the trip, I identified with the people we met: partners who leverage their homes for the gospel, leaders struggling in ministry, or normal men and women with bad attitudes at work. In the same way, God identifies with me. That same God is the Author and Sustainer of your story, my story, his story, and her story. Even better? Our circumstances never influence the goodness of The Author.
So, what is God doing in Southeast Asia? He is doing what He has done and will always do.
He is calling people to himself. He is raising believers who love him and follow him. He is sustaining believers who are weak and failing. He is strengthening his Church.
His work is not a surprise. God is reaching into every crevice of Southeast Asia to make his name known, using people just like you and me, not one much different than the other. He did not call superhero missionaries to do his work. He is using the unlikely, tired, joyful, and more importantly…the obedient. If anything rings true, God remains the Author of each moment, steady and sure, whether we as believers celebrate, mourn, or enjoy the season.
So, take heart, Brook Hills. When we are up and down, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow…here and there. It is through your giving to the Global Offering that Brook Hills has been able to come alongside the Lord as he leads his people towards obedience and faithfulness, as he is faithful to his promises.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8