Sunday begins our first break in over a month. We have a week off before our next short-term mission team arrives. The team that left on Saturday was our fourth in the past four weeks and our seventh of the summer. Our family and our team are beat.
But, this summer our exhaustion is different than previous summers. This summer it has to do with the spiritual warfare going on and not just our pace or the level of activity. In previous summers we have been tired, sure. But, this summer the depth of our exhaustion is more emotional and spiritual than physical.
Here are some of the things that our team has endured in the past two months: three cars broken down 10 times, a burglary of our home, a long-distance breakup, a stolen camera, several illnesses, we fired 12 Honduran employees because of lack of funds, ungrateful recipients of mercy, stress, anxiety, tears, 12-hour days back to back, and in our spare time we manage short-term mission teams and keep our ministry going.
None of us are surprised by the spiritual warfare. We know Satan is unhappy with our good work and he is going to dog us at every step. In fact, the Bible is very clear. Many Christians believe that we are promised a life of unparalleled health, prosperity and happiness. But, our blessings are intended for the next life. In reality the Bible promises us that in this world Christians may be called to endure persecution (Matthew 5:10-12), suffering (1 Peter 2: 19-25), leaving their family (Luke 12:49-53), being hated (Mark 13:9-13), selling their belongings (Matthew 19:21), or dieing (Matthew 24:9-14). Heck, go back and read the book of Job.
Martin Luther once said, “They gave our Master a crown of thorns. Why do we hope for a crown of roses?” Our own Pastor, Reddit Andrews, once said, “How sad for a Christian to live his entire life and have Satan so disinterested in his work that he pays him no attention.” We came to Honduras as missionaries to fight on the front lines of a spiritual war. It is silly for us to be surprised when we get wounded.
We ask that you pray for us fervently over the next three weeks. Pray for protection, but also pray that when we are attacked we do not cry out for mercy, but that we praise the name of Christ.