Missionaries

Bert Yates

August 7, 2016:

Spotted this on Friday morning as I returned to our house and knew God was giving me a special ‘alive and active’ view of a verse I had read on Thursday. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NIV)

As I’ve continued reading what God’s Word teaches us about HIS Word, His Word continues “to judge the thoughts and attitudes of MY heart” (Hebrews 4;12). “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103), left my heart feeling happy with a desire of rejoicing. Ezra 9:4 also touched my heart, but not in a pleasant way! “Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.”

My questions to myself (and to you) as I head out to church this morning: Do I always truly take time to recognize and savor the sweetness of God’s Word? Do I take/make time to tremble at His words and be appalled and challenged to be more obedient to Him?


August 9, 2016:

“Lift up your eyes and look about you… your heart will throb and swell with joy.” Isaiah 60:5 is a perfect description of what Jack and I experienced last Sunday as Parklands Baptist Church (Nairobi, Kenya) celebrated her 40th anniversary. There were many special moments, but one of the greatest was watching a friend enter the get-together for PBC members in the 70’s wearing her GA (Girls’ Auxiliary) cape, scepter and charm bracelet!

Added joy came as we heard Royal Ambassadors and GA’s mentioned again and again as the kids who were the beginning of Parklands Baptist talked of their past memories and how these organizations affected who they are today. These missions programs were one of the tools that the IMB (then FMB) missionaries used to reach, teach and disciple the neighborhood kids who came to play and use the library of the community center begun in the 60’s, which later developed into an English speaking church.

Almost all of those who spoke at the get-together used the words HOME and FAMILY to describe their time at the center/ church. And this is how Jack and I also felt when we first arrived in Kenya in September 1978. These kids, now adults, were the ones who took care of our young son during services, the kids I taught in Sunday School and the boys that Jack supervised on a well-remembered RA camp-out on the Ngong Hills! One special memory Jack shared on Sunday was of one of those RA’s who was happiest out of the 'lime-light’. That exceptionally shy kid is now the pastor of Parklands Baptist!

As I did a bit of research of GA’s this morning, I found an excerpt from a book sharing how many of those who completed the GA Forward Steps in the 50’s and 60’s became leaders in the United States in government, education, churches and the business world. Those first kids at Parklands Baptist can be described in the same way, but what I especially loved was hearing how so many of them are still active in discipleship and mentoring younger Believers.

And I guess I should add that part of our joy resulting from last Sunday’s celebrations is that Jack grew up in RA’s and I grew up a proud GA. While in college Jack worked at our state RA camp in Camp CaRAway and I worked at Camp Mundo Vista, the camp for GA girls in North Carolina. And there is one more reason that GA’s and RA’s are important to us – Jack and I first met while serving at these camps!


August 27, 2016: 

Most people think that missionaries are the teachers and the leaders for those they serve among, but the truth is that we constantly learn from those we encounter, especially from African Believers. Think back to how you felt, where your mind was focused when you walked into the worship service last Sunday. I know that often there are many things on my mind other than worshiping God!

The friend in today’s photo reminded me a few weeks ago of something that African women do when they enter a time of worship – which is something I too often forget to do. They sit down, close their eyes and spend time focusing upon the One they have come to worship!

Truly an ‘alive and active' view of the next Bible verse in my reclaimed memory cards: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV


From Facebook on 10-21-16

 

 


11-27-16

After a needed break from the internet to 'retreat and refocus', I'm back and super eager to begin sharing anew what God is doing among Sub-Saharan Peoples. The friends in this video are not just co-workers, but family to us, which makes this current report of how the GOSPEL RESOUNDS* in our part of the world extra exciting. *https://www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering


11-28-16

Praising God today for Believers and church families who truly long for the Gospel to RESOUND throughout our world. Thanking God for those who are leaving their comfort zones and taking risks as they seek to get active and be a part of sharing our Father's love and salvation with all peoples in our world. https://www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering


12-12-16

There are lots of reasons why I love worshiping with my Kenyan brothers and sisters - one reason is the interesting views out the window - such as this one captured yesterday!

Now that I've shared this special photo, I'm giving myself an early Christmas present which is... taking a month-long break from posting on FACEBOOK! During this break, I'll be focusing on a personal look at Ephesians 1:18, "I pray that the eyes of MY heart may be enlightened," as I allow God to guide me as I review how I serve Him and how I can do it better, which includes making certain that when I return to Facebook, I will be better able to rely upon and reflect "His incomparably great power" (1:19).