A few weeks ago, I met two church planters at Starbucks. They were sitting at the table behind me, and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation. They were talking about Jesus, the New Testament, and Francis Chan. I kept debating if it was socially acceptable to butt in or not, and like any other situation where I’m faced with “should I be awkward in public?” I decided that answer was “yes”. 🙂 So I turned around and introduced myself and told them what prompted my awkward hello.
The awkward eavesdropping turned into a long conversation with these gentlemen. Turns out they are starting a church and embarking on their own ministry futures. They were inspiring! Within seconds it was evident that they loved people. They weren’t planting a church – they were living the church. I had to rush out to pick up my daughter and weeks went by before I saw them again.
Today, I ended up next to them, same tables, different day (no, not planned). We started chatting again, this time for 2 1/2 hours! While I was sipping the coffee that I didn’t purchase (as their means to teach me to learn how to receive support 🙂 ), I realized God ordained this meeting (yet again).
I’ve been struggling with discouragement. Big time. Support raising is definitely a roller coaster of emotions. I tend to internalize the reactions I receive from people, and that’s hard (PS – that’s been a lifetime battle). Just last night I asked for prayer at church for encouragement………and that’s where these guys come in.
For 2 1/2 hours, they did nothing but encourage me. I wanted so much to ask them more about their own lives: more details about their ministry, their families, their passion for church planting…but they are so busy encouraging me and asking about our support raising process that I could barely get a word in edgewise. 🙂
Do you know what it’s like to be encouraged for 2 1/2 hours straight? I do! It feels awesome. God knew just what I needed.
I got home and couldn’t shake this thankfulness in my heart. Then it hit me – in a very powerful way – I’ve been a believer for 28 years of my life….and I need regular reminders of God’s hope. I need encouragement ALL.THE.TIME.
Do you see this? If I, having known God for 87.5% of my life, still need regular reminders of God’s great HOPE…..how do the Japanese feel? If they have lived their lives without hope – without eternal hope from God – certainly they need encouraged. Certainly they need ONE reminder of hope. And if they’ve never heard – how soon do they need told? Ten years from now? No, immediately. Hope is an immediate need. They deserve to be told.
“Here I am, send me”…