Saturday, February 26, 2011

Braving the journey

Sometimes I am encouraged by the testimony of another.
Sometimes I am convicted by the testimony of another.
Sometimes I am motivated by the testimony of another.

And sometimes, I am a combination of these, when hearing the testimony of another.

A few weeks ago, our church held what was called a ministry fair, where all of the different ministries of the church got to share what they offer and how God is working in their individual ministries. 

While walking through, I had the opportunity to meet Brooks, a missionary in Papua New Guinea.
His story is incredible. 

He and his beautiful wife, Nina, grew up in America and Brooks worked in Corporate America for years. 
They lived with their son, Beau, and were content with life 
until they began to feel that God had bigger plans for them. 

A few months later, they found themselves on a tiny plane headed to Papua New Guinea where they would live as missionaries and members of a tribe of people, learning their language and loving the people as Jesus loves them. 

Brooks shared the story of their very first journey into the tribe at church a few weeks ago. 
It was a journey of complete and total trust in the Lord.

Their plane landed in the middle of a forest-y area, 
and they canoed and hiked for the next few days to get to the tribe. 
Through swamps and brush, encountering all types of creatures.
And then they arrived.
They didn't know if the tribe would welcome them or try to kill them.
They were prepared to lose their lives for the sake of the gospel.

That was in 2004. 

I met them last month, after they had been a part of this culture for over 6 years.
They have 'family' there, and they are a part of the Yembi Yembi tribe.
They have killed crocodiles and 17 foot boa constrictors.
They have survived malaria.
They have underwent all types of criticism, hardship, grief, and physical challenges.
Through it all, they have lived in the name of Jesus Christ.

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:20-21

The faith of Brooks and Nina encourages me.
It convicts me.
It motivates me.

It is real. Truly genuine. Raw. And beautiful.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:6-9

God, I desire to have faith that is proved genuine 
and brings praise, glory and honor to you.
Give me boldness with every step I take.
And may every step and every thought be according to your will.
I praise you for your strength, your love, and your promises.
Help me to find joy in braving the journey.

This is my friend, Brooks.
(see that amazingly constructed table with a covering behind us? yah... he built that)
Please keep he and Nina and Beau in your prayers as they love these people and live amongst them.

1 comment:

  1. Encourage, convicted, motivated.....all great results of watching someone else live positively and in a trusting way.
    Makes you think of how we spend our days and what others see in us and how we live.
    Great post Jordanna....inspirational.