The sessions I did attend, however, instructed us about Church Planting Movements (CPMs) and were incredibly inspirational. In case you are not familiar with this word, a CPM is "the rapid and exponential increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.” We had four missionaries from various countries come in and share how God had worked through them to create a CPM. It is crazy to think about going from 6 believers to 10,020 believers in just three years, but that is exactly what happened to one of these missionaries. I guess it is what happens when God decides to bless and when you are serious about prayer, intentionally sharing your faith, discipling people, starting small house churches, and those churches planting churches. I got excited, started praying for a CPM in Iceland, then started reading more about them. The last chapter of the CPM book we are required to read was a wake up call:
"A list of missionaries who have been engaged in Church Planting Movements reads like a catalog of calamity. Many have suffered illness, derision, and shame. In some instances the suffering was due to their own self-destructive behavior; in other cases it came at the hands of opponents. Students of Church Planting Movements suggest that the affliction may be related to a higher spiritual price required for rolling
back the darkness (Rev. 12:12). Whatever the cause, the disproportionate degree of suffering by missionaries engaged in CPMs is noteworthy. Missionaries intent on this course of action are well-advised to be on their guard, to watch, fight, and pray."Woah. Back up the train. Adversity? Affliction? Diseases?
Persecution? Does it really have to be so difficult and hurt so much?
As if the rapid expansion of the most powerful message on earth would
just multiply without any opposition. Okay...just kidding, God...You can
give some other, well-intentioned, fervent missionary a CPM...I'm sure they would appreciate it. In other words: I guess I don't want You to work in such a powerful way if it means that I am going to have to go through so much adversity in the process. What a sad thought. I care more about my own comfort than the gospel being spread. I began to ask God to change my heart and make me care more about the things He cares about and less about my own convenience.
I guess that is a good seg-way for prayer requests this week. I guess I've been anxious thinking about the trials that will, inevitably, come our way in Iceland.
*Pray that I can live in the moment and trust God to take care of
us when trials do come.
*Pray for our language learning. We are expected to be full-time language learners when we first get to Iceland for the first four months. While we're here we have to begin that process.
*Pray that God will provide a good child-care set-up when we are both in language school in Iceland (This is a big one).
Yes, there are many other things to pray for regarding the Icelandic people and our mission there. Colby is recruiting people to pray for the lostness in Iceland, and I am recruiting people to pray specifically for our family's needs.
Thank you to those who are praying for us!