In Titus 2:3-5, Paul exhorts the older women in the church to mentor the younger women for the sake of the gospel. I believe there's nothing more important than putting my arms around my sisters in Christ and urging them to continue fighting this good fight, because Jesus is worth it. I hope everyone who passes through here will leave feeling encouraged.
I'm excited to share with you about an adventure I'm getting to take part in! I have been given the opportunity to join a team of women
who are headed to Northeast Asia with a ministry called Pure Joy International. Pure Joy is a ministry of women, for women who are serving God overseas. Basically, Pure Joy takes a team of women to countries around the world and puts on a retreat for the missionary women and missionary wives who come. The women who come to the retreat are showered with love and gifts-they receive encouragement and rest in every way: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically. The founder of Pure Joy, Vickie Arruda, writes periodically about the ministry
and the upcoming trips at http://purejoyinternational.blogspot.com/.
I’ve never done
long-term international missions, but I will say from my time spent ministering
outside the South, a little encouragement is always appreciated. It’s easy to feel you’re the only person
you know who loves Jesus. The loneliness that comes from being the only
believer in your area coupled with the strain of learning a new
culture/language and laboring under a burden to share Jesus in what is often a
hostile environment puts a lot of strain on a person.
I have always loved retreats. There is something about getting away with a purpose that has always resonated deeply with me. My own call to ministry came at a girls' retreat my senior year of college. I don't think the value of taking some time away for reflection can be overestimated.
I am PUMPED about getting to go to literally the other side of the world to minister to these women. I can't think of any woman in ministry who couldn't use some pampering from time to time, and that is exactly what we are going to be doing for the women coming to the Pure Joy retreat. I'm anticipating a meaningful time, both for the women to whom we'll be ministering and for those of us doing the ministering!
So if you would, I'd love for any of my friends, family (strangers?) who come across this blog to join me in praying for every aspect of this trip. If you're into specifics, here they are:
1. Pray for our team (there are 10 of us) as we prepare mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually to leave the U.S. Trip dates are September 13-22.
2. Travel safety. Planes on time, luggage issues, jet lag, etc. I can't be specific about the country where we're going because not all the missionaries are there as "missionaries." It's for their protection. (So if I've told you the country, please don't post it anywhere publicly.)
3. That God will bring to the retreat each woman He has chosen to be there. We currently have 32 women signed up. We also need each woman to be sponsored so her only cost of attending the retreat is travel to and from the conference center.
4. Join me in thanking God in advance for providing the finances needed for each team member who is going. (This is sometimes a challenge for this worrier.)
I'll post more as the trip gets closer. As of today, we're 58 days out! I have my excited face on!!