Friday, December 4, 2015
Latest update...on Member Care ministry.
A recent ministry trip to visit some missionaries on home assignment had us driving through
Northern California and into Oregon where there was snow on the mountains surround by beautiful fall colors. I know Ace got tired of me saying, oh stop here, then just around the next bend, I repeated it, please stop. Thank God he is a patience man and even took pictures for me.
I started thanking the Lord for the meetings that prompted us to travel over 2000 miles and meet with eight missionaries. Our first stop was Fresno, California where we had our first meeting with a couple who had just returned to the states. That night we met up with a gal, Mary, who served in Papua New Guinea for years. It was encouraging to hear how God was meeting her needs since she returned.
Next day we head into southern Oregon, making it in time for the church service at the church (Foots Creek) we attend when in that area. That night they were celebrating Thanksgiving, it was great connecting with folks we had met on a previous trip.
We fell into bed contented knowing each meeting had the hand of God on it. The third day of our trip while Ace was getting a transmission issue looked at , I visit a young mother who had served in South East Asia that was home due to family issues. We talked for hours about what God has been teaching her about trusting Him. That night we went to dinner at the home of the worship leader of Foot Creeks church. They had also invited a couple we had met at the Harvest Party who is very interested in New Tribes Mission. To our surprise this couple wanted to meet us for breakfast and talk more about missions. Our excitement was building as they ask one question after another about missions.
We had already arranged a meeting with another couple the next day and also spend some more time with the young mother home from Asia due to family issues.
An extra bonus, we got to take her two girls to McDonalds and give her a little break. We try to look for practical ways to help beside just sitting in meetings.
Our main ministry is to connect with those on home assignment but we always try to meet up with a retired missionary in whatever area we are visiting. We love to hear their stories, draw from the wisdom and insight God has given them through the years. But mostly we just want to take them out to eat and say, thank you for your years of service. John Jette was living about an hour away from where we were staying so we connected with him and he was willing to meet us at a great restaurant. John served 31 years in Papua New Guinea, mostly in the Aria tribe where he translated the bible into their language. He has the best stories, one in particular we love to hear him tell is when he tossed out of boat into the ocean for 7-8 hours in the open sea. A government boat finally picked him up and told him he was the catch of the day.
Our goal was to keep this update to one page. We had several more visits and will share them next time. The longer we do the Member Care ministry the more we see the importance of it. To be able to give an understanding ear, counsel, encouragement and resources is just one way to help a missionary adjust back to stateside living.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support that makes it possible for us to be flexible with those who have given their lives to take the gospel to the least reached. It's your support that buys our gas, pays for the meal we share with missionaries, supply the resources when needed. It's about being part of a team whose goal is reaching the lost. Thank you.
In His Service, Ace and Betty Draper.