Life is ordered in seasons, and our missionaries certainly understand the seasons of missions work AND the necessity of prayer support! Read these personal updates from the Sanders & Isazas, missionaries in Colombia:
Today just seems to be out of sorts. We’re not really sure why. We’re pretty sure that we all face days like today and we get through them and go on to live another day tomorrow. It’s just that we weren’t necessarily expecting this day to be like it is. Maybe we just can’t see all that is happening around us or in us.
The Evangelical Covenant Church has had Missions at its heart since its formation. We serve as Long Term Missionaries with the Evangelical Covenant Church in Colombia. One aspect of that emphasis on Missions is a focus on prayer and an encouragement to pray for the Covenant Missionaries and the Covenant World Missions. Many of you already know this, but we want to make sure that all of you are aware of it. Within this worldwide community of Covenant World Missions, and its focus on prayer and encouragement to pray is a resource (both online and in hard copy) – the “Covenant Missionary Prayer Calendar”. (This resource can either be purchased online, HERE, or it can be subscribed to here.)
Six times a year different Missionaries, countries, and Covenant World Mission initiatives are put forth and highlighted for prayer. This year our “day” in the “Prayer Calendar” is the 13th. In February, April, June, August, October, and December, on the 13th of the month, our name and picture appear and a brief explanation of our ministry and of the Covenant of Colombia is given. So often throughout our years of ministry in Colombia we have been blessed on these days of prayer or have been able to look back at these days and seen the hand of God on our lives on ministries. Sometimes we might be willing to stretch ourselves – do something where we want to make sure that we have the “cover of prayer” upholding us and covering us because we know that the many people who follow this prayer calendar are lifting us up in prayer on that day.
We thank you for your continued partnership with us in prayer. It is a special relationship that we covet and that have forged together over the years. Today as we write this it is our “day of prayer” in the Covenant Missionary Prayer Calendar and it seems that we are a bit out of sorts, as we wrote at the beginning. Imagine what the day would be like if it wasn’t our “day of prayer”! We don’t even want to go there. Blessings, Gary & Mary Lou Sander
Did you ever wish you could take back something you said? In my case there was a split second when I wished I could take back something I had just written. I had been working on an article yesterday morning, focusing on Jesus’ call to surrender, to die to self, to follow him. I had just written Jesus’ words in Mark 8:34: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Not even 30 minutes after I’d written that, Julio and I found ourselves in the middle of some very heavy situations. And my thought was, “I take back what I wrote. This is too hard.” There are always conflicts, tense situations, crisis in ministry and in life, but you don’t expect everything to hit at once. It was nothing critical or dangerous, but it was heavy and it was complicated. In the middle of lunch we just had to cry out to God in prayer and ask for wisdom because we just didn’t know what to do next. We reached out to friends and asked them to pray. In that moment we experienced God’s peace and presence in a very tangible way.
It was later that evening our ministry colleagues sent out a prayer update that talked about the difficult day they had, where things just seemed to be off, and how thankful they were for the people who were praying for them on their specific day of prayer in the Covenant prayer calendar. Prayer is such a vital part of our life as Christians and in our life together in community. We recognize the power of prayer and are so thankful for those people who support us faithfully in prayer. We ask you to remember us in prayer as we pursue God’s call to serve here. We ask that you would pray that we would remain strong in the Lord and that we would be a source of God’s love. And we pray the same for you! – The Isazas
Your prayers are vital for our missionaries – thank you for faithfully praying & be encouraged that God hears your prayers! Will you take a moment even now to lift up our missionaries with us? Let us pray the words of Paul (2 Timothy 4:1-8; Ephesians 6:18-20):
Dear Lord, in view of your appearing and your kingdom, we pray for our missionaries who are being poured out like a drink offering in many countries throughout the world. We pray that they will continue to fight the good fight, run the race, and keep the faith. May they continue to preach the word in season and out of season and that whenever they speak, words may be given them so that they may fearlessly declare your gospel. Amen.