Building Faithful Partners for Hard Places

partners

By Rebecca Skinner

Today, we’re excited to hear again from Rebecca Skinner. She’s an MK and  adult TCK from Central and South America.

Fun fact: Rebecca and her husband were one of the first couples to met on eharmony.com and get married! This August, they’ll celebrate 18 years of marriage, They have twin boys.

The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement turned Rebecca’s world on its head! She desires to see local churches strategically collaborate to take the good news of Jesus to every people, tribe, and tongue. 

We have hit a wall with my health. At first they thought I had toxic hepatitis from all the different medications I have been on. By taking me off the medication, my liver function began to improve.

As of yesterday, it is no longer improving and they have done all they can here.

On Friday, we started the process and the paperwork for a medical evacuation. It was denied because, at the time, I wasn’t eligible. Now, I am eligible and will be getting evacuated hopefully today to get to a country where they can do more tests and be more thorough.

Thank you for your prayers up to this point. I ask that you please continue them. 

Just last week this urgent medical need was shared in a private Facebook group from a family that works diligently to bring the light of Jesus to a country full of spiritual darkness.

More than Cash

On the front end of building these partners, it might be easy to slip into the mindset that it’s all about raising the necessary funds to go do this thing you know God is inviting you into. But don’t fall into the trap that it’s just about another monthly EFT getting you closer to buying your plane tickets.

What you need: Partners committed to support you faithful in prayer and encouragement. Develop these, too.

Going to physically difficult places to share the good news of Jesus in spiritually dark countries necessitates faithful partners willing and able to go to bat for you in the middle of the night when you most need it.

Communication is key when you need to see God change hearts and circumstances quickly. If you’re signing up to go where the love of Jesus is most needed, it’s a given – things are going to be tough both in day to day life and spiritually.

partners

Sound the Call to Prayer

From the outset, a top priority should be to regularly communicate your need for faithful prayer support with those you’re adding to your team.

You’ll also want to consider setting up a way to communicate prayer needs in real-time with those who’ve agreed to pray for you regularly. The more we hear about a situation or learn about the intricacies involved the more it is on our minds and in our thoughts.

Whether you choose to set up a private Facebook group or a WhatsApp group (set so only admins can share), make sure you have a clear line of communication in place with partners so you can sound the call to prayer when you need it most.

Avoiding Spiritual Dysfunction

Sarah* will be on a plane in a couple hours to get medical care in France. Any other details we don’t and won’t know till after the Doctors see her and run some tests.

Thanks for the prayers. Continue to pray for her.

Regular communication with supporters not only reminds them and invites them to pray with insight for your specific prayer needs. It can also play a significant role in educating them culturally–and challenging them spiritually.

We need each other! Separation from Christ’s Body is spiritual dysfunction.

For the work God calls you to, you need resources: finances, prayer, emotional and spiritual encouragement.

But don’t forget that partners go two ways.

Remind your senders of this big world God created with its countless people groups and unique cultures made in His image to declare His glory.

Reality? Most North American Christians gravitate towards comfort, safety and entertainment. We tend to steer clear of what we don’t know or understand. It’s rare we reach out to those who are different from us. We depend on our own strength and abilities to meet our needs.

And in that, we miss out on the opportunity to see God show up in the circumstances of life.

Stretch Your Partners

I have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A. We thought I was vaccinated against it but after some research, we realize that I have had only one of the two recommended doses. I will be in the hospital for at least a week.

Thank you for your prayers.

We need you to challenge us, to stretch us culturally. We need to glimpse into your day to day with pictures and stories so we can picture you playing with the kids and going to the market.

Partners like us need to hear how you prayer-walk your neighborhood so we can be challenged to prayer-walk our neighborhood.

We need to hear how you are looking for opportunities to be salt and light to your Hindu neighbors because reality is that I haven’t really reached out to my American neighbors lately.

Partners need to hear how you ask God daily for wisdom and discernment in where you go and who you share with in your Muslim country. Because we struggle to even recognize God speaks in those real-life, practical ways.

Your faith in God on the other side of the world stirs up my faith in God here in America. Your joyful obedience to go and make disciples in hard places challenges and encourages me to be more intentional to make disciples where I am.

partners

Where Your Faith Strengthens Mine

I have been in Paris for a week, resting and healing from this disease.

I’m being sent back to our country of service tomorrow but my journey is not finished. Lots of rest is still needed, and I will still need to get the different blood tests that I need and send them back to the doctor here.

It was very scary there for a time, as I continued to get more sick. A fellow missionary friend came with me and has stayed the week in Paris as well. It has been wonderful to have her here.

Todd* and the kids stayed back home and are preparing our house and finishing up the kids’s school year before home assignment. Please be in prayer for our travels tomorrow and for me to continue to get the rest that I need.

Yes. We need each other.

Regular, honest, real-time communication strengthens us as kingdom partners.

And during your home assignment this year, I’ll know what to ask you about.

See, you’ve been sharing with me along the way, allowing me to think and feel and see into your world. I feel informed enough to be able and follow-up on specific situations and ask relevant questions, instead of being at a loss for words. And you’re less isolated.

Thank you for allowing me to see and be a part of God’s work over there. Your faith has strengthened my faith, friend. Your life laid down stirs up faith in me.

And that’s the real gift.

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