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ACT Intl.

21
Nov

Stephen & Paula: Traveling to the Baltics in January?

When Bruce Cockburn called us to “Kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight,” I didn’t think he meant literally; but, Paula and I have been invited to lead a Lithuanian Campus Crusade staff retreat in January on the frozen shores of the Baltic Sea outside of Vilnius. The darkness that far north at that time of year encompasses life.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-11-46-08-amLithuania is nestled south of Latvia, between the Baltic Sea and the Ukraine. It is due east, across the Baltic Sea from Copenhagen. Ah, January in the Baltics, every traveler’s dream…

God has an amazing sense of humor. I had a bad experience with CRU when I was a student and so, as a young staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I intentionally walked onto campuses where CRU was working to set up competing ministries. The resentments I carried ran so deep that when I “vetted” Paula, her CRU background was one of my biggest concerns. And now… I think, God laughs at / and with me a lot, leading me to repentance on this issue

In addition to this CRU staff training conference, we are working to gather our own ACT Intl. missionaries together the following week in Germany for a week of retreat and refreshment. They’ve never gathered and are in desperate need of connection to one another and the Lord.

As I talk and listen to them each week, I am struck by the challenges they face as artists, evangelists, and pastors. Some common refrains echo in our conversations. Though they are also common to you and me, they are amplified in the souls of artists on the mission field:

  • “I feel like such a fraud…”
  • “I don’t know where I fit…”
  • “I feel so lonely…”
  • “I’m so depressed.”
  • “If my supporters knew…”
  • “I can‘t tell anyone…”

togetherI hear heartbreak, disillusionment, frustration, and anger. I hear about broken and lost relationships. I hear about kids who are in open rebellion and wives and husbands that aren’t sure they want to stay married.

Our artists already feel a little out of place. When you add in the above concerns (and so many more), life is often overwhelming. It is an honor and a privilege to walk with these women and men as they courageously step into the unknown and face their fears and their insecurities. I get to be their champion, coming alongside them as they face their inner demons.

I’m writing this because we need to raise and additional $3000 for this trip. Would you pray about the possibility of making a special year-end gift to help us help others build the kingdom in “post-Christian” Europe? It seems so strange to ask for special projects when we are struggling to raise our own funding, but obedience doesn’t always make sense. We only need thirty people to give $100 a piece and we will be there.

If you can’t give financially to help, will you pray and drop us a line of encouragement. Truth be told, we are discouraged right now. We could use some encouragement as we move forward. Thanks for walking with us.

Here is a link to an encrypted partnership page where you can safely give: