Faithful "Followship" in International Ministry
Often in these Insider newsletters I get to tell of some of God’s amazing servants serving in other parts of the world. In this December edition, I want to do the same.
I know of a couple from the Middle East who heard God’s call on their lives in very special ways. Like so many I have met in my role in international work with National Religious Broadcasters, this couple understood that the calling on their life was from the Lord Himself…and they simply accepted it and followed.
Though there was a lot of excitement and joy, that calling on their lives…the ministry God had assigned them…brought on hardship. They were misunderstood by many in their circle. I’m sure, in their quiet moments together, they probably confessed that they didn’t fully comprehend what this calling, this assignment, this ministry would entail and where it would lead. Yet through all the criticism they stayed true to each other and, most importantly, to the Lord.
As I understand it, they very soon were hit with some government regulations that meant they would have to travel from their home base at a particularly awkward time in their ministry. In the US today we have little understanding what government regulations many folks have to deal with in their personal lives and in their ministries. For this couple transportation was a particular struggle. Lodging became a problem, too. But because of the humility of their heart and the sense of God’s hand on this calling, they pressed on and made do with a less-than-ideal situation.
Their ministry did not involve traditional media methods. Though there was some creative broadcasting involved, the early results were less than stellar. Not many people got the message, and those that did were pretty low income folks. The impact on their lives was great, but using normal evaluation metrics, you sure couldn’t call it a success. Some outstanding “outdoor” visuals seemed to do a better job at attracting attention, and in time this seemed to touch people of influence on an international basis. But it also brought on problems for our couple.
Jealousy and potential loss of power can cause people to become hostile. In fact, this whole ministry has been marked by misunderstandings and even death threats. Some of our Christian communicators around the world have faced these kinds of trials, too. However, the early threats for this couple came from the highest levels of authority, and put this couple and their “ministry” on the run.
Normally, I would ask you to pray for such a couple as this, but I don’t even know their last name. You may have read about them recently. Their first names are pretty well known…Mary and Joseph.
As we observe the glorious Christmas season, and as we peer into the year 2010, my prayer for all of us is that we will emulate this couple and their ministry.
May our Lord find faithful servants in 2010 just as he did at the time of Jesus’ birth.
Special Financial Needs
In the last couple of weeks I have learned that one of the few Christian radio broadcasters in Spain is facing the possibility of losing the licenses for its five stations in the Barcelona area. I have been in touch with friends of this ministry and some who have helped in the past. The Christian message has been broadcast for over 7 years on Radio Onda Paz. This worthy ministry, helped through these years by a local evangelical church in Barcelona, is struggling to meet its financial obligations. The local congregation and other Christians in Spain are not able to help as they have in the past. The ministry needs about $10,000 by the end of the year to meet this challenge. They will have ongoing needs until the economy in Spain shows some relief, but this financial need is urgent.
I know many give at the end of the year. Judy and I have committed some of our year end giving to the Spain need. And if God puts it on your heart to help Radio Onda Paz through National Religious Broadcasters, you can send a check to:
Make the check payable to NRB, and on the memo line indicate “Spain.” Our staff will apply it to this need.
If you want to support our International Strategies work in general, you can also send a check payable to NRB, and simply put “Partnership” on the memo line. I am grateful to those who have already done this, some in just the last few days. This helps cover some of our travel and administrative costs, and allows us to provide some help and encouragement to faithful Christian broadcasters serving in difficult places around the world. It will be a special blessing to me and to these dedicated servants.
Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!
I do not know what 2010 holds for us in ministry. Like our ministry couple, we don’t always know what God is doing or where His road may lead. But isn’t it great to know that He has already secured the victory, and that any success we have is wrapped up completely in our obedience to His calling on our lives. Our task…our joy…is to live for the One whose birth, life, death, and resurrection is both our message and our hope. To Him alone be honor and glory.
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnership
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 (NRB HQ)
NRB / 9510 Technology Drive / Manassas, VA / 20110