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by Debra Smith
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
I’ve been told repeatedly that I appear super-confident, but we all have our fears. Often, though, they hide under and around “spiritual” issues — so we don’t identify them and fight them with the faith God wants us to.
Since age 6, I’ve wanted to be a missionary. I don’t just mean kinda wanted, or thought about being a missionary; I mean I’ve felt a hardcore, downright, diehard passion for and calling to the mission field. I’ve yearned to share Christ with the unreached — those who have no opportunity to hear the gospel. Not for one day has this desire ever wavered.
For my whole life, there’s been just one problem: money. Missionaries generally have to raise support, and I didn’t want to! So I spent college and the few years afterward searching for ways to get around this inconvenience. Incredibly, God blessed me with a (very rare) paid position teaching English in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2005-08. He loves and uses us even in our broken states and with our fears! But He doesn’t leave us there…He takes us onward.
So in March 2012, the Lord provided opportunity for me to attend a “Support Raising Boot Camp” in Arkansas. We studied Scripture intensely, and I emerged with the undesirable conclusion that a lot of my “spiritual” reasons for wanting to earn my “own” money, not ask others for my support, etc. were cloaks for my own fear, pride, and independence. I was still scared, but the process of embracing what I knew God had in store for me began.
Since God opened a door for me to return to Kabul with a different missions sending agency, which is anticipated to be in the spring of 2014, He has blessed me so incredibly. As I’ve faced my fears and mapped out a support-raising calendar/plan, as well as adjusting to the fears involved in “setting sail on the open seas of the world” alone in my 30s — which is incredibly scary and lonely and brings tears to my eyes even now — He has also given me so much to smile about. Coming back from an international prayer meeting in Leesburg Monday night, at which the Lord gave me several new prayer partners and two new financial partners, I felt an exuberance and deep shalom that is hard to describe. When we face our fears with the faith He gives, we truly reap blessing.
God gave me the desire at 6, but it has taken me 26 years to learn the faith to walk in His calling.
What has He called you to — and what fears are keeping you from walking in faith and obedience? Ask Him for the strength, wisdom, and faith to overcome! It’s available in Christ:
“And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
About Debra: Debra Smith grew up in Memphis, TN, and moved to Virginia to help her sister (who then had nine kids and now has eleven) after moving back to the U.S. from Afghanistan in 2008. She loves evangelizing Muslims and discipling teenagers.
RSVP today for the Christmas Banquet and Drama on Saturday, December 14th
In order to have adequate tables and seating for everyone, the banquet planners need to know that you are coming. Doors open at 6pm for seating. Please call the office, (540)786-4848 and let them know.
***Help Needed Saturday Evening***
Help is needed Saturday night receiving dishes for the potluck and maintaining balance in the banquet lines. Show at 5:45pm Contact Pam in the office if you can help (540)786-4848.
NLICC hosting local Presbytery Meeting on January 11th – Women’s Service Opportunity
The Session has asked us to provide breakfast and lunch for our presbytery leaders on Saturday, January 11th. In lieu of a Women’s Prayer Breakfast in January we ask that you pray about preparing or purchasing food to feed our leaders while they meet together. We’ll also need volunteers to set out each of the meals and clean up. Look for a signup link for food and help in next week’s Update!
Selah Leigh Greenberg has arrived!
Please contact Lisa Capitano if you are willing to help with meals for Jeremy and Tracy’s family.
There will be no Women’s Prayer Breakfast this month because of all of the holiday activities – join us at the Cookie Exchange tomorrow night at 6:30
Women’s Prayer Breakfasts will resume in February at 9am on the 2nd Saturday of the month (a change from the 3rd Saturday).
Would you like to share a Christmas greeting with your covenant family? Pin a card on the Women’s Ministry Bulletin Board in the hallway across from the kitchen. Laurie Burrows has dressed it up for the holidays. Thank you to Laurie for keeping the Church’s boards looking spiffy!
Looking for a Housekeeper?
From Debra Smith: There are a few Afghan ladies whom we know who are desperate for work. They are interested in cleaning houses (and are very good) but don’t have the connections to get the jobs lined up. Do you know of anyone who might be interested in a good housekeeper — especially as a ministry, both financially and/or potentially even relationally/spiritually, should any opportunities arise to share Christ through it? Contact Debra.
Resolve to join us! Women’s Bible Studies begin in January
- How People Change, led by Pam Lopes beginning Monday evenings at 7pm on January 13th
Sign up with Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Westminster Confession of Faith, led by Christine Fulcrod resuming Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30am on January 14th (child care available)
Sign up with Christine at email@example.com
Spring Women’s Event – April 12, 2014
Mark your calendars! More details to follow soon…
Retreat Planning for Next Fall – October 24-26, 2014 – Want to be a part?
Would you like to help plan the next women’s retreat? We are beginning plans for our next Women’s Retreat at Blessings Lodge at Camp Overlook. Contact Gale Puffenberger or Connie Both if you are interested in being a part of planning this special weekend.
The Women’s Ministry Committee is here to serve you and help you to serve.
- Is there a particular topic or activity that you would like to see made available for the women of NLICC? Let us know!
- Do you have a ministry need or opportunity that you’d like to share with the women of the church? Drop us an email and we’ll get it in!
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in His grace,
for the Women’s Ministry Committee
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