September 2020 Ministry Update

As I, Clip, sit down to write, I feel like my mind is a geyser that is about to explode. There are so many things I could write. This past month has been hard for us. It’s not one big thing, but rather a series of little things. Truthfully, as I made a list of all these little things, and as Mary and I talked about these things, I thought to myself, “This stuff is not a big deal.” 

I’m just being as honest as I know how to be. We know there are people who are going through far worse than we are. Through it all, we should praise God. As Jude wrote in his letter, 

To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. 

God is good and faithful. He is always worthy of our lives and our obedience.

Let’s be honest, life is not always easy, nor is missionary life always easy. God never promised us it would be! Sometimes life is hard. Years ago I began to pray, “Lord, I’m not asking you for an easy life, but please give us a joy-filled life.” God has certainly answered that prayer. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). 

It is also greatly encouraging to know that we can take our complaints to God. Psalm 142:1-2,

With my voice I cry out to the LORD; 

with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.

I pour out my complaint before Him;

I tell my trouble before Him.  

If I’m going to complain, let me complain to the Lord. At least He will lovingly correct me and put me in my place. 

I think if Mary and I had to summarize what we have learned over the past month it would be the following:

It is always good and right to obey God and do His will, but that doesn’t mean it will always be easy. Sometimes doing the will of God is hard; sometimes it seems ordinary and mundane. But He always gives us grace. 

The following promise of God has been precious to us. 1 Corinthians 15:58,

Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 

Everything you or I do for God’s glory, by the grace and strength He supplies, has value. Nothing is in vain; nothing goes unnoticed by Him. So, even in the hard months, we continue to serve Him. We do what, at times, may seem ordinary and mundane, but we know that He cares, sustains, and blesses. 

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

O for grace to trust Him more! 

Prayer Requests and Praises

    • The Panamanian government has announced plans to slowly open up sectors of the economy and to lessen the quarantine restrictions. For example, beginning September 14, men and women will be able to go out Monday – Saturday from 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM. (There will still be a quarantine every Sunday until October 12.)
    • It is unclear, but we are praying that local churches will be able to have services beginning on October 18, once the Sunday quarantine is lifted.
    • This is small in comparison to other prayer requests, but our refrigerator has been out since August 25. Someone is supposed to come this week (the week of September 6-12) to repair it. Please pray we can get it fixed soon.
    • For a great spiritual revival in the community of Costa Verde and throughout Panamá. We greatly desire for many people in Costa Verde to be saved, discipled, and have a growing relationship with the Lord.