We were privileged to hear an update on the ministry of missionaries Bobby and Lisa Betchel, whom the church has supported since they moved to Kenya in 2000. They have been ministering in and around Mombasa, a heavily Muslim city; however, God is doing marvelous things. Thousands of people have accepted Jesus as their Savior, and the people in the village ministry areas now have consistent medical care, clean water, food, Christian schools, and seven churches!
Bobby also shared that their ministry needs 30 more people to sponsor children. In sponsoring children, we provide a way for them to attend schools where they hear about the Gospel. Those children then go home and share with their families. Contact us at the church if you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity.
When sharing his testimony, he reminded us of the story of Moses in the Old Testament. In Exodus 4:2, Moses heard God’s voice through a bush that was on fire yet not burning. God told Moses to return to his native city of Egypt and rescue His people, the Hebrews, out of slavery and bring them into a land He had promised to them. At first Moses made excuses. He was comfortable in his shepherd’s life, and he didn’t think he was extroverted or talented enough.
In response, God asked Moses what was in his hands. It was his shepherd’s rod. God asked Moses to throw it down. When it landed on the ground, the rod turned into a snake. Moses recoiled in fear, but God told him to pick up the snake by the tail. Moses didn’t hesitate, and the snake turned back into his rod.
Moses’ shepherd’s rod was used for his livelihood; perhaps he even made it with his own hands. When he threw it on the ground, it was his. But when he picked it up, it represented God’s power through him. This reminds us that God wants to use us. Some of us, like Moses, have to go through that process with fear in order to live an extraordinary life.
Bobby confessed he did not want to go to Africa, and he made a lot of excuses as to why he and his wife could not go, but they stepped out in faith and went anyway. That doesn’t mean their fear ended. As a matter of fact, in their first two days of arriving in Africa, another missionary’s home was invaded, his money was stolen, and his wife was beaten. Lisa’s grandmother was also admitted into a hospital back in the States, and they wondered how much longer she would have. They experienced fear right away. Bobby and Lisa had to have the faith that God loved them and would care for them in their new ministry.
Even when we obey God, fear can creep in, but let us remind ourselves of the God we serve. When given the choice, don’t let fear prohibit you from following His voice in your life and embracing the identity He offers. He is always faithful.