Spanish has certain words that I just love. The Word “Derramar” for example means “to pour out, spill over or gush”. We use it often when it comes to our emotions or feelings being poured out or when we want to pour out our hearts before the Lord. That is exactly what I want to do with you right now. You are reading this because you are likely one of our friends, family or supporters and you’ve been part of our ministry and following the Fowler’s but I feel like I have to say something that is for all ears and if you feel someone needs to hear it please pass it along.
I must confess. When it comes to missionary life, some things are way harder than I had ever expected. Many things take much longer and require much more than I had ever anticipated. For example, Language learning, feeling settled as a family and even just paying bills have all proven to be harder than I expected. On the other hand, many things are way better than I expected and at times I even feel guilty for enjoying those aspects of our life. It think it’s because long ago, we believed a subtle lie that if you are not constantly suffering as a missionary, then you are not doing enough for God. I am so thankful that we learned that is simply not true. The truth is that if you enjoy what God has given you then you will not honor him more by rejecting it, resenting it or feeling guilty. You will honor him more by just saying “thank you” and always loving the Giver more than the gift. However, If you do not enjoy what he has given you, then you honor him by thanking Him just the same for giving you the opportunity to worship him through even the difficult circumstances but this takes maturity.
The Apostle Paul experienced a lot of ups and downs and enjoyable and not-so-enjoyable moments in his life but he also experienced the secret to being content in the middle of it all (Phil. 4:11-3). Paul points out that the key is always Christ. Whatever is happening with you or to you – Christ is the Key to making contentment possible in life. He is your anchor in the storm. He is your lifeline when all else fails. He is your light in the darkness. Sometimes he will calm the raging sea and sometimes he will be the friend that sits with you in the middle of it. He cares for us. He shares with us and He provides for us. He gives us peace. He gives us joy. He gives us things that we need and many times even things that we want, sometimes just for our enjoyment (1 Tim. 6:17). I am always amazed at how God made the Garden of Eden (and all of nature for that matter), not just suitable for people to live in but beautiful too. He filled the garden (and our world) with food that sustains our bodies but it also tastes good and looks good too. He does all of this and more for us for one simple reason–love.
Jesus loves us. He loves everyone. He loves his creation so much that he gave his life so that human beings could know what real life truly is. He died on the cross so that those that believe in him and his message could experience complete forgiveness for sins and live life eternally and abundantly as he had intended for us from the beginning. Jesus knew that a sacrifice for sins had to be made to satisfy the debt of our sin and that only a spotless, pure sacrifice would suffice. His perfect life was the only solution and he willingly laid it down, all the while knowing that many would hear of it and even then reject his free gift. Can you imagine that? He also laid his life down thinking of the many throughout history who would come to hear of it and believe and forever be changed from the inside-out. This is the love that we proclaim. This is the great love that still changes the hardest human hearts. This is the love that stems the tide of evil in the fallen world we live in every day. This love of Jesus Christ is the key to it all guys. He is the everything. Our only cause. Our only purpose. Jesus is everything.
Lots of things in our lives are different now from what we had expected before we became missionaries but one thing has remained the same–Jesus Christ. Through it all, Jesus is still the key. He is the only thing worth holding on to. The only thing worth getting up for and the only thing worth fighting for. He is the only thing that makes our lives make sense and be filled with purpose. He is still the same and always will be.
Oh and by the way, I should mention that this is not just for me and my family. If you want to know how to start a relationship with Jesus Christ, and experience what I have, it is possible to do at any moment. Feel free to talk to Him now and acknowledge the fact that you know you need him…that he is the source of true life and forgiveness….that you want to invite him into your life and give your heart over to him…and he will do it. It will be a new beginning for you; a clean slate and your greatest adventure. He loves you and that’s one thing I know won’t ever change so it is safe to pour out your heart (Derramar) to him now. It doesn’t even matter how it sounds, the important thing is that you do it. If you want to talk to me about this then please just send me a message at (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would be super excited to talk more about this. If not, then I hope this message has blessed you just the same.