We are blessed as a ministry to also work with great missionaries. Be encouraged as you read their story.
Being a missionary, it is necessary to count everything but the gain of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord as garbage. (Phil. 3:8 NLT) Tom and I have been involved in overseas missions for over twelve years and have had many opportunities to experience the cost of service.
Ten years ago, on our first mission overseas in Israel, the Lord made clear His calling on our lives. He gave us John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Our calling was and is “For God so loved the world…” Some missionaries know at a young age they will grow up and serve in a particular country or location. On the other hand, some grow into a love and desire to serve in a certain place where God had led them. It is amazing to read about missionaries spending their whole lives in one place. For Tom and I, God did not call us to one place—but said that we would have the world as our mission field. This means we could go anywhere. Knowing this, when we go where God calls, we still serve as though we will always be there. Our hearts are firmly planted to love and serve those God places before us for as long as He desires.
There are those who question us as to why we seem to move on every few years. The answer is a simple one: God says it is time to go. This is not an easy thing to do; in fact, it is very hard for Tom and I to leave those we have come to love and cherish. What makes going to someplace new so difficult is knowing that our hearts will be terribly broken one day, leaving friends and loved ones behind because of God’s calling for our lives. Pieces of our hearts have been left behind in Sudan, Uganda, Israel, Rwanda, Kenya and here in the states. And, it should be this way, to leave a part of yourself behind. You need to know that it does hurt, a lot. This is part of living our lives for Christ. Christ loved those He served and we are called to follow in His steps. Some of you have asked us about the difficulties we face living overseas. It is not an easy life God chose for us. We are separated from our family much of the time, as I was from Tom for over a year. We miss our families, kids, grandchildren and friends; we have no house or apartment to come home to. Our health has suffered. Those we are called to serve do not always welcome us. It can be very dangerous. So why do we do what we do? Because of GOD! There is no greater joy than serving God. Being a part of the joy of someone coming to Christ, discipling those who want more of Jesus. Loving the unloved through Christ’s love, being a light to a dark & dying world.
What can be better than that? The joy that God places before us is very real, but not always easy. I am being very honest because you need to know how to pray for us as we prepare for the United Kingdom. Our next mission field will be a very difficult one. Again we will be separating from our family and friends. Most don’t realize that those we will share with in the United Kingdom will be much less receptive to the gospel than whose we have served in the past. Our desire is to be faithful servants, despite the conditions. Jesus is Lord!
Maybe you have always lived in one place or maybe you move a lot. What is important is that you remain or go as God leads you. It is easy to think the ministry is all about you, what you can do for God or how God is going to use you. This is not true; ministry is all about God, about where He wants to take you and what He wants to do with your life as a believer. He chooses to use us for His good pleasure and we can do nothing apart from Him. The path God has chosen for you is perfect. Let nothing detour you from His path. God uses trials and various situations to build your faith. He wants to see if you trust Him. Do you? Do you know He is faithful to complete the good work He is doing in you? Go where He calls you to go and do what He calls you to do! One day when you reach your final destination He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
We love you all so very much,
Tom & Cheryl Rees
Support Tom & Cheryl Rees: www.supportFRM.org
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Far Reaching Ministries
North American Headquarters
38615 Calistoga Drive
Murrieta, CA 92563
Office: +1 (951) 677-4474
“I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him.” Philippians 3:8 NLT