Onward Christian Soldiers

| Judy Dengler

“Seek those who are thirsty, encourage those who are faint-hearted to walk in the truths of His word and have faith to walk in obedience. We are called to His mission every day.”

As a member of the Family of God and more specifically the family of Providence, I have had the blessing of serving on a couple of mission trips: One to Rwanda with World Medical Mission and two to Central Asia. Each trip involves a close encounter with the Lord.

How does this happen? How does God call us to serve? My story has been for me a “stone of remembrance” (Joshua 4:1-24). It began with a call—a call from a son-in-love who said, “Let’s attend a conference,” and a call from a friend who asked, “What do you think about helping with Worker’s Children?” Seems simple doesn’t it? Well, you can believe it is simple—simply incredible because it was the beginning of a beautiful time with Jesus. The call to serve stimulated a call to prayer.

“Prayer changes things,” but most of all, prayer changes you, and prayer changed me. That was the case this past year as I began praying about how to be involved with the team who was leaving at the end of January to go help encourage the workers in a closed region. God answered swiftly through His Word and the teaching of our Life Group.

In my Life Group, we were studying the passage in Exodus 17 when the Israelites were complaining about lack of water…thirst. I was listening to our teacher, Gordon Bolin, explain severe dehydration. He went over some of the complications from severe dehydration including not urinating, dark urine, very dry skin, feeling dizzy, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, sunken eyes, sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, irritability, and fainting.

I started to cry. This was how our workers in that closed country were feeling. They were spiritually dehydrated! This was the purpose of the trip…to encourage them with the Living Water. The journey was beginning! God answered my prayers by giving me a love and a heart for the people group we would be serving. It remains with me to this day!

God continued to answer prayer as we prepared for the trip, by bonding our team in a spirit of unity and love for Him and each other. He lead us through deep waters, (security at JFK) parting the Red Sea (a personal TSA escort). He bonded our hearts to the hearts of the children—even the ones most closely attached to their mommies. He provided sunshine when rain was in the forecast. He is and was Jehovah Jireh–the God who provides.

God started this prayer journey in the book of Exodus with a demonstration of the need others had for Him and for community. He continued with affirmation of His faithfulness and His promises during our journey. He continuously reminded me of His heart through verses in Philippians 2:12b -13, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure,” and 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…”

My continued prayer is that we will take our callings to Him. May you be aware of his everyday calling. Seek those who are thirsty, encourage those who are faint-hearted to walk in the truths of His word and have faith to walk in obedience. We are called to His mission every day.