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An Intersection Along the Journey

An Intersection Along the Journey

“You know you’re heading in the right direction if you’re facing spiritual attack, because the devil doesn’t want you to be obedient to the Lord.” A mature Christian mentor gave us these words many years ago. Today, we find ourselves passing on these same words and other nuggets of wisdom that have been shared with us.

During an extended season in our lives when our journey had strayed away from the Lord, God intersected our path with two mature Christian couples who joined us in our mess and invested deeply in our lives. They helped us see God’s best for us and taught us how to apply His truth to our lives. They encouraged and empowered us to live abundant lives that were honoring to the Lord. We didn’t recognize it at the time, but they modeled the Great Commission to us. Because of their—and countless others from our home church—investment in our lives, we are now able to disciple many Native American brothers and sisters in the same way.

When we first met Dan and Maria (names have been changed) nearly two years ago, we felt so much compassion for them. At the time, they were much like we once were, a long way from God’s perfect plan. We began walking with them through some tough trials they were dealing with as a result of sin in their lives. That outreach has since turned into studying the Bible together, discussing healthy family and marriage life, and recently, church leadership! While Dan and Maria are still navigating some lasting consequences from their past, they have committed their lives to the Lord and are faithfully trusting and watching Him bring victory through tragedy. It is a joy to watch the way God is using their story of victory to touch others’ lives. He is helping them use their gifts and abilities to serve in their village and church.

We have been missionaries on the American Indian Field for two years, and we have enjoyed every area of ministry the Lord has given us. Recently, He led us to expand our ministry in an area we are passionate about: adult discipleship! The Lord has given us a simple desire: to encourage, empower, and equip our Native American friends to walk with Jesus abundantly and eternally. As we consider this great privilege, the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (NIV) spur us on:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Walking Together

We liken our ministry to going on a journey. As the Lord arranges, we intersect paths with a hurting heart. If they are open to our company, we join them on their journey. It is through walking together that we have the great privilege to love and disciple them.

The individuals whom the Lord brings us in contact with are often facing very difficult circumstances: addiction, broken families, and destructive behavioral patterns. As we continue to depend on the Lord, He is faithful to equip us with all we need to love and encourage them. We are continually reminded that we must be quick to pray for His wisdom, seek wise counsel, and dive deep into Scripture every day, hiding His truth in our hearts to be used in all situations.

Following God’s Model for Discipleship

Our desire is that all followers of Christ will be open to letting the Lord lead them on a journey of discipleship. Discipleship truly is a life of learning and growing.

Nearly 10 years ago, the Lord gave us a model for discipleship through the investment others made in our lives. And no special equipment is needed! It is simple, really: a willing heart, a listening ear, a Bible, and often a meal. Ask yourself two questions: “Who is discipling me?” and “Who am I discipling?” When we meet with individuals who are facing a specific trial, we spend the first hour listening. If we want to know what road we are on, we must first listen to the road-worn traveler. We must always keep an open line of communication going with the Lord as we listen. Then we share as the Lord leads (another nugget of wisdom gleaned from our mentors).

We must meet people where they are physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We must be willing to join them on their journey, sharing and seeking wisdom with them and for them. It shouldn’t be surprising that we have suffered heartaches along the way. We have experienced disappointments, but the Lord is always faithful to comfort us, mature us, and call us to a deeper dependence on Him.

Through this ministry, we have been blessed with wonderful friendships. It is a joy to see more and more people living in freedom with Jesus, and it is a privilege to walk this “journey with Jesus” with our Native American brothers and sisters.

Action Step

PRAY: Pray for Darin and Laura as they love and disciple Native Americans in Christ’s name.

Darin and Laura Arnott, missionaries on the American Indian Field
The Call (June 2018)

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