Staying in the Game When You Want to Throw in the Towel with Marvin Slaton II

May 30, 2024

 

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Have you ever had a season when everything in you wanted to quit and leave the field, the church, the project, the team, the miracle you’ve been believing for, but deep in your spirit, you knew God was asking you to keep standing?

There are moments in life when God asks us to persevere in areas that feel too much for us. How can we keep from quitting? How can we gain the fresh strength we need to keep going? Marvin Slaton, Modern Day’s executive director, unpacks what persistent faith looks like in overwhelming circumstances.

 

Resources

  • Free Getaways/Retreats: for missionaries with optional coaching/debriefing included: FieldLife Ministry (two locations: Arkansas (family cabins in Ozark Mountains) and Southeast Asia (bedrooms on the beach)

  • Spiritual Direction: Soul Shepherding. 15% discount on the first session for missionaries. Email care@modernday.org to request discount code.

  • MK/TCK Support: The MORE Network: A collaborative of Canada-wide organizations supporting CCWs and Third Culture Kids (TCKs) in cross-cultural transition and Member Care Workers.

  • Book: A Spirituality of Living by Henri J. M. Nouwen 

  • Article: When You Didn’t See It Coming 

  • FREE Furlough Devotions: 20 days of devotions for missionaries on home visits June 3-28, 2024, Mon-Fri from Harry Hoffmann. You will receive these via email, and they contain links to 3-5 min long videos with images, scriptures, and reflective questions.

 

 

Connect with Marvin Slaton II

 

Last Week’s Episode

When Missionaries Experience Personal Loss with Dirk Smith (Encore Episode)

Transcript From the Episode

[00:00:00] Stephanie: Welcome to this episode of the Modern Day Missionaries podcast. Today, I have a treat for you. I am joined by my good friend and Modern Day’s director, Marvin Slaton. Marvin, this is your third time on the podcast. It’s good to have you back.

[00:00:14] Marvin: Stephanie, great to be back and super excited about the topic.

[00:00:18] Stephanie: Me too, because we’re going to be talking about staying in the game when you want to throw in the towel. How many people have had that experience who are listening? I’m going to just be bold and guess all of them.

[00:00:31] Marvin: Right, exactly,

[00:00:33] Stephanie: Yeah. And so, and we’ll be talking about, you know, you and I were discussing this beforehand, having a persistent faith, a dogged determination, just really looking at the kind of faith that God calls us into. And so you’re going to be sharing two character traits and one point of action that’s helped you and so many others keep going when you felt like giving up.

And yes, Marvin, like we were just saying, I remember several times, I mean, several is probably on the short. end of things, being on the field and wanting to throw in the towel. So this is, this is real. So I love how practical this is today, and I do want to clarify, there’s a difference between God showing you it’s time to transition into a new season or having to leave because of a crisis versus quitting.

So we want to differentiate between that. Just because you leave the field does not mean that you have thrown in the towel. They look very different. And I think if we’re real with God and ourselves, we know the difference. So we just want to make sure people don’t feel bad who, and also if you quit something, we don’t want you to feel bad.

Sometimes in life we quit things. We’re human. The beauty is that God’s grace is never ending and he believes in second chances and new beginnings. And so do we, but we do want to talk about how to stay in the game when God hasn’t tapped you out yet. So Marvin, when you were sharing this with me, it all began for you with a story in Scripture.

[00:01:50] Marvin: Yeah, yeah, Luke 18, verses 1 through 8, the story of the persistent widow. I mean, what an incredible story. People have been reading the Bible for any length of time, probably. I don’t know if anybody can reference this story, but it’s just so, incredibly inspiring and one of the things I learned about this story was actually, you know, it’s, it’s a parable and Jesus is talking to his disciples and one of the things I learned was, when he actually told this story.

to the disciples. And I think that’s a really important thing to know to set the stage for what we’re going to be talking about. And, when he told them this parable was he was beginning to tell them about his coming suffering and the coming kingdom and the plot to kill him. And so it was in this latter stage of Jesus’s life and ministry, I would say probably somewhere in the three to eight months before the crucifixion and the resurrection. And so, he was, he was teaching them through this parable and he was setting them up beautifully in this story of, of courage and fortitude and prayer and, what it was going to take for them to, face the trials and the difficulties and the challenges that were before them, because those difficulties and challenges would be coming very soon.

Jesus knew they would be. And so. Insert this story of the persistent widow because, Jesus knew they were going to need this type of persistent faith for them to walk through and be victorious with everything that was coming their way.

[00:03:33] Stephanie: Yeah. Persistent faith. I think that’s something that we all need. And no matter whether we’re on the field or off the field, but especially on the field, persistency in our faith, in what we’re doing. So you mentioned a few things that you, saw in that story. And you know what, maybe we should just have you do a quick smary of what that story was for, if anybody needs a refresher.

We, I know we have a lot of pastors in here, so you, you may know this story, but if you haven’t hit us with a quick refresher.

[00:04:00] Marvin: Yeah, so, there’s, it’s the story of the persistent widow, so she has obviously, lost her husband and she’s, going before, a judge because she has what the Bible calls an enemy or an opponent. There is an issue that’s at hand, she has an enemy or an opponent, and she’s going before a judge, that the Bible says does not fear God or care for people.

So when you think about this persistent widow, she is a woman living in a time where women did not have the same rights that women have now, she’s obviously lost a husband, which could mean that she’s potentially fighting this battle herself. She has an opponent or an enemy where there is a disagreement.

, she’s going before a judge who does not fear God or care for her. And, He has ignored her many, many times. And so that’s kind of the story that, that Jesus is teaching these, really these principles through of persistent faith.

[00:05:07] Stephanie: Yeah. And you mentioned some few things that’s a few things that stood out to you from her story that you felt really applied to us as missionaries. And what would some of those be? Let’s start with one.

[00:05:19] Marvin: Yeah. I think even just looking at how the story is titled in scripture of persistent faith. And we look at the word persistent, Stephanie, it’s like, it’s a faith that keeps coming. and keeps coming and keeps coming. And so, many times in life we’re going to be knocked back or knocked down. You know, we’re going to be, you know, on like the proverbial mat of life.

We’re going to have huge challenges before us, you know, Mount Everest, if you will, of mountains that we have to scale. And, Jesus knows this. And so he, he’s teaching us here about this faith That keeps coming. That keeps coming and keeps coming. And one of the things, that he, he talks about right there in, in, in Luke, 18 verse 1 is, do not lose heart.

Do not give up. And so you may be knocked back. You may be knocked down. You may be looking, down the corridor of life and being like, man, I do not want to go through what I see that I’m about to have to go through, or I don’t want to have that conversation, you know, I don’t want to have to go through this counseling session, I don’t want to have to face fill in the blank, you know, but Jesus is saying here, don’t lose heart, don’t give up, keep coming, keep coming, and he shows it through this widow who Despite all of the obstacles, she keeps coming back before this judge and she keeps coming back.

And then the judge says, you know, I don’t fear God. I don’t care for people, but this widow is going to wear me out. So you know what? I am going to give her justice. And he gives her justice. He gives her her desire because of her persistent faith, her courage to keep getting off the mat, to keep getting up and to keep coming back.

And so I think it starts there with this. Persistency of keeping coming, and then this courage of when we’ve been knocked back, when we’ve been knocked down, we’re willing to get up. We’re willing to embrace what’s in front of us and to keep moving forward.

[00:07:33] Stephanie: I love that image of persistence. It makes me think of our pastor when we served in Peru, and he always used the image of plotting. And he said, I just, I want to be like a horse that just keeps plotting and putting one foot in front of the other. And if I just keep doing that, and that’s all All I do, my entire missionary career, I’ll accomplish so much more than people who just go in bursts and follow their energy or follow their motivation.

He’s like, I’d rather go slow and steady and keep going. And that really speaks to that persistency because plotting sounds easy, one foot in front of the other, but there’s days where it is not easy to put one foot in front of the other. I want to put one foot back in my bed, like one foot on the airplane to go home.

[00:08:17] Marvin: Yeah, well, and I think about, Stephanie, in this story, how, you This unjust judge granted her justice, you know, in the midst of her opponent or enemy. And then God says, if you look at it, how much more so will me, will I, you know, the king of the universe, the one who died for your salvation, how much more so will I grant you justice?

Will I empower you? Will I give you the ability to overcome what you’re going to have to walk through? If this unjust judge, who did not fear God or care for people, if he will do it, through persistence. He honored the persistence. If he will honor the persistence, how much more will a loving God honor your persistence?

It’s not going to be easy. We know, you know, it’s going to be challenging, there’s going to be difficulties along the way. And we’re talking to a lot of missionaries here now, and they understand that, you know, just, just the baseline difficulties. of living in, your non passport country, right? Already, you’re going to have to show a baseline level of persistent faith.

That’s not even talking about, you know, in the different ministry initiatives and, and other things. And so, I just, I’m so encouraged, it’s like, you have a God. If this unjust judge will give that, you have a God. How much more will he enable you and empower you and love you through those situations?

Thank you.

[00:09:46] Stephanie: Absolutely. And so often on the other side of those push through moments are where we find breakthroughs, where we find victory. And, and sometimes they’re short seasons. Sometimes they’re long seasons where we’re being persistent for a really long time. But, you know, I remember a saying that I had heard that I initially really loved at one point when I was on the field. I think I was talking to somebody who wanted to help me out and they said, just go where you’re celebrated. And I was like, yeah, I want to go where I’m celebrated. I like that. And I remember the Lord got a hold of me and said, that’s not what I called you to do.

I don’t want you to go where you’re celebrated. I want you to go where you’re called. And that went off in me. It’s a wonderful thing to be celebrated. But I’m telling you, missionaries, you know, we’re, we are not always celebrated and that’s not something we need to need to be able to keep going. We need to go where we’re called and God gives us the grace to do it.

If you need some affirmation, pray, the Lord will send you some, I believe it. But it can’t be our driving factor. So that’s so good, Marvin. What was another thing that you pulled out of the story?

[00:11:02] Marvin: Yeah, I think when we’re talking about a persistent faith, a faith that keeps coming and keeps coming, I think what Jesus was also teaching His disciples there, is again in the, in the months coming, they were going to be facing some persecution and difficulties and challenges that they had no idea.

And so he was getting them ready, you know, and part of getting them ready was the persistent faith. It was the courage, but it was also this word of fortitude. And I love the word fortitude, I remember back, Stephanie, when I played varsity basketball in, in high school and in our locker room and film room, there was this large poster.

It was a framed poster that was on the wall. And at the top in large letters, it had, you know, the word fortitude. And in the middle, there was this picture of this rock climber. And he was, on this ledge that was jutting out and he had like one hand that was reaching up and grabbing it. You could tell he was looking where, to where he could place his other hand.

And you can just see his muscles are shredding and you’re like, your, your palms are sweating just looking at it, you know. And there’s this vast valley below him. And, man, you’re just thinking, oh my goodness. And then below The picture, it said this, is the definition. Fortitude, the ability to hold on when others let go.

And man, what I, what I just remember seeing that over and over again in the athletic locker room. And I’ve carried that with me all of these years, some 25 years later, Stephanie, of the ability to hold on when others let go. And it’s, it’s what the widow did, right? She held on when so many others would let go.

And why? It’s because she knew what Going back to what you said, she knew what she was called to do. She knew where she was called to be, and she was going to honor that. And that’s that fortitude. Others may let go. Others may go off the field. Others may even walk away from their faith, you know. But not when you’re called.

Not when you’re committed. Not when you’re a disciple, when you’re a missionary of persistent faith. Jesus is saying, Hey, this unjust judge even granted justice. How much more when you show courage, when you show fortitude, how much more am I going to come through for you and give you wholeness, give you victory, give you breakthrough?

And Stephanie, what do we know? It’s always at just the right time, right? It’s, and it’s, it’s hardly ever our time, but it’s at the right time when, when the Lord breaks through and he honors that persistent faith and that fortitude. And he says, you know what, missionary, I see you holding on. I see that others have let go, but I see you in your country.

I see you in your ministry initiatives. I see you in your evangelism and your discipleship. I see you in your church blending. I see you holding on. I see you keep coming back and keep coming back and I’m going to grant you breakthrough. I’m going to give you victory. And so I love it, Stephanie, the story, it just, you know, it gets the juices flowing, right?

Of inspiration of like, man, no matter where the missionaries are, no matter what you’re facing, if God has called you, if God has planted you there, which we believe he has, then he’s going to give you the fortitude. He’s going to give you the courage, you know, to be able to be persistent in your faith.

And man, I love it. What, what a wonderful God we serve.

[00:14:47] Stephanie: Well, and you and I don’t say this glibly. I mean, sometimes people will say things to missionaries like, Oh my gosh, just keep going. You can do it. I mean, you’ve been on the field. You’ve been in China. I’ve been in South America. Like we’ve, we lived there. We walked through it. We know what it is to fight the battle to stay on the field and to fight for the things God called us to do.

You know, there’s really two ways of looking at it. I think there is being on the field, the fight to stay on the field. to stay being a missionary when you don’t want to be, but then there’s also the individual fights you have while you’re there. The battles of, you know, Oh my gosh, getting your visa. I would know when we got back from Thailand, we were with a bunch of missionaries there and I heard more visa stories.

Whenever you’re with missionaries, there’s two kinds of stories you hear. You hear visa stories, Okay. And I’m just going to say it. You hear poop stories like always,

[00:15:40] Marvin: I have an excellent one of those. I don’t, I don’t know if we’re going to rabbit trail there, but I have an excellent one of those.

[00:15:46] Stephanie: that going to be for the next podcast episode? We should probably have one with just poop stories.

[00:15:51] Marvin: haha

[00:15:52] Stephanie: But I think about the visa stories. I was talking to a couple and oh my gosh, they had been fighting for how long to get their visa. And then I talked to another couple. They were missionaries from one, country in Southeast Asia to another and had been living apart and the battles they had gone through had been going on for years.

And there are so many people who are fighting through those kinds of battles. So it’s to stay on the field or the battles while you’re on the field. I’m going to think of even you guys, this wasn’t while you were on the field, but I think of your story with Lydia. I mean, how long did you guys fight for, to be able to adopt her?

[00:16:29] Marvin: Yeah. So, when we, From when we first were called as a family, to walk through the adoption process to, when we actually adopted Lydia, when she was in our arms as a newborn baby, was somewhere between four to five years. And so, and if anyone’s walked through the adoption process out there, they’re listening to this and they know it’s not a few days, it’s not a few months, you know, it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. And all of the hoops that you have to jp through, all of the challenges you have to face, all of the home studies you have to do, all of the money that you have to save and raise, all of your bureaucracy and red tape, you know, the medical side, the legal side, the financial side, there’s all of these things.

And there was a time as a family where we just basically fleeced the Lord––we can’t wait another year. Like, this was it. And we did. It was that year that we got Lydia where we said, Lord, we don’t think we can continue this process another year without being gifted a child. And, it was that four to five year mark, where we got the call.

And we, we went up and, Lydia was placed in our arms and it was, you know, in that moment, you just, with tears in our eyes and all of the emotions of it, we’re thanking the Lord, we’re praising the Lord, but we’re also remembering, tying this together, the courage he gave us in the midst of the obstacles, the fortitude he gave us in the midst of wanting to give up.

And as I held, little Lydia there. I just thought, man, Lord, thank you. Thank you for helping us to harness that courage, to harness that fortitude, to keep going and to be persistent in this, you know? And so that’s our adoption story. But Stephanie, I think about, you know, missionaries that are out there. We, we say, you know, all of the challenges of being in country, in ministry challenges, but I think about you may be facing a challenge with your marriage.

You may be facing a challenge with one of your children, there may be a financial challenge. There could be a mental health challenge that you’re looking at and you’re staring at and you’re thinking, Oh Jesus, how am I going to get through this? How can I, you know, I get to the other side of this and get healthy and whole and all of the things.

And that’s where I just look at the story of the widow, Stephanie. I just think, man, how all of the odds were stacked against her. Cultural odds, all of the things and how she persisted. She knew she was called, she persisted in the place she knew she was called, and even the unjust jobs granted her justice.

How much more will God come through for people in their marriages? and with their children, with their mental health, with maybe any struggle with a personal addiction, you know, fill in the blank there, obviously, but how much more will God honor the persistent faith? And that’s what I love about this story and, you know, what we’re conveying here.

[00:19:42] Stephanie: It’s really true and I appreciate that you brought up different kinds of examples because my hope is that everybody listening can find a piece of this that they can relate to. They can think about a circstance that they feel like giving up on or throwing in the towel in whether it’s entirely heading back or whether it’s, you know, something specific and be able to identify with that.

And you’re right. I love that you brought up courage again, too, because it does, it takes courage to not say yes once to go, but to keep saying yes. In fact, I think it takes more courage to take those continual yeses of staying on the field and even going there in the first place. It’s, it’s just as hard to stay as it is to go, if not harder sometimes.

You know, I was remembering as you were talking, There was a couple times when I was ready to throw in the towel. I mean, at year two, that was a brutal place for me. It was between year one and a half and two. And I was like, get me out of here. I can’t do this anymore. And came back for a three week visit to the U S.

Yeah, because I didn’t have any friends yet in Peru. I couldn’t speak the language. I was just stumbling through it. And I remember being back and thinking, I back to Peru. I just want to stay here. That was a really big one for me. But when I came back, God brought us some of the best friends of our entire life.

They came down to serve and lived down there for two years. And they were two of the funnest, crazy years. So I’m so glad they’re, and that I remember for us, I think it was at year when all the pipes blew up in our house. I mean, and we lived with my in laws, so we had a three story house.

[00:21:14] Marvin: Oh yeah, yeah, I, I did, and I’m sorry I’m laughing, but

[00:21:19] Stephanie: You would know then, Marvin. It was so bad. There were eight months where we did not have a kitchen. We had no pipes working, so we had no kitchen, no bathroom in the space that we were living, so we had to go, you know, downstairs and use everybody else’s space. The electricity then went out. I mean, then, you know, they had to rebuild our bathroom, and they finally got it to work.

Our bathroom explodes. I mean, it was just

[00:21:44] Marvin: Oh my

[00:21:45] Stephanie: There were, I mean, as tubing, Water. You would imagine, yes, there’s some poop stories involved in that as well, which just make it extra special. But it was brutal, and when we came back I think in July for a couple of weeks to visit. I remember thinking, I don’t want to go back to that.

Everything is clear here, clean here, all the toilets flush, everything works. There’s a clean bathroom I can use. It was intense, but same thing on the other side of that ended up being a phenomenal season in ministry. So if we can just push through, you ended up. With a daughter in your arms. I mean, we ended up, with just some amazing ministry moments and it’s not like it goes from, imperfect to perfect.

You had challenges even once you got Lydia in your arms. I know for us, we had challenges even on the other sides of those breakthrough moments. But it’s, it’s so worth it to be in the place that God’s called you to be. So I love that you are breathing some fresh light. life hopefully into these missionaries, today and all of our listeners who are experiencing this.

And there was one other point that you had mentioned to me about prayer. I’d love to invite you to share about that as well.

[00:22:59] Marvin: Yeah, I thought it was fascinating, Stephanie, and when you look at Luke 18 and verse 1, it says, just reading this here, it says, Now he was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to And you could fill in a lot of that blank with a lot of words, as he’s beginning to teach that parable to the disciples, but he says at all times they ought to pray. And so, what he’s saying here, Stephanie, is with everything that you’re going to be going through, and this topic of persistent faith, and the persecution that the disciples were going to be facing, and, you know, the intensity of all of that, your prayer life is going to be paramount. It’s going to be so vital in just the, the livelihood of your faith.

And so I love that, because it was that reminder of the importance of prayer, you know? And, you know, I think oftentimes, we can maybe, overlook or minimize the importance of prayer, maybe we even get to a place, where we question its effectiveness, right? Is it really worth it to, to spend the time?

And so what I’ve learned 23 years, Stephanie, and trying to faithfully, incorporate a life of prayer is that prayer really to me that the definition that has is really kind of settled in my heart is it’s the hble invitation to bring God into your life and situations. And so I think about so many times where, my wife and I, we’ll be discussing just difficulty, maybe difficulty in our marriage, difficulty with our children, whatever it is, and I’ve learned, thankfully, through God’s great grace and mercy, just to pause, and I’ll say, Andrea, I said, why don’t we just pause, and why don’t we just invite the Lord into this conversation, into this situation?

And we’ll just pause right there, and we’ll just say, Lord, we invite you. into this. We invite you into this situation. And what I love, Stephanie, is, you know, when Jesus told his disciples he was going away, he said, I’m not going to leave you alone. I’m, you’re not going to be an orphan. I’m going to provide for you a helper.

And that helper is going to be called the Holy Spirit. And what is the Holy Spirit there to do? He lives inside of us to empower us, to counsel us, to convict us, and to comfort us along the way, right? And so my wife and I are praying we invite the Holy Spirit into those situations, Stephanie. We say, Holy Spirit, we know what you’re about.

You’re about empowering us, and I tell you, we need some power right now. We also know that you’re about comforting us, and man, we’ll take all the comfort you can give us. But we also need counsel in this situation because we don’t know how to navigate this financial issue or this issue with our child, you know, And so we need your counsel and directive.

And so, Stephanie, we’ve just learned through the years that there’s such a payoff with humbly inviting the Lord into your life and your situations. And I’ve found the more consistently we do it, the better. And we build our life upon that, that foundation of humility and inviting the Lord into our life and situations that we see God’s faithfulness come through time and time again.

And I would even say, you know, that, that situations that could have been Mount Everest type situations, they end up being more of a molehill, you know, because we see the Lord’s action and that’s because we just chose to include him. And to engage him in that place. And so I love that here in Luke 18 verse 1, God starts this whole story out with, You’re going to have to know how to pray.

You’re gonna have to know how to pray and I think, you know, whether we’re a missionary overseas or in America or wherever we found our find ourselves, I think foundationally we have to continue to get to that place of prayer and remembering. that prayer is effective and that prayer works, but we don’t do it just because it works.

We do it because that’s a key part of building intimacy with Jesus. And so that’s kind of my encouragement and part of my takeaway there with prayer in the story of the persistent widow.

[00:27:34] Stephanie: Yeah, you know, my husband always likes to say, when you don’t know what to do, you know exactly what to do. And it’s true that we always like to be practical on the, on the podcast as well. And prayer is something that’s incredibly practical. We can think of it sometimes as being so, you know, only spiritual, of course it’s spiritual, but it doesn’t just exist in this floaty out there realm.

It’s. It’s incredibly practical. The way you described the Holy Spirit was so good about the way he comforts you and empower. Yes, like you said, please, I need some more power today.

[00:28:09] Marvin: Yes.

[00:28:10] Stephanie: Lord, bring it on. Give me the power. But it’s true. He’s there for us in that comfort space, but he practically, he gives us advice, he gives us guidance.

There’s sometimes we’ll go and we’ll grab a book, I mean, that’s, I’ll be honest. It’s a default of mine. I feel like if I can just go find something to read, the answer’s there. And I have to back up and remember sometimes Jesus has the answer for me. I went on a walk with him the other day and I was just puzzling over this, this dilemma I had. And it was a really sweet moment because I just, I was by myself and I started Talking out loud did not care what my neighbors thought because whatever, who cares. And I just said, Jesus, can I run something past you?

Can you tell me your thoughts on this? And, and talk to him like I was having a conversation. And when I thought of him that way, it opened up my, my heart and my mind to be able to hear from him in a different way. So yeah, what a great definition of prayer as well.

[00:29:16] Marvin: Well, and I think, Stephanie, if I could just add one more thing with that. You were talking about just your walk with the Lord and, man, we can talk with the Lord. We could be ironing clothes or doing laundry, you know, or washing the dog out back or, you know, whatever it is, wherever people find themselves.

But one of the things that I think was revelation to me was, you know, Not viewing prayer as transactional, but relational. I think, I think that’s so key that, that revelation sits at home in our heart, you know, that we’re not just giving input into something, expecting a certain output. And I think a lot of times we, as believers, we can fall into that as I’m going to pray this.

In expectation of wanting this, you know, and it becomes this transactional thing. And that’s not the way the Lord created us to operate with him. You know, it was always meant to be relational. He wants to hear on our heart, hear about our hearts and what’s going on and the unfolding story, you know, and of course he wants to hear about our needs.

But, it’s, it’s from this posture of the heart of building intimacy in your relationship and not just. A transaction of I’m going to ask for this and an expectation for this. And so I know for me, Stephanie, and maybe this will, help other people. That was a huge revelation to move beyond the transactional prayer and move more into the relational prayer.

[00:30:35] Stephanie: Yeah, and all these things you mentioned today, prayer, courage, persistence, all of it, I think really adds up to give us not just the grit, but the resilience to stay on the field. I love when we interviewed Geoff Whiteman on a previous episode, he was talking about that difference between grit and resilience.

And there’s nothing in here today where we’re trying to say just grit your teeth and suffer through. Okay, there is an obedience step. God asks us to plod, to obey, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But like you were just saying, I believe he empowers us to do it, even on the hard days. When he’s called us to do it, that certainty is what holds us steady.

That was again, when I was in that, at that seven year mark. When the pipes were blown up and everything. And there was a piece of me that wanted to stay back in the U. S. I remember looking at Danny and we said, no, this is not what we’re supposed to be. We know where we’re supposed to be. And it doesn’t matter what we’re going back into.

We’re We can’t be anywhere else but there and we let that, that knowing, I think fuel us to be, you know, where we should be and, and to be where we are now in life. So, thank you for that encouragement. That was, that was great, Marvin.

[00:31:51] Marvin: Absolutely my pleasure. You know, it’s a fascinating story, Stephanie, the the parable, which obviously is a story of instruction. And I’m so glad you look at just certain things in the, in, in the Bible and in the different seasons that they speak to you and man, the persistent widow. What a, what a time and, and a day to, to be persistent in our faith.

And I think especially about all of the missionaries, you know, in all of the different nations, man. So I hope that this is just, wind in their sails of, of their faith.

[00:32:21] Stephanie: Marvin, would you close us out by praying over our missionaries?

[00:32:24] Marvin: Absolutely, I’d love to. Lord Jesus, we love you so much and, thank you so much for your wonderful grace and mercy and love for us. And, just want to lift up before you all of, the missionaries that are, that are listening to this podcast and, and, just pray your encouragement, God. It’s you, the place that they’re in right now, they would be strengthened, they would be encouraged, Lord, they would be filled full of, of, of life, and whatever challenges that they are facing, Lord, may, your relationship with them, may their relationship with you, and that intimacy, and that trust, and that calling, carry them through, God.

So, whatever place they’re in, may they feel and know your help. And your support. Lord, may they, may they fill your empowerment to have a little more courage, a little more fortitude, God. Be in that place of prayer, Lord, a little bit more, God. And so, we know you are faithful, God. You called us. And you will be faithful.

You called the missionaries listening to this and you will be faithful, Lord. So we just speak your abundant life over them, their marriages, their families, their ministry in every facet and every way in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

[00:33:42] Stephanie: Amen. Well, listeners, I hope that you took that to heart and recognize that prayer was for you today. We also just want to remind you, our hearts, Marvin and me and Elias over here at Modern Day is for you to have the resources you need to thrive and be healthy on the field. So we just want to remind you, sign up for the weekly newsletter where we’re sending out resources every week, podcast.

Keep listening to what’s listening to what’s coming up, because we don’t want to just tell you to stay doing what you’re doing. We want to empower you to work with the Holy Spirit to help you do what you do best. So thank you, missionaries, global workers, member care personnel. We just appreciate you. We value you. We want to thank you for what you do and encourage you to keep on keeping on. We will see you in a future episode.