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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Sheep Without a Shepherd

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One of my favorite things about Romania is watching real shepherds lead their flocks of sheep. They stand watch over them, protecting, defending, leading and guiding from pasture to pasture.

I love driving to different towns and watching the sheep grazing or following the shepherd’s direction, never away from his attentive protection.

During our last trip to Romania in April, I was told the following story:

Romania Missionary Fellowship Director Florin Vasiliu asked a shepherd a question.

“What is the most important quality a shepherd can have?”

Thinking the man would answer that a shepherd must know the best pastures and fields in which to take the sheep, Florin was surprised at the answer.

“The most important thing is that a shepherd must really love the sheep.”

Wow.

This morning the RTM staff gathered with Romania Missionary Fellowship Director Florin Vasiliu and his wife Denise to pray and seek the Lord’s help for this weekend’s RMF Conference, evangelestic youth meeting and three Sunday services.

Brother Michael opened our time by reading Matthew 9:35-38,

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This is why we are in Eastern Europe.

We are here because the love of the Great Shepherd has called us into His flock and He tells us there are more to be brought in. But we must go to them. We must tell them of a Shepherd far greater than even the most loving, most protective, most loyal shepherd they’ve ever known or heard of.

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Imagine a flock of sheep left to themselves, without a shepherd. 

They would be an open target for predators to come and destroy.
If they wandered into mountainous areas they could fall to their death.
They would be unprotected.
They could be stolen and taken as someone else’s.

This is the state of the people in Eastern Europe.

The people filling the villages in Romania and Moldova are harassed and helpless.

They don’t know the Truth that can set them free.
They don’t know of a grace so rich it can pardon the most vile sin.
They don’t know real love.
They don’t know of the death that can bring them life.
They don’t know they can have hope.
They don’t know our Jesus.

So let us pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

May the work done in these days through pastors conferences, youth meetings, church services and other events be instrumental in the raising up of faithful shepherds who will love and lead the sheep in Eastern Europe. Discipling them and equipping them with necessary tools to follow the ultimate Shepherd. The One who laid His life down for the sheep.

Oh, may it be so.

One comment on “Sheep Without a Shepherd

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