In May, ABM assisted a team of SEND missionaries with a training and orientation program for missionaries new to Alaska. At this recent Northern Ministry Training, a panel of elder missionaries was asked, “Looking back over your ministry, what are the successes, and what would you change?” In unanimous agreement, the missionaries found their success to be obedience to God’s calling and not in the numbers sitting in their church. One pastor responded, “Learning to praise God for the hammer, file and furnace.” It is through that refining that Christ is reflected in missionaries’ lives for others to see.
The same pastor continued softly in song with words from a hymn by Fanny Crosby:
“All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside? …For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.” One by one, all the other obedient servants in the room joined in song, eyes welling in tears. They continued, “All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread, Gives me grace for every trial, Feeds me with the living Bread. Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see.” Finding strength from these promises and with voices united, they concluded, “This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.” Silence and hugs followed.
What would they change? Many replied, “Attend more conferences and retreats like this. We listen, talk and share visions in a safe environment. It gives us a much needed break so we can go back and be more effective and right focused. And as a body, pray to ask God for what’s next.”
What a privilege we at ABM have to witness God’s powerful working in and through these faithful servants of God and to play a small part in spurring them on in the ministry God has called them to. Looking forward, we are excited for the next round of ABM fall and winter Pastoral Care Retreats for these ministry families! To financially sponsor or provide scholarships for one of the ABM Pastoral Care retreats head to our website at arcticbarnabas.org/donate!