Simpson used the illustration of how "a father can sweat all day at his work for the joy of knowing that his efforts are for his family." It is a picture that speaks to me because it seems like we are always sweating and dealing with heat and dust and challenges to daily living. It isn't enough to just serve the Lord; we must do it with joy. Catching the bigger picture and knowing that my faithfulness in small things can make a difference for the people I serve in Burkina Faso, should make me joyful. At a recent women's gathering, I was on the platform beside Ntene and she was so full of enthusiasm and joy. After the meeting she asked if she could come to see me. She recounted through tears that her husband had left her three months ago and had not sent any money to help with school costs, clothing, rent, or food for her and their five children. "You might wonder how I could be so full of joy at church." Yes, the thought had crossed my mind! "But my children were there and several widows and others going through difficulty. I wanted to help them and give them a happy church event. At first I was struggling, but then I realized that I could be happy because the Lord was using me to cheer others and the Lord was meeting our needs each day." The valleys come and night can fall, but let us never forget that our faithful witness and example are for the whole family of God and will be used to bring courage and strength and even salvation through Christ to those around us.
Pictured here with Ntene on Women's Sunday
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