Add Thanksgiving to the list of things that feels a little different in 2020! Maybe for some of us right now, we feel stuck in a rut and have to work hard to be thankful. Or maybe cultivating a habit of thanksgiving has been your lifeblood to endure the hardships of this year. No matter where you find yourself on the gratitude spectrum, I imagine for all of us this letter will be both a gut punch and an encouragement. Praise God he gives us grace even enough to be thankful!
CBC, meet Randi Lynn. Alongside her husband Eric and their three children, Randi serves at the Colorado Springs campus of Youth with a Mission. Here, they facilitate discipleship programs, offer exposure to cross-cultural ministry, and mobilize to unreached peoples in the 10/40 window. Through this letter and the updates of our partners all around the world, our hope is that you would pray for them, celebrate the work of the gospel, and consider how God is inviting you to join in His global mission.
–Whitney Reed, Missions Mobilizer
An update from Randi Lynn Johnson
Hello CBC family!
I am writing to you from a cold but sunny day in beautiful Colorado. It’s crazy to think that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. In some ways this year has flown by but in others it’s lasted an eternity! 2020 am I right?!
As missionaries it’s been difficult to be “grounded” for a time. In March several outreaches were canceled in addition to having to scramble to get our students home from the outreaches already taking place. Our team from Kyrgyzstan was on the last flight out of the country before the world basically shut down. And though things were strange and uncertain, we were determined to seek the Lord and His faithfulness in the midst of it. Early in lockdown I received a vision of one of those toy cars being pulled back. These particular toys have to be pulled back in order to successfully move forward. A friend of mine had a similar vision: of a slingshot being pulled back. Slingshots are really only effective if they’re first pulled back. We both felt the Lord was saying that this was an intentional time not to be squandered. Though it felt like we were being impeded, in actuality we were being prepared. We felt reassured that after this whole mess was over, we would have opportunity to launch out further and with more power than before.
And while things aren’t completely resolved (obviously), we have been able to run schools once more and have 59 students we are helping train and disciple. They are preparing to get back into the nations in the first of the year. As we work alongside them each day, we see their eagerness, expectancy, and confidence that the Kingdom of God is still advancing! In many circles 2020 was prophesied as a year of massive revival. That we would begin to see the largest harvest of souls that the earth has ever seen. When you look at things as they are, it sure doesn’t seem that way. But how many of you know God is the God of impossible feats and incredible miracles? God hasn’t been thwarted by a virus. He is still working! I believe we will see revival in the days ahead!
I imagine with 2020 being the year it’s been, that for some of you it’s difficult to find much to be thankful for. But I would urge you to try. My Kindergartener, Rhett, told me his verse for the week is “Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) The language here is a commandment. Not a recommendation. And we know that because it’s a commandment, it’s possible to achieve because God doesn’t ask us to do something that is impossible for us! Rejoice in the Lord and the good that has come from 2020: the added time with family, the opportunity to slow down, reflecting on the truth that even in the midst of difficulty and uncertainty, God has never left us. Confession, I already have my Christmas decor up. I’m not skipping Thanksgiving, but instead I will celebrate an attitude of thanksgiving all the more as I reflect on the goodness of God.
Randi Lynn J.