Letters from Missionaries | Vol. 8

Kendra S. | August 10, 2020

We’ve reminded ourselves all year of God’s character, His power, and goodness, His faithfulness to every one of His promises, His active work that is shaping all our days. We don’t always see the fruit of our faith or understand the infinite implications and timing of His work, but it is good to be reminded of this truth. In this letter, Kendra shares a glimpse of how God has been working in her life and ministry, and then she takes us back to the simplicity of our calling with this: “Who are you praying for? Who are you sharing Jesus with?” 

May we remember the power by which we go forward and the purpose for which we have been sent into the world. And may we be found faithful at the end of this season celebrating how God has graciously worked in it and in us for His glory. 

Through 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

A letter from Kendra S.

2020 has been an interesting year for all of us. From canceled plans and future months that feel unknown and at times worrying, the world can appear to be filled with chaos. Just like many of you, brothers and sisters, my future is filled with elements of unknowns at the moment, and at times, processing that is a struggle. Seasons of waiting can be hard, and waiting on God when He doesn’t seem active can be discouraging, but I hope I can encourage you with some good news. We serve a God who is sovereign, good, and active, and His plans are better than our plans! Even in the midst of chaos, God is actively doing good things in our communities and that is something I am immensely thankful for. As I look back at 2020 so far, I’m amazed at how God is actively at work shaping and molding my days according to His good purposes. 

I rang in 2020 on a flight January 1st heading to the UK to spend a month of dedicated prayer with coworkers from many nations who are serving across the world. It was a special time where God clearly spoke to me concerning my next season of ministry. After serving nearly three years in Northern India, then spending a year serving at my company’s US headquarters office, God gave me a new direction and showed me that my next season of cross-cultural ministry was to be serving among unreached people groups across Southeast Asia. This is a region I’ve prayed for since my teenage years, due to family friends who faithfully served there. This direction was both exciting because I’ve been praying for Southeast Asia for years but also heart-wrenching because a big part of my heart is still with my friends and community in India. During my time living in India, I saw God answer prayer in amazing ways. It was by far the hardest place I’ve ever lived and I faced challenges I didn’t expect, but over and over again, I saw the faithfulness of God at work, and I’m thankful for the family, friends, and experiences God gave me during that time. While I was living in India, I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Southeast Asia and meet my coworkers serving across countries in that region for the first time. It was a special time for me and it’s amazing to look back and realize how much God was at work in my heart during that conference in ways I didn’t fully realize at the time. 

After I left the UK, I booked flights for March to begin a season of exploration to serve with various teams already working across the region. A week before I was scheduled to leave, my destination countries began to close their borders and my flights were canceled. At first, I didn’t understand why God would allow me to be so close to getting back to the field where my heart is and then allow everything to be canceled at the last minute, but as I look back on the past few months, I’m thankful that God’s plans are better than my plans, and I’m grateful for the gift of a unique season of waiting and preparation that I hadn’t planned. In this season, I’ve been given a special gift of time. Time to spend in prayer for each of the countries I will be visiting. Time to begin language study for new places I will be traveling to. Time to continue language classes with my teachers from India and continue to build deeper into those friendships during a difficult season for them.  I’m thankful for the gift of time to have virtual meetings with some of the teams I will be serving alongside, and for opportunities to be praying with them and for them now so that we’ll have a deeper foundation when I arrive to serve alongside them. I’ve also been given the opportunity to return to school for an accelerated program, which will help me become a qualified teacher. This could open up opportunities for me to settle and fully invest in one community once I return to Asia and see which location God leads me to move to.  I’m excited that God has given me the opportunity to pursue all these things in this season of waiting, and I’m anticipating the day when I will get to be in these nations and see how God chooses to answer prayer and work in these communities to grow His Kingdom for His glory. 

I’ve seen God at work in so many ways during this season of waiting. As I’ve continued building friendships through language learning, God has given me opportunities to pray with and for friends who don’t know Jesus yet. I’ve been extremely encouraged by a season of being back with the church family at CBC and having the opportunity to worship corporately with you all again during this time. I’ve been encouraged by prayer times with friends on the field who have been able to show God’s love in their communities in unique ways during this season, as people go through the struggles COVID has brought across different nations. I’ve been working part-time at my old job, and I’ve been encouraged by conversations with clients as God has allowed me to share about my faith and hope that is found in knowing Jesus. I’m thankful that God is actively at work in this season and that He’s inviting each one of us to be a part of what He is doing during this unique time. 

I’d like to encourage you to think about how you’re using this time too. How are you seeing God at work in your life? Who are you praying for? Who are you sharing Jesus with?

Blessings,

Kendra S.