There are some things that just won’t change while we are on this earth.
This past Wednesday was one of my favorite days of the year. Document Shred Day! The day when I go through all of our files, find all the information. paperwork. letters. documents. over two years old that we don’t need hard copies of anymore. I have a sick fascination and a deep, abiding love of throwing away old documents. I find organizing and cleaning out drawers, file cabinets, storage units and desktops strangely satisfying. It’s the admin nerd in me I guess. The same nerd that has a sick fascination and a deep, abiding love of office supplies.
This was the first year that I had the privilege of working in our missions department during shredding day.
I did not realize what I had agreed to when I decided to shred all documents over 2 years old. As I started looking through files, I came across letters, updates, prayer requests and praises from the past 10 years. I found myself connecting with men, women, families all over the world. Missionaries who we still support and others who are no longer on the field. I found myself getting excited about Bible translations 5 years ago. souls saved 7 years ago. baptism services 10 years ago.
It suddenly became a little harder to shred than ever before.
When I say somethings don’t change, I am, today, speaking directly to some of our prayer requests. I was struck by a prayer request from a missionary who has been serving in the Sudan since before I was born. Lately I have been praying for peace, restoration, godly leaders for the Sudan and now the South Sudan (newest country in the world!). And then I came across a prayer request from April 1987:
“Please continue to pray for us in Sudan, for peace to come all over the country.”
Wow. To me, 25 years seems like a long time to be praying for the exact same thing. To God, it is as quick as the blink of an eye. To me, 25 years seems like a lifetime. To God, 25 years is a dash on the timeline of His redemptive plan. Today, this missionary’s prayer in April of 1987 reminded me that God not only calls us to a lifetime of service but a lifetime of prayer and that He does not answer our prayers in our time or maybe even in our lifetime, but He does answer them. And no matter the answer, we continue to serve, to bring Him glory and to pray.
This missionary is not giving up on the people of Sudan and neither shall I. I will continue to pray for peace in Sudan. I wonder what that prayer will look like in another 25 years?