Home > Devotional, Missionary Life > Our Responsibility Vs. God’s Responsibility

Our Responsibility Vs. God’s Responsibility

Where He leads me, I will follow… .

These lyrics from a song express our hearts’ desire to follow God wherever He leads us. And lead us He has. He led us to Venezuela, ultimately to serve for many years in a remote jungle village under primitive living conditions, reaching out to a branch of the Maquiritare tribal nation that stood strong against Christianity. The villagers were clear in stating, “We’re glad you came. We’ll accept all the benefits of having a missionary in our village, but when you’re ready to preach we will not listen.”

Daunting? Of course! Those aren’t the words a missionary wants to hear soon after settling in. But it was okay. We were convinced that God had led us there. Our responsibility was to be faithful. The people’s hearts were God’s responsibility.

Ten years later God led us away from the jungle village of Parupa, leaving few believers, but many friends. Sadly, for the most part they remained true to their word, accepting all the benefits, but refusing to listen to God’s Word. Though recognizing the advantages gained in culture and language by living in such a remote village steeped in the old, traditional ways; we can’t say we comprehended why God would have us there and so few come to know Him. We only knew we’d been faithful to His leading.

His leading continued, taking us back to the heart of the Maquiritare nation where churches were in abundance but stagnant and crippled by unresolved sin. Dealing with sin and then aiding in the healing process took time. God gave us the time necessary to see the Maquiritare church heal and become spiritually mature before the doors to that region of Venezuela were closed. We needed each of those years for the healing to be complete and God provided those years by moving us out of Parupa. Still our hearts yearned for the still largely unsaved village of Parupa.

With the region soon to be closed, God led us back to the US. It was with mixed feelings that we boarded the jet heading stateside, away from a lifetime of ministry. There was joy at the thriving Maquiritare church as a whole, yet sadness and sorrow that many of our friends in Parupa still faced a Christ-less eternity. There was sadness in leaving a ministry we loved, yet a strange excitement and joy in knowing it was God, not us, moving us onward. There was uncertainty regarding our future mixed with the calm assurance that God knew where He was leading us. It was a time of conflicting emotions.

It would be several more years before we would learn of the Maquiritare believers reaching out to the largely unsaved village of Parupa. We had planted and watered the seed. Others received the increase. And we all rejoiced.

God leading us to leave NTM after twenty years of service took some getting used to. We moved to central New York to work with the migrant Hispanics in the area, a ministry my husband had begun during our times of leave from Venezuela, but that now he was able to expand upon. We bought a house in the area, we settled down, and we figured we’d be there forever.

Several years into the Hispanic ministry various circumstances made it apparent that the Lord was moving us on once again, asking us leave our home and take a pastorate. The church was small and struggling, but with a great desire to see growth and revival in their midst. The logistical nightmares to overcome to make the move a reality were great.

Daunting? Of course! It seemed an impossibility! But God…. God gave us the definite directive to move forward despite the obstacles, then He opened doors where doors shouldn’t have been. God made it possible.

God has given us a love for these people, this church, and this community. We move forward anticipating what miracles God will perform in these people’s lives, in this church, and in this community. Our responsibility is to be faithful; His is the increase. Is there not a theme here?

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