“I’m Batman!” I shouted as I stood up slowly, my cape and mask betraying my title.
“No, put it on your head, not eyes!” E. said, his two-year old eyes staring at me with mountainous fear. He was relieved immediately when I pulled the mask up from my eyes to my forehead, once again showing who I was beneath. He smiled and skipped his way through the living room again, jumping off cushions and vaulting onto the couch as all five of us, with C. and R., laughed at his antics.
One of the precious joys of visiting the capital city was seeing C. and R.’s life together there. Their ministry has grown rich, but their family is especially full, as E. grows up and begins taking on a curious personality all his own. Certainly doing the work they do on a daily basis is taxing and exhausting, especially with the added burden of being so far away from family and friends for the first year in West Asia. Interacting with their community and meeting with the people they minister to on a daily basis was certainly sweet, but I especially felt drawn to simply sit with them in the comfort of their living room, praying, eating, singing, and studying with them for even the few precious days we shared there together.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
For Paul, the burden was certainly to grow, evangelize, disciple, and speak life into the churches; he was one of the church’s most prolific early church planters, after all! Yet still, he sees the imperative to build-up and encourage the workers in the field tied directly to the salvation Christians have in Christ. What a gift it was to live this out with C., R., and E. in their home, playing super heroes and sharing not just our skills and material gifts, but our hearts and lives as well.
~Ryan Bettwy (RestoGoes 2016 to West Asia)