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Missions Monday-July 11, 2011

        Every Monday I am going to focus on one of our Missionaries that our church supports or Missions friends.  This week it is one of my friends and her husband, it is Sam and Mandi Abrams. They are currently on deputation raising their support to go to Hong Kong, China.  They are a sweet young couple expecting their first baby also.
      This is a link to their blog that I thought you might enjoy reading and can learn more about them and their ministry...... http://cantoneseforchrist.blogspot.com/ Please pray for them also if they cross your mind and you do not mind. 
     This is a devotion that Mandi gave and she tagged me in a note of this....I thought it was very good and hope it will bless some of you too.....

For Ladies Only~ Devotional

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is probably most of the most popular verses in the Bible.  Through it, the Lord teaches us to trust in His ability to help us in our weakest time, to give us strength when we do not have it, and to direct us when we have no idea where to go.

When my husband first told me we were going to be missionaries, I read this very every other day.  “Okay, Lord,” I prayed, “I can handle this!  I’m trusting in you!  You have to show me how to glorify you in this situation!”  When you hear a missionary say “situation,” you automatically think of many challenges.  Living in a foreign field with no hospital close by.  Traveling around for months trying to raise support.  Sleeping on cots in a Sunday School classroom when all you want is your own bed.  Riding in a car for 15 hours for one meeting that only gives you a $25 love offering.  No, when I thought of situations, it had nothing to do with these.  The biggest battle I personally had to face was following my husband’s leadership.

I’m Mandi Abrams and I am married to one of the greatest men in the world, Sam.  We’re missionaries to Hong Kong, China.  When he first surrendered to the Lord, I thought he was crazy.  But after a few weeks, the Lord gave me Proverbs 3:5-6 in a devotional.  It was like the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and told me, “It’s okay. Trust in me, I’ll get you through this.”  Finally, I gave my heart to the Lord.  It was settled - we were going to start deputation.

Trusting in the Lord when you have nothing is hard.  Where will your next meal come from?  Are we sleeping in the car tonight?  Will I even be able to get a simple haircut?  Money makes the world run!  And we didn’t have any!  I’m going to be very transparent with you.  I like money.  I like having the security of insurance, a savings account, and even an extra twenty in my purse if I want to buy a new blouse.  But that changed!  It took DAYS before I realized money ran out very fast.

We were traveling home to Arkansas for a mission’s conference from California.  The church we presented at sent the check to the church...so we did not have a love offering for gas to help us get home.  We had been fine.  Five months on deputation, the Lord had blessed us financially, we never had money problems..yet.  We drove all the way to Texas and a couple from a church invited us out to eat.  The gentlemen forgot his wallet.  No big deal. We paid for the meal and we were able to be a blessing.

Getting back in the car, we headed to Oklahoma.  Being a good (nagging) wife, I asked my husband if we could fill the tank up so we wouldn’t get stranded on the side of the road.  Sam ended up filling up the tank, but only half way.  Before I even said anything, he blurted out, “We only have $2 left in the savings account and that’s it.  We got nothing else.”

Okay.  So we had half a tank of gas to get us all the way home to Arkansas.  We made it to Oklahoma City on empty.  Being the emotional person that I am, I burst into tears.  We didn’t have any money.  God had abandoned us.  We’re not suppose to be missionaries.  Every thing came out of my mouth!  Sam just looked at me and hugged me.  He was sweet, but I wanted him to hurt like I was hurting.  I wanted him to know somehow this was his fault.  So, of course, I let my tongue cut him, “If you wouldn’t have given that church that large amount of money, we would have enough to get home.”

There. I said it.  He had given a very generous love offering to someone about a week ago with a need.  Sam always has a giving heart and most of the time, I question if he is crazy.  We need that money!  If we would’ve kept it, we would’ve been able to make it home with plenty in our pockets.

We didn’t tell anyone about our situation.  We didn’t call our pastor.  We just prayed.  That entire night, I fought with God.  I blamed Sam that we were in this mess.  He wasn’t wise with our money.  It took only a few seconds for the Lord to remind me of that wonderful verse in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart:”

“Yeah, Lord, I have been trusting you.  But I’m not trusting in him.  Did you see how much he gave away?  This is Sam’s fault.”  I kept complaining to the Lord about how that the decision my husband had made was the most horrible one.  Then, like a dagger, another verse came to my mind.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Wait, wait.  I do submit.  I submitted to go to China.  I am following around my husband!  I am doing all of that!  Then, with a gentle rebuke, the Lord asked me about my attitude.  I had been serving Sam like the Bible asked, but I had done it with a distrusting heart or with an attitude that was ready to rip him apart when he messed up.  And to make it worse, I wasn’t submitting to Sam’s decision to give away our finances that the Lord told him to!  Did you see that?  The LORD told him to!  Doesn’t that fit in with trusting the Lord?

Ladies, God put our husbands as the spiritual, physical, and emotional leaders of the home.  It is his job to take care of you, protect you, and provide for you.  If he messes up, he has to answer to the Lord!  That is a responsibility I do not want to carry on my shoulders.

Sometimes, your husband will make a decision you do not understand.  There will be times that every fiber of your being wants to tell him just how crazy he is!  (I do all of the time!)  But it is not your job to be his judge or his conscience, it is your job to be his encourager and his helpmeet.  It is your job to submit to his decisions.  If the Lord lays something on his heart, please, let the Lord guide him.  The Lord promises to take care of you!

I’m not saying you cannot give your opinion, but there is a difference when you do it with a right attitude!  I’ve only been married for three years, but because of that one simple statement I said about finances, it has kept it’s ugly head in our relationship for a long time.  Every single time he gave money, he would look at me and question me if it was alright.  Oh my, I made a mess of things.  I hindered Sam’s giving spirit because of my worry-wart attitude!  It has taken months for me to try and repair my goof.  It is just now getting to where he will give.  And you know what, I just smile because I know the Lord will take care of me.

Some of you are wondering what happened after Oklahoma, aren’t you?  Well, to finish the story, then!  Again, we had told no one about our situation.  I battled with the Lord all night, but I finally asked forgiveness for my attitude and my non submissive attitude.

The very next morning, our friends left for work at 5 am.  We were packing up around 7.  Sam just looked at me the next morning with a smile.  Extending a note, our dear friends had left forty dollars, “This isn’t much, but the Lord told me to give it to you.  Love you guys.”

Forty dollars was all it took to get us home to Arkansas.  We also were able to buy lunch.  What a good God we serve.  Even when we have no idea how things will work out, He provides a way.

Ladies, God loves you and cares for you.  Your husband loves and cares for you.  They carry a heavy burden and sometimes, they just want us to know we support them.  When you trust in your husband and submit to his decisions, God puts you under His wings and takes care of you just like He promised.

(Did this for a Ladies' Group - thought it might be a blessing ;) )

God bless,
Pat
(Please do not copy this, all content of the devotion belongs to Mandi Abrams, I am only sharing it)




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