God is faithful
Argentina | OM InternationalIn mid-December OM missionary Stephanie, in Córdoba, Argentina, looked ahead to her second summer in South America with great anticipation and great fear. There were so many places she would be travelling and so many important decisions to make in 2012.
In mid-January, after a stressful week of travelling and only one week to go before OM’s annual TeenStreet camp in Uruguay, the anxiety hit full on. Steph has struggled in the past with anxiety affecting her breathing, and it came on full-force. One night it took her over an hour to get to sleep because she couldn't get in a rhythm of breathing while lying down.
“I was thinking in 1,000 different directions, and my biggest prayer throughout the week was that God would take the anxiety away before my time serving at TeenStreet the following week,” she said.
During the two weeks in Uruguay, Steph saw a huge sign of God's faithfulness. The anxiety lifted completely from her heart and lungs, and she never struggled with breathing once.
Steph was one of the many volunteers serving in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, where TeenStreet was being held. The first week she served as a team leader for a group of eight girls, ages 11-14. “It was a week filled with sleepless nights, lots of bugs and remembering nearly every moment how much pre-teen and teenage girls need Jesus, and need someone to show them His awesome love.”
The second week in Uruguay, known as Reloaded, was a camp intended to encourage older teens and younger adults in their relationship with God. While serving on the kitchen team, Steph had opportunities to attend the talks and says that she was also challenged personally, especially after already serving as a missionary for more than a year and a half.
“At times the fire and passion in me seems to have died down a bit, and I lack motivation in day-to-day ministry,” she said. “God is always faithful to throw kindling on the fire, and in Uruguay He reminded me through amazing time in teaching, fellowship and in His Word how important a call it is to reach the nations for Christ. And even more than that, how incredible of a privilege it is to have the chance to serve full-time in ministry for these few years.”
Contrary to wishful thinking, summer is not always a peaceful time. After returning from Uruguay, OM Argentina held their annual team retreat in the hills of Córdoba, and then Steph spent a weekend away in Mendoza. Before, between and after these trips she spent significant time discipling university students in Córdoba, working on the programme for ministry for the year and going through the interview process for graduate school via Skype. “It seemed like there were never enough hours in the day,” Steph said. The anxiety returned and, once again, her breathing difficulties returned.
Then Steph came across Luke 10, where Martha similarly feels overburdened by many responsibilities that all seem of vital importance. Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42; ESV).
“The last part of the first verse hit me even harder than the anxiety: ‘Only one thing is necessary,’” Steph admitted. She said that God was reminding her that although there are many important things in life worth our time, only one thing is necessary.
“Not 10 things, not even two things, but one: our relationship with Christ,” Steph realised. “Everything else is secondary. And these words from our awesome God not only brought back a peace, which so far has been powerful and lasting, but they gave me even greater hope for the future of ministry here, and great hope for my future, wherever God calls me to be.”