In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul describes his heart’s desire in serving people by saying, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
From the youthful, zealous age of 18 to the mature, experienced age of 58, Alan and I endeavored to serve the Body of Christ through discipling new converts, guiding them into baptisms, chasing after and discipling youth, and exploring the frontiers of mission fields. At first, we held the hands of confused and suicidal teens. Later in their lives, we mentored and prodded them toward growth in Christ. Many of them are in ministry today, to the glory of the Father. Traveling across the nations, we washed the humble feet of the Indigenous and cried over the despicable state of the Venezuelans. We willingly and whole-heartedly answered the call to go…to care…to give. We did this together for 40 years.
With great wisdom and insight from the Lord, Alan led the “troops” into missions. He was terrific in juggling and remarkable in problem-solving. Passion and boldness ran through his veins. I will never forget watching “Braveheart” before his first Brazilian trip in 2000 and how it caused his blood to boil when he first faced the great injustices of the Ingarico tribe with Dr. Eric Hoffler and Lyn Loveless.
The three men unanimously voted to not abandon their new brothers, but instead to stand alongside them as they confronted great discriminations of the government. They were warned by the Ingarico that the last time the tribe had attempted any sort of rebellion against the government, it was met with a violent attack and thousands were killed in a single night in a burning raid. Yet, the men remained steadfast. They were willing to risk their own lives in unity with these new friends. How could one movie spur such boldness from three protected and pampered white men except that God Himself had directed them to rally the “underdog” to cry out that this inhumane treatment must come to an end?
Since that day, the Ingarico have never seen those same injustices! God used three willing men to stand with an entire tribe to work His purposes for that moment. Times like these provoke a response that was not only seared into our hearts, but sealed them to the cause of Christ.
This not only impacted Alan and the other two men. It was also seared and sealed into my heart as his soulmate. The heart of God compels me forward. As the newfound leader of Frontline Missions, I am now beginning to catch the wind of Holy Spirit for our mission—to set the sail in light of the vision. The Lord is at my side, whispering which direction to move. The battles and hardships are many but, nonetheless, I grasp the reins in obedience to the call and boldly begin to proclaim that God is with us and that we should not fear. God’s Word is our standard and our fortress, securing our battered souls from the storm to His stabilizing anchor.
What has God been saying to Frontline? In 2017, the message was to hold steady and let us all grieve the loss of a great leader. The team remarkably continued on without skipping a beat. How could they? They must have been empowered from on High, as they themselves were heavily grieving and yet, the task was at hand and they, too, answered the call to go…to serve…to give. I remained at the side, watched their incredible response and labor as they not only completed the many planned mission trips, but later outdid themselves in celebrating Frontline’s 20-year Celebration in October 2017. How was this marvelous event pulled off? By an amazing and unified team that held steady in the hardship of the storm. In everything we did that night, we wanted to glorify God and lavish our love on those who have supported us.
After the one-year mark, God stirred my heart that it was time to fire up the vision of Frontline. His original call was to remain wide and free, to find the needs of others, and to find others who can meet those needs. Connecting people and resources in the name of Christ. And today, God is leading us to truly go to the far corners of the earth. We will continue to support our mission partners in Central and South America and help them achieve new projects like businesses and training centers to expand the Gospel. At the same time, we will expand eastward. Earlier this year, we started a mission in Spain, and in August we traveled to France and Moldova to explore options for future work. The mission will look different—given Europe has far different needs than South America—but will allow us to flex our creative muscles in developing diverse solutions to meet their needs.
The Lord is also stirring us to return to Venezuela when the situation becomes more feasible. Meanwhile, we can care for them in the bordering countries. And we are considering taking exploratory trips into the Near East in the future. With expansion comes a greater need for resources. We have written a separate article on a few of our anticipated projects in 2019 and beyond, along with the needs for these projects. If you are interested in supporting us in prayer, finances, or simply interested in reading more about these amazing activities, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will write another article soon detailing some of these projects.
This is a huge vision, but we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us! If he provides a vision, He will certainly provide a way. As the year progresses, we will send more updates about the future projects the Lord has placed on our hearts. It is an exciting time! Come, let us join in uncompromising unity and selfless service to take the liberating message of Jesus Christ to the far reaches of the world.