November 1, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,
God says He provides for all our needs. I believe this, but usually I apply this truth to broad contexts such as food and shelter and safety and still obsess about all the details in between. This year God has been teaching me a lot about what a detailed God He is and how His provision is not just a generic blanket of goodwill, but a daily attention to each new situation we face.
Last Fall one of our missionary couples told us that they felt God had called them to another ministry position and would be leaving within a year. We had one other missionary couple that we knew was encroaching upon retirement and with no sight of new staff, Andrew and my meetings with our director came to feel like survival meetings as we prepared to hold down the St. Louis ministry indefinitely. We doubted a little. We set our resolve. We prayed.
Spring came, the departure date of the missionary couple was drawing near, and there were no signs of additional staff. Then one day, out of the blue, our director received an email from an interested couple. They came for a visit. They came back a week later for an interview. They moved into staff housing a few weeks later. Randy and Hannah Riggs arrived two and a half months before the other staff couple left—just in time to learn the ropes and help fill the gaps. Each day since then, Andrew and I have marveled together at the specificity of God’s provision. He could have sent a few people to get us through, and that would have fulfilled the immediate need, but instead he sent a couple whose desire is to be long-term missionary staff, who have a heart for church planting, and whose gifts and talents specifically fill areas of great need in our ministry. And all this happened when we considered things to be at their most unnervingly last minute.
This year we have gained two year-long interns and hired two new support staff in addition to Randy and Hannah. God has been faithful to provide for our needs. Although this has been one of the most dramatic examples of His provision, I have continued to witness, both large and small, God’s attention to our daily needs. It is an exciting time in ministry as we are seeing pieces, that once seemed disconnected and without direction, coming together and finding momentum in ministry. I believe God is moving mightily here in North St. Louis.
Through this all I have realized that my faith is small but my God is all-encompassing and completely faithful. After witnessing God’s perfect provision for our staffing needs it is impossible to go back to a place where I could worry that we will not have the right people at the right time to do what God wants us to do. However, I am ashamed to say that this confidence came not from faith but from sight. I pray for God to continue to teach me to live out a lifestyle of faith in every area of my worrying, controlling personality. I do not want Jesus to look at me and say, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29)." I want to be one of those who believes even when I do not see!
As the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us I am even more aware of how much we have to be grateful for in our service of such a great and loving and detailed God. I marvel at the way He has brought each of you along side us in this journey—how He uses you through prayer and finances and care packages and notes of encouragement to meet very specific needs in our ministry and personal lives. Thank you for serving with us. Your faithfulness has continually proven God’s faithfulness, even when Andrew and I have had short-sighted faith! Praise God for His goodness and mercy.
For His Kingdom, Andrew and Adria Medlen