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Jodi Harrison
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March 2014 Ministry Update

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6

I was reminded of this verse the other day when I read an article about Olympic Gold-medalist, David Wise. He was labeled as living an “alternative lifestyle” by the media because he is a 23 year-old husband and father who one day would like to be a pastor. Really? An alternative lifestyle? Even in my short 33 years of life, I can remember being a good, moral person as “normal”. The world is changing so rapidly and now has such a skewed view of what is right and what is wrong.

Just as Paul and Silas were blamed for turning the world upside down, it is my prayer that as BMM’s Spain Team ministers to the people of Spain, and strives to make our Lord famous among lost souls, that we too, would turn the world upside down.

As our team continues to grow, I am certain that the Lord is preparing hearts for His Gospel to be sown. He promises that His Word will not return void, but will accomplish that which He pleases, and make it to prosper. (Isaiah 55)

As most of you know, the Lord took me on a bit of a detour from my plan. But again, in Isaiah 55 I read that His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. I am thankful for that. I rest in the thought that His plan, though different than mine, is better. Over and over God has reminded me that I need to obey. I would like to understand, but He asks for obedience, not always understanding.

It is with great excitement, though, that the Lord has allowed me to start again with my deputation ministry. My heart and burden are still for full-time ministry in Spain. However, because the need for more workers is great, and immediate, the Lord has opened the door for a two-year short-term ministry in Spain. This will allow me to be in Spain sooner, giving a much-needed hand to the already overwhelmed missionaries with whom I will be working.

There is still a need to raise support, and I am praying earnestly that the Lord will supply my financial need by the end of this summer. One difference with short-term ministry is that there is one lump sum that is needed, instead of monthly support for an indefinite timeframe (which, Lord willing for me will be a lifetime commitment.) This means that churches and/or individuals can give a one-time gift, or commit to monthly support for the next two years.

Would you pray with me, as I trust the Lord to provide the financial need of ministry in Spain? Would you pray also for all of the details to come together for this time of ministry? There is much to do in preparation for ministry in Spain, as well as transition from my current ministry. I am excited to see the Lord work, and supply for His ministry in Spain.

Would you consider giving towards the ministry the Lord has given me in Spain? Would you allow me to come to your church and share my burden for the Spanish people?

I am so thankful that the Lord chooses to use us to further His Gospel. He doesn’t need to, but He chooses to. What a privilege and responsibility each of us have to share His Word with those around us, no matter where we are!

He Leadeth Me

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Ministry Updates, What I'm Learning . . .

The path God leads us down, more often than not, looks nothing like the path we would have chosen to travel. I am thankful, though, that He is leading me, even when it means packing my bags and moving half-way around the world in the opposite direction that I was expecting to go.

Just about a year ago the Lord told me to wait once again in regards to my ministry in Spain. Of course this came soon after I had done a ladies retreat and spoken to several Sunday school classes about how “I know that that the Lord wants me in Spain, no matter how long or different the road has been from what I had planned.” God sure does have a sense of humor, or maybe He just knows what we need to learn, when and where. So I headed to Guam 7 months ago to be a teacher again.

As 2014 was quickly approaching, I was fervently seeking the Lord’s will for my future. Did He want me to stay in Guam longer to have a ministry with my students, or would He allow me to pursue Spain once again, or perhaps it was something brand new? Honestly, I didn’t know if I had an opinion. He hadn’t taken away my burden and desire for Spain, but I love Guam and my students. I felt as though a decision was beyond me, which in reality was the truth. I sought His direction for months, but continued to be unable to decipher His will. Truly, the Lord has taught me time and time again that His ways are perfect, so though my heart still desired to be in Spain, I had told the Lord that I would go where He was leading . . . or keeping me. I wasn’t indecisive, I wasn’t without a burden, but often God’s big picture isn’t visible to me while making every day choices, and I wanted only what He wanted.

I think this move to Guam, this detour from Spain, was partly my fault. I had asked the Lord if I was trying to go to Spain because it was what I had wanted, and not because it was His will. I started to feel that way after a prolonged deputation process that seemed to be going nowhere. It’s silly, really, if I look back at all the doors He opened and the prayers He answered, but sometimes we get carried away with feelings rather than what is real and true. The Lord bringing me back to Guam, though, made me realize that I do want what God wants. As hard as it was to decide to put Spain on hold, or possibly close that door altogether, I did it because He clearly led me here. I was willing to stay here, or go somewhere else if that is what He wanted, though in my heart I long to be in Spain ministering to university students who have no true knowledge of this same God who lovingly and patiently teaches His children.

So as I prepare, once again, to move half-way around the world, finish raising support, and move half-a-world-away yet again, I can truly say that I am thankful for God’s plan that looks nothing like my plan. I don’t always understand it, but I know Him. I know that He does what is good, and that His view of the big picture is much fuller than my miniscule peek into His sovereign plan.

This journey called faith is almost never an easy one, though at the same time, I am learning that trusting my Heavenly Father, Jehovah Jireh, is the easiest thing in the world.

Following by Faith

Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“By faith, Abraham obeyed . . . and went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

Sometimes, I have a tendency to think through things too much. I want to understand what is going on, and definitely want to know why. But recently, I have read through Genesis 22 multiple times, and it occurred to me that Abraham didn’t really take time to think, he just obeyed. Even then, he didn’t just obey, he rose early in the morning to go to Moriah and sacrifice his own son in obedience to God. Not one of many sons, but his only son — whom he loved.

As you will see, I’m not suggesting that we act without discernment here, but that we trust God, and follow in faith.

Abraham didn’t question. He didn’t argue with God. He didn’t try to find another way. (Though we know he had some experience with that and the consequences of “helping God out”.) He didn’t even try to make it make sense; to understand why God would ask him to do something so outrageous.

What he did do, though, was respond in faith. Our youth pastor reminds the teens often that faith is trusting God to the point of obedience. That’s good stuff! Faith isn’t just agreeing, but putting action to what you know to be true.

Abraham responded in a few ways that amaze me every time I read this passage – maybe because of the magnitude of what God was asking of him, but regardless of what God required, Abraham displayed faith in his God:

1) “Abraham rose early in the morning . . . and went to the place of which God had told him.” – He obeyed completely and immediately. – Just like leaving Ur, Abraham didn’t know his exact destination, nor what the end of the journey would look like, but he obeyed nonetheless.

2) “The lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” – He trusted God to the point that he was willing to obey in any area. – He clearly knew God intimately enough to know that He would keep His promise of making Abraham the father of many nations. Abraham knew that, somehow, Isaac would come down that mountain with him.

3) “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” – He knew God’s character – Jehovah Jireh. – I used to think that Jehovah Jireh just meant “God who will provide”, as if that isn’t enough. But really, the idea is that God sees, and because He knows what our need will be, He will take care of it.

In our lives God will ask us to do things that we don’t understand. For me, it was stepping away from deputation, from the road to Spain in order to return to Guam to teach again. Honestly, the biggest challenge for me was not obeying God by returning to Guam, but explaining to people that God was redirecting my steps. I knew it was what God wanted; I knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I certainly couldn’t answer people’s questions when they would ask “Why?”, “For how long?”, “What about Spain?”. Those were all great questions; they just happened to be questions I didn’t have the answers to.

What I did know, though, was that my heart was in Spain, that God had given me a burden for discipleship, a love for the Spanish people, and a desire to serve Him on the mission field. And I also knew that He was very able to get me to Spain in His time, if it was part of His plan.

I know that God doesn’t make mistakes. I know that He does things for our good, to bring people to Himself, and so that He will be glorified. I am learning that that is enough. I don’t need to understand, but I do need to obey.

Just about a year after God made it clear that He wanted me in Guam, He has once again redirected my steps. After much prayer, reading of God’s Word, and seeking godly counsel, God has reopened the door to Spain. Lord willing, I will be headed to Spain the end of August 2014.

I do have a bit of support raising to do, but like Abraham, I am trusting what I know to be true of God’s character. He is Jehovah Jireh; if He is leading me to Spain, He already knows what I need and will provide for the ministry that He has for me. Somehow the journey of the unknown is exciting to me. Knowing that God will provide is one thing, but watching how He chooses to do it is my favorite part.

I am praying that the Lord will burden the hearts of pastors, churches, and individuals to be part of my ministry in Spain. God doesn’t lead us all to foreign fields to minister. Some of us He keeps at home to be the enablers and encouragers. Would you pray that the Lord would raise up those prayer and financial supporters that I need to do the ministry that He has called me to? Would you be willing to partner with me in the ministry in Spain?

Trusting God is never dull. Faith is not action-less. I know God is trustworthy, even when what He asks of me makes no sense to my finite mind. I want my life to be one of faith – trusting God to the point of obedience – even when I don’t understand. And I know that I can trust Him on the road to which He has led me.

Happy New Year!

Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 in Prayer Letters

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  II Corinthians 5:17

I love new things, and new beginnings. There is something so hopeful about starting out a new year. As a teacher, the beginning of a new semester always renewed my excitement for being in my classroom. It was a fresh start at sharing with my students that which I love. There really isn’t a much better job than imparting knowledge to young (and not so young) minds. I loved it as a high school teacher, I love it as a pre-field missionary sharing about Spain and her people, and I am looking forward to daily opportunities to share God’s grace and love with university students in Salamanca.

I am so thankful for the new life that Christ has given us as children of His, that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. I am so thankful that He promises, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not, they are new every morning.”

What great promises to be reminded of and claim for this New Year!

I am thankful for all the Lord has done over the past year for me.  My plan is not always what God’s plan is, but I am thankful that His is better. I am thankful for a Sovereign God who knows what we need, and when exactly we need it.

This year is a new year of claiming God’s promises. It is a new year of watching what God will do, how He will see fit to use me, and how He will use each of us to bring glory to Him.

I am grateful for the amazing prayer and financial support that you give so sacrificially. I am so thankful for how God uses so many of you to be an encouragement to me when I need it most. Most of all I am thankful for how God provides. I am looking forward to the meetings that He has provided in this new year, and for the many doors that He has opened to share the ministry that He has given me to the people of Spain.

Please pray with me that by the end of this year I will be in Salamanca bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Spanish people.

Celebrating 30 Years

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was a special day. My uncle is a pastor, and he and my aunt just celebrated 30 years of ministry at their church.

It was a fun day. I got to see, albeit briefly, family that I don’t see often. Those of us who could make it, surprised them during the morning service. Uncle and Aunt had accidentally been told about the celebration and knew something special had been planned. However, they didn’t know that their children and eight adorable grandchildren, and a few others of us, would be there to honor and thank them for their faithful service and steadfast example of lives lived for God.

My cousin, who is also a pastor, challenged us from God’s Word. He used Uncle’s favorite verse, John 3:30 to encourage us, as believers, to live a life sold out for Christ.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Life isn’t about us . . . it’s about Christ. We don’t serve God in Christian ministry for 30 years so that people will celebrate what we have accomplished, but so we can say “Look what God did!” He wants us. He wants us to be faithful to Him. He wants us to be a light in the darkness for His glory. And when we are, there is nothing quite as satisfying!

Finding Contentment

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 in What I'm Learning . . .

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:11.

“Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

It became a favorite after living in Peru for 11 months. But more specifically, after spending time in the jungle.

After a four-hour trip in the back of a pickup truck with about 30 people, give or take a couple, really! (not to mention the chickens and guinea pigs in mesh bags tied to the side of the truck, and the bags of rice and potatoes that also shared the precious space in that truck bed).

After being the first white people to ever visit a particular mountain village.

After hiking through the Andes mountains in the rainy season in knee-deep mud.

After a night sleeping on two benches pushed together (that I should mention were about five inches wide and one was about two inches shorter than the other, but it was about the best sleeping arrangement I had that trip).

After sharing silverware, because even after the people of that village gave up their tableware, there still wasn’t enough for our group of 10 foreigners.

There is a lot more that happened in that jungle, but suffice it to say, it wasn’t a trip that would live up to many Americans’ standard of comfort.

But you know, I think I learned more on that trip than I did on any other trip that year. I learned that when your focus is on God’s leading, provision, and protection, the jungle could quite possibly be the most amazing place you will ever be. It was spectacular. I have never seen anything more beautiful. And the children to whom we were able to minister were so precious!

Not once did I think negatively about the lack of comfort that we were experiencing . . . we may have had fits of hysterical laughter, but that was mostly due to the sheer elation of enjoying tropical weather in February while our college classmates were freezing in the northern climate.  And nothing could compare to the looks on those cute little brown faces and sparkling black eyes when we taught them “Quien es El Rey de la Selva?” (Who is the King of the Jungle?).

I learned something important. Something that, at this stage in my pre-field ministry I have to remind myself of often. When I am busy serving God, not to make myself look good, but to truly be serving Him, there isn’t a thing that I would rather be doing. That “busy serving God” can look so different. It could be spending time in the jungle, or visiting churches every Sunday and Wednesday, or teaching Sunday School, or reaching out to an unsaved or discouraged friend. Or it could be sitting at a desk making phone calls to pastors (and just in case you don’t know, I’m not really a phone person. AT ALL!)

There is a book, Calm my Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. I have only read bits and pieces of it, but will someday read the entire thing. In the book, she tells “The Secret to Contentment” from a missionary woman. She gives five things that she does to keep her focus on God, and to be content.

  1. Never allow yourself to complain about anything. Not even the weather.

  2. Never picture yourself in a different circumstance or someplace else.

  3. Never compare your lot with the lot of another.

  4. Never allow yourself to wish that this or that had been otherwise.

  5. Never dwell on tomorrow. Remember it is God’s, and not ours.

There is so much in life to distract us. Much of that “so much” is good. Good things distract us from what we really need to focus on. God has been good to remind me of that. My contentment needs to be found in Him. Always. If I focus on my circumstances, instead of the One who allowed those circumstances, then I can so easily become frustrated and discontent.

Learning to thank the Lord, even for what I don’t understand, or like, has become a challenge that I need (and am thankful for) in my life. We often focus on how we feel about a situation when it is clearly imopossible for us to see the big picture. James reminds us that we are to “count it all joy”, even in trials and tribulations. God wants to make us more like Him, and that is most often done in trying times, when we aren’t comfortable.

“If any other condition would have been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.” C.H. Spurgeon

November Update

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

At times, writing a prayer update can be a difficult task. Mostly because there is so much to write about . . . but sometimes it’s just hard to put in to words what the Lord is doing. So, in light of this month of Thanksgiving, I have decided to just highlight some things that I am thankful for.

  • I am thankful for a sending church that loves missionaries. It’s hard to leave after a service there without someone asking how things are going, and hearing assurances of their prayers for me. I know it’s not just for me, though, as our missionaries are just that, Our Missionaries. We know them, hear about them, and pray for them regularly.  I am also thankful for their sacrificial giving, not just to me, but also to other missionaries, and to each other. They give of their time, their finances, and their prayers.

  • I am thankful for a mission board that has been faithfully working with local churches to send missionaries across the globe for 92 years. Baptist Mid-Missions is a family of laborers for the sake of the Gospel. The home office staff works tirelessly in Ohio, so that the gospel can be shared, souls can be saved, believers can be discipled, and churches can grow and reproduce. I am blessed to be part of a mission family that has left such a legacy of faithful service to the Lord.

  • I am thankful for churches and individuals who have partnered with me in the ministry the Lord has called me to in Spain. Though few of them may ever make it to Spain to see just what the Lord is doing, their sacrificial giving and time in prayer for both the people to whom I will minster, and for myself are necessary to furthering the gospel. The Lord is sending me, but my ministry would not be possible without each and every one of you!

  • I am thankful for the team that the Lord is bringing together in Spain. We aren’t all the same; we don’t have the same interests, or the same education, or the same background. But we do have the same burden for seeing the lost in Spain see the light of the gospel. We have a desire to be used by the Lord to build His church, to see the Spanish people learn about and love their Creator. I am so excited to see how the Lord will continue to work in and through each of us to bring glory to Him.

And more than anything, I am thankful for the salvation that the Lord freely offers. I am thankful that, as undeserving as we are, He loves us and even uses us to part of His worldwide ministry. He wants us to serve Him whether it be right where we are, or half a world away.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6


The Lord continues to provide. I have seen a raise in my support, and He continues to open doors for more meetings. I am thankful for the encouragement that He gives through His people. I am looking forward to being in many churches, in several states over the next several months.

Prayer Requests

Thank you so much for praying faithfully for this part of my ministry. The Lord knows that my heart is in Spain, and I wish I were as well. However, this time of pre-field ministry is very important, and I am thankful for what the Lord is doing and teaching me through it.

Please continue to pray for:
* A full schedule
* Support to be raised
* Safety in travel
* For me to be a blessing and encouragement as I visit churches

September/October Update

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

I Corinthians 1:27

Pray for Spain!

I recently read a Spanish newspaper article talking about the need to “rechristianize” the youth of Spain because 50% do not even know whom Jesus Christ is. It was definitely a good reminder for me to pray. They need the Gospel. Not what the Catholic Church teaches. They need to know who Jesus Christ is, and understand what He has done for them.

It’s often true that people who don’t have God don’t usually seek Him when times are good, when they are prospering. But with an unemployment rate of over 25% (50% for 18-25 year olds), and economic uncertainty, times are not good. What an opportunity to share the Good News of Christ with lost and truly needy people. He doesn’t promise economic prosperity, but something so much better! Would you pray that the Lord would use this time of uncertainty to work in hearts, to make them tender to the Holy Spirit’s working in their lives? Please pray that the Truth of the Gospel would penetrate their hearts and we would see Spanish people desire to know God and serve Him.

Trusting God, Always

The Lord has been reminding me lately that my life as a Christian is to be lived to glorify Him. (I know, that’s knew stuff, right?) He has a plan that is bigger and better than anything I could think up. I’m pretty glad about that, but sometimes I get caught up worrying that I won’t be able to figure that plan out, or that it will be something that I don’t want. Today the Lord showed me several verses that I needed to read. One was Proverbs 19:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” I am so thankful for God’s direction.  Seeking only His direction is something that the Lord has been pounding into my head and heart over the past several weeks.

I know this will surprise you, but I am not perfect. Though I remember always thinking that missionaries were, now that I am one I know it’s not true. That being said, I am thankful for how the Lord changes us. I am thankful that He knows me better than I know myself. The past several weeks have been difficult, but mostly because I needed to learn something the Lord has been trying to teach me. And I am thankful that He never stops making us more like Him.

Keep Praying

The Lord has given many opportunities over the last several weeks to share my ministry. I have had many good contacts, have sent out lots of packets, and have a long list of phone calls that have been, or need to be made. I am trusting God to provide the meetings and support that I need, and covet your prayers to keep me encouraged during this.

Thanks so much for your faithful prayer and financial support. Again, I am thankful that I can count you as partners in my ministry.

“I will do as much as I can, says one. Any fool can do that. He that believes in Christ does what he cannot do, attempts the impossible, and performs it.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

August Update

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“We don’t deserve the grace God freely gives. So let’s be people who give
grace away freely and in great abundance.”

I read that quote not too long ago, and it has stuck with me. It’s hardto think of God’s grace without thinking of his mercy as well. One of my favorite verses is Micah 7:18. The end of that verse says that God delights in mercy. I have mixed emotions about that. I rejoice that God is merciful, because my relationship with Him couldn’t be what it is if He weren’t. But with commands like love one another, it sounds like I ought to delight in mercy as well. And that can be a difficult command to follow.

I am thankful though, that in His mercy and grace He allows us to serve Him. This summer I was able to be at my home church for two great ministry opportunities. The first was our teen Cola Wars. It was a blessing to hear God’s Word taught, and the Gospel presented. We had a fun time of games as well. But the best part was seeing one girl accept Christ as her Savior.

This past week I was also able to help with our VBS program. I am always thankful for opportunities to be part of planting seeds. We may not always see the fruit right away, but knowing that the Lord allows us to be part of His work is always exciting.

I leave on Thursday for my third internship with CBFI missionaries. I will spend two weeks in Boulder, CO with Tom and Nancy Miller. I am looking forward to seeing a new take on campus ministry and gleaning ideas that may be helpful for my ministry in Spain. I return to Michigan the 8th of September, and have a couple of weeks of meetings before heading off to Wisconsin. I still have a few available dates on my calandar for Septemer and October, but am trusting the Lord to give opportunities to share my ministry. Please pray for safety while traveling, and wisdom while ministering.

Please continue to pray for my support to come in as well. It has been slow, but that doesn’t mean the Lord isn’t working. He has continued to open doors, sometimes in places and ways that I did not expect, and He is providing in His timing.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support. It is always a blessing to know that I can count so many as part of my ministry.

May/June Prayer Update

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2012 in About Spain, Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

Euro Cup 2012

It’s only 7 days away. That probably means nothing to most of you reading this. But if you were Spanish it might be part of your daily conversation, and you would definitely be excited for the chance to see your country defend her title.

I’ve heard people try to compare the Spaniards love of fútbol (or soccer to those of us from the U.S.) to that of America’s love of baseball, or football. But really, there is no comparison. It is a point of pride for most of the world that we as Americans can’t really understand if we have never lived surrounded by it.

I keep reading that Germany is predicted to win. But I don’t think that it would surprise anyone that I am cheering for the defending World Cup and Euro Cup Spanish squad.

I have been reading a lot lately in the Old Testament. Reading of God’s judgment on Israel, of the punishment that they deserve for worshiping idols, for their lack of righteousness…and I am reminded how, each day, we choose to serve God or not, to worship God or idols, to obey His Word or not.

“And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.”  Acts 7:41

Fútbol, like many other pleasures and material gains in Spain, is an idol.  People worship the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who play for opposing Spanish-league teams. They cheer for their Spanish National team as if winning were the only important thing in life. I won’t lie. I want Spain to win. But more than winning a game, or another trophy, I pray that the hearts of the Spanish people would be open to the working of the Holy Spirit. I pray that they would hear and receive the Good News of a Savior that can give them so much more than a championship.

But I won’t be disappointed if you choose to cheer for Spain!

Travel Update:

This summer into the fall is filling up. I have two more internships, in Colorado and South Carolina. I will be on the East Coast for much of the fall, and then back to MI before I head to Florida in February. Please keep praying for the finances that I need, safety while traveling, and for the rest of my schedule to fit together.

Continue to Pray:

Please continue to pray for the country of Spain. I am sure that most of you are aware of the grave financial situation in which she finds herself. Pray that the Lord would use this in hearts and lives, and that amidst trial people would see their need of a Savior.

Pray for my coworkers as well. There are several raising support on deputation, and others who find themselves in need of funds, though they are faithfully serving on the field.

Pray for the many miles that I will be traveling, the phone calls to be made, and for my schedule to work out as I seek to get more meetings on my calendar.

And most importantly, please pray that the Lord would be glorified, and that I would be a blessing to those who I come in contact with while I am ministering here, on deputation.