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August Ministry Update

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“Trust in the Lord . . . Delight yourself in the Lord . . . Commit your way to the Lord . . . Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
~ Psalm 37 ~

I am not sure about you, but often I find it hard to be patient. I tend to be more of a schedule-oriented person, and if things aren’t being accomplished in the time frame that they “should” be, I tend to get a little frustrated. This is definitely an area where the Lord has done some stretching in my life in the last few years.

As He has used circumstances in my life to remind me of His sovereignty, care, and ability to provide, it has been awesome to watch Him take care of needs – and not only mine. Over the past few weeks it has been such an encouragement to hear of how God has been working and providing on behalf of several friends. Whether it is something big or small, it is an awesome reminder of who God is – Jehovah Jireh. He knows the needs of His children, and has a plan to provide for those needs. I am so grateful to serve a Heavenly Father that not only can care for out needs, but delights in doing so.

Since the end of February the Lord has provided over 50% of my support and given me a mostly-full schedule through October. Would you continue to pray that 100% of my support comes in by the end of the fall so that I can be in Salamanca soon? Would you pray also that the Lord opens doors in more churches so that I can share the burden for Spain that the Lord has given me, and the great need there is to take the gospel to the Spanish people?

Pray also that I would continue to trust, delight, commit, and rest in the Lord as I wait on His timing for my arrival in Spain!

Meetings:

My schedule from now through mid-October is quite busy with traveling and meetings in churches. I am so excited about the doors the Lord has opened to present my ministry in several churches, and even share the ministry in Spain with some individuals through small meetings that will be hosted in homes of friends.

Prayer and financial support are both vital to ministry, and I look forward to meeting individuals and churches that will commit to pray and or give financially so that I can share the gospel with the people of Spain.

Praises:

  • A new supporting church

  • $800 more towards outfit and passage (only $600 needed!!)

  • One-time financial gifts from individuals

  • More meetings scheduled

Prayer Requests:

  • Continue praying that the visa process will go smoothly, and that all paperwork will be acquired in a timely manner

  • For 100% support by the end of October – and patience while I wait on the Lord to provide.

  • Safety while traveling (both driving and flying) over the next three months

  • Ministry opportunities while traveling and visiting churches

Thank you again for your faithfulness in prayer and giving financially. I am grateful for those who partner with me for the sake of the gospel in Spain.

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

July Ministry Update

Posted on Friday, July 11, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

Learning Daily

I’m thankful for a God that knows what lessons we need to learn. Something the Lord has really been impressing on me lately is the depth of commitment that He expects of us, but the mediocre response with which we, as Christians, often respond.

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

This past Sunday the Lord allowed me visit with friends, and attend their church. We looked in Matthew 4, where we see Peter and Andrew leave their livelihood, while James and John left “the boat and their father.” We even read that they did so straightway, or immediately. They didn’t hesitate. They didn’t question whether following Christ wholeheartedly with their lives would be the right choice; Christ called, and they obeyed. There are many examples of immediate obedience in Scripture — and I believe that is what Christ wants of us.

They didn’t follow when it was convenient, or only if they could keep what was important to them. Christ was important, and they left behind what would hinder them.

As I have been reflecting on what is really important in my life, it certainly isn’t stuff. It is saying yes to Christ, and leaving behind livelihood, things, and even family if that is what is needed — it is obedience to Him, in an effort to take the gospel to those who have never heard — to be a fisher of men.

It is easy, though, to get caught up in busyness that isn’t necessary. Would you pray for me that I would keep my focus on Christ, on His Word, and that I would see the ministry opportunities that He gives so often?

God’s Provision

God is awesome. He is good. And not only when we see something so evident that we can’t help but praise Him. He is good all the time — every day.

He daily provides for the needs that I have, and I am so grateful for His protection. Twice, since I have been home from Guam, I have had to get major car repairs done. They were completely unexpected expenses, but more important than that, God’s timing was perfect. Both incidents happened just prior to spending long periods of time on the road. The Lord knew my schedule, and he kept me safe.

I am also overwhelmed at how He has so quickly provided support. I currently have 53% of my support — that has all come in since February.

My schedule from mid-August to mid-October is almost completely full, praise the Lord!

Please Pray!

Continue to pray for traveling, more meetings (churches, as well as Spanish-dinner parties), and for my needed support to come in quickly.

Would you also pray for my visa process to proceed quickly and without complication? I was just informed that the process is now taking a bit longer with the addition of new paperwork. As I have mentioned, it is a bit of an overwhelming process, but I am so thankful for the Albrights, Templetons, and Romaines who have all been so willing to help me through all the steps. Pray for wisdom, patience, and the Lord’s perfect timing.

I could never express how thankful I am for all the prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support that you give. Without each of you, the ministry in Spain would not be possible. Thank you for all you do!

For His Harvest,

Jodi Harrison

Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”   Ephesians 3:20-21

I know that many of you have been faithful in praying for me, and I am grateful for that. In the past two weeks since I have been back in MI the Lord has done some awesome things.

  • He has opened doors for more meetings to be scheduled – keep praying that my schedule for this summer and early fall will be filled!

  • He has provided more individual supporters!

  • He has burdened hearts to give towards my airfare and housing needs in Spain.

  • He has allowed many people to be encouraging in their words to me, and gifts toward His ministry in Spain.

Continue to pray . . .

  • for prayer and financial support to come in.

  • for traveling safety.

  • for ministry opportunities while on deputation.

  • for the ministry in Spain.

Would you be able to. . .

  • Host a Spanish Dinner in your home with friends who would be willing to learn more about my ministry and consider partnering with me for the sake of the gospel in Spain?

  • Help me connect with pastors and churches who have a heart and burden for reaching the lost?

  • Tell others about the ministry in Spain – the least-evangelized Spanish-speaking country – and the need to send more laborers into God’s harvest?

Contact me if you are interested in ways that you can help to take the Gospel to Spain!

Thank you again for your continued encouragement, prayers, and financial support. God truly is using you to advance His kingdom around the world!

June Ministry Update

Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

Goodbye, Again!

I don’t know about you, but saying goodbye is one of my least favorite things. You would think I would be better at it, but I am pretty convinced that it gets harder each time, not easier.

My year in Guam is quickly coming to an end. I leave here on Thursday morning (Guam-time) and arrive in Detroit Thursday afternoon (Michigan-time) with an extra Wednesday in Honolulu thrown in the mix.

Would you pray for my trip? Pray for my emotions . . . I know those waiting for me at home are excited, and I will be too — but for now, the goodbyes are difficult.

What’s Next?

I am so excited for what the Lord has in store — I am so thrilled to be going to Spain! My heart has been burdened for the Spanish people since I first visited there 14 years ago. I can honestly say that I am thankful for the Lord’s timing, and His work in our lives in the midst of “waiting”. If nothing else the Lord grew my trust in His sovereignty throughout this year. He also gave me students to love, time with old and new friends, and opportunities to invest in, minister to and connect with people. Our lives ought to be about giving the gospel to the lost, and strengthening and encouraging one another in Christ — I trust those are things you ask the Lord to give opportunity for in your life.

Now, on to deputation! Would you continue to pray for the remainder of my support to come in? I asked in my last letter to pray for 50% of my support by the time I leave Guam. I am close, and though I don’t have an exact number because I am waiting on paperwork to be sent in, the Lord continues to provide. Every month since January the Lord has provided at least one new supporter. What an awesome God we serve!

Support-raising use to be something I dreaded. But as a missionary it is necessary. It is also faith-stretching. I have seen God answer prayers in some unconventional ways, and use people I would have never thought of to give to and pray for the ministry the Lord has given me. I echo Paul’s words from Philippians 4:

“Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account… But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Though the Philippians cared for his physical needs, Paul reminded them of the spiritual blessing they would receive, and that in their giving God would care for their own needs. He is so faithful to us!

I am grateful for a God who wants to use us; He wants us involved in His work around the globe. He wants us to live by faith — for me, that is waiting on Him and trusting Him to provide the financial needs I have to get to Spain. But for others, it is promising to give towards the advance of the gospel, and trusting the Lord to provide for other financial needs. And He does. Maybe He doesn’t work in the way we think, but in ways that are so much better. What a privilege it is to serve Him, no matter where we are.

How can you help?

Pray! Please pray for my summer/fall schedule to be filled, for the needed support to come in by October, and for safety while traveling.

Give! One-time or monthly gifts can help put me closer to 100% of my financial goal.

Encourage! Tell others about my ministry, and encourage them to pray. Help me connect with churches that are looking to advance the Kingdom of Christ globally.

Thank you so much for all you do. I am grateful for the prayers, words of encouragement, and financial help that I receive so frequently. I am thankful to be a partner in ministry with you.

For His Harvest!

Jodi Harrison

May Ministry Update

Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2014 in Ministry Updates, Prayer Letters

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
~ John 8:12~

As I was reading my Bible this morning I read this verse in Proverbs 3 — “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4, that the “god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

What a sobering truth. Satan blinds. But God (which are two of my favorite words to read in Scripture) saves, and He has risen victorious over sin and death.

The responsibility to share that truth, of the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, is for each of us as believers — every day, everywhere. This past school year, for me, it has been on Guam with my students. This summer/fall it will be wherever the Lord allows my travels to take me, with whomever I cross paths. And, Lord willing, this fall it will be in Spain with university students and others the Lord allows me to meet.

What about you? Where are you supposed to be a light? To whom should you be preaching Christ Jesus? We don’t always end up where we plan, but God can use our life, and His light to work in the lives of others — He has been teaching me this over and over, and I am thankful for the lessons he constantly gives.

Keep Praying
The Lord has provided several new supporters over the last couple of months, and I am looking forward to watching Him provide for the rest of my financial needs.

Would you pray that God would provide the needed contacts with pastors, meetings in churches, and that He would move hearts to be part of the ministry in Spain.

My goal is to be at 50% when I leave Guam on June 5th — I have just over 40% right now. I am also praying that the Lord would provide more prayer support and the remainder of my financial support, as well as my visa by October.

We have just three weeks of school to finish up — some of you know how crazy and busy the next few weeks will be. Please pray that I, and my students, finish the year out well. Also pray as I sort and pack, and move half way around the world once again. (I’m becoming a pro at this part of missionary life!) :-)

Thank you so much to those of you who faithfully pray, and so often send words of encouragement. It is a blessing to know that so many are lifting me up in prayer. And for those of you who are supporting me so faithfully financially in this ministry that the Lord has given, thank you as well for the blessing and help that you are!

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!