Our Most Humbling Ministry…We’re Displaced In Our Home Country!

Hi Friends, I want to share with you something from my heart that has the ability to make me cold and bitter, or humbly near to Jesus in the same breath. It is dependent upon my perspective…

We have been living in Madagascar for 5 years now, and this recent term has been 3 years. On June 6th our family will board the plane and make our way back to the United States for a 6-month Home Assignment, until we return again for another term in Madagascar. These overseas transitions that we make in our lives every couple of years forces us to evaluate our hearts, habits, our family, our belongings, our ministry, our spiritual vitality or lack of, and ultimately our faith. It’s a healthy evaluation, but we all know that when we look within we find a deep sadness that can only be quenched by Jesus. Amen.

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I recently returned from a THRIVE retreat that was specifically geared toward global women living and working in countries all around the world. It was a much needed renewal to my heart, soul, and ministry. My spiritual life has been underwater…unable to breathe! In Madagascar, and in the little fishing village where we live, it’s spiritually dark, and sexually oppressive; prostitution and poverty, mixed with physical suffering and ancestor worship, is an overwhelming daily reality for everyone. Leaving the village two weeks ago removed from me a darkness that had been sitting heavy on my shoulders for a long time. I have been worshipping in a second language for 5 years, and while I have every reason to praise His name for all that He has done here, I have been starved of worship, prayer and praise of Jesus in my first tongue. I praise God today for how He sent me to a retreat, He prepared for me a place to be loved, cared for, to worship Him, be prayed over, sung over, and counseled through heavy burdens that surround my life in Madagascar. 

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Our family needs you to pray that the enemy would not have power over us or our home in Madagascar, that any curse or force of evil, including the evil spirits would not weigh heavy on us, hindering our life and ministry. Pray that we would be cut-free from the spiritual darkness that we have journeyed through in this place over the past five years, and that God would give us a place of rest as we approach our Home Assignment. 

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Home Assignment receives “us”, just as we are, and we are weary souls coming from a place of deep need, with tired feet, and heavy hearts, with losses as we board the plane, and joys as we think about you. Just as our neighbors in the village come to us with their needs on a minute to minute basis, we come to you with our needs…(this makes me feel very inadequate, incapable, and like a child…) 

We are a family of six, with ways and rhythms that, as you know, are hard to drop down in the middle of someone’s home and space. We are praying that God would provide for us a home, and one that would allow us a place to rest, to be who we are as a family, to breathe in fresh air, as we prepare to meet our neighbors again for another term in Madagascar. Our lives are always lived open, we are stared at on every corner of our journey, and we need a house in Texas or Tennessee where we can rest from the eyes of onlookers. We will also be traveling away during that time to visit our supporting churches around the US. 

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Our second need is for a car. We need a car for 6 months to travel around the country as we tell people the story of what God is doing in Madagascar, and the car will need to fit a family of six. 

Our third need is for your continued support of our family as we continue to serve God in Madagascar. Home Assignment is the farthest thing from a vacation for the missionary. As I mentioned earlier we arrive in the US in a deep need of prayer, debriefing, decompression, counsel, and rest. With those needs, we will also be pulled in the direction of churches, family, friends, making presentations, raising support, preparing paperwork, and returning to serve for another term in Madagascar. If you are already supporting our family’s ministry in Madagascar we thank you and praise God for your gifts. If you are not yet giving to our family’s ministry, will you please pray and consider a one-time or monthly gift as we will need to raise more support while we are in the US. The main reason we need to raise more support is because our children are growing up and have started an online program at the Potter’s School. We are so thankful! With that additional cost as a family, our needs have risen. 

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I trust God will guide and lead you to think on my thoughts and pray for us as we approach this transitional season upon us. I realize we are all in transition, and ultimately on our way to Jesus, but we humble ourselves before God and you, and make our needs known. We trust Him to sort out the details and plans as we re-enter our displacement in a home culture that does not place value on dependency, but rather on independence and efficiency. My prayer everyday is “Help us, Jesus!”

  -Rebe