Greetings in the Lord. We hope and pray your days are blessed and your heart is filled with joy. For the past month, we have been in West Africa and undertaking missions throughout the region. Most recently, we have been working in the small island nation of Cape Verde and it has been a blessing to see such open and kind hearts. Cape Verde is a country with historical European ties, as it served as one of the first settlements in Africa during the age of discovery (15th century). The islands of Cape Verde, when first discovered, had no indigenous population and all who came were either seafarers, traders or slaves. Famous names who stopped through the island chain include Vasco De Gama, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan and the privateer Sir Francis Drake who captured the city of Cidade Velha in 1585. With a 93% Catholic population, it is easy to see the influence that still exists from the middle ages. In 1990, Pope John Paul II visited the islands for the 500th anniversary of Catholicism on Cape Verde. However, even with a strong traditional Catholic presence many Cape Verdeans are open to the message of salvation through faith. It’s with your prayers and support that we can reach areas like this and share the Good News. Praise God for His loving kindness and giving us the opportunity to preach the Gospel. Additionally, we are happy to announce a new broadcasting network airing Travel the Road — WBIH TV 29 in Alabama. It is such a blessing for each new opportunity to share the series and it is because of your faithful support that we can encourage a new generation for missions. We’ll need your prayers and support each step of the way as we undertake missions in West Africa and continue to produce new episodes for broadcast. God is good and His Word goes forward in power and strength. May our feet be swift and our words be bold as we proclaim what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary. Thank you for being there with us every step of the way. Your prayers and support make the ministry of Travel the Road possible!
This month, we would like to share a message called — Freedom from Worry
We all worry. Some more than others, but worry is one of the things most people have become experts at. Much of what Jesus spoke was to allay the worries and fears of people. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” — John 14:1. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” — Matthew 6:25-29. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” — John 14:27. The fact is — worry will always come. It will harass and torment your mind like wild hounds chasing after you. But praise God there is freedom from worry and we find it in the embrace of Christ Jesus.
Perspective: Astronauts who spend time orbiting the earth often report a deeper sense of perspective in space. From their view, the Earth seems distant and small in the scheme of things. It becomes a place they are peacefully disconnected from. Many of those who spend time in space report they obtain a certain insight and clarity that is tough to come by on Earth. Astronaut Ron Garan has orbited the earth over 2,842 times and calls this the “orbital perspective”. The scientific community even has a name for it — the overview effect. Similarly, on our missions overseas, we have felt something resembling overview effect as we travel. For example, when we look out at the city or village we are at in the world we think — right now, people in other places are going about their lives. In Vanuatu, a man prepares to go out and hunt in the jungles of Espiritu Santo, in Tokyo, large crowds squeeze into subway cars at Shinjuku station, in Namibia, the Himba graze their cattle in the drylands of the Koakoveld. Everywhere around the world, people and places we have visited…life goes on. It makes you contemplate life from beyond just our narrow field of view. The best way to explain this mindset is the fact that you are no longer self-focused, but looking beyond yourself. Jesus uses naturalistic examples of His creation to convey His point about worry when he says, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” — Matthew 6:26-27. Jesus tells us to look at things from a different perspective and you will see your worries fall away.
Worship: “O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” — Psalm 95:1-6. It’s difficult to stay in a state of worry when you are worshiping the Lord. In the presence of God, our hearts are filled with joy. When we worship Him we remember His great and marvelous works and His loving mercy. Undoubtedly, you have experienced this as well as you’ve worshiped the Lord. Once again, it’s a focus shift from self-centered thoughts to praise and humility before God. If you want to quiet your worries start worshiping the Lord.
Not Letting Go: Some of us are too stubborn to let go of our burdens. There is no reason to live that way, and the sooner you are ready to fall into the arms of Jesus the sooner your burdens will lift. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’” — Matthew 11:28-30. God loves you and wants to take your burdens. Don’t let the devil destroy your mind and tell you it’s too much for God to handle. Remember, God created the heavens and the earth, He knows the number of hairs on your head and all that afflicts your troubled heart...believe Him when He says come unto Me and I will give you rest. Lay down your burdens and trust in Him.
Prayer: Talk to God and He will listen. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7. This needs no further explanation. The scripture beautifully sums it up.
Tomorrow: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” — Matthew 6:34. The more you worry about tomorrow the more you lose today. God doesn’t want you paralyzed by the fear of the future. He wants you hopeful, joyful and trusting in Him for all things. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” — Charles Spurgeon. One phrase we always say to ourselves and often repeat in these newsletters is — the best is yet to come. We believe it, and believe the best is yet to come in your life as well. Have hope for tomorrow and lay down your worries. Amen!
At Travel the Road, we know that worry, anxiety and fear cripple many and hold them back from God’s purpose for their life. But, we are here to tell all who will listen — greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. It is our mission to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth and encourage the church to be active in the Great Commission. We will not worry or fear what might be before us, but we will boldly go where He leads us. If Travel the Road has been a blessing to you, then please consider supporting us through prayers and financial support. We need your help as we undertake more Gospel Expeditions in West Africa and we are excited to see all that the Lord will accomplish in the days ahead. Thank you for faithfully being there for us every step of the way. Peace be with you.
Tim and Will