Friday, December 14, 2018

December 2018
For unto us a child is born, a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government & peace there will be no end. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Because of the tender mercy of our God...the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:78-79

Dear family, supporters and missions colleagues,
Merry Christmas! And as a favorite intercessor of mine wrote us recently, “Christ is born! …born long ago in centuries gone-by, and now He lives in our hearts through the vitality of the Holy Spirit!” Can I really grasp that sweet mystery and gift?!

Oh, we do know your In-Box is loaded this time of year, but we also hope you’ll receive our thanks for how you have loved and partnered with us this past year… many of you since I began raising support in 2004!

We are also mindful that many of you have lost loved ones or jobs these last 12+ months, and are heart-broken over ‘lost’ children or failing parents, or have chronic (even life-threatening) health problems. We pray that Holy Spirit would be your Comforter… Jesus be your Healer… Father be your Sufficiency as He holds you close in ways you can really know & feel. If you need an ‘Aaron & Hur’ to help hold up your tired arms in battle, as Ash and I often do, we want to be those kinds of friends for you in return.

Family Update: Our combined ‘brood’ of 6 adult children & 17 ‘grands’ (almost-6 to out of college & married!) are thriving, but of course each family has their different challenges, as God’s providences (both easy & hard) have ordained. They are our delight & joy; all live in GA except for my older daughter in MS, and I can’t get there often enough! We do have our own health issues, but thankfully they are managed.

Ash and I are still counting months as anniversaries (December 30 will be #43!) but he says in May we should just start counting years! J However we count, we are grateful for this late-in-life gift.

Ash’s mother Ms Evelyn, just turned 97; she’s his local ‘mission field’ in assisted living, so his international travel has been curtailed due to her many needs. He honors her well, but the last 3+ years have been tiring for him. We are grateful to his children who are a big help to him with “Nana”.

Ministry Update: I am still leading, or serving on as Mentor to newer team leaders, 5 medical-evangelism teams yearly, mainly to Latina America & the Caribbean. Between international travel and all the over-lapping preparations each team entails, we get to visit some of our 24 partnering churches.

I am blessed to love what I do and have the energy to continue for as many more years as the Lord permits. In 2019 I begin my 15th year with MTW, post-the 3 years of training, support-raising and learning on early teams. God has been so generous and faithful to me… and through so many of you!

Would you not only pray for our ministries in 2019 (beginning with Trinidad January 19-27), but also ask the Lord to restore our full support? Ash and I are behind about $800 monthly in pledged support, so if you are able to increase your partnership by even $5.00 monthly (or $15 quarterly; or $60 annually), we’d be very grateful. For all our annual donors, We thank you in advance for your end-of-year or early-in-January sacrificial gifts!

Ash and I love it when we get your emails or cards, then we can both celebrate with and intercede for you.
We again thank you, sending our love and praying you blessings in return – all that count for eternity!

Until He returns or calls, Betsy & Ash Global Missionaries, MTW-Medical                                                                                                                                                                
Donations Address: Mission to the World, PO Box 744165, Atlanta GA 30374 -or- go to …find us under Give to Missionaries and donate directly. Use #11214-Aeschliman

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Adanna, a dear missions partner & sister-in-Christ, shared this on her Facebook page today: 
“And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. 
God is in the manger... wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. 
No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

So I started digging and found similar encouragements:
“There is not a square inch in a whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” Dutch statesman & theologian Abraham Kuyper 

And further, “There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” C.S. Lewis 
However(!) "Ye are of God, little children, and ...greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4 KJV

But wait... there's more truth to cheer and strengthen us! “Christianity [our Jesus] provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” Francis Schaeffer

Amen & amen?! I just love these... need 'em, too. Be blessed as well and receive Advent love and prayers across the miles, in Jesus' precious and powerful name.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Well, every 5 months isn't bad for this non-millenial in the Blog-world, I'd say. [No judgments now, please... self or otherwise!]

Seriously, now that the of Thanksgiving is past and a precious time of Advent here, I want to...

...thank my God in all my remembrances [Phil 1:3] of friends, family & teammates. He's so  good in allowing my life to cross with yours in so many ways, in so many countries!

...thank Jesus for His redeeming blood, a salvation, I neither deserve nor did anything on my own to accomplish. It's a love for me (for us) both condescending and lavish!

...thank Holy Spirit that He alone instilled my desire to serve cross-culturally, for the privilege of being part of MTW's church-planting efforts through mercy & medical-evangelism ministries, for getting to know y'all: my 'home team', those with whom I get to travel, those  alongside of whom I get to work overseas!

...thank God for generous financial sacrifices of support and for how you demonstrate your love for me & Christ's work of missions in other important ways: intercession, supplies-donation, gospel-bracelet crafting, notes of encouragement.  You have been instruments of blessing in my life and in the lives of 1000's of patients & our siblings-in-Christ overseas!

...thank our Father for your friendship, opportunities to pray in return (or laugh & cry together) and for times of worship with one another, both in the States & abroad!

Be blessed this season of celebration with those who know you most and love you best anyway. I'm very conscious that so many of you are without loved ones, and empty chairs or cribs reflect that. My heart is tender, and my prayers rise to the Throne of grace on your behalf.

Until the whole world knows...! 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Good morning, friends..  
I'm a rare-blogger, but  I want to share 3 things.  Through them God is helping me on my journey.  Two are treasures I'd stored from past years.  Love them.  All balm to my soul.  Oh, yes "ouch-ing" me, too, for sure.  Maybe you don’t need them today... but maybe tomorrow?

This is long, but as I wrote, I rarely post, so now you have something to occupy you til I raise my blogger-head again.  Maybe to store up in your files, too... or just your heart for today?  But prayerfully to bless you and to glorify our Father in heaven & His Son Who calls - saves - restores - heals - upholds.- disciplines - comforts and loves!.

First, I saw this on FB recently... it's by Lisa Terkeurst:  
I’ll be honest … for years I struggled during difficult times with what to say when I prayed. I thought I had to find the perfect words to connect with the Lord. 
But one day, I discovered... if I’m going through something hard, I can pray prayers where I don’t speak at all.
I can just sit with Jesus — making no suggestions, offering no solutions. Sometimes, I have nothing but quiet tears and a heavy heart. The beautiful thing is, the Bible promises when we sit with Jesus like this, the Holy Spirit lifts up the exact right prayers for me. And eventually, I sense God and there is peace. 
What are you going through today? Whether it’s a difficult issue with one of your kids or financial stress or just feeling overwhelmed by life, I encourage you to sit with Jesus without feeling the need to offer up any words at all. Just sit.”

Second, from a precious sister-in-Christ more than a year ago...
To sing from the heart is dangerous because it requires that a worshipper surrender the scariest, darkest places of her life to God.  It compels her to trust without borders, with no limits.  To take a free fall of faith.

The presence of God is powerful when we face intimidating circumstances.  In Isaiah 43, the Lord spoke to His chosen ones, the Israelites, of His commitment to be their rescue:

This is what the LORD says—
He who created you, Jacob,
He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (vs. 1–3)

We tremble.
God says, “Do not fear.”

We wander.
Grace calls out to us by name.

We wane in the heat of firestorms.
Love shields us from the flames.

We struggle in the streams and are swayed by the currents.
God reaches for shaky hands, grips us with comfort, and assures us that we are not alone.

He holds on tight and keeps our heads above the water.

I know this in my heart.  I know this is true.  I know His presence is real and His rescues are promised, but when the waves keep crashing on the shore one after another, I find myself exhausted from the strain … and I wonder if God might have taken a day off.

Like maybe He went to Cabo and is sipping an umbrella drink on a beach resort somewhere.  It’s not as if He doesn’t deserve a break, you know!  He does so much for so many.

But no!  I know better.  God doesn’t even take naps.  Only my faith does.
Wake up, sleepy soul.  Wake up!

In order to have a faith so strong it can withstand whatever life brings our way—the hurricanes, friend  cancer treatments, wandering family still battling against God, eating disorders, hard conversations with hardened hearts, job stress , broken relationships, doubts that seek to drown us—our hands must raise in surrender to the things He allows.  And our eyes must constantly search for His.

While a life purposed for Christ is chock-full of blessings—many of which are completely incredible and comfortable—each surrendered life is also filled with struggles that God uses to help us become mature and complete.

The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat this.  It says that we are promised challenges and trials.
That when we choose to follow Christ, some things will actually get worse or become more difficult.  Deep breath.
That the world is fallen—broken—and it will hate us as it hated Christ.
That we have to take up our crosses and follow Him.
Love as He loves.
Be holy as He is holy.
Forgive as He forgives.
Serve as He served.

If we really want it all—all that God has for us—we must search for the blessings in the blisterings as well as in the bliss.

The good news is that there are always blessings in the blisterings.  We just need to look for them.

When our eyes are open to seeing the beauty in our brokenness, blessings flow… even in the bloodiest of blisters.

Yes, trials are trials with all their pain and ache, but hidden in the dark corner of every challenge is an intimate, intensely personal invitation for us to meet face-to-face, heart to heart,

with our Comforter,
our Head-lifter,
our Healer,
our Tear`catcher,
our Provider,
our Counselor,
our Refuge,
our Lord.

If I want all the faith God has for me, I have to want all the depth, all the growth, all the profundity that comes from knowing Jesus.  I need to want maturity and intimacy with Him more than I want comfort.

And when God calls me out into the deep waters of a trial, I want to be a woman who doesn’t run.

Yes. I want to grow in faith, and if one way to do that is to go through trials and challenges, then bring them on.
I want it all.

And third, almost 4 years ago, from another sweet sister-in-Christ , much younger than me but so much wiser here.
Beloved, do not be sur­prised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though some­thing strange were hap­pen­ing to you. But rejoice inso­far as you share Christ’s suf­fer­ings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  I Peter 4:12–19
Back in March I trav­eled over­seas to do dis­as­ter relief work for nine days.  Short-term med­ical mis­sions work and being part of an inner city church plant are two things God has called me to at this time in my life.  Our team went to an area that was recently hit by a large typhoon.  Peo­ple have asked me before, but espe­cially with this high risk trip, “Why do you go to far away coun­tries to do mis­sions work?,” and, “Why do you choose to go to a church in Cam­den?”  Some­times I ask myself the same ques­tion.  Before I left for this trip, I con­cluded that it’s because I’m not afraid to die.  But I didn’t ask myself the ques­tion of what to do when God asks me to con­tinue liv­ing for Him in the midst of difficulties.
When I returned home, I had a mild case of var­i­ous gas­troin­testi­nal symp­toms, pretty typ­i­cal when work­ing in a dis­as­ter area over­seas.  Over the course of two weeks, mild dis­com­fort slowly turned into severe symp­toms, forc­ing me to take about 10 days off of work.  My skin was in a con­stant state of hives due to dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions.  At the same time, I was in the mid­dle of try­ing to plan an upcom­ing move, vis­it­ing my ail­ing grand­mother, and prepar­ing for a friend’s wed­ding.  I spent some days barely able to get off the couch, and many other days only able to tol­er­ate fruit juices and liq­uids.  For some­one who is rarely sick, just hav­ing to stay at home was tor­ture.  I spent a cou­ple weeks trekking back and forth to the doctor’s office.
One night, after being sick for a month, I found myself reach­ing a point of utter exhaus­tion and frus­tra­tion.  It was very late in the night and I was lying there in bed, flat on my back, my arms stretched out.  I had just put a med­icated cream on my arms and hands and they were sting­ing very badly.  I was mis­er­able.  I was tempted to – maybe I even did – ask God, “Why?”
There in the dark a tear trick­led down the side of my face.
I thought of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despis­ing the shame.
And stretched out His arms for me.
Jesus Christ is the ulti­mate pic­ture of suf­fer­ing.  The recent movie Son of God clearly depicts this.  The Roman method of cru­ci­fix­ion is one of the most painful, humil­i­at­ing, and pro­long­ing ways to die.  And yet, he took the pain joy­fully upon him­self for my sake.  My sting­ing hands and upset stom­ach were noth­ing com­pared to the weight of tak­ing on the world’s sin.
I real­ized in that moment that my short and momen­tary afflic­tion was from God.  He allowed this in my life for His glory.  I was try­ing to obey God when I went over­seas; it was very clear to me that I had to go.  I wanted to blame the sick­ness on Satan and spir­i­tual forces, but a look at Job in the Bible told me oth­er­wise.  God has more power than Satan.  Job was a very right­eous man, prob­a­bly one of the most right­eous men ever to live other than Jesus, but God gave per­mis­sion to Satan to allow him to suf­fer.  God allowed Satan to afflict Job with the death of his fam­ily, finan­cial ruin, and phys­i­cal ill­ness.  Through it all, Job remained faith­ful to God.  His response was: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  Job’s deci­sion was to con­tinue prais­ing God and give Him glory for who He is.
Now, I don’t claim to be right­eous like Job.  But that night lying in bed I was faced with a deci­sion: will I con­tinue serv­ing God when it causes me to suf­fer?  I had the option of becom­ing bit­ter over the fact that I had become sick while try­ing to be obe­di­ent or I could choose to praise God and find com­fort in Him.  I decided to start a thank­ful­ness jour­nal and wrote down things that I was thank­ful for each day.  Slowly my tummy began to return back to its nor­mal self, but God taught me a lot in 5 weeks and brought sev­eral impor­tant ques­tions to mind.
Serv­ing God comes with a price tag.  When mis­sions is no longer “fun,” what dri­ves us to obey God?  When the price tag of life on mis­sion starts to hit closer and closer to home, will we con­tinue to serve?  Suf­fer­ing might mean not being able to buy that com­puter you really need because you’ve used up all your sav­ings to pay for air­fare.  Per­haps it is fore­go­ing a fam­ily vaca­tion because you’ve already used up all your time off for the year or com­ing down with a strange ill­ness no doc­tor in the states knows how to treat.  If you choose to serve God by liv­ing in the inner city, it might mean hav­ing your car bro­ken into or break­ing up fights at 1 in the morn­ing or find­ing that the sewer sys­tem has over­flowed into the street.
Instead of focus­ing on our tem­po­rary losses, let us con­sider the price Christ paid for us to become His.  He gave up every­thing so that we could have eter­nal life.  May that be our moti­va­tion as we strive to glo­rify Christ in our lives and may we strive to give up our lives so that oth­ers could know Him. 

So... until He returns or calls, be blessed, encouraged... challenged, too! 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

I pray this encourages and challenges you, too:

             The poor give you a privileged access to God who stands there with them.                      Once you experience this, it is where you want to reside – in the company of the least.  Gregory Boyle
Please come experience the beauty of medical-evangelism with me one day!