But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.2 Corinthians 4:7-11
There was a time – years ago – when I thought world missions was a heroic and noble calling, a spiritual adventure to win the lost and claim territory for Jesus. In my naivety, and by God’s grace the Holy Spirit led me to pray “God break my heart with what breaks Your heart.“
He led me to places of unimaginable pain and poverty, of darkness, evil and injustice, of hearts broken, deceived, enslaved and crushed by Satan. He showed me His pain. It was unbearable. There was nothing heroic. I wanted to run. I felt weak and helpless. In the face of such darkness, evil and pain – good motives, noble causes, admirable intentions were indeed weak and helpless.
I learned that being on mission with God is both glorious and terrible!
In my bible, I love the title over Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 4:4-11, “Cast Down but Unconquered.” So much hope in that statement! I’ve written alongside “The butterfly life.” Spreading the fragrance of Jesus comes at a cost, our wings get battered and bruised – but we are unconquered. Knowing the power of God in us we can continue to fight from victory not for victory.
I’ve continued to learn about being on mission with God – awareness of the cost and the pain – but more importantly about His power – His power alone which is able to overcome the darkness, to heal the broken hearted and set captives free. His power alone which I was reminded again this week – is able to keep me when I am weak, tired, sick and beaten down. More more often than not, it’s when I am weak and weary that He steps in do to His greatest work for “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
Many of our “Butterfly missionaries” around the world are living the “butterfly life”, struggling with opposition, sickness and physical tiredness they continue ministering to the broken hearted and setting captives free in God’s power.
Here are two powerful reports of Butterflies being “cast down but unconquered” in Moldova (Eastern Europe) and Ohio, US.
Moldova: Angie is struggling with health issues and extreme tiredness every morning. But she faithfully continues to meet weekly with a group of women in prison. She also started a new group on March 2. Women from her church invited friends to the group who are not believers. She shared this glorious news…
Hi Liz, just wanted to let you know that today at our butterfly group most women invited Jesus in their lives! They decided to fly! There are other women here who want to be in Butterfly class.
And in the prison God is working too. The last time the message of the gospel was accepted with great interest. They have lots of questions. Please pray for all these women.
Ohio: Butterfly Christy is struggling with health issues, fatigue and financial set-backs, but continues to meet with women every week where God is moving powerfully. She victoriously writes:
The ministry has exploded here! Women’s chains are falling down and they are soaring in Jesus! The Enemy is experiencing defeats as Jesus gains more territory. I’ve never seen so much rapid spiritual growth before!
Women are being freed and empowered through the Holy Spirit! So, I know God is using me in my time of greatest weakness. As these things have been falling off the women I teach, so be it with me. “I am fully His and He is mine! His banner over me is love!”
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels,that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
In Peru, Becky I am sure is even now helping those suffering the effects of the terrible floods. In India, Martha is crying to the Lord for more wisdom, power and strength for our Butterflies to help women caught in the increasing violence and abuse against women. In S.E Asia there is an explosion of our Butterflies who have multiplied 100 fold since we began disciple making in 2010. Our leaders there have been faithful and committed despite opposition from government, families and personal health.
Paul in his suffering and persecution said, we who live are always being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake – strange as it sounds, this is the life of freedom. Paul went on to say “therefore we do not lose heart – even though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16).
Please pray for myself and for our Butterfly leaders and missionaries in Peru, Brazil, France, Poland, Moldova, S.E Asia, India, Cambodia, Kenya, UK and US.
Thank you for praying that our strength will be renewed, that the word of God will go boldly and swiftly from our mouths to women who need freedom, and that our faith would not fail!
Yours gratefully in His love