Moses was on a long journey with God. He was to liberate hundreds of thousands of slaves with nothing but a shepherd’s staff and the words “I AM has sent me to you.”
The journey spanned over eighty years.
Prior to the exploits of Moses that fill much of Exodus, he made a choice to leave the privileged life as the adopted grandson of Pharaoh and identify with God’s people and their slavery. It was an act of faith. There was no freedom on the horizon for nearly forty years during which he raised a family while herding sheep for his father-in-law. It is written that seeing the invisible kept him going.
The enduring faith of Moses is held up for Christians as an example of how to please God. His life inspires confidence in us. Working on weekly or annual calendars with One whose program transcends time can test our patience to breaking point, sadly some gave up on waiting.
Moses waited for decades, and his obedience and trust was to last a lifetime.
Most EMAS volunteers and donors did not give up. For two years, most teams did not travel, but they remained hopeful.
So, they met, and they prayed. Most teams did their best to keep our donors engaged through regular communications. They wrote letters, made video calls to our partners overseas; and sent aid whenever needed. In twos and threes, some made short trips to check in on our friends, but nothing like the hundreds of volunteers that went out and served pre-pandemic.
For an office accustomed to shortening reports and selecting what to exclude from newsletters, we sometimes wondered what to write about.
The prevailing conviction that our core function: “proclaiming God’s love to all the world through healing and teaching” was still necessary, kept the board, staff, and team leaders focused on preparing for a future we have no control over. God’s waiting room need not be boring.
Our two-years in God’s waiting room pales in comparison to the forty years Moses “waited” in transit to the borders of the Promised Land, not to mention the forty years as a shepherd in Midian.
We know God’s program will continue.
We come out of the pandemic in new forms:
Cambodia has invited us back to teach; teachers are preparing to go in early 2023, but on a smaller scale than before; no more than five university level trainers and mentors are planning to travel in February.
Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe Gutu are doing feasibility studies for capital intense projects of a magnitude never seen in EMAS Canada history. These are long-term projects with one aiming to serve 250,000 people through maternal health education and service.
However, some of the old familiar methods still thrive.
Vietnam is recruiting for the next mission; the team retains its familiar form. As does
DR Congo as they plan a teaching mission this winter and
Zimbabwe Gutu is on a funds drive to support a medical conference.
EMAS Canada’s journey with God is now in its seventy-fourth year.
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All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
Feature image: photo taken at Mission Fest
A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.