Friday, November 23, 2007

Missionary Dangers

Thanks for everyone who is praying for us. We do really appreciate it.
The next 3 weeks we have several engagements.
This Sunday we will be in Havre (pronounced Haver) for a ten minute spot.
Next week we will be speaking at our home church in the am and then going to an outreach church in Essex MT.
The following week will be in Kalispell speaking for 10min at the early and later Sunday am service. This is a lot of driving but hopefully we will garner a lot of prayer support......

This brings me to another missionary danger that I have been reflecting on recently. In a prior post I wrote about what I will now call "pedestal talk" where people think that we are super special and become thankful that they are not so special so they will not be called. Well Gideon, Ezekiel, Matthew and others put that notion to rest but that is not what I am writing about today. The danger I speak of today is......well I can't think of a cool word for it........getting trapped into talking about me, us, etc. The changes, the doubts, the dangers, the coolness of it all. I noticed this last week at our church when I was visiting with others.
So for the rest of this blog I will talk about others.

A big thing for you to remember to pray for the following situation with the Harveys.

Dear Pray-ers,

We fought valiantly to save the life of Eliane (aka "Delores"), the young lady who suffered multiple complications related to inadequate obstetrical care before her arrival. Eliane spent 3 months in Pioneer Christian Hospital, and was doing well when she was discharged. We got word yesterday that she died soon after returning to her village.

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Though we weren't able to cure Eliane of the physical complications she experienced, she left the hospital a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and we are confident her soul is in heaven now. She was found and saved! To see her walking on her own power to our Sunday chapel service, and dancing with joy to praise music when she came for a dressing change one day, are memories I cherish. These memories are a small glimpse of what heaven will be like, where all the blind will see, all the lame walk, all the lepers are cleansed, all the deaf hear, and all the dead are raised.

In the meantime, we content ourselves with a fraction of the divine healing that is possible but for our lack of faith, and the fact that "to the poor the Gospel is preached" (Luke 7:22).

In the month of September, 169 poor in spirit patients and family members accepted Christ during chapel services at Congo's Pioneer Christian Hospital!

So why am I surprised at the row that rages on in my soul now?

We have 2 employees that decided to quit working for the hospital 8 months ago. They didn't resign, but didn't do much work either. It took us a long time to come to grips with the fact that their productivity was not going to return to acceptable levels. We decided last week to let them go. Now, according to the government work inspector's calculations, we are required to pay each of these 2 workers, a severance package equivalent to 8 months' salary, and the equivalent of 4 months' salary to the government labor office!

I am struggling to find the balance between standing up for what is right and "rendering unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's." Let me be frank with you. This week I have come as close as I ever have to a nervous breakdown. I have been losing sleep and weight over this injustice. I know everything we have has been entrusted to us by God. I find it hard to justify using money that has been given for the Lord's work in this way. The same amount could literally treat one hundred patients who can not otherwise afford their care. How does this glorify God? Is it really His will for us to give in, or should we fight the system?

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. The powers that we've come up against now are threatening my sanity and the long-term financial viability of Pioneer Christian Hospital. That makes me angry, perplexed, depressed, desperate, torn, wounded.

Feel free to write me with advice, but what we need most right now is your prayers. Get into this battle with us, please. On our side. We are literally fighting for the lives and souls of an entire population.

For Health & Hope,
Dr. Joseph & Rebecca Harvey
Olivia, Claire, Isabelle, & Noah

Other things..... A 1st cousin of mine has a grandchild with a congenital heart defect. Doing OK etc but a big deal.

There is a teenager who attends our church who is undergoing more chemo for Acute Leukemia after receiving a bone marrow transplant......recurrence after that is bad, but her family is doing well with that.

On the reservation here, people continue to die from alcohol, motor vehicle collisions, diabetes and at the root of it all a spiritual darkness that produces hopelessness, fatalism. There are people who are fighting against this but not all of them are truly infused with the power to change.

Ok I am depressed enough....But thanks be to God for HIS indescribable gift.....I am convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.....

Happy Thanksgiving

To come.......
a word about Parole de Vie


Martha said...

It seems like you all should be talking about "yourselves" when really you are talking about the process of making it to the ROC as missionaries...and being missionaries along the way. As I struggle with mental illness every day---and it is a daily, hourly struggle, I need to be reminded of the big picture, or even snatches of it, such as your story and the Harveys.

Martha said...

I'm not sure that first sentence came out right. I mean that I think you have good reason to talk about yourselves and the process you are following.