Courage to Take the Plunge

John Mar2016 big smileBy John Maust, MAI President

One of our old family videos shows daughter Michelle, then age 4, perched on the steps of a swimming pool, water wings on her arms. Only her feet dangle in the water. “Michelle, come out and join us,” her Grandpa urges from the middle of the pool.

Michelle shakes her head. “No. When I’m ready,” she says firmly. No amount of coaxing will change her mind. Older sister Natalie giggles at Michelle’s fear of entering the water. “Natalie,” Grandpa says, defending Michelle, “she’ll waterwings and poolcome when she’s ready.”

The day did come, of course, when Michelle was ready and ventured into the pool, but it took awhile.

Sometimes at MAI I feel like little Michelle. A hard decision or risky opportunity awaits, and I take a deep breath at the edge of the pool. For instance:

-Should we go ahead with the training workshop in a difficult country of the Middle East, despite the recent bombings in Istanbul?

-Should we continue plans for a certain publishing conference, even though we aren’t sure where the money will come from?

-Should we hold the next LittWorld conference in Asia? Or Europe? South America? Somewhere else?

Faced with hard decisions in daily ministry, I recognize more than ever my need to seek God’s leading in prayer and Scripture, and then to sit quietly and listen to His voice. I’m not talking about listening for an audible voice (which might be nice sometimes!), but for those impressions or thoughts coming to mind that you somehow know are from the Lord.

I want to be in a state of constant readiness to follow Jesus when and wherever He leads. As Christ walking on the Sea of Galilee told Peter, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid… Come.” Please pray for wisdom, discernment and courage in my leadership of MAI’s global ministry.

This year, with God’s help and your generous partnership, MAI will equip Christian publishers and writers in nearly 20 countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. An estimated 640 gifted men and women will benefit from these on-site programs.

Success of this global training, in God’s grace, will mean more and stronger publishers and writers worldwide who “declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Psalm 96:3).

Please pray that our work will result in more and better locally authored Christian content that nurtures the Church and influences society in countries of great need. Pray too for God’s financial provision for MAI so that we will finish our fiscal year on April 30 “in the black.”

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