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Washing Feet and Loving to the End

Have you ever caught the significance of Christ’s exchange with Peter regarding washing Peter’s feet? In reading the thirteenth chapter of John, we find Peter refusing to be served by his master in this way. That’s the job of the lowest servant! How could someone let his better – the Messiah no less – undertake this task? It reads this way:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” (vs. 6-8)

Jesus's words often had a double meaning. So much of what Jesus did and said was not immediately understood by those who watched and listened. Imagine Jesus holding a wet cloth when saying those words: “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” I can only imagine that Peter was somewhat startled to think that he might not be a part of the Messiah’s kingdom if Jesus didn’t bathe him. Peter’s response seems only natural:

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” (vs. 9)

If I need to be scrubbed down by the master to be with him, then let’s get this done! Wash me! Peter did not yet understand the significance of what Jesus was telling him; of course we know that he was referring to his coming sacrificial death on the cross. Christ must wash us in his cleansing blood. It’s amazing to gain the cultural perspective of the type of embarrassment or awe that we – those of lower status, the created – should sense when our better – God, the creator – would humble himself to the point of a death for the lowest of the low in order to serve us.

Peter reoriented pretty quickly when he realized that the only way to belong to Jesus was to allow himself to be served by Jesus. Yet Jesus had another point to make:

Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” (vs. 10a)

What a stunning statement! Christ has already alluded to the redemption that he is about to purchase with his blood on the cross, and now he essentially states that the work is already done. It’s a done deal. You don’t need your whole body cleaned because I’ve as good as cleaned you by the work that I am about to undertake. You are “completely clean.” What then of the foot washing? Consider Romans 5:10:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

We come to recognize that we stand clean and justified before the Father because of the blood of Jesus, but we are not abandoned or left alone to finish the race. I’ve heard the above verse explained this way: in God’s willingness to put his own Son to death to save us, he has already proven that he will go to the greatest extreme. That is to say, the hardest part has already been done. Therefore, we can trust with certainty “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6) If Christ’s sacrifice for us made us clean, then in his resurrection we find that the cleansing of our feet is our sanctification.

Let me draw your attention to the first verse in John chapter 13:

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The profoundness of this verse causes me to stop every time I read it. On its face, his “loving them to the end” introduces a scene where Jesus is loving his disciples, serving them in a meaningful way one last time before his death. More than that, though, is the deeper meaning of the true service that Christ was preparing to perform. It takes my breath away to try and understand “loving to the end” in the sense of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.

Remember, though, the washing of feet. Christ has made us, dirty and pitiful as we were, clean before almighty God. He “loved us to the end” to the point of death. The hardest part is over. God allowed the blood of his own Son to be shed. How much weightier now is the promise of completing his good work in us? The hardest part is over! Not only did he make us clean, but it is he who continues to clean us and make us perfect and holy before God.

Do you feel the weight of the love he has bestowed on us?

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when it appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)

Can you see how heavy and how real his love is? If so, what Jesus said after washing his disciples’ feet should profoundly affect you:

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (vs. 12-17)

Look at what Jesus said: “do you understand what I did to you?” This was no mere act of service; Jesus did something significant to them. The King humbled himself for the sake of his inferiors. He showed his disciples and us that as he was about to serve “to the end” and love “to the end” for those who are not his equal – how much more are we to serve and prefer and love others “to the end.”

It turns out that a part of our ongoing cleansing – our continued sanctification process – includes imitation of Christ to no small extent:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

There are no shortages of applicable, real-life situations to which this can be applied or practiced. Yet, I have found myself thinking about the washing of the feet in relation to missions work. There are times when it’s difficult to work at a mission hospital. Sometimes I get called in to the hospital at night or on a weekend. I am being called to wash feet. Maybe it was supposed to be my day off. I am being called to wash feet. Perhaps I find out that I was called to take care of someone else’s work. Christ is washing my feet. I can’t remotely accomplish anything like what Christ has done in service to us, but I can imitate him in loving and serving “to the end,” to the end of myself.

What’s even more amazing in the above account is that Christ washed the feet of Judas along with the other disciples. Judas had no share in Christ, but Christ served him anyway. Who then can I pass over? This causes me to ponder, what act of service is God calling me to today? I have been finding that the more I adopt this attitude, a Christ-like attitude of service toward other people, the more often I have been blessed with unique opportunities to share the gospel with individuals.

Here’s some food for thought. In this context of Christ continuing to wash our feet, how much more significant are the “shoes for your feet,” which are “the readiness given by the gospel of peace?” (Eph 6:15) How much more beautiful are “the feet of those who preach the good news?” (Rom 10:15) The harvest is ripe. How is the Lord calling you to wash feet? How would he have you love unto the end?



Shipping the Container to Togo!

For those of you who prayed with us concerning this or for those who are simply interested, here is a brief account of getting the container on its way!

For months we had been packing our belongings, ordering supplies, and acquiring furniture in order to fill our 40-foot shipping container to be sent to Togo. Thanks to the generosity of many of you, it was filled and ready to go by December 6th. I spent more than one cold and dark evening rearranging furniture and crates to try and make everything fit (it didn't all quite fit in the end...we had to leave a few pieces of furniture behind). Yet, the doors were closed and the container was ready to be hauled by December 6th.

Because the container was located on a hill, in the forest, up a curved driveway, on a dead-end dirt road, our goal for months had been to beat the Michigan snow in the hope that we'd be able to load the container without too much complication. Unfortunately, the forwarding company was having a hard time finding a crane company who wanted to drive out to our small patch of nowhere and lift the thing. Eventually, a truck to pull the container and a crane were scheduled to come and remove the container on December 14...two days after we had our first real snow of the season (oh no!).

The crane operator showed up a little bit earlier than the scheduled time of 10 am, and despite the snow he didn't have too much trouble setting up on top of the hill near the container.


The trucker, on the other hand, had some difficulty finding the place. Driving in from Chicago, he called around 10 am, concerned because he was driving into what looked like a "forest." Yeah, he was in the right place but running a little late.

When he finally arrived around a quarter after, the crane operator explained how he would need the trailer BACKED up the circle drive, around a corner, up the hill, and right up next to the container. The truck driver did not feel that he could get up the driveway at all given overhanging branches and the thin layer of snow-turned-ice on the drive.

We acquired a chainsaw and the crane operator set to work on removing branches from a few trees while I drove to the nearest hardware store for salt. Upon returning with 160 pounds of salt, I learned that the truck driver did not believe he could turn his truck and trailer around to back up the driveway. At this point, the trucker was threatening to give up and leave. The crane operator convinced the trucker to back half a mile back down the dead-end road, turn around, and then back all the way back up to our driveway. We salted the driveway for the next half hour while the trucker did this.


Once the truck was backed up to the drive, trees trimmed, and drive salted, the driver started to make attempts to back up the curved, uphill, now muddy driveway. It was probably around his 6th or 7th try that I had Rebecca put out a call for prayer. The driver was consistently getting stuck about half way up at the point where he needed to turn. He probably tried 15 or 16 times unsuccessfully. It was at this point that the driver told us again that he might just have to leave. Once again, the crane operator saved the day by suggesting a different approach to our problem. He convinced the truck driver to unhitch the chassis at the tricky bend...




...and the crane operator would lift it up the hill and into position. Of course, the crane had not been set up to turn so far in this direction. After tying all the rigging to the trailer, the operator had to reattach everything to the container to move that out of his way to swing far enough over to get to the trailer. This happened a few times, actually, as there was little room to move the container and he kept edging it over, climbing out, undoing/redoing all the rigging, etc.

Now several hours past the expected timeframe, we finally had the chassis up by the container. It was much easier for the trucker to back up the drive without the trailer attached, and he was re-hitched after just a few tries.


Once everything was in place, it was "simply" a matter of reattaching everything to the container and slowly lifting it up.


The operator did ask that the driver and I turn and direct the container once it was in the air. The driver preferred to wait in his truck, so I managed that part myself. Turns out 25,000 pounds isn't too hard to manipulate once it’s in the air!



All said, it took several hours longer than we hoped, but by God's grace it was accomplished! We are so thankful that God sent the crane operator that he did. That gentleman was so experienced and capable, and I don't think we would have shipped the container until spring if it had not been for him. As it is, the container was carried down to Chicago to be loaded on a large cargo ship and should arrive in Togo sometime around January 26th!

Pray with us, if you would, that the rest of its journey would be smooth and that the process of delivery and unloading (in front of customs officials) would also work out well.

To help with these and other expenses, feel free to donate to our mission account: https://www.abwe.org/work/missionaries/seth-and-rebecca-mallay

God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear

God has given us a spirit of power. “No guilt in life, no fear in death – this is the power of Christ in me.”


Our two-year-old likes to listen to music on YouTube. She’ll often come up to us and request a certain song “on the TV” because she enjoys watching the video associated with the music. One children’s song that she listens to puts these lyrics to a catchy tune: “Walking in the jungle, walking in the jungle; I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid.” Although the region in Togo where our hospital operates isn’t full-on jungle, it is a rainforest setting. Whenever this children’s song plays (and I will have it stuck in my head for days after), I remember a lot of our time in “the jungle.” We were sometimes confronted with things that might have given us cause to fear, but we knew and chose to believe that any anxiety we experienced was not something God had given to us.

As natural and understandable as our fears were, they came from something other than the Lord. We were confronted with the prospect of viral hemorrhagic fever in West Africa, not to mention malaria and Typhoid fever. The possibility of civil or governmental unrest were constant. Our financial situation as missionaries wasn’t necessarily stable. The capital city where we did our grocery shopping wasn’t considered the safest place in the world. We were concerned about venomous snakes both indoors and out. All of these things were realities whether we lived in fear or not, and if we allowed ourselves to imagine that any of that was truly in our hands we would become afraid. When we look at ourselves and our ability to control the situation, we see how weak we are - how small we are compared to the problem. Yet it’s by God’s own power that we are able to function and even thrive without fear. He is the one big enough to handle these big problems “according to His riches and glory.”

More than feeling secure in life, ultimately, God’s children should not even remotely fear death itself. Each of us is appointed a time to die. It seems that some good Christian people fall into the same pattern of fear to which the world around them naturally falls prey. The world, “sons of wrath,” have every reason to fear death, but the spirit of power which sons of God have been given provides a confidence in life that shows no fear of death. Why? Because “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

What do we have to look forward to in eternity? Sometimes my imagination is vivid. Let me paint a picture. I imagine opening my eyes and truly seeing for the first time – there is light everywhere. The burden and weight of fleshly pain and any care of the world is forgotten. The host of angels who rejoiced at my repentance are present, rejoicing still and worshiping the Lamb. There is a “cloud of witnesses” to greet me. Famous figures from the Bible and history who influenced my faith, those who directly impacted my faith, and those whose faith I may have impacted stand in radiant mass. Family and loved ones who have already entered eternity embrace me with overwhelming joy before turning and pointing further up and further in, pointing at the great source of light, the source of palpable lovingkindness. If you think there are no tears in God’s presence, I’ll remind you that “He will wipe away every tear,” and my eyes are full of joyful tears. To finally greet my King and brother and to hear “well done, good and faithful servant.” That is my greatest joy and aspiration. It is the power of this kind of hope that destroys fear.

God has given us a spirit of love. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.”


Yes, to die is gain, but to live is Christ. When Paul wrote these words to the Philippians he was debating with himself whether or not to willingly surrender to what he wanted (eternity) or to hope to live a while longer in order to serve the church, to serve the Lord here on earth. He ultimately communicates his desire to live as long as he is able in order to promote Christ and build the church. This is something so unique to God’s children, that we can seek to lovingly serve friends, strangers, and enemies despite opposition, difficulty, and disaster, and we’re able to do this without fear because of the power of God and the spirit of love which He has given us.

Love is another remedy for fear. Imagine a father rushing into a burning building to save his small child. True love trumps fear. As children of God we grow and mature in our faith, the process of sanctification, to a point where we do actually love other people. We know from Ephesians 2:10 that God has prepared good works for us in order that we can carry out those works. This love that we have, a desire to serve others in humility, is made useful when it helps us to overcome fear so that we can act in obedience in our service to others. This Christian mercy in the face of fear is what brought about medicine and hospitals as we know them. The love which God has given us allows us to overcome fear in order to serve others and accomplish God-honoring work here on earth. This is the reason my family and I are able to serve in a part of the world which may be considered dangerous by some. It’s the reason Christians at home and abroad are able to go out and serve their brothers and sisters, their communities, or the vulnerable despite fear of plague or pestilence. Love overcomes fear.

God has given us a sound mind. “Be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”


Soundness of mind in this particular passage is also translated as self-control. This is a two-edged sword when it comes to countering fear. Consider a current predicament – either personal or global. There is probably something in your life which might cause you to be afraid or anxious. Most likely this won’t be a problem forever, but there will be something else to occupy your mind soon enough. Those who do not practice self-control give in to fear with abandon; they are controlled by fear. God has given His children the ability to stop and think and practice wisdom. God has given us the option to turn our thoughts and prayers toward Him. Isaiah 26:3 states “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” We have found this to be true when tempted to fear. Whether practicing medicine in West Africa or walking with our twelve year old daughter while she battles cancer, we have had the opportunity to turn our attention toward the God of peace. You can as well.

The other side of the sound mind coin is that we temper our enthusiasm. Christians have been given a spirit of power and love and we are therefore capable of overcoming any fear, even fear of death. That does not mean that we have license to be careless. Overcoming a fear of heights does not mean we believe we can fly. In my medical opinion, not every viral outbreak is as concerning as news outlets or the masses make things seem. Yet, that does not mean that we don’t practice caution on some level. In Togo, our hospital had a plan in place for the event of managing Ebola or Lassa Fever. Missionaries everywhere have evacuation plans in case of civil unrest or medical emergencies. Regarding our daughter’s cancer, we choose not to fear but continue to steadily seek what treatments are available. God’s children are given the means to overcome fear, the motivation to act in the face of difficulty, and the wisdom to know when action is necessary. A sound mind helps us discern hysteria from danger but also allows us to understand when we can lovingly take action in the midst of difficult or dangerous situations.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7

One last reminder. In Philippians 4 Paul entreats the reader to not be anxious and then gives some more “antidotes” to anxiety: prayer and thanksgiving. He tells us to make our requests known to God, but then says nothing about having those specific needs met. Rather, he tells us that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Not that God does not answer prayer: we continue to pray for our daughter’s healing. Yet, healing isn’t a guarantee – peace is. I encourage you to look to Christ today no matter what you might be facing.

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Christian parents, you are tasked with mission work

My wife was raised on the mission field as a missionary kid, an “MK” as they are known. She felt the Lord calling her to a life of service in missions when she was ten years old. Likewise, I was only seven when I felt the Lord calling me to medical missions one day. Both my wife and I loved learning about missionaries when we were children. Most of our heroes were, in fact, missionaries. Names like Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, Nate Saint, Adoniram Judson, and Gladys Aylward were names well known to us from childhood. Certainly, these were important kingdom workers. Having been called to mission work ourselves, we had likely idealized the work and lives of these brothers and sisters. Perhaps you have as well.

While working toward our goals and eventually on the foreign field, we quickly came to realize that “the mission” isn’t just given to a select few among the body of Christ. Sure, each member has different abilities and functions, but every one of God’s children has been given a gift worthy of sharing. Not only should we as Christians share the gospel simply because it is worthy, but we also should do so because Christ commanded us to “make disciples” (Mat 28:19). Some are called to take that work to “all nations.” While some are indeed called to send those whom we have labeled as missionaries, no believer in Jesus Christ is called to withhold the good news. None are exempt from the imperative to make disciples.

Another thing we learned in long-term mission work was that living and working overseas, as exotic as it may sound, is in many ways just living and working. Things which seemed so strange, cultural differences for example, grew familiar. While walking to the mission hospital some mornings, I would marvel at the mundanity of life even in the midst of foreign ministry. Getting up in the morning still was a chore. We still brushed our teeth and had bills to pay. We walked the same earth under the same sun. I found that I still had to be intentional about ministry in the midst of life and work: sharing Jesus with the world didn’t become automatically easier just because we were in a foreign land. One part of life which also continued as normal was the raising of our children.

We moved overseas with four children, had a fifth on the mission field, and have since been joined by number six. Even before moving overseas, we had recognized one of the greatest ministries that God had given us: our children. Raising a family can seem like one of the everyday things that just happens while we accomplish other great things in life. Certainly, a family can be raised passively. Most parents are probably, at least sometimes, guilty of simply getting by rather than focusing on the actual task of raising children.

My wife and I have become more convinced than ever that, during these few precious years that we have with them, one of our primary ministries is to our children. This does not diminish the other work that we have, any more than it does for anybody else. Remember, each believer in Jesus has the responsibility to make disciples. What a joy and a privilege for my wife and myself to have been given six children to whom we can teach Jesus Christ. Eighteen years of discipleship is no small thing! As parents, we have such an opportunity, such a ripe mission field. This is true no matter where the Lord has placed us. While we are called to be ambassadors to the world, what better place to start than with the family God has provided. I encourage anyone who still has children at home to make every effort to make their own children their primary mission field.


Scripture supports the teaching of God’s word to our children. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 highlights the importance of “laying” or “fixing” God’s word in our own hearts and then teaching it to our children. Most of us are familiar with Proverbs 22:6: “train up a child in the way he should go.” Paul also charges fathers in Ephesians 6:4 with discipline and instructing children in the Lord. These passages are not describing a passive process of cohabitation and provision of food. This, like any other ministry, is a true spiritual battle, and our children are no small heavenly conflict. If you want to know what spiritual battle feels like, it’s choosing to do things that take energy when you are tired. It’s pushing yourself to repeat chores which are mundane. You fight by forcing yourself to talk about things which are difficult to people who do not want to listen.

More than that, any person in ministry must tend to their own spiritual nourishment and growth. Paul implores Timothy to present himself before God as approved and as a worker who needn’t be ashamed but rightly handles the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). This is also a spiritual battle to be undertaken with seriousness. Fathers, I entreat you to look to your spiritual growth, toiling and struggling with all of Christ’s own energy (Col 1:29). Each of you love your own wife as you love yourself by leading in discipleship (Eph 5:28-29). Mothers and fathers, fix God’s word in your hearts and teach it to your children (Deut 11:18-19). Make this spiritual battle a priority. Take the time to have regular family devotions and discipline your children in the Lord. If you are God’s children, you are ambassadors to the unsaved; and if you are parents, you are missionaries to your own children.


Obedience in Spite of the Obstacle

When our daughter Arwen, then 10, was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma nearly two years ago, there was no question that we would need to transition from the mission field to pursue treatment. The news was devastating for our family. We were facing the real prospect of losing a child, and Arwen was forced to come to terms with her mortality much sooner than many people. More than that, the entire family was displaced from what we thought of as home and displaced from our mission, our life’s work.

What may be less obvious than our need to return from the field is our determination to go back. Both my wife and I were called to missions work as children, and we take the call to go and make disciples very seriously. The undercurrent of our lives has always been to serve in obedience to that call. Even in the first few days of our family crisis some of our thoughts were of how and when the Lord would permit us to return to the work He has provided for us – it was not really a question of “if.”

Clearly, the God of heaven knew of our detour and had been preparing us for that and for a type of ministry in the US rather than overseas. We have sought to be gracious in carrying out the tasks that we have found designed for us over the past couple years: the Lord has prepared kingdom work for each of His children at various times and in many places, and it’s not always what we expect it to be. We praise God for the fruit we’ve seen in our lives and for the small ways in which He has used us to bless others. Every season in life is more than a time of growth and preparation for future work that God has for us; He is also revealing Himself to us and preparing us for eternity with Him. Part of the process of our sanctification is learning about joyful obedience.

In raising our children we have sought to instill the desire for obedience to God’s word. Obedience to God is something that we learn to practice daily. We must shun sin and evil, but also look for opportunities to advance the kingdom of God. This too is a daily activity! It incorporates encouraging the church and sharing the good news of what Jesus has done for us with those who do not know Him. Yet, obedience isn’t always easy. Our physical reality is eclipsed by an actual spiritual existence – and there is constant warfare in that plain. All that appears ordinary, every experience or situation, is used to wage war in the spiritual places.

Arwen’s cancer diagnosis is no different. I can tell you with all certainty that every member of this family has faced days of discouragement, doubt, and temptation because of our present situation. We are tempted to doubt the absolute sovereignty of God. We are temped to believe that we deserve a miracle according to our terms. We’ve had days of giving in to despondency, when we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I know the enemy wishes to see God’s children crushed and their faith destroyed. Yet, we continue to equip the full armor of God and fight with what tools we have been given. God’s word is our source of truth, and our family stands stronger in our faith than ever thanks to the trial we have faced.


Failing in our spiritual destruction, what more could the enemy desire? To deter the growth of Christ’s church. Ours is only one of hundreds of situations that might keep a family from returning to the mission field. I’m not calling out any who have left and cannot return – there truly is work for God’s children in every corner of the world. For our family, however, we still feel called to missions in Africa despite the obstacle placed before us. We have persisted through the course of all prescribed cancer treatments, and yet the malignancy remains unchanged. We recognize that, according to the ways of man, we might not be expected to continue to pursue mission work and would easily be excused if we chose to remain. Our calling, however, and our path leads us back to our work in Africa.

Arwen herself has told us that it is her desire to return to Togo. She would rather die on the mission field, if that be God’s will. Of course, we have not lost our hope: our hope is sure because it is placed in Christ. We continue to ask the Lord for Arwen’s healing or that He would show us how else to treat her cancer. Beyond that, our family’s desire is to step out in faith and return to Togo. We are all the more excited to tell others about our God who has given us His grace, joy, peace, and love during the course of our own small tribulation. Indeed, He is real and we are witnesses of His mercy and faithfulness. What a joy to share the hope we have in Christ, He who conquered death!

What obstacles are you facing today? Our hope is that in the midst of those, you also are able to look to Christ and find hope. Look for the ways in which He is teaching you. Search out those whom you can encourage by sharing your experiences. Remember that we are in a battle, so put on your armor, and stand firm. Obedience may not always look the way we expect it to, but don’t let any obstacle keep you from obeying God’s call on your life. All that we have here and now is temporary – invest rather in eternity.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-9

www.mallaysonamission.com
To give: https://www.abwe.org/work/missionaries/seth-and-rebecca-mallay

An October Update: Arwen and Fundraising

It's been three months since baby Kalmar was born, and the family is finding a routine again as we head into the new (home)school year. Kalmar has been a happy baby and a blessing to the family. Because his arrival was in July, many summer activities were delayed due to pregnancy, expectation for delivery, and recovery. Our family did find time to enjoy some of the lingering summer days in Michigan with a mini vacation on Mackinac Island and then a brief camping trip in Northern Michigan.

As we have returned to some normal routine, we are focusing more closely on our fundraising efforts for our eventual return to Togo. Currently, our monthly support income is at 17% of our goal, and we are seeking brothers and sisters in Christ who would partner with us by giving monthly on a long-term basis. We invite you to consider joining our ministry in this way!




Touring the colorful interior of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

As you may know, Arwen was on an experimental treatment for several months to see if that might have any effect on her cancer. Ultimately, it proved ineffective and Arwen was switched to another study. However, the new study program did not turn out to be taking new patients, so Arwen was left without any treatment. She has been on a "maintenance" medication while her doctors look for another experimental treatment that she might try.

Overall, Arwen has been fairly well, though tired often and prone to joint and body pain due to the maintenance medication. She, like the rest of the family, has continued to grow in her walk with the Lord. In fact, Arwen, Caspian, and Elora were all baptized in early September! We were able to celebrate that with our church family in Hillsdale, Michigan.

In mid-September we had the opportunity to share our testimony in a breakout session at Prescription for Renewal in Orlando. We thank all those who ministered to us there and those who expressed interest in possibly supporting our ministry. Later in September, we were able to share again at Grace Covenant Church in Cincinnati. We are thankful to the church for the chance to fellowship and for their tender encouragement and support for our family. If you wish to see that sermon, you can watch it here.

We hope to share our testimony and plans for ministry with more churches or groups. If you would like us to speak at your church, feel free to introduce us to your pastor! We're also happy to attend small groups or mission conferences.

Another request that we have is for some of you to consider joining our prayer support team. All of your prayers are welcome and appreciated! Yet, we plan to have a core group of believers who are dedicated to praying for our family and ministry on a daily basis. This group would receive more specific prayer requests more often. If you are interested in supporting us in this way, or if you want more information about having us come to speak at a church or group, simply email us at mallaysonamission@gmail.com.

Baptism of Arwen, Caspian, and Elora
And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9