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Posts Tagged ‘Letter’

Story by Stephanie Kim. Photo by Susan Brown.

When my daughter was in 8th grade, each student created a parenting handbook as a language arts project. Each parent contributed by writing a letter to her or his child, giving advice to the future parent. This is what I wrote to my daughter.

Dear Maria,
I have been given this amazing opportunity to share with you my dreams for you as a parent someday. I certainly hope that you will patiently wait for that special boy God is preparing to be your husband. With your marriage promise to each other and with both of you wholeheartedly committed to God, I pray that He will bless you with the tremendous joy of children.

Children help us parents learn so many things and shape us into better individuals. They teach unconditional love and demonstrate a faith that adults seem to have lost. They change our perspective. They are the source of our greatest joys and deepest sorrows. You will learn enduring patience, overflowing generosity, and sacrificial love. You will develop a much greater understanding of the Heavenly Father’s love for you after you have your own children. And you will learn to forgive again and again.

If you are blessed with children, I hope you will remember that these children you love with all your heart are loved even more by Someone else.In fact, your children actually belong to God, Who has entrusted to you these you call your own only for a time to care for and nurture. It’s an awesome responsibility and a tremendous honor…and way too tough to handle on your own! You will quickly learn that you must lean on God for help because you will face countless difficult challenges as they grow older. I hope that you will seek God’s wisdom and will in every decision and challenge you face.

Many mothers worry about making mistakes. Whatever bumps in the road come along, your love for them will overcome all your shortcomings. Pray for your children daily—maybe even constantly. There are many dangers and evil things in this world that can consume you with worry for your children. Instead place your trust in God and know that He has His children in the palm of His hand.

School will teach them what they need for college and career. You teach them what is most important to live—to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others. Show them how to be grateful for the big things and little things, when there is plenty and when there is little, in good times and bad. Gratitude is the key to happiness.

It’s easy, especially in the early years of parenting, to become overwhelmed with life and circumstances and careers and things to do. I hope that you will not rush those years and hurry to and from everything: They will pass quickly without your help. You’ve heard it before—life is not an emergency. Don’t worry about the dirty dishes, the laundry to be done, the toys spread everywhere. Do them when there is time, but not at the cost of dancing with your kids, riding bikes together, messing up the driveway with chalk, and splashing in the rain.

And when things don’t turn out exactly the way you planned—for you or for your children—trust that God has it under control.

I love you more than you know, and God loves you even more than that. I know you will be a marvelously magnificent mom!

Love,
Mom

A Mother's Letter

Stephanie often participates in worship services as flutist.

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By Paul Bishop, with Jeannie Dortch.

Paul disciples a Cambodian who may face strong anti-Christian sentiment from his family. Photo by Tim Kenney

Life on the mission field has turned out to be much different than we had planned. When we first went to the field in April 1997, we were going to be church planters in a restricted access country in Asia. Our first term, while not without its struggles, was a wonderful time of learning language and culture. However, God radically altered our plans when He allowed us to be kicked out of that country at the end of our first term.

God’s plan became evident when He led us to a neighboring country to work with the same unreached people group. Soon after our arrival, the team leader for that people group left, and Cathleen and I were asked to take over as team leaders. God quickly opened doors to the gospel. When two villages were burned down, our team used disaster relief funds to enter these communities and show the love of Christ. We were able to start a church in each village. It has been a blessing to see these churches start two more churches and outreach groups.

Cathleen works with Mon-Khmer women. Photo by Jade Phan

After our second term, God had more changes prepared for us. Cathleen and I were asked to take on the newly created Strategy Group Leader position for the country of Cambodia. We have been serving in this position since June 2004. Our primary responsibility now is to help each of the teams working among the Mon-Khmer-speaking peoples, the vast majority of whom are Buddhist. We provide direction, encouragement and administrative assistance to the personnel as they establish reproducing church movements. We are truly blessed to work with seven teams, each focused on a different people group. These teams include 32 adults and 38 children. We also work with national partners in most of our area’s people groups.

Both of our children were born on the field. Cambodia, more than any other place, has been their home. Early on, they traveled with us as we were involved in church planting. Now they travel with us as we visit with personnel in various parts of Cambodia and Thailand. Our children also help us to build relationships in our neighborhood. As a family, we work together in prayer to lift up both our co-workers and the unreached peoples of the Mon-Khmer Cluster. Our children have been home schooled for the past several years, but this year we put them in a small international school that uses a British-based curriculum. There they have friends from Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, India, America, and England.

Cathleen and Paul, Isaac and Abby at home in Cambodia. Photo by Laurie Gardner

Our lives are busy, rich, and full of God’s grace and peace. We thankfully and lovingly send greetings to our always faithful First Baptist Church family,

Paul and Cathleen Bishop


Join the Bishops in their work with the Mon-Khmer people through prayer at http://monkhmercluster.wordpress.com.

For more missions prayer requests, visit: http://www.fbcrichmond.org/prayer.

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