We have the honor of being missions feature in our church’s monthly newsletter, Chapel Chat.
Here is a copy for those of you who aren’t a member of TCC or don’t get the monthly Chapel Chat.
“MISSIONS IN MOTION
Last month’s article mentioned two couples affiliated with our church who are preparing for the mission field. For this month, here is what I learned from Joe and Bethany Bindeman, current members of our congregation, who are working with Pioneers and hope to be serving in France to evangelize, disciple, and plant churches. [We will be serving in France 😉 ]
How did God call you and your spouse to the mission field?
God called us individually to missions many years ago while we were in college. We both felt convicted to obey Christ’s Great Commission to “Go” wherever God would send us. Matthew 28:18-20. Bethany was first called to France around 2008. God spoke by an unmistakable, unshakeable, internal voice which said, “Go to France.” This set the course for the years to follow. After attending a Missions Sunday at TCC in 2014 we were both re-invigorated about actively pursuing our calling to missions together and particularly Bethany’s specific calling to secular France.
Looking back over your life, how has God prepared each of you for ministry?
Joe was participating in evangelism and discipleship with Cru at Northwestern University. By junior year God gave Joe a heart for reaching the lost, especially overseas. Joe was a part of a prayer group which gathered daily to pray for spiritual needs on campus and in individual countries around the world. He participated in an evangelistic mission trip where they shared the Gospel with people in Leningrad, Soviet Union. More recently, Joe has been working professionally with diverse and international teams to utilize their unique gifts in achieving our common goals.
Bethany served on a missionary internship with The Mission Society in Paris in 2010. She then devoted all her resources to preparing for full-time ministry in France by taking courses in theology, missions, and French. She taught English as a Second Language to Burmese refugees and taught ESL in a large outreach program in Louisiana. She is currently working with local believers in Mount Clemens to establish a relational evangelism and discipleship program to young moms.
Are there any missionaries that have been an inspiration or encouragement to you? (They can be people you know personally or that you know about). Tell us a little bit about them and how they have inspired or encouraged you.
Joe was most impressed with Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Taylor reaped amazing fruit for the Kingdom of God at China Inland Missions for two main reasons. First, unlike previous missionaries, he met the people where they were by dressing like them and wearing his hair like they did. He wasn’t trying the Westernize them. He followed Paul’s example to “become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor.9:22). Secondly, he discovered the secret to a powerful and fruitful life – cross-bearing.
Bethany was most inspired by Elisabeth Elliott. Ms. Elliot, widow of Jim Elliot, served in Ecuador in the 1950s and her most famous book is Through Gates of Splendor. She had a very intellectual, no-nonsense yet compassionate approach to life and faith which compelled her in ministry. Another was Gladys Aylward. Firm in her calling and supernatural love for the Chinese, she forged through and had a powerful ministry, despite being considered unqualified by ministry professionals. Her autobiography, Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman and the 1940s movie starring In Ingrid Bergman, Inn of the Sixth Happiness.
What are the 3 most difficult issues for you during this preparation stage?
- Staying focused on God’s mission to France and present ministry tasks in the midst of everyday issues and life.
- Dealing with rejection and indifference of others while our hearts ache to see the lost in France come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Spiritual attacks aimed at our body, mind, and spirit
How has God been faithful during your preparation stage?
God has been faithful to us by leading us to an amazing sending organization, Pioneers; by providing full funding to attend their Missionary Orientation week last March just days before the event; and introducing us to people working in the field in France already. God has placed on our heart a vision to see France become a “sending nation”, a nation that has a vibrant expression of Christ and sending their own missionaries out to fulfill the Great Commission. We have learned that Pioneers is in the planning stages of creating a “Mobilization Office” in Marseille to train, equip, and send French believers to the mission field. It is incredibly confirming that God has given us and them the same vision for missions mobilization. We have been officially invited to join in this work in Marseille, with the goal to arrive in Spring 2019.
Do you have any fears about going on the mission field?
I think it is natural for anyone preparing for missions to be afraid of the unknown, of being alone and distant from family and friends, and of failure. It is best to face these fears straight on, address them beforehand as much as possible, and then confidently trust God for the rest and His promised peace. (Phil 4:6)
What would you like prayers for at this time?
- Our Partnership Ministry – that others will be willing to hear our stories; that we continue in obedience; and we also want our potential partners to be obedient to God – however He’s leading them, whether in a partnership relationship with us or in some other ministry. And that God will bless and build this partnership base expediently.
- Pre-field Requirements – remaining training classes, survey trip to France, etc.
- Preparing to move overseas – house repairs, downsizing, etc.
- Family Life – that we can still find time to invest in our marriage and in our family.
I would encourage you to please keep Joe, Bethany and their daughters, Ellie and Maggie, in your prayers.”