By the River

Posted on: November 14, 2012 Written by
By the River
      Photography by: Estella Trostle from iStock    

I was challenged recently by a friend to take “Ten Minutes a Day” to focus on ways to serve others.  I often think being a mom qualifies me for all the serving that a person could ever need, but I know this should include others as well.  I asked the Lord not to let me miss those opportunities He brings my way.  He is ever faithful, even when I am spiritually deaf or blind and have way too many “missed opportunities.”

We are immensely enjoying the house God literally “dropped in our laps” a few months ago.  We have a nice, large, flat yard that backs up to the river.  On a recent Thursday, I was outside doing something when I noticed the sound of the water rushing as it flowed down the stream.  The Lord brought Psalm 1 to my mind: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly….he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water.

Thursday is the day my good friend Leon comes over to serve our family in so many ways.  I wanted to enjoy the moment with my friend, so I invited her outside and shared this verse with her.  We chatted about the verse briefly, and then we sat down under a tree together to just listen to the water.  Soon she shared her story with me.

Years ago, she had served another couple in the place we now call home.  The muli (moo-lee) tangerine tree under which we were sitting, she had planted.  The streams of water to which we were now listening, she had once used for bathing and washing clothes.  The surrounding area that is now water was once a flat ground where she had had a garden.  It was also the place where numerous mumus (moo-moos)—times of cooking food on hot stones in the ground—took place, along with many celebrations.  Many happy memories of the past flowed from her lips.

However, the most memorable of those for her happened next door.  Years ago, two translators had lived there.  She was blessed to serve them as a single lady, and it was during her time with them that she was challenged about her need for the Savior.  She recalled that she had not known anything about Jesus, but she watched their lives and wanted what they had.  They introduced her to Him and taught her to pray.  She pointed: “That house is where my new life began.”

Together we marveled at the grace of God in her life, and how He had now brought her into our lives, in another season of her life, back to a place where her spiritual journey began.  She is a great blessing to our lives and a mighty prayer warrior as well—earlier that morning, when I had shared a burden on my heart, she stopped what she was doing and immediately prayed with me.  The translators she told about are indirectly connected to my home church in Dallas.  It is indeed a small world in Christ!

If a man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, how can he know his own way?

I was blessed beyond measure by stopping my busyness for just TEN MINUTES A DAY!

 

© 2012 Women of the Harvest.

Question to Consider:   In what ways has God used the people whom you serve to serve, bless and encourage you?



About the author

Estella Trostle, has served with Wycliffe for 23 years, and is serving in Papua New Guinea. Her family is enjoying some U.S. time and resides in Pennsylvania. Estella and her husband Mark have led short term teams to Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 1994. In 2009, God led them to serve with the PNG Bible Translation Association (BTA), Wycliffe’s partner organization run by the local people. The goal is to engage/challenge the PNG churches to get involved with Bible translation. Our desire in serving with BTA is to make disciples and the Lord is honoring this desire. Leon, my dear PNG friend, sister in Christ, and prayer warrior comes to serve our family weekly. She instinctively knows when I’m struggling and will sit me down and say, “Come, let’s pray about it.” The tears flow. Being a southerner and African-American, I struggled with “hiring house help” until the Lord reminded me to see it as a ministry. It’s been a two-way ministry for sure!

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  • Oh, yes, Estella! How well I can relate to the struggle to make time to focus on serving others. (What a strange thing to struggle with, given the line of work we are in!) What a great idea to set a goal of just 10 minutes a day!

    • Estella

      Thanks Melody for your comment. I was thinking too about this again today how busy life gets for us on the field and yes, strange given the line of work we are in—can still miss serving others. Could this be a way the enemy silences our witness? Thanks again for sharing. Blessings as God shows you your 10 minutes a day!

  • Jill

    Was just thinking about you the other day, Estella! Good times at the WOTH retreat last summer. Praying for you and your family. Thanks for the great article. Very challenging.

    • Estella

      Hello Jill,

      Nice to hear from you. WOTH retreat is definitely one of the highlights of furlough. I look forward to one day volunteering at one of these. Thanks for praying for our family..precious. You do remember we have teens don’t you :). Glad you liked the article. Please let me know how your family is doing. Hugs.