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“Return home, and care for your grand kids,” were the words Foursquare missionaries Glen and Rosemary Mickel began hearing from the Lord in late 2007 after serving in the heart of Southern Africa for the last 8 years. It did not make sense at the time, and there were many reasons to discount or disregard this word of the Lord. They were seeing doors of fruitfulness open wide as a healthy Regional Council and many dear relationships all seemed to indicate they should remain in their present assignment. Yet Glen and Rosemary listened, and obeyed.

Less than a week after arriving back in the United States in early December 2008, the call came: “Jeremy, your youngest son, has just passed away at age 34.” After some physical challenges, Jeremy went home to be with the Lord, leaving three precious young grandkids, Jacob, Jonathan and Josiah. The Lord knew that these three young boys would be in great need of the comfort of their grandparents, and what awesome grandparents they are!

My friendship with the Mickels and some of their great children, Steve and Suzanne, goes back a few years, but not as far as I would like. In these last few weeks (as has always been the case), I have been touched and enriched again by the Spirit through them. Having just moved back to the United States from a wonderful assignment in Brazil ourselves, we’ve been strengthened by their courage and reminded that…

  • Effectiveness is spelled “O-B-E-Y” in the real (His) economy. Thankfully Glen and Rosemary were not persuaded by ministerial pressures and result orientation, but prioritized the apparent ministerial ‘inefficiency’ of returning to family.
  • Their grandkids are an important part of the harvest to Jesus! The discipleship that can happen through me in my family is my first calling.
  • In the jungles of Africa or in the cities of the United States, hearing His prophetic voice continues to be key. May my heart always be listening to His love and guidance … even when not making sense in my limited perspective.

After breakfast with the Mickels several days ago, I was praying that I might have the same obedience, sensitivity and priorities. Glen of course thanked me for breakfast, and I thanked the Lord for the privilege of serving Him with them. Today (and frequently) I’m strengthened by the health of so many of our Foursquare leaders, and the faith of our awesome missionaries. May you and I pray this week, “Jesus, may I be more like You as I consider the outcome of the Mickel’s way of life and imitate their faith. (Heb. 13:7 NIV)

is the global development and international projects coordinator for Foursquare Missions International and an ordained minister in The Foursquare Church.