Milestones happen in all our lives; significant opportunities that come to us that we venture into or “turning points.” My life has been full of them. As I glance back to the past, it is evident that God placed turning points in my life. God’s goodness in my life amazes me.
I grew up in a home where God was honored, attended years of church camp, placed my life in God’s hand at a church youth camp, shared in Lay Witness missions at various churches in Pennsylvania as a young person, met Christar missionaries, felt God’s pull on my heart to join Christar, was upheld by supporters through prayer and finances in my service in Iran. That first trip to Iran was 45 years ago.
A verse that was meaningful to me then and continues to be is Psalm 32:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you. I saw this as God’s promise to me and indeed He has been my guide especially for these 45 years.
Alongside me all these years are those who supported me in prayers and finances. Your prayers upheld me during the revolution in Iran, relocation to Mindanao, Philippines, my marriage to Brian Lawrence – 38 years ago, kidnapping of Brian, a stillbirth, and later three children, robberies, sickness, disappointments, God’s work in both Maranao lives and in churches started, our relocation to Canada, and a new ministry to Kurds.
Perhaps not so evident, prayers and God’s Spirit have worked in my own heart to continue to convict me of things in my life that don’t please Him. This is a continual process of His teaching me how to really live for Him. I am grateful for His pointing out sins in my life, whether they be attitudes, words, or actions. As in the previously mentioned verse, He is leading and teaching me. Sometimes this has a been a struggle on my part, but when I accepted His work in my life, He brought good results and peace.
These 45 years with Christar could not have happened without my dear husband’s support and so many others touching my life. I am so blessed. Certainly, it does not seem like 45 years have passed.
This year I faced several reminders of years gone by. In Spain for our face-to-face meetings with other leaders of Christar, I was presented with beautiful flowers and prayers. At our North America Affinity Conference, my years of service with Christar were also recognized.
In July, Brian and I made a quick trip to my hometown, to celebrate our 50th anniversary of graduation with my fellow high school classmates. Amazing to us that so many years have passed.
With a very grateful heart for God’s help and leading, and for those who support our ministry and lives – some from the very beginning – Thank you! As Brian and I continue to minister, I look forward to how God will bless and bring many Kurds to know the One who is The Almighty God and The Savior and to worship Him joyfully together.
article by Carol Ann Lawrence, retired BFC missionary