He Leads Me Beside the Still Waters
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Saviour”
"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong UNITED
A Story of God’s Leading
During our last term of service we gradually became aware of God leading us to hand over the ministries to which we were assigned to our partners. The Theological School is now in the capable hands of the leaders of the Mexican Baptist Convention in Baja Sur. Crossroads is now in the capable hands of the church’s Leadership Team. While we continue to have minor supporting and encouraging roles in these ministries, offering guidance as necessary, we knew it was time to let go. As this was happening, we began to ask the question, “OK God, what’s next?”
It took some time but emerging out of the ministries of Crossroads and the Theological School we began to see that for several years God had been preparing us for a new thing. More frequently we were being invited to offer spiritual guidance and formation, and to mentor young people. We were hearing stories of spiritual dryness, but at the same time a deep hunger for God. People and leaders around us were telling us they were hungering and thirsting for more, and so were we!
Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from him.”
Thirsty to be in and of that flowing stream, we began to investigate how to meet this need within ourselves, and how to guide others. Sensing God’s leading, we looked into programs that teach spiritual direction and formation so we could apply them to our own lives and our immediate context.
In January of 2014 our Area Director Jose Norat came to La Paz to meet with us and our partners. We shared what God had been revealing, and that we had looked into some programs on spiritual direction and formation. We wanted to ask permission to enter a program and possibly extend our US assignment a few months. Jose was very excited about this movement! He shared that he has desired to offer this ministry to the Partners of International Ministries in Latin America. He had seen the same need on a much larger scale! We realized it was “holy ground,” that God had spoken, and was calling. We were humbled. A new vision was set into motion.
A New Ministry
In May 2014, we received a new assignment. We are now IM Regional Missionaries to Iberoamerica and the Caribbean for the Ministry of Spiritual and Vocational Renewal. We are being called to lead pastors, theological students, and churches in Latin America and the Caribbean, using our training as spiritual directors, to deep spiritual renewal.
In this new role we will be living in Latin America and engaging national pastors and leaders with training in the classic Christian disciplines of spiritual direction, personal renewal, and vocational calling. We will be offering workshops and retreats as well as spiritual direction aimed at helping our brothers and sisters in the processes of discerning God’s presence, movement, and the call of the Spirit. The aim is that these leaders might grow a new and deeper sense of clarity, passion, and vision. We will be mentoring emerging leaders who sense a calling to serve as pastors and missionaries. We will develop a framework of classes on Spiritual Formation for theological schools, and train national leaders how to teach it, too.
A New Vision
This new vision comes out of our own journey with spiritual dryness and hunger, and we are finding, there’s a lot of that going around! We have become a people who spend most of our time focused on the outward activities of our lives and faith, instead of the interior movements of the Spirit. We tend to be in constant motion. Those choices come at a cost. Our souls are wrung out, dried up, not just by the constant motion, but by the lack of stillness. This situation is epidemic, and is true for our brothers and sisters in Latin America.
Psalm 46 “Be still and know that I am God”
Isaiah 30 “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”
Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
Matthew 22 All the commandments are summed up in this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself”
We have been invited to become missionaries of Renewal, Restoration, and Re-discovering not only who we are in Christ, but our abiding strength in Christ. It is a ground-breaking work for American Baptist International Ministries. We strongly sense that God is leading the way and we are obediently following. We can’t wait to share the stories of transformed lives and faith through renewed minds! We invite you to join us in this new vision and Kingdom mission.
Your Servants in Christ,
David and Joyce Reed
7013 McCallum St., Apt A
Philadelphia, PA 19119