Stay With the Baggage

Elena Massa

The reality of our soon approaching departure for a four month stay in India has struck both of us today. My carefully thought out plan was to get through a 5 day visit with dear friends, host Thanksgiving dinner for seven and then start the huge job of packing for our trip which begins next Tuesday. NEXT TUESDAY!! It is definitely time to lock and load.

I must share that at this time my heart is torn about leaving. One of my dearest friends is battling cancer. The doctors are not giving her any hope, and we are trying to face a future without her. I am grateful that only a few short weeks ago she and her husband spent an afternoon with us. None of us knew that it might be the last time we would be together this side of heaven. We spoke to her husband a few days ago. All of us are sad that we live far away right now. All of us wish our trip could be rescheduled.  In his pain and grief he ministered to us when he said, “God is calling you to India and that is where you must go.”

And so next Tuesday morning we will board the first of three planes that will carry us half way around the world to a country that we have grown to love and consider our second home. In the months ahead, I will be posting often to update you on our journey. We are excited that two mission teams will be serving with us – one in December and one in February. We cannot wait to reunite with these wonderful people from Lake Country Bible Church.

We wish more of you could come. We wish ALL of you could come. And you can! There is a special verse in Scripture that has meant a lot to me over the years.  It says in 1 Samuel 25:13, David said to his men, “Each of you gird on his sword.” So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed with the baggage.

This verse speaks to my heart because each of us is commissioned with the Gospel. We are to proclaim it to our friends, family, neighbors and to the ends of the earth. David instructed all his men to put on their swords. We all have been given the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Some of us are to use that sword at home while others are to go to lands far away. Even if you cannot travel to far away mission fields, you can find one right in your own backyard. Every time you leave your home, you enter the mission field. The men who went with David and those who stayed behind where all part of the same mission.

I love the end of the verse – 200 stayed with the baggage. Today I began the daunting job of packing the bags. We have a list for clothing, a list for medicines, a list for electronics, a list for miscellaneous. We have to take special care not to exceed the 50 pound weight limit for check-in suitcases. It would be so much easier to leave the baggage behind!

I’d like to challenge you today to be a part of our trip by picking up the “baggage of prayer” on our behalf.  What a blessing it is to know that there are people who are praying for us. To us it feels like each prayer offered is stored in a piece of luggage that is not subject to weight limits. No matter how heavy, God will carry those prayers and answer in mighty and awesome ways.

So please join us as we begin this journey. Pick up your piece of (prayer) baggage and start packing it with requests for our safety, health, and ministry.