This past week I joined five storytellers in Rwanda to meet the incredible men and women served by HOPE International and capture stories. The stories are wonderfully encouraging but their lives were a lesson to me. On Tuesday, we drove out with another organization (Aziza Life) to learn from women of the Abumurvava Village, which means “The Courageous People” and experience the typical lifestyle of a woman in the countryside. As we drove out to this village and as I interacted with the women, I couldn’t get Proverbs 31, the famous Hebrews poem, out of my head.
The women begin their day very early and care for their husbands, children, animals, while also cooking, tending to the land, gathering water, and more. We learned how to get water from a spring, peel root vegetable, like cassava, with a knife. We cultivated the soil, cut grass with our hands to feed the cow, and watched as they cut a sisal plant, broke it down into fiber threads, dyed it, and made it into a bracelet. The owner of the home and president of their women’s group, Speciose, said they are very proud of the work they do. They should be!
Whatever your image of the Proverbs 31 woman is, I hope that this will inspire you and give you fresh vision for who and what she can be and do. My prayer for you and me is for a renewed mind—that we would catch a God-vision of what godliness looks like in all its contexts.
“As soon as you open your eyes you thank God for another day.” –Primitive a wife, mother, and a dear woman and new friend living in the Abumurvava Village.
“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.”
“She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.”
“She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household…”
“She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.”
“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.”
“She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
“She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
“Her children rise up and call her blessed…”
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Be on the lookout for more about HOPE and this trip in the coming days. You can check out more brief stories and images and learn more at https://www.hopeinternational.org/tn. Make sure to download the free book Created to Flourish by Peter Greer and Phil Smith.
All pictures were taken by Jessica Steddon.
On November 12, Sacred Endurance will launch into the world and I want you to get a first look! I’m praying this book encourages us all to run the race with endurance fixing our eyes on the One who will sustain us till the end.
There’s a great deal to share so I’m going to get right to it.
If you’d like to know more about the book and what others are saying, check out my book page here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/sacred-endurance/
I’m thrilled to share about the Stories of Sacred Endurance Podcast. Learn more and subscribe here (don’t forget to listen to the trailer!): http://www.trillianewbell.com/stories-sacred-endurance-podcast/
And be on the lookout on the blog for guest posts. I’ve invited friends to share their own stories of endurance or the stories of others. My prayer is that you would be inspired and encouraged as you read each guest post.
You can read an excerpt: https://www.ivpress.com/Media/Default/Downloads/Excerpts-and-Samples/4578-excerpt.pdf
Here’s a sneak peek at the Table of Contents:
- Called to a Race
2. Jesus and the Cloud of Witnesses
3. The Right Motivations
4. The Real Christian Life
5. Enduring and the Mind
6. Enduring in Society and the World
7. The Heart Needed, the Strength Supplied
8. Taking Steps in Practical Disciplines
9. Broken and Contrite
10. Don’t Go It Alone
11. Falling and Getting Up
12. Looking to the Prize
Are you in Nashville on November 8? Join us for the Sacred Endurance event featuring music by Sandra McCracken, a short talk from Jedidiah Coppenger, a panel featuring Dr. Russell Moore, Barnabas Piper, Dorena Williamson and Trillia and other special surprises meant to encourage our faith to run the race set before us.
Learn more and register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacred-endurance-book-launch-tickets-69049096707
You can pre-order where books are sold or find it at these links: IVP, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Barnes&Noble…
God promises to finish the good work he began in us—but that doesn’t come without bumps in the road. Life can be hard, faith can wane, and distractions abound. Too many today are at risk of compromising their integrity or giving up on their faith. How can we persevere to the end? I, a fellow struggler on the journey, offer encouragement and hope for us to run the race well. While life may be full of challenges, we have a true and real hope in Jesus, who provides us with what we need to endure through pain and doubt. Newbell shares theological insights and practical disciplines to train us for faithful, godly living over the long haul. The race is hard, but you are not running it alone. Find strength and courage here to endure and finish well.
In a few short days I’ll be embarking on a journey to Rwanda with five storytellers to meet the incredible men and women served by HOPE International. We’ll be sharing stories and images and would love for you to join us virtually! You can follow along on social media by searching #2019InvestinginDreamsTrip. Learn more about HOPE and the trip via https://bit.ly/2Be6V1H
Many of you have offered to pray for us. I wanted to provide specific ways to pray along with however the Lord prompts you.
How you can pray:
- That we would be protected from any travel hiccups that could detract from our time there—sickness, flight delays, jet lag, etc.
- That our time with families served by HOPE would be mutually encouraging for both us and the Rwandans we meet
- That the things we post and share would resonate with those who see them, inspiring more people to be a part of HOPE’s mission
- That we’d tell stories in a way that is dignifying to those we meet in Rwanda
Thank you for praying for us! Please make sure to join us virtually at #2019InvestinginDreamsTrip and learn more at https://bit.ly/2Be6V1H.
Pic: Bernadette Mukeshimana (pictured) is one of the amazing clients of HOPE our team hopes to meet in Rwanda. Bernadette is part of a group of farmers leveraging loans and training from Urwego Bank, HOPE’s microfinance institution in Rwanda. Together, these rice growers are expanding their farmland, hiring more laborers, and cultivating greater harvests.
I’m excited to share with you about the Stories of Sacred Endurance Podcast. In conjunction with my book Sacred Endurance (releasing November 12) we’ve developed a podcast to take the biblical call to run the race with endurance and bring it to life with stories of modern day Christians.
We’ll hear about a young man who went to prison and was saved, a woman whose life was forever changed after diving into shallow water, the ordinary walk of a pastor and teacher, the story of a man who escaped from the prosperity gospel, and much more.
Join me as we listen and learn from those who are in this race of faith with us. Make sure to subscribe to Stories of Sacred Endurance wherever podcasts are available. But here are some quick links!
More about the book
In the book I share that God promises to finish the good work he began in us—but that doesn’t come without bumps in the road. Life can be hard, faith can wane, and distractions abound. Too many today are at risk of compromising their integrity or giving up on their faith. How can we persevere to the end?
The race is hard, but you are not running it alone. Find strength and courage to endure and finish well in Sacred Endurance. We are excited to offer to podcast listeners 30% off and free shipping! Head over to ivpress.com and use the code SACRED30 for 30% off and free shipping to U.S. residents! Offer valid through the end of March 2020.
Hope you’ll grab the book and can’t wait for you to hear these encouraging stories of sacred endurance.
Last week the ERLC hosted a national conference focused on sexual abuse and assault. The Caring Well conference was attended by over 1500 people. Overwhelming. That’s how I would describe witnessing a sea of laymen and pastors, counselors and caregivers, survivors and others pour into the conference. Emotions were high. There were moments of tears, laughter, and yes, grief. But one theme stood out to me: naming the abuse. Unfortunately, naming the offense can also start a war. Too often victims are shamed, not believed, and belittled.
As this conversation continues to grow in our churches, more sexual abuse survivors will come forward. And you and I will have a choice: Will we take the path of least resistance, or will we care well with our words?
i hope you’ll take a brief moment to listen or read my commentary this week on The World and Everything In It:
Do you believe that you must avenge yourself? Many of us do, whether we use those terms or not. It’s why we react the way we do when we are wronged by others. God calls us to a radical love that includes loving our perceived enemies. We won’t do it perfectly, but by the grace and power of God we can do more good than harm. We can strive to live peaceably with all no matter what the cost and no matter what they’ve done or who they are.
I share more thoughts on forgiveness on today’s The World and Everything In It: https://worldandeverything.org/…/trillia-newbell-the-lord-…/