Darrel and Gail Voth

Directors of Mobilization, Beautiful Feet Missionary Training and Sending, Choctaw, Oklahoma


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Why we’re doing what we’re doing

Before you read my post, read this from desiringGod to set the framework for my response below.

All of creation groans for healing. Why does God wait?

We think we’re waiting on God, but could it be that He is waiting on us? He has asked us to join Him in His work of reconciliation and awaits our response.

The Spirit of God is present and active in all the world, but where is His flesh?

Some 3,000+ people groups continue in their groaning, groping along in the dark, searching for something they can’t see, desperate for light.

Oh, church, we are His flesh! We are their light!

I used to mistakenly think that God’s will for my life was that I would be a good person, that I would be responsible and do well for myself and my family.

Then I learned that God’s will is about His glory being revealed to the fullest—that He would be known by His creatures. It’s in knowing and experiencing God that we are fulfilled. It’s when He is known and followed that our lives take the shape for which they are intended.

That’s what the kingdom is about, like yeast being pushed through the entire lump of dough evenly, changing its character, making it desirable, enabling it to become that for which it’s purposed.

Gail and I are happily walking away from our former plans in order to submit to God’s purposes, eager to be used in the work of kneading the kingdom into every people group on the planet.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done! …in all the earth and in my life and yours. Lord, let us hold nothing back from you; renew us, revive us, send us out!

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Feb16 workday

It was a cold day, but 11 different people graciously—happily even—worked on various projects around our house to help us get ready to move.

house

Some showed up at 9:15 when it was 16 degrees and some didn’t leave until it was dark. It was a good day.

Jason happily volunteered to use the tallest ladder to help scrape.

Jason happily volunteered to use the tallest ladder to help scrape.

Eric putting his carpentry skills to good use

Always willing to jump in wherever he's needed.

Jim, always willing to jump in wherever he’s needed.

Proof that Tina actually does have a halo.

Proof that Tina actually does have a halo.

Cold, but smiling.

Cold, but smiling Drew.

In addition to scraping, Katelyn made friends with Jude, who was sick and watching from the windows.

I love seeing my kids work, especially together.

I love seeing my kids work, especially together.

Dirt was moved, paint was scraped, posts were built, glass was replaced, the swingset was fixed and chili was eaten.

Thank you so much, friends and family for physically joining us in the labor of this endeavor!


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“Turn around and believe the gospel.”

These were the words spoken to me as I received the ashes on my forehead today.

It says a lot more than it may seem on the surface, speaking to the partnership of my life with the outworking of the gospel.

My deepest beliefs are displayed in my life. And so, I must turn. The gospel is the loving expression of the supremely sovereign King. If belief in the way of Christ would truly grip my most secret places, the gospel would characterize my life. And so, I must turn.

I find a great deal of comfort and motivation in the tension I find in scripture as it demonstrates not only what I am in my humanity but also who I am in Christ.

I need to learn to live fully dependent on the work of the Spirit within me to bring about the good purpose to which we have all been called:

“I assure you: The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (from Jn14, Ac1, Mt28)

Today especially, I’m reminded what Jesus said in Matthew 5:
“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs; He blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.”

The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;

to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;

to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.

And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord to glorify Him.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
they will restore the former devastations;
they will renew the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations. (from Is61)

Therefore,
since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in God’s sight by an open display of the truth.

But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.

We are pressured in every way but not crushed;
we are perplexed but not in despair;
we are persecuted but not abandoned;
we are struck down but not destroyed.

We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. (from 2Cor4)

Turn around and believe the gospel.


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Everybody needed a break

Friday, it was time to just spend a little time enjoying being together. Gail and the kids are together a lot. Which means it’s not always very enjoyable… it was time to interrupt the regular busy-ness of life with something out of the ordinary.

And it doesn’t always have to be big or cost money (we’re going to have to get good at coming up with things to do together that don’t cost money!)

So we decided to make personal pizzas and ice cream sundaes. Everybody gets what they want, but we all do it together. And it was nice – a collective deep breath so we can keep going.

Noah's pizza

Noah’s being goofy, but he took his pizza-building seriously; it was all planned out and layered carefully.

Lily's pizza

Lily knows what she likes and she just does it. That’s how she rolls. Now, let’s eat already!

Jude's pizza

Jude thinks he knows how to do everything already and gets frustrated when things don’t turn out. Pizza is a pretty safe way to experiment. He tended to just tower everything in the center of the pie, because that’s what he knows. He started getting frustrated when everything wouldn’t fit, so I encouraged him to try spreading things out a little to see if that worked any better. He was pretty proud of what he made. And true to character, used all of the ingredients at hand!

So we sat in the living room with our pizzas and watched a documentary on India and then made ice cream sundaes before bed. 

It wasn’t anything big, but it was important.

A couple nights earlier, Noah facilitated a date night for Gail and I by taking care of things at home with Lily and Jude. He made dinner, cleaned up and made sure everyone was ready for bed when we got home. What a guy. Our son blesses us.

And even more: today, completely uncoordinated by us or our friends, everyone has something to do. Gail and some friends are out celebrating a coming adoption trip for a soon-to-be former orphan who will be come into his family soon. Noah had a friend pick him up to go play laser tag and a friend of Lily just called for no good reason to come to their house for dinner. My brother showed up today and removed a stump from behind my garage while I went out and bought supplies for our first work day in a couple weeks. And my parents just showed up and said hi. I’ve got plans later this evening with friends and I think I’ll take Jude out for dinner, just the two of us, so he knows he’s special too (because sometimes he forgets).

It’s easy to see the huge challenges all around us every day, but God is blessing us at every turn. Things aren’t easy, but God is good and these breaks and blessings will help sustain us as we travel this path God is blazing ahead of us.

Thanks.