Is Jesus calling you to “take up your mat and walk?”
Judy Griffioen has suffered with an intensive neurological condition (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) for four years. CRPS brought some significant life changes and a truckload of intensive pain into Judy’s life. The neurological pain travels throughout her body, attacking her nerve sheaths and making life a huge challenge. What has got her through this is her deep faith in God. She is also deeply grateful for the team of medical experts God has placed in her life.
One thing Judy loves is running. For her, running is a total release. When she runs, she worships God and finds it is her optimal time of prayer.
In 2009, when we were serving in mission in Thailand, Judy ran a half-marathon in Phuket with her team-mates, Becky and Cynthia. However, in the past years, the nerve pain made it impossible to run. At times, she could barely walk 100 feet without the pain locking in. Even a few short months ago, we had to turn back on short walks.
Not long ago, Judy read the passage of the lame man that Jesus healed at a pool called Bethesda in Jerusalem (John 5:1-9).
- Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (ESV).
What struck Judy were the words: “Do you want to get well?” She said “yes.” Jesus spoke powerfully into her heart to “take up her mat and walk.” With this, she asked her medical team for clearance to start running again. These professionals coached her on how to do this and how to prevent further injury. Even though her pace is very slow, Judy is once again running and worshipping God as she does so. Now Judy has a new goal. She wants to run a half-marathon this summer (in Invermere, BC). As a special “60th” birthday wish, she asked each of our grown children to join her, and they are in! Even some of our grandchildren and supporters plan to join in as well.
The Miracle 21 Campaign Goal
Reaching our campaign goals will help us meet these needs:
- Our Thai partners, John and Ann, will be moving their “Family of Blessing” home to a new location in Chiang Rai next month (April). They have five vulnerable young girls in their care and also provide for several other young ladies. They are all flourishing under John & Ann’s care. At present, not only do they need funds to help make the move, they would love to have musical instruments and provide music lessons for the girls. We also want to bless them with supplies and further training in sewing and other skills (John is taking training in biblical counselling). We want to help see them succeed in school and in life, as they grow in relationship with Jesus.
- Our partners in eastern Myanmar *Steve and *April (names changed for safety) have a home (called Uncountable Grace) with 25 children in it. Some of these children have been rescued from human trafficking and all of them are being kept safe from many other atrocities going on in their country. We wire full funding for this home every month at just over $4,000 per month. That provides for 25 children and three leaders!
- For the first time in 2 1/2 years, GNI leaders Rob & Judy Griffioen are scheduled to travel to Thailand in April. Their aim is to encourage our national partners and engage in deeper ministry development. They also want to spend quality time with Pia, our partner in South-Western Thailand. Trip costs are higher than normal due to COVID restrictions. They plan to be there for two months this time around, with a follow-up trip later this year.With the hope that COVID will no longer prevent them from traveling, they are anticipating great new things for the future. To learn more about Rob & Judy, click here: https://gniministries.ca/people/rob-griffioen/
What about you? Is Jesus challenging you to, in some way, shape or form, to take up your own personal mat? Here are some ideas:
- You could challenge yourself to memorize a section of Scripture that you’ve always wanted to hide in your heart.
- You could challenge yourself to do a “Daniel’s fast” or abstain from foods that aren’t good for you for several months or a full year.
- You could challenge yourself to a physical goal, like doing a race, or just doing those exercises you’ve wanted to be faithful at.