Family Fun!

This week Phil and I are looking at our post as missionaries in a new context.  We know we were sent here to be groomed, educated, and prepared as missionary aviators.  We have mentioned in past blogs the way the Lord is stretching and growing us personally as well as “professionally”.  We know that the lessons in the cockpit, the mechanic shop, the home and the heart are all a part of the Lord’s good process in preparing us for what we hope is to be our life’s work.

Checking the Compression on the Cylinders of a Cessna 210

This week, we are feeling a particular burden for our neighbors.  We are surrounded on all sides by people in great pain, anger, and distress.  From intense marital conflict (the kind of stuff that’s scary to listen to), to severe mental illness, to the worship of false gods, we are engulfed in a community of need.  I confess that I have been overwhelmed by the “scariness” of our neighbors.  When I invited the muslim woman downstairs and to the left to tea she said, “no” and when I tried to greet their daughter, her husband silenced me as though I were a child speaking out of turn.

Many days I hear the woman with mental illness in the apartment beneath us cursing at her dog and telling people where to go in no uncertain terms.  The neighbors to our left share a wall with the room which will soon be occupied by our son.  From within his room we can hear the husband verbally assault his wife in ways that leave us feeling tragically hopeless.  And yet, it is our prayer that God would use us, somehow, someway to be a light in this dark little apartment complex.  We want to be true missionaries of the gospel of peace right here and now.  “But Lord, the darkness feels too heavy and the sadness feels too sad. How might you use us so that the story of redemption might begin in these precious lives?” I ask in prayer.

Concurrently, I am going through a Beth Moore study with a pastor’s wife and friend.  This week I read a chapter on prayer and I was reminded of the dangerous, lethal, sacred, and holy power we have in prayer.  It is for this reason that the enemy seeks to make us busy, well intentioned, but prayerless people.  Beth Moore describes how many of us will serve and serve and serve yet grow weary and apathetic because our prayer life is not what it needs to be.  Beth Moore describes substantive prayer as “original thoughts flowing from a highly individual heart, personal and intimate.” And she charges us, “Prayer matters. The Spirit of God released through our prayers and the prayers of others turns cowards into conquerors, chaos into calm, cries into comfort.”

Perhaps you’ve read and heard dozens upon dozens of sermons on the power of prayer.  The question we must all ask ourselves in humility and truthfulness is, “How much am I praying for lost and hurting people?”  It is before this mirror of assessment that we can truly grow as effective missionaries in our own communities.

If you keep a list of things to pray for please pray the following three things for the Vana family: First, that we would be a family faithful in prayer for lost people around us.  Second, that we would see the Spirit of God move in the lives of our neighbors and that we would have the courage to be a part of the process. Finally, that we would be supernaturally protected from the spiritual darkness surrounding us.  The biggest ways we feel spiritually attacked right now are in the way of sleeplessness, sickness, and relational tension.  We know that victory is in Christ and that it comes through the prayers of friends just like you.  We are grateful.

With Thanks,


Mountain of Cannoli's for Phil's Birthday!

6 thoughts on “Context…

  1. My dear sister,

    God has placed a burden to pray for your family upon my heart. When I knew nothing else, not the written word or His character or anything about church, fellowship etc ….. before I even knew that what I was doing was called prayer, I knew there was something powerful in.

    1. Speaking out loud, what was upon my heart.
      The deepest needs, hurts, longings. I always ran to Him for comfort, shelter, protection ….before I was really even sure who “He” was. I believe my prayer life was central to overcoming intense spiritual oppression and warfare. All the things you spoke of in your apartment complex, I grew up with, to the most severe extent. If it weren’t for the intimate connection I had to our Lord, through Prayer, I don’t know that I could have navigated the darkness and be walking on victory today. Jesus alone saves…but out prayers are powerful in tearing down all kinds of strongholds.
      I will be praying daily for your family and for those neighbors around you

      Lord bless and kept you,

  2. Boy do Lesley and I remember those days. The places we used to live…. cockroaches, domestic violence, loud trucks on the highway right outside our window. We can totally relate to what you are feeling.

    I love how you see that we can-indeed we must- be missionaries in our own neighborhoods, apartment complexes, grocery stores, etc. and not just when we go overseas.

    We will stand with you.

    Mark & Lesley
    (and Dylan and Ryan)

  3. Just llike God to speak through you as a confirmation of a conversation Ross and I just had minutes ago about our prayers! Prayer is so powerful yet so often we fail to use that power or to pray after we have exhausted ourselves. We will be praying for you and with you!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing real life…. I will hold up to God these thoughts and needs in your livies and in your surroundings. I too am praying for my neighbors…one who is self sufficient and lives alone; the other who is Hindu.and also lives alone.. at least they are quiet and respectful. We have quite a few muslims who work for my company. There is such a fear imbred in their minds and it’s so intertwined with all their living. Have had a few chances to share my faith with one of them. But, as you have shared, prayer is our powerful reponsibility and privilege to make THE difference.

  5. We have experienced living among this same kind of darkness and spiritual warfare. Now being on the other side of it, I can say with every fiber of my being that I trust that God is in control, more than ever. We are praying for all of you. The same God that was in the fiery furnace, the lion’s den, that brought the Israelites out of captivity over and over again. The God that entered the womb of a young virgin and came to dwell with us is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. HE IS WITH YOU ALL. He sees every move you make and others make around you. His love is perfect and Perfect Love casts out ALL fear. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and ALL THINGS are held together by Him. He is Faithful. We are praying for your protection, strength, peace, and courage. Light always dispells the darkness. May He shine in and through you to the darkness around you. We love you.

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