Joyce Strong Ministries


Lukhovitsy, Russia


Touching down in Columbus after a ministry trip overseas is always a thrill!  Why?  Because it is home.  Because Jim is here and our children are again within driving distance.  Because the country is exquisitely beautiful.  Because one can "taste" the freedom that is America immediately.  I'm delighted to be home!

I have been decompressing on long walks with the Lord in nearby Blendon Woods, as I do after every ministry experience and often in between.  Here the tears flow, as each burden is shifted to Jesus.  He alone knows what to do with what I have seen and experienced.  He alone holds their lives in the palms of His hands and will see that His plan for them unfolds.  I simply get to watch from time to time and be their cheerleader.

It is Saturday afternoon, and I'm writing this from a park bench in the woods.  Around me are a million amazing miracles that remind me of what I witnessed in Russia, the country from which I just returned.  The tiny purple and yellow flowers that are pushing their way up between last fall's dead leaves remind me of the energy, persistence and joy of believers who are pressing through to the Light of the World in spite of the deadness that surrounds them.  The shiny, new leaves hanging from the branches of myriad trees--like little umbrellas waiting to spring open at the slightest touch of the sun--remind me of hearts eager for redemption, ready to respond with delight to Jesus.

Regardless of the country, people are hungry for Truth.  They know they are broken.  They know they have lost their souls.  Many have been enticed and misled by clever voices or worn down by mere hopelessness.  Jesus is the answer.

Let's know Him so well that we can't possibly live without radiating His character and sharing what He has done for us--what we know by faith and experience to be true!

I feel an urgency these days to proclaim Him without reservation.  In one way or another, time is surely short, and each of us is under a mandate to make Him known.  As for me, my heart leaps when I read Psalm 71:17-18:

Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

This is why I go.