Meeting Jesus at the Table
In less than two weeks, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States. Traditionally it is a time for families and friends to come together around a meal to offer thanks to the Lord for His abundant provision for the year gone by… and to also look forward to His blessings in the future.
There is nothing I enjoy more than gathering around our table with our kids and grandkids to share a meal together. There is something special about feeding them food they enjoy. It provides a time to connect, to catch up, discuss topics of the day, laugh, and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Are you aware that Jesus spent a good bit of time during His earthly ministry around the table? If you look at just the gospel of Luke, you will find several different accounts of Jesus interacting at the table… for a variety of reasons. Susha Roberts in her article “10 Lessons from the Jesus’ Table” says this: “Jesus often used meals to engage with people and teach important lessons. And He continues to call us to His table to feast on who He is and learn more about Him through His Word. Jesus’ example provides an opportunity to invite friends, outcasts and even enemies to know God’s story of love and salvation.” Access Susha’s article here.
I’m often asked, “What does your staff do as they travel the world, providing care to missionaries and national church leaders?” “How does Barnabas International deliver the ministry of encouragement to those in need?”
One of the main ways that we provide our care is “At the Table”. If you would ask a Barnabas staff member to draw a picture of their ministry… most, if not all, would sketch a picture of people sitting around a table and sharing a meal or a cup of coffee together for the purpose of engaging in deep spiritual conversation. This is not the only way we do ministry, but it is one of the ways that we open the doors to provide quality care.
Let’s think about “time at the table” in your own home... There is much that happens when providing a meal. There is certainly all the food preparation, but the presentation for the meal comes “at the table”. The “setting of the table” becomes a vital part in sharing a meal together. It’s our desire in Barnabas to “set our ministry tables” well, in order to provide space and a place for Jesus to do His work.
One of our staff couples (David and Janet Kronbach) have mastered the art of “Life at the Table”. They are gifted at setting a table for global workers to share their stories, spend time encouraging, or offer training and equipping. They believe that the table is a place where:
We listen to the Lord and to one another
Transformational conversation occurs
Forgiveness, communion, and blessing are given
We are seen, heard, known, and loved
A few months ago, the Kronbach’s moved to France where they are “setting a new table” for life and ministry with global workers. I’d like to share their recent video with you. As you watch this video, you will see many tables that have been set where lives come together to further God’s Kingdom.
David & Janet Kronbach’s new ministry, “At the Table”
I’d like to invite you to pray for our Barnabas workers who, even as I write, are sitting at a table somewhere around the world… ministering to global workers on the front lines and sharing the gospel of Christ. Pray that the conversation shared will be rich with spiritual and emotional impact and that hearts will be refreshed to “keep on keeping on” for the cause of Christ.
Help for Ukraine (Update)
It is heartbreaking to continue to hear the stories of loss, grief, and separation due to the war in Ukraine. This past month Charley Warner (our BI staff member who serves in Ukraine) was able to make an exploratory trip back to Ukraine to connect with friends and dear ministry partners. He was able to travel by train with another missionary and they were able to spend nearly a week to check out their home and consider a potential return date for service. Since then, there has been an escalation of the war, so we continue to monitor the situation together as we seek to find creative ways to respond to the many needs.
On this visit, Charley was asked by a church leader to partner with him to provide pastoral care to the 190 Baptist pastors in the region. The needs are overwhelming, and we will strive to respond to God’s invitation to assist as we are able.
We are grateful to many who have given generously to our “Help for Ukraine” fund. To date we have raised $30,842. It has allowed us to provide help to several Ukrainian families needing assistance. We have used the funds to assist Ukrainian refugees with necessary care and debriefing. We are in the process of working closely with Ukrainian church leaders to provide a spiritual refreshment and renewal retreat for Ukrainian missionaries. Our goal is to raise an additional $10,000 to assist support this opportunity. Lord willing, this retreat will be offered in Poland toward the beginning of the year (dates and location are being discussed/planned.)
Would you join us to provide this vital opportunity to encourage Ukrainian missionaries? You can access our “Help for Ukraine” giving page by clicking this link. Thanks for considering this opportunity to help Ukrainian global workers.
Pictured above - a missionary family from Ukraine that sent to Armenia, the Joseph House, for a week of refreshment, renewal and debrief.
Pictured above - our staff member, Charley Warner, during his recent visit with pastors from the Irpin Bible Church, just outside of Kyiv.
A Word from the Executive Director
Greetings from Southern Wisconsin, where cooler air has arrived along with the beautiful Autumn colors. What a refreshing time of the year!
I’d like to take this opportunity to share an important announcement with you that Sandi and I made known to our Board of Directors and Barnabas Staff at our annual gathering this past Summer.
The Lord has been gracious to us as a couple all throughout our 42-year ministry career… especially during times of transition. After much prayer and discernment, the Lord has led us to communicate with the Board of Directors the need to put into place a succession plan for our leadership within Barnabas International.
At our January 2022 meetings, we shared with the Barnabas Board that I would like to formally retire as Executive Director by the end of 2023. Over the past 10 months the Board of Directors has formed a Search Team which will begin to take formal action to move forward with a succession plan and search for a new Executive Director. Over the course of the next months, I will be working closely with the Search Team and Board of Directors to assist them with the search process, while continuing to provide leadership to the ministry of Barnabas.
Life as a missionary is filled with transition. As we look back over our missionary career, we note several transitions. As a young couple making the decision to move into full-time missionary service and joining Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1980. Becoming part of the Jungle Camp staff in Southwest Texas before making another transition to move to Papua New Guinea in 1984, where we spent 10 years in ministry. In 1994, moving back to the United States to provide leadership assistance to Barnabas International and then in 2008, being asked to lead the organization as the Executive Director. In each transition, we’ve seen God’s faithful hand of provision. We have no doubt that the Lord will guide us through this transition as well.
I’m thankful that Barnabas International is in a healthy place as an organization, and that is due to your faithful partnership with us. I would ask you to be in prayer for the Board of Directors and Search Team as they begin this process. I will keep you updated throughout the months ahead, but if you have any question or would like to talk personally, please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email.
Thank you for your commitment to stand with us in ministry. We are grateful for your partnership with us.