The Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission
All of the Law and the Prophets hang on two commandments:
All authority in all of heaven and earth has been given to Jesus, therefore:
- Go and make disciples of all nations
It is easy to get swept up into all the richness of these three “greats.” The first and second greatest commandments and the Great Commission are clear and direct guidelines for every believer. They offer a filter for Scripture study, ministry, and the many issues of the Christian life. The three “greats” offer so much direction in how to love well. They are the guiding principles for Battlefield’s international efforts in missionary care.
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In the midst of all these Greats everyone gets loved. God, our neighbors, the nations, and the reader are all loved. It is incredible how often this gets missed by the reader. Typically, when we read about serving others we see everyone in the equation … except ourselves. The principles of servant leadership and sacrifice can, and often do, blind us to the balance of taking care of ourselves in the midst of serving. The two little words “as yourself” from the second greatest commandment blow right past us. Whether we feel we are unworthy, selfish for wanting love, or we simply don’t want to wait until we are “well enough” we often try to love others without loving ourselves. After all, we are supposed to “die to self,” right?
It is true that part of us, the sinful flesh, must die. It is also true that there is a part of us God wants very much alive. This is the part of us God loved so much He came to die so it might live … abundantly! Our desire to die to self is so strong we have a very hard time accepting the concept of loving ourselves. We even tone down the language to “taking care of ourselves” because love feels like too much. Missionaries, along with pastors, parents, etc., often fall into this trap. This dynamic is why the most common condition Battlefield finds these folks in is empty, depleted, and exhausted. We all need to be reminded … often … that God loves us.
You are loved!
This is how God works. He is the source of the love we love with in the first place. If you need more evidence about where you fit in with God’s plan to love the world, take a look at the precursor to the Greats. The Abrahamic Covenant lays out God’s plan for sharing His love with the world and He shows us His pattern for doing so. God tells Abram to go from his homeland to a place He will show him. In a nutshell, God promises:
- I will bless you.
- I will bless others who bless you.
- Through you I will bless all the nations.
In God’s plan everyone gets blessed. He chooses to do so through us and He knows we can’t offer to others what we don’t have. In order for the body of Christ to thrive for the Lord’s name and His renown we need the love and blessings of God.
Battlefield International-Did You Know?
Battlefield offers sustainability to those already in place on the mission field around the world by traveling abroad to conduct retreats, counseling, and intensives. These experiences allow missionaries from multiple sending organizations representing diversified ministry efforts and geographies the opportunity to — Retreat. Refresh. Refuel. Many arrive at the event empty and exhausted but leave feeling refreshed, filled, and energized to continue their life-giving and life-changing work. Not only do they receive needed recharge, but they return to their mission areas sharing with others what they have learned.
Battlefield Ministries’ heart for the body of Christ to thrive has led to ministry opportunities with missionaries around the globe that have yielded more than we ever could have imagined. While we know the financial, physical, and spiritual well-being is important, we believe that the relational, emotional, and mental well-being of the missionary is vital to the sustainability of their ministry. We focus on sustaining the mission by helping the missionary thrive in these areas.
ONE HOST SITE SERVES ITS SURROUNDING COUNTRIES. WHEN WE SERVE ONE – WE SERVE MANY.
Celebrate What God is Doing
Over the years, there have been many new team members added to our team. We are excited to share news about our team with our supporters.
JON SULLIVAN, PHD
The Battlefield team met Jon Sullivan and his wife, Angie, while doing a marriage event in Thailand. Seeing the ministry they were doing, Battlefield formed a connection with them. After returning to the States, Jon joined the Battlefield team of counselors. He has been offering counseling primarily in our Cartersville location since August of last year. Specializing in couples in crisis, trauma resolution therapy, and men with sexual addiction, Jon is a valuable addition to our team.
Read more about Jon Sullivan
Jon received his masters degree in Human Services: Marriage & Family Counseling from Liberty University, hoping to work with men and couples with various issues such as anxiety, depression, communication, sexual addiction, and spiritual matters. Jon and Angie founded Global Relief Association for Crises & Emergencies, Inc. (GRACE) to foster social change through strengthening families and eradicating the vulnerabilities of human trafficking and exploitation. After raising a son and a daughter, they moved to Thailand, an area well-known for prostitution and sex-trafficking. While in Thailand Jon continued to pursue further education, graduating with a Ph.D. in Human Services: Disaster, Crisis & Intervention in July of 2017. Part of his work overseas was offering counseling to people impacted by poverty and sex trafficking.
In July of 2019, when the Sullivans returned to the US, Jon was excited about the opportunity to be able to join the ministry work here at Battlefield. Jon believes in the trust and confidentiality of the counselor/client relationship. In keeping with the Battlefield philosophy of counseling, Jon is committed to being clinically sound, spiritually minded, and gifting oriented. This means Jon is centered upon helping clients come to the point of exercising their spiritual gifting in a way that honors the Lord. He helps couples develop communication skills that will strengthen their marriage. Jon also helps individuals with anxiety and depression. Possessing a strong background in ministry, Jon is able to relate to the needs and struggles of pastors and leaders in ministry. We are thankful to have Jon on our team and support his desire to serve Christ and His bride through both of these God-ordained branches of ministry, GRACE and Battlefield.
Pray for the Challenges at Battlefield
As with many other international ministry efforts, we have paused our international work because of COVID. In the spring of 2020, Battlefield had a team of nine coming from three different countries slated to go to Poland. Plans were made, tickets were purchased, lodgings were booked for a marriage retreat, a singles retreat, and a women’s event. This trip which would have benefited three different ministry organizations was postponed.
Read more about our challenges
Many of our team members had to postpone or cancel other overseas trips. Tim Carroll and his wife, Jennifer postponed a trip for the Elizabeth Project, an organization seeking to provide maternal and child educational programs; empowering mothers with evidence-based information, skills and support, while advocating for dignity, compassion and best care practice healthcare. Jon and Angie Sullivan postponed a trip to Thailand with GRACE. Although much of this vital ministry can be done remotely, these trips are important to maintaining connection with the ministry efforts.
We trust the Lord will enable us to do international ministry in the future, but we don’t know what it will look like. We are unsure what limitations may be incurred in 2021.
Pray that those we partner with overseas will be sustained, protected, and blessed as they carry out significant ministry assignments. The stress of normal mission work has been compounded by travel restrictions and lack of access to the best healthcare facilities.
Please join us in praying that those who have experienced the value of attending to themselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually will continue to do so. Pray that as we navigate unexpected physical and financial barriers, as well as travel restraints incurred due to COVID-19, God will grant safe travel. We continue lifting our concerns for those at home and abroad whose living conditions may pose more threat to their health than usual.
Read About the Changes in the Office
MORIAH PENDER, COUNSELOR
Bidding farewell to both Ashlyn Burns and Dana Sutton created quite a few gaps in Battlefield Ministries’ ability to serve the community well. If God didn’t send someone soon we would be staring down the dreaded waiting list. A waiting list for a counseling office is a lot like waiting in a long line at the emergency room, so we were incredibly thankful when God brought Moriah Pender to our door. Moriah is definitely someone you would appreciate having with you in the emergency room. She is focused and caring enough to attend to your wounds and energetic enough to make stuff happen!
Read more about Moriah Pender
Moriah completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Lee University before attending Richmont Graduate University where she earned her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health. Moriah views every client holistically, meaning that a person is made up of an integration of the mind, body, and spirit. She has experience counseling children, adolescents, couples, families, women of various ages with concerns such as: anxiety, depression, divorce, grief, emotional disorders and adjustment issues. Moriah serves alongside her husband in their youth and college groups and is as comfortable in those environments as she is the counseling office.
Because of Moriah’s love for and devotion to her family back home in North Carolina, it took a pretty clear word from the Lord to get her to leave. We are very thankful she did! We hope she finds Battlefield Ministries to be a place where she can “put legs on” her desire to help families develop deeper connection as they live out life together.
Allow Us to Inform Your Prayers
Please continue to pray with us for the LORD to continue to sustain Battlefield Ministries. We are continuing to trust the LORD to provide:
- Those we partner with overseas to be sustained, protected and blessed as they carry out the work of the Lord.
- Physical and financial barriers we may encounter to be removed once we begin traveling abroad again.
- Us to be able to maintain relationships remotely with ministry partners overseas.
Join Our Community of Supporters
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”