Monday, December 2, 2013

Kunkel family in Paraguay and Japan

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:36-39

Are we – all of us – up to the challenge to do what is required of us as believers in Christ?  This isn’t your average give-a-few-bucks-on-Sunday morning, pray-every-now-and-then kind of challenge. This is giving your everything so people can know the love of Jesus.  It may seem like a lot of absolutes — “all,” “everything,” “whatever it takes.” But that’s what being totally His requires: constantly going deeper and pouring ourselves out to be His heart, hands and voice — individually, as a church, as Southern Baptists working cooperatively to reach all the nations.

This week is the International Mission Board week of prayer for international missionaries.  Read these stories each day and open your heart to these missionaries.  Pray for them and their families as they are accepting the challenge to do whatever it takes to take the Gospel of Christ to the world.

Kunkel family in Paraguay and Japan
When 24-year-old Steven Kunkel became a volunteer missionary to Japan, his mother gave him a jigsaw puzzle piece.

“God’s still putting the puzzle of your life together,” she said.
For Tim and Iracema Kunkel, the “puzzle” surrounding their son, Steven, began almost 20 years ago when doctors diagnosed him with autism, a developmental brain disorder. The Kunkels were new missionaries to Uruguay.

“Let’s just pack up and go home,” Tim recalls thinking.
But the Kunkels stayed, serving God with their three children. Because Uruguay offered few services for autistic people, Iracema studied special education so she could teach Steven herself. Soon, God opened doors for sharing the Gospel with Uruguayan families affected by autism.

Meanwhile, Steven made amazing progress. He accepted Christ and, at age 15, felt called to Japan. Later, the Kunkels transferred to Paraguay, where many Japanese immigrants live.
“A lot of what God’s had us doing on the missions field ... [wasn’t] so much about us as missionaries,” says Iracema, a native Brazilian. “It was about Steven. God was [putting the] puzzle pieces in place ... so this autistic child could grow up to be a missionary.”

Pray many lost people in Japan will accept Christ through Steven’s testimony.  Ask God to lead Tim and Iracema to key Paraguayan believers to train and mobilize for missions.

Scripture to Claim:
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.   Mark 16:15   

Devotional Archive