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Colonels Kelly and Donna Igleheart | What Are the Risks?

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
August 8, 2021 1:08 am

Colonels Kelly and Donna Igleheart | What Are the Risks?

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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August 8, 2021 1:08 am

As we near the end of our series on missions, we are joined by Colonels Kelly and Donna Igleheart. A question every missionary needs to ask at some point is, “What are the risks?” God did not call us to safety but to be His hands and feet all over the world. How do we weigh the risks and reward?

 

Series: SENT

https://salvationarmysoundcast.org/wordsoflife

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Hi, I'm Megan Hoffer, and I want to invite you to check out another show brought to you by the Salvation Army. Heartbeat is a one-minute show about real life. Heartbeat touches on topics ranging from finances and prayer to dating and mental health.

If money is important to God, then it should be important to us. Recently, I began feeling like my life was on autopilot. The alarm goes off. Get ready for work.

Battle the morning commute. If you are looking for a short message of hope to challenge you and brighten up your day, subscribe to Heartbeat wherever you get your podcasts or visit salvationarmysoundcast.org. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum, and I'm in the studio today with Carol Seiler.

And I'm Bernie Dake. Welcome, y'all. This is our final episode of our series on missions, and we wanted to wrap this series with an obvious question that everyone in mission work needs to address at some point. What are the risks? As missionaries, we know that the communities we enter are often far different from our own. And in many cases, some of these communities may even be dangerous.

When we think about these risks, we usually think about our own personal safety. But our guests today remind us that there are risks to not going. And for this conversation, Carol was joined by Colonels Kelly and Donna Iglehart, who are currently serving as chief secretaries in the USA Western territory. And for this episode, they're going to be discussing their time in South Africa. So let's, to start off, we just want to welcome you, Colonels Kelly and Donna Iglehart. We thank you so much for being here with us today. Just tell us a little bit about yourselves and what brings you to where you are right now. Well, Kelly and Donna Iglehart, we're delighted to be on the show today.

Thank you for the invitation. We were commissioned 29 years ago. We've been officers for several years now, 10 years at core appointments in the Southern Territory, followed by a succession of headquarters appointments. Most recently, we just returned from the Southern Africa Territory, where Donna and I served there for five years. And my role as chief secretary and Donna's role as territory secretary for women's ministries. And then in July of 2020, we arrived in the Western Territory, where we've taken up similar roles here. And we just love being near home. A lot closer than you were when you were in South Africa.

A lot closer, yes. Well, one of the questions that I'd like to ask you is, what emotions did you have when you first learned that you would be serving in the Salvation Army so far away from home? Well, the first, I guess that initial emotion is surprise and excitement and many things start to go through your mind. For us, it was, I think the Lord had been preparing our hearts, even though we had never, as you say, raised our hands to say, yes, we want to do this.

But I believe the Lord had, through the years of serving as territory youth leaders, setting up mission trips, visiting different mission teams throughout the world, the Lord was planting those seeds then. And so initially, there was a lot of excitement. And then you begin to really process what this means for leaving family. But we are just so thrilled at how the Lord just worked out all of those mixed emotions, really. And we look back on that day, that initial day, when we were really asked, is there any reason why you couldn't serve overseas?

And immediately, we looked at each other and said, there is no reason that we could not. So you served in many other places, and each time you left one community and entered a new community, and you had to leave behind what you had started somewhere and then enter a new place. And with each place, there's some things that you had to learn. But specifically, with your service overseas, what are some ways that you found you could enter that new appointment, that new location, that new community with grace and peace?

That's a very good question. And you know, in many ways, anytime a Salvation Army officer moves from one appointment to another, you change culture. It may be from one state to another, or even from one type of appointment to another, and so changing cultures as an officer is a skill that you'll need over and over again.

But of course, changing to a different country does require a little bit of a different tact, a different approach to that. And for us, I think really it was about practicing Ephesians chapter 4, being humble, and the best way really we found was just to go in and to listen and join a team that's already there. And to allow the Lord, the Holy Spirit, to speak through those voices, and for us to respond humbly and to determine that we're there to learn as well.

Our responsibility was not to take Jesus there because He was already there. I think as well, we did what we could on our part, early onboarding, even before arriving in South Africa, because we did have a few months waiting on our visas. To read what we could, to watch movies about the apartheid, about Nelson Mandela, to read stories about missionaries who had served in Africa, and to try the best way that we could. We knew that it wouldn't be like actually being there, but we did our homework.

We tried to educate ourselves as much as we could, and really a lot of time spent on our knees. A lot of time asking the Lord to prepare and soften our hearts and to give us already a deep love for people and a country that would soon become family. And I would say to you that we really mourned to leaving before arriving because we just knew that the Lord had a beautiful journey waiting for us. When you accepted your call to serve as missionaries, there might have been some fears and some uncertainties. What kind of risks do you think people have to consider if they feel that they're called to the mission field? And how would they prepare themselves for that? That's a great question, and the word risk really is a wide definition, I suppose, of that. The risk of not going would be a terrible thing to have to realize.

The privilege that Don and I had to go and serve was beautiful. But when you think of risk, maybe we think of personal safety as one example. And to be truthful, much of Johannesburg and South Africa, there are people who are economically living in depression, whose opportunities aren't there, perhaps like they are here in the U.S., where the unemployment rate for young people will exceed 70 percent. And so when you have those kind of conditions, people have to make difficult decisions to feed their family, to do things that perhaps others wouldn't have to consider. And so we lived and worked in those type of communities. And by the grace of God, we were kept safe for almost five years, the whole time that we were there. But I will say that many people that we served alongside of did end up sometimes being attacked. Having things taken from them, cell phones and cars and things that could be replaced.

At other times, there were people who were held at gunpoint and threatened. And so there are certain risks that one must consider, but those risks and the reward, well, certainly the reward goes well beyond the risk. And so the risk for me would have been not going. And the reward, well, we saw it firsthand. And we trust that whatever we were able to accomplish there will add value to the kingdom of God.

I'm not sure if you have anything to say. Yes, Carol, I remember being at a youth event right before we left. And that question was asked of me on a stage and four or five hundred youth workers in front of me. And I just really leaned into the Lord. I knew at that point whatever my answer would be somewhat significant to the listeners.

And so the Lord just, I felt like He was just giving me these words that my calling, my covenant outweighs the fear of the unknown. And that is the truth. And that became more of a reality. It wasn't always easy.

You know, it's a paradox. There were the best of days and there were some very hard days. But looking back on it now, you know, you just wouldn't, I can't imagine our journey and life and our marriage and our family without the southern Africa territory, the people.

It's always for us. It has to be about the people. And we, you know, that whole theme of no regrets. We wanted to embrace the culture. We wanted to embrace our surroundings. But more than anything, we wanted to embrace the people. We are changed.

We are no longer the same Kelly and Donna who left in 2015. And so I believe there's any time that you say yes, even though you don't know what it's going to look like at that moment, you just trust. You trust and you go one step, one foot in front of the other and you get there and you just take one day at a time.

And he has proven faithful over and over each and every day. If you could speak to someone right now who is preparing to leave their culture where they feel safe and go into a place that might be more dangerous or that they might anticipate being more dangerous, what would you say to them? What words would you speak into them and over them right now? Well, I would just first say the first two letters of the word gospel is go and two-thirds of the word God is go. And so we are going and sending people. Certainly the Lord never called us to safety. You think of the life of Christ and the life of those early disciples. They were called and they were faithful and they went into places that were not safe. But you know, I think for me it's in those valleys of the shadow. It's in those places that I sense God even closer than the places of safety. And the Lord will also protect you. His holy angels, I have no doubt were busy with us the whole time that we were away. But I would just suggest and urge anyone who's considering or feels that the Lord may be calling you into service outside of your culture or even outside of your country that you go, that you never second guess.

And I believe that you'll always sense in your heart that it was the right decision. I'd like to thank you, Col. Kelly and Donna Iglehart, for joining us today. We appreciate your perspective and the rich experience that you have shared with us today.

Thank you. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-17 01:36:13 / 2023-09-17 01:41:22 / 5

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