The Doug Schwaderer family are veteran missionaries. Years ago, they served in Mexico reaching the people there for Christ. The Lord then led them back to the States and Doug served in our county jails as chaplain. What a mission field the jail cell is. People have hit rock-bottom, are paying the price for their sin, and in comes someone to tell them that Someone has paid it all for them!
We met the Schwaderer family while Doug was ministering in the prisons. Their family was a integral and wonderful part of our church. When such a family gets called to a foreign mission field, we have mixed emotions. We're thrilled that they are answering God's calling, yet we know we will feel the void they leave in a big way. Such were our feelings when this sweet family was being moved from New York to the Canary Islands.
When I visualize "paradise" I basically envision the Canary Islands. Bright blue skies, beautiful blue oceans, colorful tropical flowers, warm temperatures...perfection!!! Some may think, "wow! I wish we were called there to be missionaries!" However, while the island is beautiful and prospering, the souls are hard. It seems that countries that are poverty-stricken are reaping large harvests while financially "strong" civilizations just don't "need" God.
The Schwaderers recently came back to the States for the first time in four years to see two of their daughters get married. While home for less than 6 months, when they returned one of the 2 churches they had left was no longer meeting. What a heart-break. These missionaries do, indeed, see souls saved. They spend countless hours passing out tracts on the street, going on door-to-door visitation, discipling new converts, and having church meetings. Doug has recently been able to get into the prisons there and continue reaching that group of people God gave him a passion for many years ago. However, with all the hard work & with the successes, the disappointments are often many & deeply felt.
Yet, this family keeps smiling. They keep loving the God Whom they serve. Carolee continues to homeschool the two remaining daughters at home (4 of their children are married & all are missionaries or in the ministry). She, especially, is a wonderful example & testimony of a woman who has been through much and continues to "stay by the stuff."
Carolee often updates her blog, Carolee's Corner - Canary Islands, in which we learn about the trials and joys of life in the Canary Islands. I love that she is REAL. I love that I know how to pray for her and for her family. I love how she quietly supports her energetic husband and loves her Lord. Her most recent post is one that all of us should read and ponder.
Please pray for the Schwaderer family this week. Pray that they will see fruit and maybe a soul will be saved even in the next several days. Pray as they are separated from their children and grandchildren who are, literally, spread out all over the world. Pray for their health and for their unity as a family.
While we're at it, let's pray that we will have loving hearts for those who are lost & hardened towards the things of God. We can learn so much from our missionaries.