The Apostle Paul’s practical summary and conclusion to the glorious chapter on the resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 15 calls us to work hard and endure.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

A gritty, down-to-earth, and real-world conclusion, this “therefore” gets to the heart of our pilgrimage in this broken and fallen world. The proven resurrection of Jesus—glorious! The one-day return of Jesus—amazing! The long-term result of walking with Jesus—weariness!

Now weariness is certainly not the only, or most important, outcome of this journey. We anticipate, pray, and join God in work towards our transformation into Jesus’ likeness, the producing of the fruit of the Spirit, and in the advancement of His kingdom.

Yet, this endurance of the weariness which can result from our giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord certainly seems a part of the equation.

The word “labor” in the last part of this verse is used 19 times in the New Testament, not so much to highlight the actual work and exertion one does while here on earth, but rather the weariness which one experiences from that work and exertion.

It is this labor, toil, and fatigue which Paul says “is not in vain.” Why not? Because of the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of His return, we can “stand firm,” “let nothing move [us],” and “always give [ourselves] fully to the work of the Lord.”

Your work for Jesus matters, friends. Your weariness in this journey and battle is not only normal and to be expected, it is a holy endurance because it will be worth it in the end.

I’m clinging to this promise today. As we slowly emerge from the challenge and struggle of this pandemic year, and as we again live the “therefore” of our recent Easter celebrations, may we all continue to fully give ourselves to Jesus and His work.

This is my prayer for you, for our Cadence staff, and for military believers around the world.

David Schroeder

Cadence-Style Ministry

Cadence-Style Ministry

Cadence has a program called Cadence Associates Field Staff (CAFS) where active-duty military serve as part-time staff and create a Cadence-style ministry at their current duty station. Eric and Rachel Vaught serve in this capacity with Cadence. Eric is a Navy doctor, and Rachel homeschools their sons. They are providing wonderful ministry to Navy personnel and their families, I am excited for you to read their story.

“When we arrived in Italy three years ago, we joined Cadence International as Cadence Associates with the intended goal of starting a Cadence Hospitality Ministry in Naples, Italy. It had been many years since Cadence last had a presence in this Navy community. We partnered with the base chaplains in support of the services on Sunday mornings and their outreach to the community throughout the week. 

Rachel led the Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) for two years, we hosted a weekly Bible study in our home, and we supported other ministries on the base for singles and men’s groups. To the glory of God, we have been able to make small steps toward that goal as we left a thriving base chapel community with strong relationships across the various ministries. 

We have now moved just north of Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island. Eric is transitioning to the Navy Reserves and starting a new job leading a community health center in Fall River, Massachusetts. Cadence does not currently have a presence on or near the Newport base, so we will be seeking opportunities to start new ministries over the next couple of years in partnership with the base chaplains and our local church. 

The Newport base is a very transient population, with most staying less than one year at the Naval War College, officer indoctrination training, and multiple senior-level courses. Despite the challenges of a transient population, all Navy chaplains start their careers in Newport! This will provide us with great opportunities to introduce them to Cadence and the various ministries around the world. Please join us in prayer as we seek direction for the next steps in ministry and how we can best support military families in our area.” 

Thank you for partnering with Eric and Rachel and Cadence staff around the world as they minister to our military people and their families!

David Schroeder

Ministry Through Conversations

Ministry Through Conversations

Ministry is often about conversations . . . a person needing to talk  . . . someone who cares starting a conversation which begins as a simple question and moves to an encounter which leads to discussions. Consider these two testimonies:

“I am thankful that Nate and Louise were willing to take a chance and take in a stray, not just to share their home, but to share their lives. They were always there when I needed to talk about something personal, spiritual, or even just trivial. This place and these people have made all the difference to me.”

—David Weber, from the Johnsons’ ministry at Travis AFB

“Many of these encounters lead to discussions about personal history, relationships, ministry, theology, and the deep waters that accompany life. What often begins as a simple question, moves into a discussion of heart issues, gospel reminders, and opportunities to speak into different aspects of life. It is the kind of thing that makes me declare to Louise, ‘This is why I love what we do!’”

—Nate Johnson

It’s these discussions about life, relationships, choices, emotions, history, future, and so much more which often lead to change, hope, and life-transformation. The quotes above beautifully illustrate this process and are an example of what Cadence staff seek to offer in each of their ministries.

Whether it’s God speaking to us through His Word and His Spirit, us speaking to Him in prayer, or whether it’s the meaningful conversations we have with each other—so much significant growth springs from these connections.

This is why listening well and asking good questions was one of the mission-wide training topics covered at our last round of Cadence field staff conferences. It’s why being restricted to Zoom, FaceTime, phone calls, and other virtual connections cannot stop the power and impact of meaningful conversations!

Ministry continues because conversations endure. Sure, we look forward to our future maskless face-to-face encounters with others, but in the meantime, we thank God for every connection He gives us with others. And, we make the most of them, as Nate and Louise did with David at our Travis Hospitality House ministry.

Friends, keep connecting, caring, and conversing well with others. These are the pathways for the Spirit to create transformation in others. Your gifts and prayers allow Cadence staff to do this very thing with military people and their families, and we thank you! 

David Schroeder

The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence

“The people we did life with. . .”

I pulled that phrase from the testimony below because it says so much about our Cadence ministries—we “do life” with military people. We share their joys, struggles, heartaches, and triumphs. We walk through their journey with them.

This past month we celebrated Advent and the arrival of our Savior, Emmanuel—God with us. He came to us in order to be with us in our journeys of life. What an amazing gift!

And what a privilege to offer this gift of presence—being with—to our loved ones and friends.

Here is a testimony from a young wife and mother whose husband was stationed at Spangdahlem AB in Germany. “The Hangar” is the name of the Cadence hospitality house there.

“After sitting through that first Hangar night, for the first time since arriving in Germany, I felt like I might just be okay and make it through this assignment. But I could never have imagined the wonderful things God had in store for us through this ministry.

Because of The Hangar missionaries and community, not only have we made it through this assignment, we have loved it. We have thrived in it. We have grown personally and spiritually through it, made lifelong friends, memories, and so much more. I cannot imagine what this assignment would have been like without The Hangar and the people God placed in our lives there. This community became our family. The friends we’ve made at the Hangar have been by our family’s side through deployments, tragedy, the miracle of new life, birthdays, holidays, and even more importantly, the everyday little things.

These are the people we did life with over the last four years. These kinds of relationships, especially overseas, are priceless—a rare, beautiful gift that I am so lucky to have found. But not only did we find lifelong friends and family through this community, we also grew closer to Jesus and each other through the teachings and discipleship of the Hangar missionaries.” 

Friends, as we leave behind the specific challenges and trials of 2020 and set our eyes on walking with Jesus in 2021, let us remember the importance of “doing life with people”—being together in this journey amidst all its joys and sorrows, trials and triumphs.

Your faithful financial support allows our Cadence staff to do this very thing for military people and their families, and I thank you.

David Schroeder

2020: An Unforgettable Year

2020: An Unforgettable Year

As we close out this unforgettable 2020 year, I was reminded today on a phone call with one of our Cadence field missionaries that Jesus always does His redeeming work, no matter the circumstances.

This Cadence staff couple are striving to begin a new ministry to the military in the midst of this pandemic. Few people are coming. Making connections on base are more difficult than ever. Last week only 10 military people showed up to the newly established Cadence hospitality house, The Bridge, in the San Diego Military Community.

In their last Cadence ministry in Germany, this couple enjoyed anywhere from 60-100 military people and their children participating in their hospitality house ministry. Only having 10 attend after months of work could have been a discouraging experience for them.

Yet, just today on the phone Ed described to me the joy of ministering to these few. The conversations were significant and meaningful because of the smaller setting. Ed and Joy sense the Spirit moving in these lives, and it was bringing them great encouragement.

This experience is being replicated around the world by Cadence staff as they minister to military people. Yes, numbers are down across the board, but we are wondering if impact might actually be up in some ways?!

Jesus showed us the power of working deeply with a few. These pandemic restrictions have reminded us in Cadence of this important and timeless truth.

Who are “the few” in your life? We pray you are staying safe and healthy as you love those around you. Each and every life is worth our care and investment.

May we all close 2020 with a sense of purpose, with a sense of perspective, and with deep gratitude that God has been with us in this suffering and has not stopped His powerful work in people’s lives.

God bless you, our friends and partners in this important ministry.

David Schroeder