So I realize my entries have been lacking in frequency. I’ll admit that aside from the large span of time between, there really has not been as much going on as one would suppose. Our lives have been, well, uneventful. Not that I’m complaining. Uneventful is actually a good thing for us. It’s certainly a welcome change from our norm, which is chaotic, known for the surplus of things going wrong rather than going right; well…really just going would be nice at times.
Life has been a little stale. We are both working…a lot. I took on a second job, and can’t possibly be more grateful for it. Dane and I really needed the extra income to get us through these last two months in Huntsville. Dane is currently training for a triathlon he’s doing with some buddies of his, which means aside from the long work hours, the biking there and back, and coaching swim team, he is now also getting some much needed time in the water to get in shape for the big race. I am so grateful for this man. He works so hard, and never complains, and I know he is tired. Not only that.
I’m working for a local family here in town. They have a huge property and tons of stuff to be done around it, so whatever they need me to do, or clean, or organize, I do it, for 30 hours a week. Add the 10 or more I’m still working at the PCC, plus our small groups, and we are two busy people.
But this isn’t really what this post is about. The Lord has been stirring us in all this time. We are so close to the end of our time here, and so close to entering in to a new season of our lives. For those curious of where we are with our missions application, we are waiting (as patiently as possible) for our medical clearance. We’ve even been told the packet is all ready to go (our budget included and all those juicy details) and the only thing we are waiting for is that medical clearance.
In June we officially leave this place behind, and will begin this crazy new adventure, starting with our support raising. So, back to the main point, the Lord has been stirring us up again. Like I said, life has been a little stale, and we’ve been desperate for the Lord to move in a big way. And then, out of nowhere He starts moving, and speaking to us, and we feel a richness of His presence, and we’re weeping and grateful that He shows up just at the right moment every. time.
In resource we talked about knowing the will of God. We listened to a sermon by Dick Brogden which you can find at live-dead.org (and I encourage you all to listen: find it and others under “podcasts”), and he talked about how to discern the will of God, how to know when we are in God’s will. And while I’m listening to this sermon, my mind is thinking on the process the Lord has taken us through, from the restlessness and stirring up, to the 30 day Live Dead challenge, to divine appointments, our calling to the unreached, and now to here, at the start of our journey in raising support to go to Asia.
A dear brother in Christ and true General for the Kingdom, gave us such great advice. We were struggling with where the Lord wanted us, and he essentially said this – that we knew one thing for sure, that God called us to the unreached, and no other place was made clear, no further specifics were given. So he told us that wherever we went, if we were serving the unreached (those who have never heard the gospel, have no opportunity to hear the gospel due to religion or location, etc) then we are in the will of God. How simply brilliant. And we were immediately at peace about our decision.
And so now, we know where we are going, and we know the surety of our calling, and our hearts are ever-increasingly burdened for this ministry we are going to and the people we will be serving and witnessing to, and now here is the first obstacle…that people do not understand why on earth we would go.
I admit that I am not Scripturally savvy. I cannot quote many on the fly; I’m more of a good paraphraser that could tell you at least the book the verse is located in most of the time (which is something I am constantly working toward improving). But I know, that I know, that I know, that this call is real, and to not go would be a blatant disobedience to God’s command, and that above all else terrifies me.
I’ve received some of the funniest looks, and peculiar reactions (from professing Christians in my own family no less) when I talk with them about support raising, and going to Asia, and trekking into remote villages to bring the gospel to those who have not heard. What seems to be my greatest personal frustration, is that is not their focus in the whole conversation. It is that I am not finishing my degree (at least not yet).
And to these reactions, to these questions of “concern”, which I heartily understand and even appreciate, I give this answer. I am not finishing my degree. Three semesters in a row I tried to enroll, and three semesters in a row I was denied financial aid and unable to do so. All the while the Lord began His work in my heart, and ultimately called Dane and I to the mission field. I ask that you understand this was no easy decision. I wrestled with this. I wept in anger and confusion and frustration; I questioned God’s reasoning for allowing this to happen; I begged to know why. “Why? Why God? Why has this door been slammed shut just 28 credit hours away from completing my degree?”
And I got my answer. The Lord said to go. And even with this answer I still fought Him. I tried to get into school. We decided we would let Dane finish his degree first for the time being and then try again with mine, but the Lord has other plans for our life. ” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” (Isa 55:8) So without understanding I chose to trust, and to obey. And the moment I decided not to finish my degree, I was at peace. Amazing isn’t it? That when you choose to stop resisting the will of God, the frustrations die away and in their place rests the peace of the Lord?
And I probably don’t have all the answers to the questions concerning support raising. But, I do know it is Biblical, and the people I trust, the people the Lord has given authority in our lives have done it this way, and have in full faith quite their jobs, and trusted the Lord to provide as they devoted their time fully to raising their budgets; and they did. We cannot go into this with a part time mindset. We are full time missionaries, and that includes raising support before we get to the field.
I understand that all practical wisdom says this is foolish. Based on the world’s standard I am seemingly throwing all that time spent at school away, and “when” we come back I’ll have no back up for a career. (In all honesty my major is art, there’s not much of a back up there anyway, if we’re being practical) But I am not acting on practical wisdom; I am acting on spiritual wisdom, which comes from above, and I trust that He is in control of all things, that His hand is in this, that He has said go, go and make disciples of all nations, go to the unreached, and that He knows all my concerns and all my worries, and has even those figured out. He is the only one who is wholly trustworthy. I have no doubts about any of this, only expectations. Would you expect great things from God with me?