I wanted to take a moment to recap where we are with the "wanted ads" for senders since there have been some new subscribers since my last post on the subject. Again these concepts are useful not as dogmatic beliefs but as a framework for supporting us.
The core foundational concept is that all the various type of senders should have their own relationship with Jesus Christ and support us because His Spirit is leading them. Guilt, a sense of obligation, seeking after public praise are all shifting sand type reasons and lead to not being effectively sent.
The six areas areas are.....moral, logistical, prayer, financial, re-entry, communication support.
A brief overview would be
Moral-providing encouragement for ones goings
Logistics-taking care of business
prayer- interceding for the goers
financial-providing monetary support
communications-facilitating interaction between other senders and the goers
re-entry-taking care of specific logistics and cultural shock on coming back from another culture
I have posted on moral, logistics and prayer support so far.
In other news....
Our situation with Kathleen is essentially unchanged and so our plans for the future are still full of potential and essentially unknown to us. As we work through the things Anna and I are experiencing some things that we knew intellectually and we would like to share them with you.
God is in control.....One of the main thrust of our presentation to churches is that one of the reasons we are going is that we think that it is God's will for our and our children's lives and being in His will in Africa is safer than being in the US out of that will.....He is revealing our lack of commitment here in that we were/are unwilling to trust Kathleen's future to Him. If we were ok with her going to Africa why are we not ok with her going with one of her parents? The God there is the God here. God is working his grace in this matter in our life.
The Call has not changed---Anna and I still believe Africa and specifically the ROC is where God wants us. The time frame may not be our time frame but we are still pointed toward that goal. When we were being confirmed by some members of the C&MA one of the pastor's asked us some form of the following question "Is your sense of God's calling on your life to go to overseas strong enough to sustain you when things are difficult for you?" This is a paraphrase and Steve Diehl asked it much better but our answer was a typical stock..our faith in God determines our response to circumstances, not circumstances determining our faith in God.......I must confess I did not expect the discouragement to come so quickly. God is still faithful however.
Our problems are not so bad......I admit we have shed tears, we have wondered why, we have been grumpy, we have been short with one another, but when we go to scriptures for comfort we are humbled.....our length of waiting does not approach Abraham's, the obstacles are not as huge as David's, we have not been broken like Job, we have barely taken up our crosses, and we haven't even gotten to the starting gate compared to Paul or other heroes of the faith and in that way the scripture gives us pause and encourages us to get a grip.
God speaks through his church......today we barely made it to church and we were responsible for children's church. I thought of the latter as I drug myself out of bed when Jamie was crying at 6am......So I dredged my sunday school library and came up with a lesson that required very little prep and we limp into church about 15min late (don't tell my dad he would be embarrassed).
There God was waiting
He was waiting with a lady who spoke a few minutes today in church who is walking a prayer walk around the country (with a prosthetic leg) who God used (after He whacked my self centeredness and smug sarcastic attitude up side the head) to remind me that His detours have a purpose and that sometime we may never know what they are. Nevertheless we continue on the path as He leads.
After that I head to children's church and the lesson was Peter walking on the water and as I had the children rowing along with me and baling water and acting scared I realized that this lesson was for me.....God wants me to know that obeying him is not easy and life is not a bed of roses, and he wants me to know that I should never take my eyes off of him. Things I would get right on a multiple choice test, but harder to live out.
So to sum up, consider "Sending" us in one of those six ways, look back at my other posts on the subject, look forward to other posts in the other areas, and continue to pray with us as we walk the path God is laying out for us.