Well, I’ve thought and thought about what this message will say, and I’m still at a loss in some ways. So, I figure I will begin writing and do my best not to sound incredibly jumbled up.
Back in December or so, when we were still on our 4 month fundraising stay in Texas (I call it that, but it wasn’t by any means planned out that way), Justin and I sort of told ourselves that we were going to sit back and see where God led us in terms of financial support for at least a few months. You see, Justin had worked his TAIL off since September 2010 trying to connect with churches in order to secure our family new long-term support for 2011 and the future after that, but that was not what God had in mind for us. By the end of January, many of you (plus tons of people who don’t read this blog) had stepped up and allowed God to use you in His plan to send us back to Peru for the year 2011. Right now, we first owe thanks to God for providing us this year in Peru, and secondly, we must say again…thank YOU for believing in us, our ministry, and our calling to Peru. Because of God’s plan for us and our friends and family’s financial sacrifices, we have gotten to spend now another 6 months here in Peru, our home in this season of our lives.
Well, July is now in full swing, and Justin and I have had to face the facts yet again. We still do not have a supporting church (or a few even) in order to help us stay here in Lima, Perú past December of this year.
So, as scary as it can seem in some moments, as frustrating as it has been in others, and as trust-building as we must allow it to be, we have begun to get back up on the horse and search out new financial support once again. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve not been sitting around doing nothing since January when we came back. We have been blessed to have had several uplifting conversations with one church that is still in the process of seeking out God’s plan for their involvement in foreign missions, and at this point in time, this church (which I won’t name for the time being) is our only true possibility for 2012 and beyond. EVEN if they do decide they would like to support our family and ministry here, we are unsure if they are able to provide all that we need financially in order to live here as we do now. So, while we know God can do great things, we are also trying to be realistic about our family’s future.
At this point in time, we must not just think about funds for the ministry here in Peru, but we must also remember that our family has no foreseeable income past this coming December outside of about a dozen wonderful families and individuals that give to us on a monthly basis (approximately 15% of what we need).
Just this morning I began the 2nd half (which is technically the first few weeks since I did it out of order) of my “Discerning the Voice of God” study by Priscilla Shirer, and I was so encouraged by what she had to say. I could work through this study over and over, I’m convinced. Here are a few great things I read today:
- “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me.” Habakkuk 2:1
- “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
- Priscilla Shirer ~ “Approach the Father with an expectancy that He will speak.”
- Priscilla Shirer ~ “This is where clear communication with God begins: with a believer approaching her relationship to God and His Word with anticipation, expecting Him to speak.”
So my prayer I wrote at the end of the today’s study was:
“God, I come to you and say we are only successful because of you. You are the only way we will survive. Show us what to do!”
This really is our prayer. Justin and I together. We have no choice but to believe that God has a plan, and despite difficult feelings that tempt me to be frustrated and hurt all over again, I am reminded (by my mom, also!) that this will get us nowhere. God is in control. He has already shown us that times 100! How can we give up now?
So, that leads me to the whole idea of what giving up looks like. There was a time when giving up in my mind meant saying, “Ok, I guess we’ll just move back to Texas.” Honestly, even when some people assumed this is what we would have to do, Justin and I felt confident enough to laugh a little at that assumption. Not pridefully so. At least, that’s not how we felt about it then. It’s just that we felt certain and confident that God had more for us to do in Peru.
So what about now? Today? July 2011? The thoughts swirling in my head are that if we feel confident in His desire for us to be in Peru, then we should also feel certain that God will provide the money. Isn’t that how it works? If you KNOW God wants you in a certain place that has certain financial requirements, then you KNOW he will somehow provide the money. So then, why has He not provided the money yet? Are we to keep waiting? Well, it seems so. But, how long? Do we wait until we have 4 months left of money in the bank? 3 months? 2 months? Maybe just days? Would that be the sign of true trust? I mean, what if God is actually saying, “NO…you will leave Peru at the end of this year” by not having provided support for our family for this next year yet. That is what I struggle with now. And does this mean we should begin job searching in a few months or less? It all just gets so complicated. I mean, of course, right? When I let all of those questions reign in my mind and my heart, it can get so.incredibly.complicated! So, all I know to do is to keep calling on Him (Jer. 33:3) and to station myself in a place so that I can watch for His message to us (Habakkuk 2:1). AND…stop trying to make sense of what I have no sense over. Otherwise, December seems to stare me in the face as if to say…be worried.
So, now that we’ve trekked up the hill that is the first 6 months or so of the year and as we begin the downward slope that is the last 6 months, we come to all of you who read this blog for your prayers! Please go to the Father on our behalf and EXPECT that He will show up for us! EXPECT that your prayers will aid our family in our search for God’s next step in our life. EXPECT that we want to know that you’re praying! (haha-really!) Please pray for my husband as he goes back to the drawing board with God once again. Pray that he will set his fears aside for the confidence of God. Pray for our team as we continue to try and keep up the spreading of the Gospel amidst this uncertainty. Pray for me, please, that I can not only encourage Justin, but that I can help to do my part in Calling on our Provider on a daily basis.