This has been quite a challenging few years with preparation for going to a foreign mission field long term. I didn’t realize what God had in store for us during this time. I knew it would be “difficult” but it has been more so than I had imagined. It has been a time of definitely seeing & remembering God’s faithfulness. We’ve gone through circumstances and struggles that have made us wonder if we should stop pursuing missions. Is God trying to tell us to stop this journey of getting to the foreign mission field? Or are these struggles intended to strengthen us in the Lord? It has made me think of what it says in I Peter 1:6-9—
“In this [salvation] you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it be tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
I’ve struggled during this time with knowing and understanding where the line is between using godly wisdom in making decisions and just going ahead, trusting God even when we don’t “see” how it will work out! Even when it “seems” impossible! Is there a certain line between trusting God and using wisdom? This has been an amazing time to see God working! In so many ways, we have seen things that have happened that could ONLY be from the hand of God! And then we’ve had the blessed opportunity to share with others these amazing acts of our faithful, all-powerful, loving Heavenly Father! We see how God is providing in seemingly small ways that are only strengthening our faith and character for even more difficult times. It will be difficult leaving the U.S., where we are surrounded with friends and family members, to go to a new country, surrounded by many “strangers” who do not trust Jesus. We are going in order to bring the Fame of God’s Great Name to a people who do not know the One True God. Among the people we are reaching out to in Suriname, there is only 1/3 of 1% who are evangelical Christians! We are giving up many of our comforts, but that is nothing, for the sake of the lost and them hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ dying for sinners such as us!
Also, we know that God has a purpose for this support raising process taking so much longer than we had expected. God is good and his ways and timing is perfect! Should we doubt Him? Should we question what He is doing? Is He teaching us? Is He growing us during this time? He has proven Himself faithful in so many ways! Even when we don’t see how it’s going to work out, we are going to keep trusting Him and keep pressing on through this journey!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5 & 6)