Skip to main content

ch-ch-ch-changes

August has been crazy busy.  Yep, that's my excuse for not being on here as much as usual.  But God has been at work in us and with us.  I am almost feeling overwhelmed about what to write here because there are so many things I would like to share, but I don't want to scare anyone off with the length of this blog! It has been a month of change, beginning of transitions, and a time of starting to let go.  To take the steps out of the boat and try to focus on Him and what he asks instead of the waves around us.  We have often failed at that, and after a few moments of panic have had to cry, "Lord, save me!"  And he does.  He was all along.  lovingly, patiently, and perfectly.

So what has been happening?


The beginning of the month was when we candidated a family to come in as the assistant pastor at Troy and the eventually take over Shawn's role as Senior Pastor.  We are so excited about hiring Andy and Beverly.  Yet in reality there were a lot of emotions and "self" that popped up in that whole process. Pride, jealousy, fear, anger, worry, joy  - all flashing together one after another in a matter of moments, then starting all over again.  The hiring of them means that we have taken those steps in Troy to remind people that we are leaving - that Africa is real and our calling there is real.  And that is a mixed bag, honestly.  I LOVE this church family.  They are my close friends and family.  There are relationships there that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my life (I have moved enough to know how to do this) yet I also know that it is not the same as seeing each other several times a week to pray, laugh, hug, and work through life together.  So there is mourning and sadness that way.  Yet excitement because it means we are heading to another season of that in South Sudan, with another team of people.  (Which also brings the junior high worry of ,"Will they like and accept me?"  But that's another blog!)

Right after that happened we came to the decision through a variety of things happening that our time in Schenectady was done even sooner.  Shawn put in his resignation, and at the end of September he will only have the part time job in Troy and fund raising to focus on.  We will also be without a house and half our salary.  Needless to say that has been one of those things that Satan has whispered over and over again in our ears.  Yet through it all I have felt mostly peace - and relief that we can really start to focus on getting to South Sudan.  And, as usual, God is providing.  We have options of housing.  And through those options we have the ability to not have to take another part time job, but to be able to focus on the things we are doing.  Why am I always surprised when this happens?  He is only showing the next step - one at a time, not the whole picture - but he is showing us what we need when we need it.

Then we went on vacation.  And that was pure bliss.  5 days in a row of sleeping in, swimming, reading, playing games with cousins, swimming some more, tubing, fishing, and hanging out with God in stillness and quiet beauty.  (Side note...anyone in this district who is a pastor that is reading this -if you DON'T take the AWM up on staying at the missionary cottage for free, you are nuts!) One of our dear friends (sister, really) came the first night and vacation mode started almost immediately as we kayaked, swam and ate together!  I wasn't ready to come home.



In between all these major steps towards transition there have been those moments that have changed us, also.  Christina and Logan, who have been living with us all summer, moved out and on to Alabama.  Our house has been to quiet and void of baby squeals and Christina jokes.  Going to Walmart is not nearly as fun.  And all our late night talks are deeply missed.  God blessed us with that season of months together with this young woman that is more family than anything else.  It was another goodbye that hurt.

We had a late night prayer walk at the cafe, missed our dear friend who was in Uganda for a few weeks, I had a birthday and got my nose pierced! (Something I have wanted to do since college when I saw one of the coolest people I had ever met at that point had one!)  harvested garden goodies, babysat for a friend, and just did life.


We called on you all to pray for us this week, and have been humbled by the numbers of you that are!  I will write more about that after the week is over and let you know how God is using your prayers!

Tonight we have our welcome back picnic at the Troy church.  There will be music, food, games, fun, laughter - and hopefully more than a few new faces!  It is my last big "hurrah" as far as planning things in Troy.  It will be a long day, but a fun one. And I will keep packing up the house into piles of "keep", "save", "Africa??", and "What-in-the-world-do-we-do-with-this?"  Thanks, God.  It's an amazing ride.  

Comments

  1. Praying for you all! It never ceases to amaze me how when we step out in faith *without* seeing how God will provide, He always shows up! Exciting times ahead for you. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bookends of Beauty

I love the bride of Christ.

I know that many of you reading this have seen the ugly, the broken, the spiteful.  It has been aimed at you or someone you love and the hurt has caused so much pain that you ran.  Maybe you are still physically present, but your heart is not fully in.  I understand.  We've been in full time ministry for 23 years now.  You can't be in this type of life without experiencing some of that ugliness - or handing it our yourself. 

However, I have been reminded again recently how beautiful it can be when it is done as a picture of Him. 

In the last few churches that we have been at where Shawn has pastored we have had a point in our time there where we had to admit that we couldn't do it anymore.  These churches in the States were ones that were under redevelopment - meaning on the brink of closing for one reason or another - and we were brought in to see if there was any health left and to push it in that direction if the answer was yes.  That means …

Kwaheri Kenya

It's my last night calling Africa home.

I feel like the last several weeks I have been on auto pilot - doing the things I needed to do to wrap up work well and get things in place.  This week we had a lot of goodbyes, however my eyes stayed dry and my emotions in check.

But today...

What a hard, beautiful, honoring, loving, joy and sorrow filled day.

I was standing and looking out the window tonight and feeling like this chapter has come to a close.  I don't just mean Kenya - though that is the immediate, in-your-face thing.  But this dream of living in Africa.  Ever since we spent the year in Malawi I have longed to come back and live.  We lived in the most rural you possibly could in South Sudan to the crazy chaos of Nairobi in Kenya, as well as the in-between in Blantyre.  I've seen poverty I could never have imagined, and money that I never knew existed.  I've lived on the brink of war and through insane elections.  And I've shown off this life I've loved …

Tremble

Listening to music always speaks to my heart in ways that seem to break through even my most grumpy, tired, or distant flesh.  I have a current favorite right now that I could listen to non-stop, and whenever I hear it I feel like my emotions explode to the surface. 

"Peace, bring it all to peace
The storm surrounding me
Let it break at your name..."

If you've listened to Christian radio or worship in a place in with contemporary music at all you've probably heard the song "Tremble."  It's not new.  Nor is it filled with a truth I have not heard before.  But something in these lyrics touches me deeply in this time of my life.

Right before we left Kenya I spoke at our church ladies retreat.  One of the things we talked about the first night was how we are in a battle.  We so often and so easily believe the lies that are whispered to us from Satan and shouted to us from the world about who we are, our worth, and our identity.  The longer we allow these l…