Thursday, October 5, 2017
About three weeks ago, I started running. I will wait for you to finish laughing and then I'll go on. LOL. It's true! I started out at 1 mile and every day (including today) I built more distance. Today I reached 2.3 miles and tomorrow I'm praying for over 2.5 miles. I noticed that the thing that helps me the most is not looking into the distant goal towards which I am running. I simply put my eyes on the few steps in front of me, trusting that the goal will be reached so long as I can keep my legs moving.
As many of you know, our family is home on Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). Just like in running, I've had to adjust my view in order to pace myself with my Savior. In the past three months, I have run ahead, gone the wrong direction, run out of steam and at times I've simply stopped out of exhaustion. I'd heard the warnings before, "slow down, you have a year and you'll need it. Readjustment isn't easy". What do they know? I'm a machine, or so I thought.
I'm not a machine. I'm a missionary, chosen of God to go and minister wherever God sends me. Right now our ministry is here, loving our family, friends, partners, pastors and showing people the immense joy of all of "us" participating in the Great Commission. When we are in Uganda are ministry is to Ugandans, students from all over the world and their families, to refugees and to other missionaries. These things excite me and push me to want to do more. Yet I am always reminded that Jesus' ministry here on earth was remarkably successful and there are no verses that show him to be in a hurry. Jesus didn't run anywhere; so why am I?
Over the past two years, we've poured out our everything into the ministry in Uganda. It was amazingly successful and just like other missionaries, it has depleted us. I'm reminded of the time in I Kings 19 when Elijah is running scared from Jezebel. I love the angel's response to him, "get up and eat". So he does and then he falls back asleep. It happened again, "get up and eat" and he does and then Elijah falls back asleep. That is the kind of God we serve. He gives us perfect protection despite seemingly overwhelming odds. In addition, he knows what pace is best for us. He says things like "stop and eat", "smile and laugh and enjoy", "hold hands with your friends again and be refreshed".
This week I stopped spinning my wheels and took care my family and myself. Oh I am still working, but I'm also learning to do it at His pace and not mine. It's interesting what has happened as I've learned to follow his lead. My physical health over the past two weeks has not been great. This week, my health has been restored. This week saw some of the greatest financial response that we've seen yet. Our funding is coming in and it is completely God's doing. My family is finally enjoying one another and laughing and enjoying each other again. My time with God is deeper and richer.
In the days to come there will be full schedules. Even now we are busy. There is always the thought that we have jobs to do while we are here and certainly while we are in the field. We want to be responsible with what we've been entrusted with. Yet in all of that, I am reminded that Jesus never ran and I see great fruitfulness when I keep His pace.
Thank you so much guys for being patient with us, for loving us and for your support. This week our support has really exploded and we look forward to God continuing to build our team. This has been the greatest privilege that we've ever known and we praise Him for it all.