Monday, October 17, 2011

Let the Preparations Begin!

Its 9pm on Monday evening, and as I sit here mulling over what this first entry should include I can’t help but return to the simple fact that it was only 2 short months ago that I was officially offered a GO! Assignment with EMM. I can humbly admit that it was just a short time before that when I learned there was even a country named Guinea-Bissau! But God is good and as we whole heartedly, and sometimes pain steakingly, seek after and long for his will, He gently guides us there, already possessing all the love, encouragement, patience and wisdom that the entire adventure will require.

As easy as it is to become quickly overwhelmed with all that’s left to do in preparation, I am marveled at all God has done so far.  As I reflect on the past few months, it’s clear that God has been preparing me for this, in fact not only for months, but for years. After two short mission trips to Malawi my heart longed to help them, to love them, and as indecisive as I am (to which many of you can attest!), something in my spirit knew with great certainly that I’d someday return to Africa in a fuller capacity. I struggled for a while with what that looked like, and even attempted to seek out opportunities to make this happen myself. At one point I became frustrated, wondering why, since God had given me such a longing to serve these people, that he wasn’t leading me in the next step. However, as the weeks and months passed I became so thankful that I had taken a job in the Emergency Room, realizing the great value of the experience I was gaining, and feeling God speaking to me, saying that He needed to further prepare me, in more than one way.

Therefore, when just a few months later I found myself faced with the opportunity to serve in Guinea-Bissau I was hesitant at first wondering if I was ready. After all, He needed to prepare me and though the year prior I was jumping out of my seat, I suddenly felt terribly inadequate and unprepared. I wanted to be sure this was God timing and not my own. I didn't get the loud clear voice I was looking for, but God opened door after door His gentle nudges said “Go”. Again and again I deliberated and sought counsel and prayed and prayed. Many said “but what about your career, how will you find a job..”, and “what about settling down, and a house,” or even “what if you get sick!” Yet week after week as I prayed I felt God saying that all these things were not from him and were purely rooted in fear. I prayed that if He was not guiding me here that He would give me a reason that was not rooted in fear… and so I go. I never did come up with a reason that wasn’t rooted in fear. God in fact has orchestrated things in a way that has eliminated or lessened the impact of even those worries that were rooted in fear. God is so good!

 And so the “church camp high” began. But, as many of you know, this enthusiastic obedience absolutely infuriates the enemy and he finds it an invitation to reek havoc. As the story goes the last 2 months have been chuck full of things which can be viewed as speed bumps or road blocks, and at times not much short of chaos. Yet God is faithful. He has been ever present and turned all of these attacks into Soul Shaping moments. In just the last 2 weeks God has graciously provided almost half of the financial support needed, and for that I am immensely grateful! But what is even more amazing is all he’s been doing in my heart, soul, and mind in preparation for Guinea-Bisssau.

Lord, you are good. I give you thanks for all of those you have placed in my life who have supported and prayed me through some of these tough times. I’m thankful that you are a patient and loving God who never grows impatient when I am weary but rather lifts me up. Father, teach me to live a life of Eucharisteo.

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