Saturday, August 20, 2011

From Stephanie's Blog: A Year's Adventure

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of one of the most life altering decisions our family has ever made. We packed up all our belongings in a small Uhaul trailer, hooked to our big blue minivan, said good bye to all of our family and friends, and headed out for South Carolina.

What a year it has been! Our trek across the United States was an adventure in itself, seeing Old Faithful and Mount Rushmore, visiting friends and family in Missouri, and viewing the beautiful landscapes across this great country.

This year we have gone to Mexico (twice for my husband)Link and Washington D.C., and have made friends with missionaries serving around the world.

We participated in an amazing missions training program, and have built life long friendships with some wonderful people with a passion to serve others with a missions call.

Making the decision to move was difficult. It took months of prayer, thinking, and discussing. It was the source of many tears and pain. It is never easy to choose to leave all that is familiar and loved. Stepping out in faith into the great unknown causes a person to take pause; to make a conscious choice to fully trust in the Lord.

The Lord is so good to those who put their trust in Him! He has honored our step of faith and
we have experienced His abundant favor this year. We are so thankful for all He has done.

Our desire in going to South Carolina and the World Outreach Center was to fully focus on getting to Africa. Now, one year later we are weeks away from starting yet another adventure, this time on foreign soil.

At the moment, we are back in Oregon, visiting, and savoring every moment spent with family and friends. We take a moment to give thanks for all He has done this past year, and for all that this next year has in store.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I just don't think I am ready.

While on an ice cream run to the grocery store the other night, my son turned to me and said, "Mom, I just don't think I am ready to go back to Africa." I asked him why and he went on to tell me, as best he could, that he wants to go to Africa, but he also wants to stay. "...I just know I will miss everyone so much, so I don't think I am ready."

I took this moment for what it was, a chance for my little man to express his mixed emotions, and an opportunity to teach him a life less: We are never fully ready.

I, too, just don't think I am ready. My apprehension goes a bit deeper than anticipation of missing friends, family, and the comfort of familiarity. Am I prepared to do what God has called me? Am I "spiritual" enough? Holy enough? Do I have enough faith and love? Is my Bible knowledge and prayer life up to par? Am I ready to face all the obstacles? Do I have what it takes to give my children the extra care and attention required? When I take inventory of all these things, through my own perspective, the answer is always NO, NO, NO!

However, as I was able to share with my son, it's not about us or our abilities. We will never be ready on our own. That's why we need Jesus. That's why there is grace. If we were ever ready all by ourselves, there would be no need to trust in and rely on the power of Jesus. It's normal not to feel ready. It's in those moments that we cast our cares upon Him, and allow Him to be strong where we are weak. If God tells you to do something, He will make you ready and able.

We are about six weeks out from our target return to Ghana date. There are so many things that just aren't ready in the natural. There is an internal battle going on between totally freaking out and fully trusting that God has everything under control. Truth is, He does have everything under control. He is the Alpha and Omega. He knows how it's all going to work out. He IS ready, and for that I am so very thankful.