Well, time is running short. Today was chaotic. Spent most of it in multiple conversations at once with people from several different countries. We then made a final shopping run and met my grandparents and my aunt and uncle for dinner. We then rushed off to a different aunt and uncle’s house for a quick photo shoot before the sun went down. Then we rushed home and I am sitting down for a few minutes to share some thoughts before some friends come over for a late night movie night. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we head out to Denver and on Thursday I fly out of the United States and officially move to Peru.
I wanted to take a bit to give God glory for some amazing things that He has done over the past two and a half months in fundraising for this mission. At the end of June I accepted the position to go with Extreme Nazarene Ministries to South America, and that commitment entailed that I would raise $37,000 in monthly pledges and donations between then and now (mid-September). I am not a rich person at all and I don’t know any rich people. Most people I know are going through very difficult times. However, God has truly worked a miracle through the faithfulness of so many people giving what they have been given, regardless of the amount. I am fully funded and because of that, I am able to board the plane on Thursday. PRAISE GOD!
It has truly been a test of faith, but even moreso a testament to God’s faithfulness and provision. My idea of how things would work out was so small compared to God’s idea…always is. As it turned out, many of the people that I had thought would be able to support me could not, and there were times of discouragement. Then, out of nowhere, God brought people into my life that I didn’t even know. Some people I would meet by chance or through a crisis completely unrelated, and an open door for conversation about what I was preparing to do would appear. There are many people who do not know Christ that have joined in to see what God is doing. And He is doing something amazing.
God didn’t provide the funds in my time frame. In fact, I had about three days to spare. It is amazing to me how much peace that God gave to my family and to me. You would think we would have been banging our heads against a wall, but the truth of the matter is, God’s peace that transcends understanding filled our hearts. He took our mustard seed of faith and made it grow. The length of time also gave opportunity for more people to become involved. Had I received the funds earlier, I may not have been as proactive about speaking in all the churches that I did or talking to as many people. However, God knew who He wanted to be a part of this, and I have been constantly reminded that this is not MY story, but rather it is HIS story of which I have the privilege to be a part.
Probably the best part of this whole process is watching those in my life stand in awe of God and all that He has done. What was so impossible God has made possible, and He has proven that He truly does take care of those He calls into His service. Those that know the lack of resources that I have can testify even more that this was God’s work and only His work that has made this possible. There is no mistaking this truth, and I know that this is only the beginning of all that He plans to do through our lives, all for His glory. So many people are watching now, intent on God, anticipating something great. He will not disappoint.
I am excited to begin this journey and to share here many stories of God’s work and His faithfulness. So many of you have prayed for me, and please continue as this is only the beginning of the battle. We are storming the gates of hell, running to the weak and weary and broken, bringing a message of God’s love, grace and hope. We know that God has already been at work both in Arequipa, Peru and our later assignment of Ambato, Ecuador. We are in prayer that God will humble us and give us the courage to join in with the work He is already doing and to serve Him fearlessly and with all boldness. Pray for our team as we support each other and join forces for the Kingdom. Stay tuned for more details.