In this final week of preparation, we are amazed at God’s working on our behalf to prove Himself faithful. In the course of the last few days, we have been overwhelmed at the favor He has shown us.
For starters, we have seen amazing improvement in Isaac’s development since the tonsillectomy just three weeks ago. We believe that he is now sleeping restfully, potentially for the first time in his life. His speech and behavior have improved dramatically. Above all the many benefits we have seen, he has taken to potty training like a champ. He has already nearly mastered day time control of his functions. What a blessing, and what an amazing change. God orchestrated a diagnosis, all physician visits, and a surgery as we maintained a hectic travel schedule. People from Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, and Montana all had to play integral roles to get this accomplished. We praise God for the way He worked this out in perfect timing. We pray and trust that He will also provide as the medical bills accumulate for the work that was performed.
We have also seen movement in the disposition of our North Dakota home, which we have prayed over every day for the past few months. While the agreement is no where near signed, we see God working to close this story in a way that only He could, and according to His perfect timing. We listed the home for nearly six months, agonizing over the necessity of the closing and knowing that we couldn’t afford to maintain this payment. Out of this trial we have realized our lack of faith at times, and have had to abandon our fears, choosing to trust God to accomplish this in His time. We have done absolutely nothing. But God, who is faithful in all things, is working this out at just the right time. He has strengthened our faith, produced patience in us, and we trust that He will now allow us to share in the unspeakable of joy of having Him provide in this way.
This week we have also seen so much paperwork come through. In perfect timing, we received our entrance visas from Uganda, and I also received my work permit for the extended stay, good for three years. This gives us a great amount of peace knowing that we will come into the country with all this paperwork approved ahead of the trip. In addition, I have received my approved licensure as a Christian Worker with the CCCC conference, the denomination associated with our sending church. We love their heart for discipleship, pastoral care, and for the history of support they have shown for missions.
On Sunday, February 5th, we were shown the love of the disciples of God as a local church in Fort Collins poured out their love on us. They have lifted us up in prayer, supported us financially, and they have reached out to support our parents as we leave for Uganda. In this week we have strengthened our relationships in this body of believers, and we are thankful for the Holy Spirit working through them in this way. We are so humbled to see how God uses so many people from so many walks of life to affirm our calling, support the burden of it, and to pray for us in the midst of our walk of obedience. One morning as I walked into a men’s Bible study, a gentleman looked me directly in the eyes and said, “You don’t know me, but I’ve been praying for you. How is Isaac doing since his surgery?” I am truly humbled to have such strong support from these, the sons of God.
As we sat down for our quiet time this morning, we read from Nehemiah chapter 4. As the Jews built the wall around Jerusalem, they divided the wall into sections according to families. Each family worked on their own section. My experience in our Christian walk as a family was similar. We always seemed to work on our own section of the Christian wall, working as hard as we could to keep up with what we thought our neighbors were doing on their section of the wall. Sometimes we’d get tired of building, and take time off from building altogether. The spirit of competition can be helpful to spur each other on, but it can also become a source of pride and cause a break down in relationships. We don’t realize it, but we start to be so consumed by the quality and speed of construction on our own section, that we forget that the wall is the outer defense of the holy city. Our effort is just a small piece of the whole.
In Nehemiah 4:20, Nehemiah gives instruction, “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” We are reminded by this instruction that the believers around us who are acting in accordance with God’s will, no matter how fast they build or the quality of their work, are all part of the same project. When we hear that there is trouble in their section, we are required to act on their behalf. This isn’t an invitation to help them and quietly whisper about how our wall is being built so much better. It’s a demand that we take up arms and fight for them.
Just as important, this is an indirect command to blow the trumpet if your family finds themselves in need of reinforcements. If you are too proud to blow the trumpet you risk the very lives of your family in an attack from the enemy. For me, I can become way too proud of my section of the wall to think that I might need help from a neighbor in defending it. Blowing the trumpet is a sign of weakness, and would invite others to come and inspect my section of the wall. What if while defending me, they see cracks in the wall? What if their section is being built faster and they mock or laugh at my progress?
During this journey, we have finally been pushed to the point that we have had to blow the trumpet. The more we have depended on God, the more we have found joy in the trial. The more we have reached out for help, the richer our relationships have become. The more we have reached out in ways that crush our pride, the more we have been exalted by a God who loves to provide for His children during those time. We thank this amazing team of supporters who have championed us when we have blown the trumpet, and we are going to blow the trumpet one more time today. In examining our weaknesses and preparing our defenses for the battle ahead, we have found an area of vulnerability. Will you help us to defend it?
Below is a link to a shared document, where you can sign on and attach your name to a specific hour of prayer during our travel to Uganda. We see that we have the potential to be attacked. We desire prayer, specifically for Isaac, during a very long flight. We ask for prayer that our family remain patient, loving, and gentle with each other as the hours of travel get long. We pray that the trials that might tend to divide us would only unite us in patience for one another. Would you consider signing in to take an hour of prayer during this time? The document is open to be edited, so you can place your name on a time slot to commit to that time of prayer.