What do you do when you are preparing to go on the missions field? Yes, you pray and seek God, and yes, you read your Bible and seek God through His Word, and yes, you seek godly counsel from friends, family, and pastors, but what you really do when preparing for the missions field is: live. “Come again?” you may say, and I will repeat myself: you live, you live everyday as unto the Lord. We are to live everyday spending time in prayer, spending time in God’s Word, and spending time with God’s people, and this is what prepares our hearts in the first place to hear God’s call. One mistake I would say I have made all too often in my life is that of being so excited to see what God is going to do and being so wrapped up in what will be, that I miss what is right in front of me. It’s like I am creating work for myself, attempting to paddle faster than the current when really I should be enjoying the ride. Pretty sure it was Jesus who said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34) Lord, give me the strength to say Amen to that.
The other side of this living is a thing called waiting. Oh mercy, waiting is not for the faint of heart. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12) I want trees of life, I am ready for them! But I want the practice of patience as well, for it is a powerful thing for the one who can master it: “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” (Proverbs 25:15) Oh to be patient, oh to be still and wait upon the Lord! This is a difficult task, a necessary prayer, and we cannot pray it enough.
Finally, along with living and waiting comes stepping; stepping up and stepping out and taking the steps required to get where we believe the Lord is leading. Our first of these steps was making contact with Calvary Chapel Kaharlyk. We wanted to see if we could serve in some capacity or serve a purpose in going to the Ukraine. Through our contacting pastors Danny and Wayne in Kaharlyk, we found out there is a need, and a great one at that. What does this mean? It means we are taking the next step which is applying to a sending organization called Operation Mobilization, which specializes in missionary support (http://omusa.org/). And this brings us to where we are right now, mid-step in trying to raise a modest fund to get us where we need to be so that we can take the next step, and continue taking step after step in a thing that looks almost like walking but still feels more like hobbling. To that end, we have already set up and are preparing to have a vendor show fundraiser that includes a quarter auction and raffle and will hopefully be a good time for everyone involved. While many people are getting excited for us, and we humbly thank God for having placed so many good friends and supporters in our lives, there is still much we have left to do. The biggest thing, however, is just for us to trust God and make this flying leap of faith, and pray that we will not get in the way of what He intends to accomplish through us.
So that about brings us up to speed. Unfortunately, the timing of all this is such that my finals are taking a distant back seat to my excitement as we eagerly prepare to make our trip this summer. I guess it’s hard to take some of my classes seriously in the face of something that feels so huge and important, but I am almost finished and trying very hard to finish strong. As summer approaches (hard to believe with the weather around here sometimes!) it is starting to feel a little more real to us, and we are both anxious (in a good way!) and humbled to have this chance to take the love of Jesus halfway across the world and serve His children in whatever way He will enable us.