Not by my power but by His….
As a young teenager I “fell” in love a couple of times having a feeling that I could not describe. Often that feeling was replaced with a pain I could not describe. It is within feelings I cannot describe that our story of the month of April unfolds.
As many of you know, we have struggled getting funding for our mission to Odessa. We have raised many funds, but it seemed as soon as we added two, one fell off. This past year since we have returned to Atlanta from Montana has been a hard year, full of tears and sorrow. It also has pushed me to pray harder and study the word harder than I ever have. I often questioned my own calling to missions and to Odessa. Seeing our shortage of funds and struggling to make ends meet while we waited, I began a road of self reliance. A road that said, “even if God doesn’t show up, I am safe.” I worked and saved up money from tax returns for our departure funds. I also put away gifts and cut our spending to the bone. Whatever we could pack away to support us as we did not have enough monthly support to survive long term in Odessa.
I put all these goodies away into an account and told myself, “Soul, you can rest now for you have ample goods stored up”. I stood as Nebuchadnezzar, from Daniel 4 saying to myself “look what I have done.” We had achieved the necessary financials to depart for Odessa and survive through the end of the year. Without warning, an old debt which we thought had been retired, came back and our funds were frozen. The amount in the accounts was almost the exact amount required by the creditor. We were broke. I cried out to God and said, “I did all I could do Lord, I hand it over to you.” I emailed five mighty men of God and said pray! If God shows up in the next week, we will go. If he does not, we will step aside, step down from the mission field for now. Go get a job and return to our “old” life. It was time to see if it really was the will of God that we go into missions and go to Odessa Ukraine.
A line had been drawn in the sand. Not really by me, but by God. He took all I had done by myself and crumbled it up like a scrap piece of paper and tossed it away. It was as if He was saying, “you will only go if I send you, by my power not yours.” We were set to appear before our home church “The Bridge” that Sunday. I called Pastor and filled him in. We shared where we were and showed a clip of a video “Freedom Found in Faith”. The elders came up and prayed for us and I was feeling such a feeling of relief, it was now out of my hands. I was a bit happy on a few items. I was thinking to myself, “I will not have to ask for support or funds.” “I will not have to defend the call of God on our life.” “I will not have to defend if I am making the right decision for my children.” I was starting to day dream about what life would look like. I was dreaming about being able to plant my family somewhere for a few years. I was thinking what it might be like to take a vacation again and the possibility of having a car that didn’t require frequent prayer. I was a little excited about returning to a “normal” life. I was content.
My little vacation from missions lasted about five minutes. Some dear friends of ours came up and told us they had just given Pastor a check that just about covered all our funds that had been seized. My vacation from missions was over, but I was excited! God had come through. We never made an appeal for gifts; we never made a comment on the amount needed, and not only that, I had said if God didn’t show up, I was cool with it either way. It was His move, so we were really surprised to see that God had laid it upon someone’s heart to give, not only a gift, but one of that size. I was crushed from the love of my Lord and Savior as He provided for us in a moment what I had worked so hard for the last three years. It quieted all the questions of whether or not we were supposed to go. It sustained me and I knew I could move forward in confidence that my Lord was with me in this. I am excited to be on our way. We are excited as a family. We still need monthly funds to remain out of debt and I hope once people see us with feet on the ground they will understand our need for support. I hope you will support us if you are not already, “but it is not the merely the gift I seek but the credit to your account”. Philippians 4:17
Oh, also it was my 37th birthday this month!
We celebrated with a family gathering with my older brother who was also celebrating a birthday. We all got to act like kids for the day-bowling and playing laser tag.
* Needing to buy plane tickets for Teniece and the girls.
* Packing preparations have begun. Please pray for a smooth transition from Georgia to Odessa for all of us!
*Monthly funding is enough to go but there is still a need to be met.