Monday, March 26, 2012

To God Be the Glory, We are His Bride

The truth is missionary life is not as glamorous as some would think. It’s hard. This truth doesn’t make missionaries any more holy or closer to God. We’re still humans, striving to love and honor the Lord, like our counterparts serving Him in their home countries.
The truth is Ghana is HOT and HUMID. The climate is very hard and tiring on our weak American bodies. Not to mention the food or other cultural differences.
Two days in, and I find myself questioning, can I really do this for six months….for the rest of my life!?! Do I really want to?
Then I go to a church service and I remember why I am here. The joy of those who have found Jesus is overwhelming, and I want everyone in Ghana to experience that same joy. Then, the Lord decides to teach me a HUGE lesson.
During the church service, a young couple was getting married. At the beginning of the ceremony, the congregation stood and sang a Hymn:
To God be the Glory; Great things He hath done
So love He the world that He gave us His Son
Who yielded his life an atonement for sin
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord; Praise the Lord;
Let the earth hear his Voice
Praise the Lord; Praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice;
O Come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
As we sing this beautiful Hymn, the bride slowly walks down the aisle toward her groom. The symbolism is blowing my mind, and tears are streaming down my face. How fleshly I am to complain about the comforts of this world. Here right before me is a reminder of the Eternal purpose of it all.
The Father loves us so much! Jesus, our groom, gave his life, so we could become His Bride. He is waiting at the end of the aisle for His Bride, but His Bride isn’t ready. Some don’t even know about the sacrifice He made so we could be His.
That is why I am here. I want all of His Bride to be present on that day. Every Ghanaian. Every West African. Every European, Asian, American, etc…. We still have a lot of the world to tell about Jesus. We better get to it!
My “suffering” can only be considered a very mild discomfort compared to the suffering my Jesus did for me. How fleshly I am. How selfish I am! Lord, help me to keep Eternity in mind. Help me to remember to sacrifice you made for me, Your Bride.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Breaking the Silence

I haven't blogged that much this past year. It just seemed that my blogs were becoming redundant. It seems my life is redundant! Same thing, day in and day out, waiting, waiting, waiting... Chasing this chance or that. Hoping something will happen making a way for us to FINALLY go to the mission field. All the while feeling that if there was a company named Failure, I would be their CEO.

(Side note: Feelings can be feeble and not always a depiction of reality. I have learned to bring my feelings to Abba-Daddy. He is never offended, no matter how ridiculous my emotions or emotional statements may get. He listens, comforts, and adjust my heart and mind to see things more clearly.)

My husband and I have been trying to go to the mission field since graduating college 10 long years ago. There have been seasons of putting our dreams on hold, knowing it wasn't time. There have been lessons learned and necessary growth along the way.

Three years ago, we took our family to Africa for two months. We knew it was time to focus what God called us to do. When we returned, our efforts to become full time missionaries turned in to an uphill battle, and we began the most difficult and most emotional leg of this journey.

Fast forward to the present: for several months we've been working with an amazing company to begin a business in Ghana. This would be beneficial to our ministry and to the community, as well as give us a platform for our main focus of ministry, which is job training and skills development for financial independence.

So far, our efforts have not panned out. Although there has been many disappointments, we know that in His time, it will all work out. God has everything in control, and we are trusting Him.

We have a mandate to go to Ghana, and like never before everything is saying GO NOW. The hubs, who owns his own construction business, hasn't gotten a decent job in awhile. The house we rent is being sold, and is priced to sell quickly. We have people requesting to visit us in Ghana, and projects waiting for us when we get there.

Our desire, what we know God wants us to do, is to live and minister in Ghana. Never have we felt we were to be part time or short term missionaries. Because of this, we've held back waiting for everything to be right. Waiting for all the pieces to be in place so we can go knowing it is "forever". However, there is an element of faith and trust required that "having all your ducks in a row" doesn't allow for. It seems,we are at that place. We've gotta choose to take the leap, and trust that God's got a plan, even if we don't.

So, we're gonna jump. We leave for Africa March 20th. We will stay for at least six months. We are believing that in that time, God is going to make a way for us to stay more permanently. If not, we'll come home, and ask, "What's next, Abba?" Either way, He is faithful. He is good.

Because this is my personal blog, not our ministry blog (although they often cross over), I can be more open about about the emotional roller coaster I've been on, especially in the past six months. There have been so many hopes created and hopes deferred that it's exhausting! I have cried many painful tears and yelled at God for being a big meanie! I've experience every emotion-anger, depression, hope, joy, pain. I've quit, given up the calling, about a million times. He's never felt so far away and so close at the same time.

Six months ago I couldn't have said that if we go to Ghana and have to come home six months later, with no plans of returning, that I would be OK with it. But I am now. Partially from complete exhaustion from fighting for this "calling" for so long. Partially because I know now that it really doesn't matter. What matters is obedience. What matters is knowing Him, trusting Him when it doesn't make sense at all, and resting in His love and faithfulness.

I so desperately want to do something great for my God. I wanna change the world for Him. But I am learning, world-changer status is meaningless to Him. He wants my heart. My love, devotion and willingness to follow is more precious to Him than any world-changing actions I may attempt.

How amazing is that?!

SEE our Ministry post about leaving: