Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Please Pray For MENA's needs

Things are and continue to be intense as we approach Congress.  My leave date is less than three weeks away, and I'm feeling it!  So much going on as we prep and also as I have been working on an application and preparing for my next (placement) trip this fall.  I also had the opportunity to visit a home fellowship who supports me last week.

That is always so special to have people locally who know who I am and affirm their partnership with me by having me visit.  As I shared hi lights and challenges of this past year as well as the upcoming transition, I was blessed at everyone's questions and insights, especially the children's!  During the prayer time at the end that consisted of everyone's prayer needs, I shared one I'd just learned of the day before: that our 5 delegates from MENA (M. East, N. Africa) still hadn't received their Visas after months of failed attempts and rejections both in-person and online!

How special to pray for this together and start seeing evidence of answered prayer the very next day when we discovered that they needed another letter.  I'm not sure if this has been the hold-up or not, but it certainly seems promising that there was something else we could offer to assist them in this process.  I'd ask you to please join us in praying for this very practical need.  Will keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Transition Time

Things have been busy!  To catch you up, when I left France, I had lots of questions whirling around in my mind.  Would I return to France?  Would I continue with the French translation work?  How long would I stay with EE?

To answer the last question first, this is something I have been praying about for a while.  I sensed that this is not what the Lord has for me long-term a year and a half ago.  I believe He started revealing the next steps to me back in February of this year, though I was still unsure of the "when" or the details.  I had purposed to remain with EE until the Congress next month, but was open to staying longer.  

Even when I left, I was thinking I may stay through December, especially if I could get the French translation complete.  My last week in France, I learned two significant pieces of information.  First, I was nearly out of support.  Second, as I mentioned in my last newsletter, 1/2 of the pages were missing from the Canadian materials and had never even been translated!  On top of that, the revised translation needs more revision and just wasn't acceptable to French youth.  It was like going back to Square One.

Being a "glass is half full" kind of a gal with a God who thrives on impossibility, I wasn't too fazed.  These were real issues, but I did not jump to any conclusions based on either.  I was thankful to have a two-week period I was house/dog-sitting early to mid-June to hopefully process and pray through everything.  

As things turned out, these two weeks ended up being incredibly stressful with multiple emergencies within the ministry, the home, and the dog.  Let's just say it was highly unconducive to gathering one's thoughts or decision-making.  At least, I should say, on a natural level, because the Lord managed to bring me to a place of clarity, direction, and complete peace within those two exasperating weeks.  In fact, He spoke to each of my questions in a way that helped me arrive at my answer.  

The house where I stayed has hundreds of books, not to mention I was already in the middle of a novel I was enjoying.  "Something" (the Holy Spirit) guided me to pick up a book by Elisabeth Elliott called These Strange Ashes.  This is not a book I normally would've been drawn to for multiple reasons, but now I know it was the Lord's doing.  Spoiler alert: I even knew about Elisabeth Elliott's experience, but reading the story of her first year as a missionary was a more vivid context to learn that after her arduous work--much more than anything I gave--all of her completed translation work was stolen and to this day has never been recovered!  Not only could I identify with her feelings, but the Lord used it to help me get to a place of acceptance that the time, energy, and work invested in the French translation was lost; and I am free to move on even though it's sad and disappointing.

Going back to the financial situation, I wasn't afraid or nervous; to me, this was confirmation that my time at EE is ending, and sooner than later.  Conversations with SAMS and EE helped bring me to a place of acceptance and realization that now (at the end of Congress) is the time to finish rather than staying longer.  And don't worry, true to His character, the Lord is providing for my needs, even through some of you, without even knowing my situation.

I won't share every little detail, but I'm still amazed and grateful at how the Lord was able to speak and get through to me at such a seemingly inopportune time using a variety of circumstances and testimonies.  I'm impressed how He can take natural circumstances or stories and infuse them with the Holy Spirit's touch to translate into specific, pertinent messages for our individual personal lives.  

I'm only now starting to share with others about the news and will, of course, share in my next newsletter.  It's still too early to give more information about location or assignment,  but I do plan to stay long-term with SAMS who is discerning this with me.  Thank you so much for sticking with me through the thick and the thin.  

Please continue to pray for Congress prep and Congress itself.  Please also pray for the interviews, decisions, and planning about the future.  Finally I give thanks for the Lord's financial provision and encouragement and pray for the finances needed for where He's leading me next.  I'll keep you posted!