“Give or take a few days, we are now a year away from our departure for South Africa.”
At least, we were when I first sat down to write this post, just after Christmas and my Jan. 2 birthday. Instead, a string of illnesses – me with bronchitis, the kids with colds and then flu, then Tracy and Karen again – and my nephew’s tragic death Jan. 10 delayed me from writing this post. Two and a half weeks later, the urgency that was the theme of this post is even stronger, with it now being “351, +/-” until our departure.
Holy Toledo, there is a lot left to do.
We’re still pursuing our studies and training, still reading many books, discovering more we need to add, and taking online courses. We’re reviewing our notes to stay fresh on what we’ve already done. We’re talking with people about ways to support the work God has for us. We’re learning to rely more and more on God to provide all we need. We’re not finished, we’re not perfect, and we’re not immune to the stress of it all, but God is good and has been faithful to us.
This journey is both exhilarating and overwhelming. It seems crazy at times to give up our lives here, to sell our house (again!) and vehicles and nearly all our possessions, and to leave family and friends behind. All for a God whom many believe is just wishful thinking.
But we know Whom we serve and Whom we follow. We have met Him repeatedly through the world He made and the people whom He loves. We have seen his glory declared in the heavens, have heard His voice within our prayers, have felt His love through the kindness of others. We have gotten to know Him through His word and our obedience to it, and our faith has grown through each experience of His faithfulness. He, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, has asked us all to participate in His work of redeeming this glorious, fallen world, and He has made clear the particular way He has for us to do so.
It’s a good role awaiting us in Cape Town, and we know that the life He has chosen for us is better than anything we could ever make for ourselves. That’s worth giving up our comforts and our lesser hopes, even before we remember the hope and comfort we’ll help bring to others in His name.
Thanks for walking this path with us. Thanks for the help you provide. Thanks for the patience you show in those moments we’re overwhelmed.
Psalm 19 (New International Version)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
___the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
___night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
___no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
___their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
___It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
___like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
___and makes its circuit to the other;
___nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
___refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
___making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
___giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
___giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
___and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
___than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
___than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
___in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
___Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
___may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
___innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
___be pleasing in your sight,
___Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.