As the saying goes, when God closes a door, he opens a window.
We are currently looking for our window. Most all of you who read this blog know about our desire to serve in international missions and to live overseas - specifically in South Asia. We moved to Fort Worth with the intent of Daniel going to seminary and getting a degree focused on international church planting and going with the SBC mission board for at least 3 years. We started the process with the anticipation of going to training in January. We missed the deadlines (because we were never told the deadlines) and got pushed back to April. This setback made me very sad and upset because we had nothing really keeping us in the US after December, but God gave us peace about staying in the US longer and we welcomed the extra months to spend with our family. We worked towards finishing our paperwork and there were still a few things that were up in the air about us being able to leave in April. We emailed our consultant last week and he told us it was too late to go in April that it was July now. I emailed a few more questions and he told us that we actually had until November 27th. Then I emailed him a few more questions this week and he said the earliest we can hope for at this time is October for training - which would mean not actually being overseas until late spring/early summer 2014. Frustrating to say the least.
One of the main requirements to go with this organization is that within the last two years we had to have shared the gospel with someone and that person have come to know Christ within a year of us sharing with them. Daniel had that. I did not. I really didn't share the gospel a lot until this past spring. God convicted me and I began to share with a lot of people. Random ladies at the park, people I sat by on the airplane, doing door to door evangelism with my church, etc. But I never saw any decisions from those conversations. It was either a "no" or the person said that they were already a believer (and it's not my call as to whether they are or not - I'm just told to be faithful in sharing). And before any of you start telling me how silly that requirement is, I know, and I've heard that from everyone, but it is a requirement nonetheless and they have to have standards. So that's that.
Another issue for us was Daniel's weight. He is by no means "fat" but they want him to lose 17lbs and he has to keep if off for 3 months before they will move us forward.
I had told Daniel when they started talking about July that I felt like God was closing the door. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. I told Daniel that if they pushed us back until July that we weren't supposed to go with them. Then we get the email that it will now be October at the earliest. I cried even more. It's so hard to watch God close a door that you've been working toward for the past 3 years. I'm crying as I write this. We've watched friends at the seminary breeze through the process and know when and where they are going before we were even allowed to talk about it. Everyone knows that we want to be overseas. That's all we've ever talked about. Whenever we meet people we tell them that we want to be missionaries. I just don't understand. We've had this all planned out and we knew where God was taking us. And now we have no clue. We're in limbo.
We feel like our time in Fort Worth has ended. Daniel will change his concentration and get a different degree (the original degree requires us to go overseas for at least 2 years and that's obviously not happening at this time). He will most likely take some online classes next semester, possibly through a different seminary. Daniel wants to work for a church. Missions, church planting, pastoring, discipleship, whatever. He'll start sending out his resume soon. We would love to continue on with CARES in a different location too.
Our pastor asked us on Sunday if we were at peace about this situation. We said yes. And he said that it's much better to not know what you're doing and be at peace about your situation in life than to not know and not be at peace. He had a point. We are thankful that God has given us a peace about what's going on and that we can trust in Him to provide our next step.
Will you pray with us?
Pray for our ministry as a family.
Pray for our upcoming move to wherever.
Pray for our job situation and finances.
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give the glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!" -- Psalm 115:1
"For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" -- Psalm 117:2
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged." -- Deuteronomy 31:8