Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three Weeks of Insanity

Duane started an attempt at a blog before he had to get ready to get back on the truck: He called it “What a difference a week can make”. Pretty good title, if you ask me, but I’m figuring there’s been enough going on in the last THREE weeks to make a decent sized book. I’ll spare you THAT length, but I’ll let you share a bit of the ride. 
Backing up just a bit, you need to know that we’ve been praying about the possibility of Duane being in full-time ministry in general, but really didn’t know if/where/what/when. Well there’s a lot of that that we STILL don’t know, but God’s been busy. About three weeks ago, I was telling Duane about some of the ministry needs going on in the global picture of CEF (did you realize that at least in the US, we have about 75%ish of our workers entering retirement age in the next 10-15 years?). Something clicked in Duane’s head right about that time and what had been months of God hammering away at his/our heart, turned into action. Duane asked me what it would take to get the two of us to CEF’s International Conference, where I had told him it would be the best opportunity to see CEF in its “big picture”. After doing the figuring, we realized that God had used our careful budgeting of His finances, and that we had about $50 to spare after all anticipated costs. So, we made the commitment. I’d love to give you details, but I promised not to write a book. Just in those
10 days we saw miracles of God’s provision of favor with Duane’s boss, care for our three “kids” AND house, help to prepare for upcoming CEF events, perfect timing on the flights, and so much more. By the time we got there, we were blessed by an upgrade of our rental car from the cheapest, smallest car to a 2011 Dodge Charger (sweet ride btw!), the ability to visit my friends Tiffany and Andrew and their baby, Isaac, time together, blessing on our relationship with God and each other, meeting new friends and reacquainting with old ones. Just amazing times. And that was just the beginning. Before we left for the conference, Duane had acknowledged the two steps that we KNEW to take: first of all, just to GO to the conference, but secondly to LISTEN to God. We both did that, and were challenged on a daily basis on so many levels. Our walk with God in general was impacted, but specifically our prayer life, and in worship, and hunger for the Word. By Friday of the conference though, we knew that we were in the middle of God doing something bigger. God had broken through the hurdles we had each placed before our willingness to surrender. For me, it was a fear of both the unknown, and concern for how God would provide. I’ve lived as a
missionary for most of my adult life, so it wasn’t anything new to depend on God for EVERYTHING, but there had been comfort in my husband having a “real” job on which to depend (Never mind the fact that we had to trust God for THAT too!). I’m not sure what all Duane was dealing with, other than just not being sure what he was committing to. It was funny though, through our time there, we were constantly hearing God answer our questions through people we’d meet that had no idea of the struggle we were having. One person talked about how they handled the “never never lands” – saying yes to God when He asked you to go where you thought you’d “Never never” go. Another family talked about how they
balanced family life and ministry. So often it was sooo obvious that God’s sense of humor and sovereignty had created these divine appointments to address our human, fragile needs. He doesn’t HAVE to do that, but in his tender compassion, he blessed us the entire week in answer to so many prayers of our friends. Nightly we would compare notes on what God had been challenging each of us with. On Friday we just looked at each other, at peace, knowing that we were embarking on an adventure. We knew that step three was to SURRENDER to His plan, and we were ready to do that. So: we believe God is calling Duane into ministry with CEF. We THINK that means we need to pay off all debt (continuing the process we’ve been careful to work on already!), then save enough to pay the bills while he attends CEF’s three-month training in Missouri next year. However you cut it, I am soooo grateful to share the ministry with my husband, and look forward to seeing what God does with us together.
Would you please commit to praying for us both? Pray daily for our walk with Him and each other. Pray for clear direction. Pray for strength in the battle, and confidence in His calling. Pray for those who are walking through this process with us to have God’s wisdom, and pray for more workers to join us. May Jesus Christ be honored and glorified in and through us!

Watch for Duane’s perspective, coming soon. J

No comments:

Post a Comment