About a year ago, Jeanette & I were praying through a very difficult season. We were sharing our conviction to move to Taiwan as missionaries and our need to meet pledges for enough financial support by a set deadline. There were times when we felt hopeless about raising enough pledges by the deadline, but at the same time, we had to continue with our preparations to move overseas. We were busy getting all our medical requirements filled, passports made, visas applied for, accounts cancelled, banking matters handled, house emptied, etc. Jeanette gave her notice to leave at her school and I, of course, was also preparing to make my leave from church as smooth a transition as possible. The church and I had started searching for a pastor to take over my position.
We had our trust in God that He would let everything fall together at the perfect time, but I have to admit there were moments of anxiety & fear as well. What if we find the next pastor but don’t meet the financial deadline and we can’t leave for Taiwan? We wouldn’t stay in Tampa because it’d be too awkward for everyone and too weird for the new pastor and others at our church. Where can we go? What can we do to take care of the kids? Worries and doubt hovered over our trust and faith in God.
What’s amazing and wonderful is that Jeanette and I both went through periods of fear and worry and doubt, but at different times. So when I would be down, she would encourage me to keep my faith and focus on God’s power, not what we can see. When she was down, I felt strong and encouraged her. On the whole, we believed in God’s sovereignty & character and together we prayed for the April deadline. We prayed that God would allow us all to see that this is His will and not ours to go and at the time that we set also be His perfect time for us. For the following 3 months or so, God moved in the hearts of many people to partner with us and our full financial amount was pledged! And here we are now in Taiwan.
In my experience, one thing about embracing God’s will is that God reveals Himself through testing of our faith. And if we persevere in His will, inevitably God will strip away things of this world that give us a sense of security & stability. It is so that we have no choice but discover Him as our only source of confidence. If we still have options to choose from or some back up plan, we don’t need to go deep enough in His will and we probably won’t. In the Bible, there are numerous people who would fall on their knees & cry out to the LORD because they had nowhere to turn except to God. It is a humble place that we’d rather avoid because it’s uncomfortable. But without it, we could never witness God’s power & character in the way that would transform us from within. This is the kind of transformation I desire for me, my family & for you. Such deep transformation will change the way we look at all things.
We do have a major prayer concern, and it is our hope that you will go on this prayer journey with us. It is our prayer that we will together witness our Lord’s faithfulness, graciousness & power.
Though we came with 100% of our budget pledged, circumstances have changed and there are some partners who aren’t able to give as hoped. Since November, our financial support has gone down significantly and we find ourselves at a similar place as last year about this time. This time we would like to believe that we are a little bit wiser having experienced God’s goodness firsthand. We are approaching this surprising news more prayerfully and peacefully.
What we desire the most are your prayers because prayer is the only thing that can keep us in God’s will. It is only through prayer that we get to experience God’s omnipotence. Knowing that God’s people are praying for us is a tremendous encouragement. Your notes and messages reached out to us letting us know you, your family, small group or church are praying for us help us pray with more thanksgiving & confidence.
Other ways that you can help is by letting others know. Your friends, small group, church, whoever you can think of. Tell others about our missions in Taiwan through OMF International. Our website may answer a lot of questions. We would love to directly contact anyone you can recommend too. We truly desire for you to be our partners in seeing what God is doing here in Taiwan.