Maybe you’ve heard a rumor. Maybe you are in the dark. Maybe you don’t even care. 🙂 Bottom line: it’s true. The Lord has shown us a direction, a step of faith to take and praise Him, because we are going to take it.
Moldova. We went there in March 2009, when Addy was three months old and we were there for about six weeks (or maybe it was eight). We spent the majority of our time in Briceni, Moldova visiting (and encouraging) our friends and missionaries, Steven and Teresa Yeats. Deep down, I thought the Lord was finally calling us into overseas missions (a dream since childhood). He wasn’t, although He was asking Christian to leave Amgen and go into full time ministry (and work alongside me at our church, Calvary Chapel Skyline) when we got home to Thousand Oaks.
That in itself was a lot…learning to live on a ministry salary (it’s different from a computer programmer’s in case you were wondering), learning that ministry doesn’t really have “work hours,” learning that Satan wants to attack everything he can when you are sharing in the Lord’s work…the list goes on! Then we became foster parents and welcomed our precious girls (Aaliyah, Bea and Aalysha) into our lives. Life was full, crazy and pretty good.
In May, the Lord moved the girls to the San Diego area. It was hard but now I can see how much better it is for them. We weren’t really sure what came next so we just stayed buried so to speak, in church stuff. Summertime is crazy at most churches, including here, so we were completely distracted. The three of us went to La Gloria, Mexico followed by Carpinteria Family Camp followed by Vacation Bible School (when Christian “had” to shave his head for his character!) followed by a Gleanings for the Hungry with the youth followed by an amazing wedding we helped plan/coordinate. Awesome, yet exhausting.
Somehow in the middle of it all, the Lord started doing something. You know, when He plants that “I’m going to show you something” seed in your heart? We tried to pray and wait patiently but we really wondered what the Lord was doing. Over and over He started giving us two thoughts: the Yeats family and the Russian language. Right away we thought, Briceni…but the answer was continually no. We were a little confused because although we knew missionaries in Ukraine we felt like we were being called to serve alongside the Yeats. We spent a few days confused, frustrated and uncertain until we finally decided to simply email Steven and Teresa.
That was our first major confirmation. Come to find out, the Lord had been showing Steven and Teresa that their time in Briceni was coming to an end and they were praying about a different (Russian speaking) city. We also found out that they had been feeling the exhaustion of being missionaries in a foreign country (without any other missionaries working alongside them). Steven told us that they had been praying for five years that the Lord would send them like-minded missionaries to serve alongside them. On top of that, their time line to plant a church elsewhere in Moldova and when we thought we would go over to Moldova lined up. We were very encouraged after hearing from them!
Since then, we have asked the Lord to either open the door wide or slam it shut in our face! So far He has been confirming this call through the encouragement of believers that we trust and giving us very encouraging scriptures. I was reading the morning after we heard from Steven and Teresa and I read this verse:
But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.
Someone told Christian to read Mark…when he got to chapter 10, he found himself camping on these verses:
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
Mark 10: 29 & 30
Then of course a few days later, someone emailed me those verses also plus these verses:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
John 12: 24-26
We know the steps to take next, but it is going to be difficult still. We love our families. We have been blessed with four adoring grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. My Mom and my Sisters are my best friends. Yet the one thing I keep remembering is that I only have a short time left to share Jesus and salvation with the world but someday I will spend eternity with my Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters and friends. Plus, I am also blessed to know that we will have modern technology (Skype!) and I truly believe we will get some visitors too! (Mom, the temperature is perfect in the Spring and Fall, I promise.)
I was going to explain why Moldova and where in Moldova but I think I will save that for a later post because this one is long and deep enough! As for when…well we are still praying about that but I will also explain what we are thinking as of right now. I will try to put the second part up in a day or two. 🙂