We may never understand all God’s ways, purposes and dealings with us in this life; however, we will definitely see, feel and taste the results of His hand. The key is what posture will we take when Father is leading us through the valley or desert, in times of famine or drought? Will we react, most likely, or will we respond, eventually? Well, at least for me this seems to be the case.
The weeks and months since I returned from Kenya, December 2009, have been very quiet. Most of my focus has been praying and encouraging Becky, as she discovers God’s purpose for her. For years, our ministry paths have been complimentary or parallel, but not really united in common focus and purpose. A little over a year ago, we closed a struggling, OK…failing, church plant that was doomed from the onset. This was done in conjunction with a full time youth ministry, which was our primary passion and focus. In hindsight, I see that moving from the youth ministry and a failing church plant was divinely orchestrated by the Lord. In spite of the feelings of rejection, loneliness and failure God was working something in us, not just for what’s happened the past few months, but the weeks, months & years ahead.
If you are like me, you can identify first hand with at least one character in the bible. Often times I find myself aligned with Elijah the prophet. (*Disclaimer – I am not calling myself a prophet) I heard Steven Furtick speak during The Nines event on Elijah out of 1 Kings 17. Elijah prophesied there would be a famine, afterwards he was led to the brook Cherith where he was fed by ravens. One day the brook dried up. Why did it dry up? Because God told Elijah to prophesy a famine/drought in the land. At some point everything would dry up. This forced Elijah to move beyond the brook to a widow woman’s house, where he blesses the woman and her son. God spoke the famine, God led Elijah to the brook, God fed Elijah, God dried up the brook and God led Elijah to the widow woman. Not only that, but if you read on in chapter 18, you find that Elijah confronts the wicked King Ahab and wipes out the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. All things, regardless of how they looked, were purposed by God for a divine moment.
For months, there appeared to be a famine in our ministry. God open doors to secular jobs so we can receive provision, sustenance and provide some stability for our family. However, He did not intend for us to camp out here. This has been a time of much needed physical and emotional mending. Kenya was a wake up call for me, showing me what my true purpose in the Kingdom is. When Becky returned from China, she too had a clear direction and purpose for ministry. For the first time, our hearts and spirits are united in missions. So much so, that at this writing Becky is on her second missionary endeavor, this year, to Haiti. In December, she will join me for our first ever joint missionary journey to Kenya, and possibly Uganda.
Doors for missions are not the only thing opening in our lives, the month of July is more busier in ministry work than previous months. I have performed a wedding ceremony for a friend from high school. This Sunday, I am filling the pulpit at our home church, River Stone in San Marcos – TX, for the first time. Finally, I am preaching the Central District – PCG youth camp in Missouri for a fellow youth director friend, Dalin Antwiler. Now I know how Elijah felt when the servant told him he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand. It was a small sign, but Elijah knew it meant the famine and drought was over, and a deluge filled the land.
I don’t know if we are about to experience a ministry deluge, but I can say it sure looks like the famine and drought is subsiding. Now we wait on the voice of the Lord to lead us away from our secular jobs and back into full time ministry, global missions. Will you pray and agree with us? Will you take time to encourage us? Finally, will you consider partnering with us?