Monday, August 31, 2015

Where did the summer go?

How’s the saying go? “All good things must come to an end.” Even summer!  Even though the fun of summer and our visit in the states is ending soon, we are excited for what lies ahead. Being home for the summer, enjoying all the fun activities with family and friends has been wonderful!! It has fired us up and filled us up and now we are readying our hearts for our return to Uganda.  But leaving is going to be difficult.  As we prepared for our trip here our hearts were confused, we were sad and excited at the same time because we now also call Uganda home.  The people have become our family too.  Our hearts are torn between the two families!  We love them both!  So, being with both feels wonderful, and leaving each hurts as well, but we continue to rest in the fact, and know, God will fill those gaps.

While being here, many have asked us, “What was most difficult this past year? And, what was your biggest joy or what was most rewarding?” Of course being separated from our kids and grandchildren was difficult, but learning to let God lead and Really take control was the hardest! 

We left with our bags packed and our plans. We knew life would be different and living conditions would be difficult, but we weren’t prepared for the spiritual darkness that we felt.  Where we lived the first 10 weeks was dark, literally the house had little light, one window, and no airflow. The city was dark and so were our hearts.  The team we came to join had left.  We didn’t understand the culture or the ministry.  We were in the dark!  I (Janine) cried out “God I didn’t sign up for this.  I can’t do what you have asked of me.   I know we are supposed to be here.  I know you called Bruce and me to this place, but I can’t do this, it is to difficult.”   I felt broken!  But, God knew all this before we even left, that things would be difficult, that our team would leave, that we would now have to lead something we really didn’t have a handle on.  Sometimes God breaks us so we can put All our trust in Him.  Not just a few things, but All. 

We let Him lead the way!  Not without struggles.  Not without wanting to hold on to things.  Not without fears.  But in that brokenness is where He works the best!  And He has placed such a joy and peace in us that we know we are right where He wants us.  We have His direction!  And it is the best!! 
Bruce had the opportunity to do a message at Olivet about our roles and responsibilities in missions.  The only thing holding us back is Us.  We need to reach out to those around us and share what we know, bring them along side us.  Not only abroad, but here!  Out greatest joys are seeing those come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, seeing that heart that finally understands!  We had the pleasure of praying with one of our family members to receive Jesus this month.  Many in our family had been praying, sharing and loving him.  They were doing the groundwork Here, being on the mission field Here.  What a Joy to see and be part of expanding God’s kingdom!

We are all a part of the Lords army.  When a young man or woman joins the US Service they go through a process of training.  That training starts with stripping the individual of their desire to be self centered and finishes with training them to go and serve the way the US military wants them to serve.  We too should be reminded that it is not about us (individuality), but about following and serving Him.