Sunday, January 31, 2010
I have had the privilege of being a part of great small groups through the years. The current group is no exception. It has been such a blessing to get to know these dear folks. I am thankful for the ways we can share and laugh and pray and study and serve... together. It's been a good glimpse of how the Body of Christ is supposed to operate, I think.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
In December and January, I began to walk through the steps that must be completed before I begin my assignment in Orlando. There have been applications and assessments and interviews, all of which have helped me know more about the priorities of Wycliffe. There was also time with the Faith Church missions committee, completing the process for acceptance into the Global Outreach family.
As we move into February, I will be working with a Wycliffe Personnel Administrator to establish a timeline for the remaining steps and to confirm my assignment. Mid-month, online orientation sessions will begin.
I am also working to organize information regarding my current role at Faith and beginning to communicate it to others. I would invite you to pray that God will continue to make next steps clear, not only for me, but also for Faith Church.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
November was a month of investigating -- talking with those who know me and with those who know both of the organizations and both of the roles that were before me. And, I kept reading. I was particularly struck by two quotes from The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God's Plan for the World by M. David Sills.
"God calls every Christian in the way He knows is best. He made our ears and knows the call we will hear the best. He also made out hearts and filled them with desires that He longs to fulfill." (p. 195)
"[God's call] is a recognition of the gifts and abilities that God has given you mixed with the desire to go where your life can best be spent 'to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you.' (Philippians 3:12 NIV) It is at once more subtle and overpowering, sudden and growing, understood and yet becoming clearer all your life." (p. 201)
I was struck by Psalm 77:19 "Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters — a pathway no one knew was there!" and by the conclusion to Psalm 107 - "Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD."
As I went through the month, it became more and more clear to me that God was leading me away from my role at Faith Church. And, I was beginning to get a sense that one of the two new roles might be a better fit for me than the other. By the first week in December, I made a decision.
I love Ukraine. I love the people with whom I would have worked there. God is doing an amazing thing in Ukraine and it would have been a privilege to be a direct part of it. But God has prepared me to go another direction. As a part of the Operations Department with Wycliffe, I will join a staff that is wired like I am to do “background” work... to help advance Bible translation.
Evan McBroom said, "Never underestimate how God connects-the-dots to accomplish His will." If you choose almost any circumstance or influence on my life, I can tell you how God used it to play a part in preparing me for this step -- my great-grandfather's settling in Tippecanoe county; transferring colleges; a parent who helped in my classroom; hauling 6' tables around for a week one summer; agreeing to fill in at the church "until I found another job..." All of those things and myriad others helped set the stage for this move.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
September was all about settling into Mom's and new routines. When folks asked about my situation, I told them I was planning to live there for a while as I evaluated some options. There was nothing else conclusive to say about what was on my mind.
I was convinced that God intended for me to consider whether or not I was called to Ukraine, full-time. I sought counsel, read books, and prayed about it.
Also during September, I was thankful to receive all of my earnest money from the failed house offer and to be released from any obligation or penalties connected with it. What a gift!
Then, October 1, my next surprise came along. While she was up for the Women's Fall Retreat, Ruth Hubbard encouraged me to investigate Wycliffe as I looked at God's direction for my future.
Wow. Now there was even more to think about. How are you supposed to know God's plan when there are two incredibly good things in front of you?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Somewhere along the way, Mom asked why I didn't just move things into her garage and live with her until I got things figured out. So, on Sep 12, some family and friends who are VERY gifted packers helped me load and move everything from the condo and somehow fit it into Mom's garage. Stuff is floor to ceiling with one small path around the edges!
Mom has lived in this house since I started 1st grade. I am staying in the room where I grew up. How's that for things coming full circle? It is still uncertain how long I will be living here, but I am getting ahead of myself in the story.
Just wanted to say a public "thank you" to Mom for her graciousness, not only in allowing me to stay here, and for all the "fringe benefits" of living with her, but also for giving up her garage, particularly during this cold, messy winter we are having.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
As I thought through the last two episodes of my life, I knew I needed to at least pray about whether God might be leading me to change direction. I began to seek counsel and ask for prayer from folks who know me well.
On August 25, I got a call from my realtor. She was excited to tell me our offer on the house was accepted! Imagine my surprise when the first "feeling" I had was one of disappointment. Wow. Not what I expected at all.
The next day, we had an inspection done, and though there were cosmetic issues, there was nothing significant that should cause me not to take the house. The day after that, my realtor called again. The sale of the house was being suspended indefinitely (long story!). Suddenly, I might not have a house at all, or wouldn't have it for a very long time.
By Aug 31, I was convinced I should investigate the role in Ukraine that Steve mentioned. I met with my realtor and decided to withdraw the offer on the house rather than wait on it, even though it meant I might loose the earnest money I had put down. There were other potential financial penalties, too.
Meanwhile, my condo had sold and was set to close on Sep 8. I was about to be without a home. But, I would be in a much better position to evaluate any future changes that God might have in store.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Mom picked me up at the airport and we headed to her house. The plan was to stay there for the night, get my car the next morning, and then head on into work, back to my normal life. Since the flight was very late, I was especially glad. As we stood in her kitchen at 1 in the morning, with me fresh off the plane from Ukraine, my dear Mom made a comment that released me to go, if God should ever call me somewhere else.
Wow. She had no idea of Steve's challenge to me. But, I told myself, I still had an offer out on a house! Too late to think more. Time to sleep and get over jet lag!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Here's where the recent journey towards Wycliffe Bible Translators began.
God was so gracious to us on the trip to Ukraine in August. Our travels were smooth, all luggage arrived, we were generally healthy enough to do all we intended to do. The conference went well, we interacted with such wonderful folks who have made Ukraine their home and place of ministry, and everything seemed to be going just fine on my fifth visit there.
One afternoon during the conference, I had opportunity to take a walk with Steve & Nancy Wooden in the city center of Lviv. We reached Veronika (wonderful place, but that's another story for another day!) and stopped for a break. During our chat, Steve challenged me to consider coming to Ukraine long-term to do behind-the-scenes work, similar to my role now at Faith Church.
Wow. From my perspective, that question came out of nowhere! I told Steve & Nancy it just felt like the "wrong time." After all, I had my plans already made.
You see, right before heading to Ukraine, I had sold my condo that had been on the market for a year and put an offer on another house. I knew things were on hold because of some complications, but there was every indication the offer would be accepted. Having a new house that I would need to sell just didn't make sense to me. "Besides," I told them, "I am getting too old." (Yes, I said that.)
So, I did make a mental note of Steve's challenge, and I did keep thinking about it, but had basically ruled it out. The trip concluded smoothly with only one flight delay on the last leg. We arrived home late on August 18.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
If you followed this blog before, you probably thought I had abandoned it.
No. There just weren't enough details in place to share with you about how God answered your prayers for the trip to Ukraine in August. Now, there is plenty to tell!
This week, I have been approved as a candidate for membership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I am in the process of pursuing approval to join the Global Outreach family of Faith Church.
The past five months have been an amazing journey. I am excited to share it with you. And, I have a feeling the journey is just beginning.