One Saturday morning in Canada shortly before we came back to Brazil, I was leafing through flyers minding my own business when I saw a picture of a golden retriever. For those who know us well, wed are often comparing ourselves to those overly friendly extroverted dogs.
But we also really want one and it represents home to me and to my kids who's only ever house that felt like home had a golden retriever in it.
At that moment as I looked at the golden retriever in front of a cage I felt the Lord say, 'so when you get to Joao Pessoa, you're going to find a house that looks pretty great early on. But, it's not the house I have for you so don't rush it, wait on me'.
I told Phil and then forgot all about it.
Two weeks into our time here, and the fourth house we looked at-we were in love! It was clean, bright, had an extra bedroom for visitors, a bit of space outside, great location. We were ready to rent it.
The next morning we had an appointment to see it again. I woke up feeling uneasy and couldn't figure out why. So, I said, 'what's up Jesus, why do I feel like this?'
That's when he reminded me what he had told me when I was looking at the flyer.
Seriously? But this house is PERFECT. It has EVERYTHING!
But I have something better.
I told Phil, his shoulders sloped and he sighed, 'Really?'
So, we didn't rent it. For the next week or so there was NOTHING new on the market. We started to panic a little, what if I heard wrong?
But, everything in me told me not to rent it. Trust, wait, He has something better.
Finally, one day as I was obsessively looking on the Brazilian version of Kijiji a house appeared I hadn't seen before, a new listing.
The initial picture had two large dogs that looked like golden retrievers in the drive way.
IT'S A SIGN! I joked, sort of.
I read the description, 3 bedrooms, and an 'annex'. I made an appointment to see it at the earliest opportunity.
The minute we walked through the gates and into the house we were all sold on it. It had so much outside space, which is nearly impossible find here. There was also the annex, which had a garage below for all of Phil's fiddlings, and above a full bedroom with ensuite for visitors. Separate from our own house for the visitors privacy and ours.
We really want our house to somewhere that pastors, missionaries and family and friends can come to find rest.
This place was just that.
Now that we are moved in, I am reminded every day that waiting on what God has for us is ALWAYS better. Jesus always has what's best for us, even when it doesn't look like it.
We just have to be willing to wait.....and that my friends is the hardest part.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
This past Sunday we had the opportunity to share with our home church about what we feel God has placed on our hearts. I felt strongly leading up to our talk that this was supposed to be something other than a slideshow and stories from the Amazon. I felt God pressing on my heart that He wanted people to examine their hearts for the areas they haven't let him in, the 'dirty closets' they preferred to keep closed.
The worship left Phil and I undone as it spoke exactly of the message we felt pressed to share with our church family.
I posed the question, 'If Jesus asked you to say yes before knowing the question could you do it?' If you couldn't, why? Is there fear involved? Are there areas of your life that are off limits to Jesus? What are the fears? Fear of loss? Fear of lack?
When we hold back and live in fear we become paralyzed, stop listening to what God wants for us and in turn we choke off the blessings God has for us.
Our yes comes at a cost, sometimes it's a great one, but it also comes with great reward.
We shared a bit about some of the awesome stuff God has been using us for in Brazil and how we came to the understanding that he is indeed calling us to move on to Joao Pessoa where we will be part of planting a church and beginning new ministries that we are yet to discover.
We also shared our financial situation, where are we four years into this thing?
Reality is the numbers currently don't add up but we are pressing forward in confidence knowing that God has called us into this and requires our action to activate his provision.
We shared where the majority of our funding comes from, 80% from individuals who give anywhere from $25-$200/month. That maybe Jesus is asking them to say yes to joining our team, to trust that he will provide. We also stressed that although you may think what you can offer is just a bit, it's all those bits that make up the majority of our funding. Not to mention knowing we have a team of people rooting for us, praying for us and supporting us is invaluable.
I sighted Exodus 14:12-18 when the Israelites are whining that Moses should have left them as slaves, Moses tells them to be still but God responds, '“Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to MOVE on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
God wants our yes AND our action. When we do that He gets the glory, people see the impossible become possible.
Sometimes being enslaved by our fear is comfortable because it's what we know. But that's only because we haven't given God a chance to show us what he is capable of. When we do, we taste real freedom and there's no turning back.
We are so incredibly grateful to the people who have been faithfully supporting us these last four years and to those who have just decided to join the team. We are still recruiting, if you want in send us a message and we'll get you set up.
We also shared a video highlighting some of the best moments of the last two years.
Here's the link: