Sharing the Burden

August 15, 2013 will always be a special day for me. It is the day that my family of six arrived in Mexico City to begin our ministry among our brothers-and-sisters in Christ to the lost of the city. Troy and I first received our calling to serve in Mexico in 1999. Later, God changed the organization--and location--where we would serve to One Mission Society in Mexico City. We were accepted to OMS and appointed to MC in December, 2007, and began fundraising the following May. Therefore, this special day had been long awaited (14 years from the time we initially received our Mexican calling; 5 years after we began fundraising). Long anticipated and longed for. There are no words to adequately describe my emotions that day. In a previous post of our ministry blog (link at the top of the page), I tried to describe some of them. Suffice it to say I was a weepy mess all day. From the time we checked our bags in (although those were more tears of relief that it was done), to handing our tickets and passport to the agent at the gate, to the initial take off and landing, to walking outside after easing through customs and immigration and finding Steve, our field director, waiting for us, to the drive back to the seminary in the NW part of the city, to our first Sunday worshiping with our Mexican brothers-and-sisters in Christ at the Campanario church (interestingly enough, the very same church we attended 5 years ago when we visited MC with the kids), to the kids’ first day of school at Mexico City Christian Academy yesterday... Many, many moments where tears of gratitude, of extreme happiness would overcome me and rain down my face.

Of course there have been (and will continue to be, I’m sure) moments where I feel completely over my head. I’d never seen the city from the sky before. Let me tell you, it is quite overwhelming. Everywhere your eye falls, there are streets. Buildings. Houses. People. People who don’t know that Jesus came to set them free from a life of sin. People who don’t know that the saints they turn to for comfort can no more fill that hole inside them than I can.

There is a voice in my head that says, “You are just one person. What can you do for so many?” Of course, it’s not anything I do that matters. Jesus can reach out to these people Himself--He doesn’t need me. I’m blessed to be the vessel chosen to minister to His lost children. A few people came up to me this weekend, wanting to express how thankful they are that I left everything behind to come here and minister to their people. To reach the lost. Even as I type that, it gives me chills. There were many people along our fundraising journey who questioned us. Why, after struggling for so long in our funding, were we still determined to go to Mexico? Why not just stay and reach the Mexicans at home? The mission field has come to us, they said. And for some, this is true. But we knew with every fiber of our beings that God was calling us to go. The look on these faces, the tears of humble gratitude in their eyes as they thanked me confirms that we were right not to waver. I don’t know that we can reach the lost in Mexico any better than her own sons and daughters can. But we have something very special in common: we both feel a deep burden for these men, women, and children who live in spiritual bondage.

And so the ministry begins. Together.


Learning to Lean Not on My Own Understandings

We had a lovely evening with friends tonight, sharing a meal and talking. It was such a pleasant time together.

Then, we received news that I didn't want to hear.

The family that had planned to move into our house and had said they'd buy the majority of our stuff from us has changed their mind and has decided to go to a language school in their country of service. We're talking about a large amount of money's worth of stuff they'd bespoken. All I could think about was how we now have only two weeks to sell this stuff, and if we don't that's just that much less we'll have to set up housekeeping with in Mexico.

In all of our preparation, Troy's been the one who has been concerned about the visas and how short a time we've had to begin the process. I've said to many people, "If God wants us to have the visas before we go to Mexico, we will. If not, He has another plan in mind. Nothing I can do will speed up the process one bit, so why worry about it?" In a sense, I've bragged about how much I don't worry about stuff. Whatever happens happens. 

Well, tonight I proved myself to be a big, fat liar.

The minute I heard we were going to have to try to resell our stuff, I immediately was in a panic. What if we can't? What if we have to leave some behind? What if we don't have enough money to adequately fill our house in Mexico (when we first started raising support, we, having never completely furnished a house before, cut our housing budget in half. In. Half. Now, looking at how expensive beds are, we are wishing we hadn't done that. So if you're reading this, you're a missionary, and you're contemplating cutting your budget to save yourself a few hundred dollars a month, DON'T.)? For the last year, we've lived without things on the walls, with stuff that really isn't ours, and I'd really looked forward to "fluffing our nest". To really making this next home ours. And I felt like that had been taken from me. Because of course, I panicked to the degree that I just knew we would have nothing with which to build a home. (Not true. We have some budgeted in our support, and we've been saving our own personal money to help supplement.)

So I decided to post a "prayer request" on our Facebook group.

But what was the very first post in my news feed upon logging into Facebook? A friend had posted Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Wow. God could not have sent me a clearer message had He picked up the phone and placed a direct call to our house. He showed me what I should've known all along, that, although I may not necessarily fret about the visas, I most definitely do lean on my own understanding. I try to plan my own way. Figure things out for myself instead of just trusting God to provide. You'd think after 4 years of fund-raising I would've learned this lesson by now.

Guess not.

I'm still, and probably for a long time to come, will be learning not to lean on my own understanding. Learning to completely submit to Him, yes, even in my desire to make a home for our family (a good desire at that). And trusting Him to straighten my paths and provide the things we need in His timing and in His way.

Even if we don't sell a thing, this is the best thing to happen for us because it is another opportunity for us to learn how to completely trust in Him.

And I thank Him.