Overwhelmed and Glad

October 8, 2017

Sitting around a campfire, talking with my dad and brothers about feeling the weight of reaching a remote people group, I started to realize that all of this training has begun to sink in deep. And it took everything in me to hold back tears of the tension that had been rising in me for the last several weeks, maybe months.

Last week, Union Grove Baptist Church took their annual father-son camping trip. I’ve not been able to go for the past four or five years due to something always getting in the way. Actually, I couldn’t really afford to go this year, but my brother, Curan, offered to pay for my flight. There’s no way I was turning that down. It was a ton of fun to spend days with my dad, brothers and nephews, but one of the highlights for me was that night at the campfire. I was going back and forth with Curan and my dad about different issues I feel towards the Church and its lack of motivation to reach the unreached – those who Christ commanded us to go to. However, it took my dad’s wisdom to help me see my own misguided frustrations. I remember being nine years old and sensing the desperate need of the lost to hear the gospel and following that need ever since. Why hasn’t every believer dealt with a similar experience? Why aren’t more going? Why don’t more Christians understand my frustration? These were some of the questions I’ve been thinking to myself for a while now. After hours of dumping my unfiltered thoughts out to my family, my dad quietly and carefully contemplated, and then he responded. I cannot put into words what a relief it was to be empathized with, especially by my dad. He recognized deep feelings of fear and anxiety in me that I had not understood yet. However, my godly dad followed his grace with truth and encouraged me to recognize the joy amidst the fear. Maybe as many as could are not responding to Christ’s command, but has He not opened the door for Laura and me to go? We have so much to look forward to. Of course, it will be the hardest thing we ever do, but it is Christ who will sustain us. What a privilege! I was challenged to turn my feelings of anxiety into feelings of gratitude, hope and gladness.

So that was a week ago. Today, my heart aches to hear of a church member who discovered a large tumor in her brain. Having come closer to terms with the anxiety of leaving home to move overseas, my heart is in a better place to feel pain for others – to empathize for, since I have been empathized with. And once again, I have to hold back tears of this tension I feel – for missions and for the struggles of those who remain in the States.

There’s so much that I could write as an update, from the crazy classes we’ve been in since August, to the things we’ve been working on for the training center, to the busyness of our lives here in Roach, MO. But aside from a newsletter being an impractical platform to communicate technical information, this newsletter needed to be a little more raw.

Thanks, Curan, for the plane tickets.
Thanks, Dad, for the wisdom.
Thanks, Pastor Rich, for the encouraging letter.
Thanks to you who pray for us.

We are simply training to be at the fingertips of Christ’s body, and we want to be careful to recognize the uselessness of the fingers without the strength of the rest of the body.