I hope this entry finds you all doing well and enjoying the summer. This weekend has been perfect in terms of summer weather here in the Midwest. I know that all around us there has been so much devastation with flooding, tornados, drought, and wild fires, and so I am thankful that we are able to enjoy the perfect beauty of the Lord's creation here in Chicago this weekend.
Well, here is the update since my entry in May and my short one last week. First of all, I just want to say thank you so very much for your continued prayers and encouragement. I am beginning to realize the importance the role of a prayer team is to provide strength and encouragement to those who are the subject of the prayers, and now I know first hand how it feels to be lifted up in prayers. I can't even begin to express the gratitude that I have for your prayers especially knowing that all of us have so many other things and people to be praying for as well. So for this, I thank you.
So, the last time I shared with you that I was awaiting the results of my
psychological testing. The great news is that I passed the tests and found out
that I do not have any underlying psychological issues that may have surfaced
from this testing. Phew!!! Not that I was worried , but of course it is always
good to hear it from someone else too!!! I have learned some information from
this testing about things that are my strengths and some that are weakness and
then areas to improve upon and/or monitor as I continue on this journey. Since
I passed these tests, I was then scheduled to interview with The Antioch
Partners (TAP) the sending agency I shared with you last week that I visited
and interviewed with last weekend in Houston. So, after meeting and
interviewing with 6 members on the board of TAP, as of last Friday evening, I
became an official partner with TAP and they will be helping me with the
training, support raising, and other details associated with missions!!! If you
would like to know more about the agency here is a link to their website.
www.theantiochpartners.org. They are a great group of people
with a lot of experience both on the field serving in other countries as well as
within this organization itself. I am very excited to be supported by this
agency and am encouraged when I hear things like the fact that a few of these
people know some of the same people that I know including the pastor at my
church that was on staff prior to my current pastor, and a woman that connected
me to TAP originally who is the missions coordinator at another Presbyterian
church in the Chicagoland area! It continues to amaze me at how small the world
can get since these connections now seem to be coming full circle!
So, the question now is: What’s next? A lot! It is a little overwhelming to think of all
that really needs to be done and I am just so thankful that I have the Lord's
strength and wisdom to guide me through it all. So, the first thing I need to do
is read a book on how to raise support both financially and equally important in
prayer. I will then need to begin the fundraising process which I'm told is very
time consuming and exhausting which may be a challenge with an already
physically and mentally exhausting job. I will also need to go to a special 5
week training course in Colorado. I will need to continue to work on paying off
my college debt and try to find someone to buy or possibly rent my home for what
I owe on it. I will need to continue to learn new skills related to my profession that would be helpful over there, as well as continue to equip myself with a good spiritual base to prepare me for the challenges ahead. Oh, yeah, and I need to continue to learn Spanish! All of this mentioned above can be and has been a bit overwhelming to me. This is A LOT of work and time spent carefully planning to be as productive and fruitful as possible so that I can continue to move forward. When I was overwhelmed by this amount of work that was ahead of me, I was reminded of something that I had said to encourage someone else on our first trip to Peru when our bus became stuck on a mountain side and things were made much more difficult for us to achieve our intended purpose of taking blankets up to a small village in the Andes Mountains and share the message of our Lord and Savior. I remember saying after it was all done and we were finally making our way down the mountain, that "Just because something isn't easy doesn't mean that it isn't right." I am reminded about how Jesus is the ultimate example of this. His submission to his Father to die for our sins certainly wasn't easy, but instead was humiliating, agonizingly painful, and yet he still did this for all of us. So, my point is, even though it is a lot of work, and it may take a long time, How can I NOT move forward in what He has called me to do knowing what Jesus did for me?
Thank you all for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. I hope that the Lord is with you all, giving you strength and wisdom in all the things that He is leading you to do as well.