I feared telling my parents that Stephen and I were planning to move to Africa and be missionaries.
I feared leaving our apartment behind and selling everything to begin deputaion.
I feared being misunderstood, judged, or a failure as we worked and presented our burden to churches.
I feared moving to a third world country and having to learn a new culture and way of life.
I feared loosing the child God had formed in me, again.
I feared my own safety in a place that is known to be unstable.
I told my parents of the decision Stephen and I had made to be missionaries, and although saddened by the fact we would now live far away, they were very supportive and loving. It took them a while, but God gave them grace, and He continually does.
We left our apartment, sold all our things in a week, and never looked back. We were “homeless” for two years, and had no money in savings when we began deputation. We then experienced God’s blessings in full. He provided monetarily and beyond for our physical and emotional needs. We never missed a meal. We always had a place to sleep. We made more friends than we could have imagined and can keep track of. We visited more of the United States- from east to west- than we could have in our entire life were we not missionaries.
We visited churches and presented our burden for Burkina Faso and people understood why we were going. If they didn’t like us, we never knew of it, and if they judged us, they also kept it from us. We stayed encouraged throughout deputation, never expecting anything from anyone, but being thankful for everything. Yes,according to us, we failed on several occasions, but the Lord helped us get through those and has given us fond memories from every place we have visited.
Then we actually packed our thing and supplies, and moved to the this third world country we had been expounding on for the past 20 months. We are still learning the culture and this new way of living- yet instead of crying, we are laughing at our circumstances and differences we find in this culture. When everything seems to be done backwards, we’ve learned to accept it and move on.
We had our son, and the fear of what we had already lived through 3 times when I miscarried our babies became, once again, very real. Loosing our son so shortly after his birth was difficult, but the entire pregnancy, we did not dwell on the fear of what might happen, but gave him back to the Lord from the very beginning. He chose to take him back, and in return, gave us complete peace about it.
We moved into our home in Africa and 2 months later, the government dissolved, there were manifestations and riots in the capital for days, buildings were burned, smoking cars and houses could be seen from our home, machine gun fire was heard throughout the day, and the embassy sent out messages to inform people to stay put all week and to have food and water reserves. For the first time, I genuinely feared for my life and for my neighbors’s life. Yet, the Lord used this circumstance to strenghten my burden for those who are lost around me. What if they died and never heard of Christ’s love and sacrifice for them?
I don't always react well to the circumstances that are placed before me in life, especially when I fear their outcome.
Fear does funny things like that- when we yield to it…we miss out on so much.
I would have missed out on showing my parents the love of Christ for his church which needs to be exemplified through my marriage, had I not been submissive to my husband as we told them of our plans. I could have refused to leave and sell our belongings and then missed out on all the blessings God had for us, and I never would have learned to trust him. I could have refused to travel with my husband and choose not to teach any Sunday school classes or ladies’ meetings, but I would have missed out on being used of the Lord to change a child’s life, encourage different ladies, or be a blessing to the pastor’s family. I could have said that I don't want to accept this new culture, but then I would be unable to reach my neighbors, make friends and show others that Christ’s love is not bound by cultural barriers. I could have blamed God for not letting us have children as of yet, but that would only show others that my faith is weak and that I don't truly trust Him and His divine decisions for my life. I could cry and fret about safety, but that would make everyone back home worried and prove that I don’t believe God can use these specific circumstances to make an easier path for His good news to be spread in Burkina Faso.
What are you afraid of? How have you reacted to those fears?
I am responsible for my own reaction and decisions concerning things I fear in life. I cannot blame someone else. I’ve also learned that fearing God trumps above all other fears, and genuinely makes them seem completely ridiculous. He is in complete control of our circumstances and of our life. We must trust and fear Him above all else.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh,
they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me:
therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy;
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice:
have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee,
Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Hide not thy face far from me;
put not thy servant away in anger:
thou hast been my help; leave me not,
neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up.
Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies:
for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
I had fainted, unless I had believed
to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:wait, I say, on the Lord