Yes, it was so clear not much over a year ago. We were raising funds to go to China. I had felt the Father’s call on my life for years to go with ELIC to serve in a university. And Bethany, sensing the same general calling on her life, stood by me hand in hand.
Then the Father focused our plans even more. Our denominational sending agency asked us to go to Laos with ELIC to begin a new work there. This was the opportunity of a lifetime. And Bethany and I were humbled by the invitation. We were honored that people would entrust such a big task to us.
We quickly received financial support and encouragement from friends and family. The outpouring was almost overwhelming. And all along, we knew that we would soon be leaving those same precious people to begin something new in Laos.
Our charge was to be here for four years. We would learn the language and make contacts our first year, assess the possibility to conduct business in Laos our second year, and hopefully, establish a work our third and fourth year.
But sometimes our plans simply are not His. We intending on Him to accomplish great things through us, while He intended on accomplishing great things in us. And we know that just as He has called us to this place, He is asking us to return.
This year has been filled with the hardship of being in a foreign culture. That hardship has driven us to His Word. It has made us thirsty for constant communion with Him. It has shown us that the strength of the Body is found on it’s knees. It has strengthened our marriage. And it has given us a longing to share His love with others in a forward yet gentle and compassionate way.
We plan to return to our home in Nashville, Tennessee in mid-June. Bethany would like to return to teaching elementary school, and I would like to return to the work of fundraising. Some things in our future seem unclear, but one thing is clear. Bethany and I are changed. The Father so graciously and lovingly has taken the time to show us His heart. And we cannot wait to share that with you.