The picture to the left says “TIME FLYS.” What can I say? It’s true, but it’s not an excuse. I’m just bad at writing updates, staying up on them and making sure they get out in a timely manner. It seems like a never ending battle with the calendar. Lord help me!
I think part of the problem is that our lives as missionaries are not really much different than your life. We wake, we spend time with the Lord in our devotions. Afterwards I go to work, talk with people, try to let my light shine, look for opportunities to share Jesus. After a day working for the Army, I go home, spend time with the family and relax. Before I turn in, I try to spend some more time with the Lord, read my Bible, thank the Lord for His faithfulness, for carrying us through another day, and I ask Him for His grace and goodness for tomorrow. I’m certain that’s about the same as your daily routine. It’s just the life of a Christian.
But God is moving, God is working! At times He moves slowly, imperceivable, almost unnoticed. Then there are other times He moves so fast it’s all you can do to just hold on.
So here’s whats going on. Here’s what the Lord has been doing with us.
Ashley and Elijah have moved back to the states. It’s a little hard for us knowing they are not just hours away by plane, not just a few hundred dollars away if we want to see them. Now they are now an ocean and a continent away.
They are visiting this month with Elijah’s folks and next month they are flying to California to interview with a church for a youth pastor position. I can’t think of a couple that is better suited to disciple middle school or high school aged kids in the ways of the Lord than them. I know I don’t tell them enough, but Tina and I are so proud of them. We’re excited to see what the Lord has for them.
Bryan and Austin continue to seek the Lord for His heart for them. It’s come to the point that they are just wondering what the Lord has for them, what direction they are to take for their lives, and when He’s going to open a door for them. As I have reported before, their heart is to return to the states and start college. Many people have offered to help them out with a place to stay, but so far, the Lord hasn’t seemed to give us a peace in our hearts or a go ahead for what we are supposed to do.
Those of you that know and have come to love Gunter, you’ll be sad to hear that he is going through his own personal struggle. He recently went to “The bad place” and was neutered. Now he struggles with a cone that catches on everything and is constantly impeding his progress. He went from the photo on the left, happy, alert and playful, to the photo on the right, sore, a little humiliated and a little less in the area of his manhood.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His rob filled the temple.” Is 6:1
When Uzziah died, things in the nation seemed to be out of control, but God was on the throne; and It wasn’t until Uzziah died that Isaiah was able to see God upon the throne, high and lifted up.
The Lord has spoken to my heart and has showed me that there are areas of ministry that are not pleasing to Him. Whether little or much, there are areas that I have allowed the flesh to creep into. Areas that I have served Him in the power of my own strength, not relying on His Spirit. He has led us to take a step back from what we have been doing and seek Him for a course correction. In doing so, we are asking Him to let the things die that aren’t of Him, so that we can see Him clearly upon the throne. We are asking Him to show us the way He would have us go forward.
It is our heart to serve the Lord in the power of His Spirit. We don’t desire to do anything, go anyplace, be anywhere, apart from Him. Because of this, we have placed everything on the table. We are asking the Lord to show us what needs to die and what needs to be renewed. Whether it to let go of our Wednesday night study or our Sunday morning study? Whether we are to seek to go deeper into a refugee ministry and make that our main focus or to let that go? Whether I am to continue to work for the Army or seek something else? Whether we are even to stay here in Germany or return to the states? It’s all on the table, and whatever He shows us, we are committed to being obedient to it.
I know we are to lift it all up to the Lord, while holding on to the ministry we have with a loose grip, and let Him show us what brings glory to His name, and to abandon everything else.
Will you please be praying for us? This is a difficult time for us. It’s hard to hear that there are things in your ministry that aren’t pleasing to the Lord. It’s discouraging to know that I have allowed the flesh to creep into things where it has no business being, but I want to hear it. It’s good to hear it! I want to surrender and see the Lord bring correction. That way He can reign in our lives and ministry. I want to let die what needs to die so we can see Him seated upon the throne of our lives, our family and our ministry.
So, please pray for understanding, for an ability to hear Him, for an open heart to receive from Him and that God would open our eyes to see what He would have us see.
Pray for strength to wait on the Lord, not to get out ahead of Him, and to respond properly to whatever He reveals to us.
Pray that God would refresh us and show us His heart.
Pray for us as a family, for clear direction and open doors.
The things I am asking you to pray about aren’t quick fixes. They are things that the Lord will do in His timing. I don’t expect an answer tomorrow. Yet I trust He will answer, I trust He will continue to work, and those answers and that work in us will be wonderful, marvelous and worthy of praise.
I just wanted to let you know where the Lord has us and what He has spoken to us. Thank you for your prayers. We appreciate you standing with us, covering us in prayer because of your love for our Lord and for us.
Gary and Tina