THE FIRST HOMECOMING
We arrived in the Rogue Valley, Oregon on Friday, January 25th. This is where I grew up, where Corinne and I met, and where our home church, Applegate Christian Fellowship, is. Everyone has been so encouraging and accommodating, helping us to get settled back into life here. Our church has been very gracious to give us jobs working on the grounds crew. Corinne is also hoping to resume her career as an occupational therapist.
We’re currently staying with my cousin as we look for a place to live. Right now happens to be a challenging time to find housing for many reasons, but many people, so thoughtfully, are keeping their eyes and ears open for possibilities. There are some potential opportunities coming available in the next month. I can’t help but see that when there are so many closed doors that that means our Father has something very specific for us.
The yearning to continue teaching the Word has been growing. Although I love the book of Job, it’s a book I can’t wait to be done with, because where you’re at in the Word is where you’re at. Whereas we are by no means suffering like Job did, we are eager to move into a season that is more settled.
Unless I feel a strong move of the Spirit within me, I generally wait for the Lord to orchestrate and move me into specific opportunities. Within the first week of being here my cousin Tim and a few others asked if I would be interested in doing a School of Discipleship course, leading a Koinonia (evening home fellowship meeting), and one pointedly asked, “Why aren’t you teaching?” To all of which I am eager to do, and am waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing to bring any of those to fruition.
Last summer, while we were on vacation, I had the great honor of sitting down and catching up with one of our pastors. He asked me if teaching was something that I loved. I responded that I love it like I love air. As I do it regularly it’s not something that I contemplate. But when I don’t have the opportunity I start to missing it… increasingly.
That leads to THE SECOND HOMECOMING.
That pastor who visited with me went to his greatest homecoming last Tuesday, February 5th. Peter-John Courson had served and pastored in many different places, including spending a Summer at the Mission when he was younger. After later visits over the years, Laura, one of the kids at the Mission, claimed him as “her pastor”. She always prayed for him, and loved watching his teaching videos. He once wrote her a letter. When we delivered it to her, and told her who it was from, we saw something we had never seen before. She held it to her chest and looked up to heaven as if it was the most precious thing she had ever received.
Pete had struggled and endured all of his adult life with Crone’s disease and brain tumors, all starting from his time on the mission field in Vanuatu. The girls at the Mission prayed faithfully for him during a time when it looked like the brain tumors would take his life. He made a truly miraculous recovery, and the power of God’s Spirit in him was a testimony to many.
THE THIRD HOMECOMING
We clearly see that the Lord has designed and orchestrated everything that has transpired. Our homecoming to Oregon coincides with others who have recently moved back. Sunday night was a homecoming of particular significance. Many people filled the church for Peter-John’s memorial service. Some traveled from across the country to honor him. Many had spent time at the Mission where they were first introduced to practically serving Jesus. From there they literally spread around the world, serving as missionaries, pastors, evangelists, and just simply loving the people that were around them, in places like Honduras, Burkina Faso Africa, Vanuatu, Europe, and various places around the U.S. On that night, after 25 years give and take, they came home to remember their brother with whom they had served. Although we don’t despair that Pete is gone, his passing has been more emotionally stirring than any I have experienced when considering that such a legacy has come to a beautiful
In this season our Father has measured out ample sweetness to offset any bitterness. He is so exceedingly gracious. We give thanks always for our family in Christ all across the country and around the world. In our time of transition all of you have demonstrated grace beyond what we had expected. We always hope that some day in some way we will have the opportunity to revisit that grace back to you in our Lord Jesus’ name.
We love you all. May our Father in heaven bless you abundantly.
Love Jeff & Corinne