Posts Tagged With: car

missionary myth #4: home assignment is a vacation

Road trips, seeing different parts of the country, not reporting to an office every day… I can see why from the outside our life may seem like the break from monotony that many people long for. But somehow it doesn’t quite feel that way to us.

Maybe that’s because in between all that traveling, we are speaking in churches, meeting with supporters, and juggling a load of “behind the scenes” administrative tasks that come with our job. In many ways, our job on home assignment is more similar to that of a traveling businessman or a speaker on tour rather than a long family vacation. We often speak 2 to 3 times on a Sunday, field a lot of questions, and spend most of the day interacting with new or no-longer-familiar people.

During the week, we have several meetings with friends or family who are partnering with us. We also speak at Wednesday evening services, small groups, and/or open house meetings. Often, after speaking once or twice, a meeting or two with supporters, and then a meal with someone else, we arrive back at the home where we’re staying and finally have a chance to catch up with our hosts for an hour or two before crashing for the night. Then the next morning, we pack the car, and we’re off to somewhere else. On average, we log 1,000 miles of driving per week.

In the car, or between meetings with supporters, we write prayer updates, blog posts, or newsletters. We update our website. We stay on top of the paperwork that comes with being self-employed clergy (schedule C clergy income records, vehicle mileage logs, etc). We reply to dozens of emails, texts, and calls from supporters and churches. We confirm or work out details for the next legs of our trip. We pay bills (yes, we have some of those). We make preparations for our return to Papua New Guinea (flights, guest housing, buying things to take back, etc).

And in between those things, sometimes we do get to visit a beach, or take a walk, or even catch a nap. Thanks for praying for us doing this busy time of traveling and sharing what God has being doing in our lives the past two years!

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the battle

On Saturday morning at 2:15am we received a reminder of the battle we’re in. We had stayed up til midnight talking with my brother and his wife, then went downstairs to stuff some last minute things in our bags, get some packages ready to mail, and then climbed in bed around 2am. We were talking about the next morning, what time to get up, what we still needed to do, and then – *beep, beep, beep, beep…*

Our car alarm was going off. Josiah jumped up, grabbed his flashlight and car keys, and sprinted outside, trying to shut the alarm off before we woke up the whole neighborhood. He got to the car, turned the alarm off, and then it hit him — he was looking at broken glass. The whole bottom section of our driver’s window was smashed. Startled, he looked around to see who could have done it. There was no one in sight. No one running up the street. Nothing.

He came and got me, we looked around with flashlights, couldn’t see anyone or anything that looked out of place. We called the police, and a few minutes later, an officer came, took pictures, looked at everything, asked us a bunch of questions, checked for fingerprints, and then saw something on the other side of the yard.

"Do you know anything about this?" he asked. It was a trolley — like a cart for hauling lots of boxes at once. It was lying about 20 feet away from our car in the side lawn of my brother’s house. We hadn’t seen it there before when we had loaded our totes into the car about 2 hours earlier. We found out later that it had been stolen from a neighbor’s shed. From the looks of the car window, the cart had been used to smash the bottom section of our window. The one print the officer found on our car looked like whoever had done it had worn a glove.

From all appearances, this had been planned. Someone had stolen the trolley, worn gloves, smashed the bottom portion of our driver’s window, and — had God not stopped him at this point — appeared to have been planning to use the cart to haul off the totes and guitar we had just put in the car that night.

Despite the fact that it was now 3 in the morning, we were both wide awake. After the officer left, we carefully unloaded the car, pulled the rest of the smashed glass out of the window and car, wrapped the door in a tarp, and locked the car back up. All the while, the two main thoughts going through both our heads were "thank you, God, for protecting us" and "this is a spiritual war."

Not for a minute did we think this somehow meant God didn’t want us to go to Papua New Guinea. Instead, this incident only confirmed in our minds and hearts that God indeed wants us to go PNG now. But the enemy of our souls also knows we’re going to Papua New Guinea, and he is fighting tooth and nail to keep us from going, or at least trying to discourage us. We realized once again that we are in a battle, not against flesh and blood, but against powers and authorities, rulers, and principalities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12) And the struggle isn’t going to get any easier the closer we get to stepping onto PNG soil. The enemy has held many of the people groups in PNG in spiritual darkness and bondage for centuries, and he is not about to give up without a fight.

So, brothers and sisters, fellow soldiers in this struggle, please pray for us. Pray for us to put on the whole armor of God. Pray for us to stand firm in the midst of struggles, opposition, and discouragements. We can’t be here without you. I can’t say enough how vital your prayers are in helping us get to PNG and stay there. Please, please, please pray for us. Pray that no matter how hard things get, no matter what the obstacles, that we would be able to stand strong in this battle and that God would get the glory.

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more than we ask

“What’s that noise??!?”

“It sounds like a dying cat! Is there ice catching on the tires…?”

“Um…guys, it sounds like something’s wrong with gears.”

Yup, my guess was right…something was wrong with the gears on our car…well, actually, something was wrong with the transmission. We were on our way back from Josiah’s cousin’s wedding with a car full of people and 200 miles left to go. Oh, and it was snowing…and icing…and freezing cold.  Needless to say, the passengers in the car survived the trip much better than the transmission did.

When I started writing this blog post, I was going to share how God was stretching us to trust Him to provide a car for us. Once we confirmed that the transmission on our faithful ’96 Honda Accord had finally kicked the bucket (and that it would cost more to repair it than the car was now worth), we began the search for a means of transportation that could carry us hither and yon on all our support-raising trips across the U.S. We spent our “free time” during class breaks (or after homework was finished) scouring the internet, trying to find a reliable used car in good condition. For almost a full month, God kept teaching us patience and dependence on Him, as we worked and waited for Him to meet our need.

Before I was able to finish writing this post, however, God answered our prayers beyond what we could’ve asked. Next thing we knew, we had a car! It was incredibly to see how fast God pulled things together for us to find the car, see it, and buy it, all in a weekend. It’s reliable, in good condition, and we didn’t have to drive too far to get it! We’re praising God for meeting our need and once again proving His faithfulness and loyal love toward us.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Eph 3:20-21

our 'new' Accord!

God’s provision for us!

 

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