Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Beginnings

Isaiah 41:10

"So don't not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - NIV

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." NASB

Yes, I wrote that verse out in 2 different translations, because this verse is a big deal anyways, but it  especially is right now. Our family is at the end of our journey here in Ensenada, Mexico and we're about to start another adventure.

I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant and the Lord is suddenly transitioning us out of here. I say suddenly because although we've knew that we would end up in Haiti at some point, we just weren't expecting it right now.  We were praying about where in the US we could go to deliver our 4th baby girl for several reasons including practical/personal choices as well as legal/document issues for the baby.  As plans were moving forward for us to end up in Florida to have her, several possible opportunities came up for us in Haiti. At first it was a little confusing and frustrating because we were just trying to figure out baby logistics and then come back 'home' to Mexico. We weren't feeling any sort of movement or transition, but obviously God's ways aren't our ways!

This isn't the first time that the Lord leads us in this way....relatively quick, timing wise. But we're learning how great it is and so beneficial for our history with God, to trust Him when he says 'GO.' And He's so gracious in teaching and leading us. Never pushy, but rather speaking just loud enough for us to know it's His voice....and we can choose to be obedient and trust, or not.  And it's ok and even good, to ask for confirmations when He's guiding in certain direction. So, only by His grace have we chosen to be obedient to His lead and confirmations. There's an awesome history of being led by our God on an incredible journey so far.

It's a bittersweet thing for us to leave Mexico. For almost 2 years, we've been here facilitating and leading a home church. It was completely non-existent when we arrived. We only knew 1 couple. And now, we're surrounded by an amazing community of believers, who we have such love for! Every Sunday, between 20 and 40 people show up at our house with something to share for our potluck. After the singing and teaching, we all eat together and are 'family' together. We joke, laugh, talk and pray while our kids play together.  I know of blood relatives who do the Sunday dinner thing where they get together each Sunday to keep the family bonds going. Well, that's exactly what has happened with us only in the name of Jesus! :)

Baja Fellowship is a family of believers who are all in Mexico for the same serve our King. Different ministries are represented and the people come from all over the globe, but God has brought everyone to this place at the same time and gave us each other for this season. I believe the Lord's purposes are so much bigger than our little human minds can comprehend, and wouldn't be surprised one bit if many of our paths crossed again in the future. For now, we leave our love and blessings here while we journey on.

So at this point all we know is that we're headed for Haiti! There are several things we're waiting on including where exactly we'll land to work and live. {Nothing big, ha!} Currently, we're hoping specifically for a job at a school and also discipleship work with a friend. Work with Theo's dad is sure to happen as well, and of course we get all giddy at the thought of facilitating another house church! We're praying all along the way, that our hearts won't be anxious and that we'll continue to trust Him despite not having concrete answers yet. I'm in 'nesting mode' with our baby due soon and everything that's happening is totally opposite of what I feel should be happening in the practical sense. Our house is becoming more and more empty of everything and I'm moving away from the people I've been closest to for the last 2 years. This is the bitter part of bittersweet.

 It seems the Lord is moving us out of Mexico fairly quickly, but not taking us directly to Haiti. We will be driving across the country, making several stops along the way to visit friends and supporters. The trek, including stops will take an entire month, at least, and it's looking more like we'll have the baby in the states rather than Haiti, but we'll see how the journey goes.  No matter what, we just want to be where God wants us and to be flexible to His leading.

It's been interesting to learn the balance of "responsible planning" and the actual acts of obedience to God and faith when He says something. Not that God would necessarily strike us dead if we didn't follow His lead, but oh how we would miss out on His goodness and true adventure! It comes with a cost though. Not having all your 'ducks in a row' can come off as out of order or irresponsible to some, but to us, learning to heed the voice of God and just obey Him and trust Him rather than try to justify why we shouldn't are way more important and wise than having any ducks in a row. This IS having our ducks in a row.

Now, I say that in small part to remind myself that this truly is the better way to live!  Trusting that this wild ride of a life we live is best. {Because who wants good when you can have best?!} In no way, shape or form are we saying anything about perfection. I'm saying we've asked that God would lead us into His perfect will for our lives and to give us the grace to follow His lead through it.

Now this is where we're at right now. We're planning on leaving Mexico in about a week and a half...around April 10th. {3 weeks ago we knew nothing about moving away!} We will stop in Colorado with good friends for a couple of days, then move on to Kansas City, MO for a few days as well. After that we'll head to Illinois to stay with a family that is family to us. After IL, we'll head down to Alabama, Georgia, then Florida. After all that, we'll fly to Haiti. The time spent in each location is what we're working on now. It's not just a single over night stay in any of these places because we have 'closer than a brother' relationships across the country. We couldn't imagine passing them all by when we have to get across the country anyways. We're seeing it not only as an opportunity to nurture these friendships, but possible opportunities to raise funds before our big move and lastly to rest and have some family time before we welcome a 4th little girl into our brood and start life in Haiti. We're excited and so grateful for God's kindness.

If you've ever done a local move from 1 house to another, or if you've ever had a baby, or ever changed jobs, you know all the details and things you have to think about with each of those. So many little things that actually matter!! Well, we get to experience all of those things at once! Plus some. Three little girls excited to have another baby with us, driving across the country in a somewhat unreliable van,  ultimately moving to a 3rd world country with an extra long road trip of sorts along the way...getting rid of mostly all we own only to start again in that 3rd world country {housing/furniture/car, etc}...and needing to come up with ALOT of money asap!

That is why I wrote out the verse {twice!} that I did in the beginning of this post. I need the reminders not to fear. I need to remind myself of the amazing history I have with the Lord so I can continue to trust Him. I need His grace and I need your prayers.

That's the scoop on us! :)
Lots of Love & Blessings...

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