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Chapter 12: Resistance

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NIV

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.

Acts 2:26, 27 NIV

 

The reality is, you encounter resistance when following God’s will. We talked about our call to Poland many times before today, but again I acknowledge and submit to the sovereign will of God. I am imperfect, yet used masterfully. Here is a raw account and testimonial of our struggles in life and Christ’s victory in the process as we follow Gods will for our life.

In the past month we established new friendships, have seen an increase of our church numbers, have dreamed big dreams, and sat in God’s presence with peace in our hearts.

 

Struggle: The life long balance of work, family, and ministry.
Victory: Christ is the balanced gravitational force holding each in their spot.

 

This was my family’s first Easter away from family in the states. This would normally have been difficult, but God has provided us with friends so close that they are now family. We ended up enjoying one of the most intimate Easter services I have ever had the privilege of being apart of. We had three of the most important words: friends, food, and fellowship. After an hour of testimonies, we worshiped and took communion together, enjoying Tony’s pursuit into Jesus.

The next weekend we enjoyed continued peace with our first meeting with the newly appointed Missionaries over Poland, Bob and Colleen Skinner, and also enjoyed the company of Jay and Teanna Sunberg. The previous three weeks we had been under some pretty heavy spiritual attack. My attitude has been short and snappy, laziness was settling a little, and I found myself overly defensive. I was at the moment of readiness to receive God’s presence.  For at our lowest, God is at His greatest.

In this intimate time of fellowship I opened up to the struggle of my heart and God spoke through my new found mentors. God’s peace is a beautiful thing. I am not an overly emotional guy, I can recall nearly every time in my life I have had a good cry, the ugly kind. God’s presence filled our time and remained throughout their visit.   I enjoy it when people are authentic enough and secure enough in their faith that they pray in the moment. I often sincerely offer future prayer, encouraging, and leaving it at that.  There is something more fulfilling to meet needs head on with in the moment prayer.

 

God prepares us for life and never gives us more than we can handle. After a weekend of enjoyable company, we looked forward to family bonding time with little agenda. At 7pm  on Friday April 12th, life happened. While talking to Loralie in the living room, Jack, ninja-like, snuck out of the kid’s room and walked to the kitchen counter. Now a week ago there seemed to be a limit to what could be reached, Jack broke that limit. He grabbed a freshly poured cup of tea, and pulled it onto himself.

I have been in the hospital for 60 hours, Michelle over 30, and God taught us much, like:
It is okay to cry in public, especially when our children have been hurt.
I pray selfishly more than not
I dislike hospitals because I can’t hide from pain and sufferings.
I have never felt more helpless in all my life and yet I felt God’s presence.
Having your child in pain out of your control, reminds us that God is still at work.

I started the weekend, and first night of less than 3 hours of sleep with no morning coffee, ready to go home. I thought about flying back to the states to fulfill treatment, leaving with my parents in June after their visit, and a variety of other choices to quickly exit the country (stopping only long enough to pick up my wife and kids). God revisited Ephesians 6, reminding me that at times in our life when we are following Gods path for us we should expect retaliation from Satan.  This is why it is so important to read God’s word!

God comforted me in that hospital.  In my deepest darkest trouble, God was a guiding light.  In this, I hope you find hope. Even in the dark times of our lives we find God as our guiding light. He doesn’t show the end journey (to all), nor does He have a traffic mirror illuminating what’s around the corner, He chooses to light our feet. Whether to keep our heads focused on our immediate surroundings, or to slow our stride; the idea is to trust. It is about walking with Christ day in and day out. It is about intentional time with Christ, and being intentionally present as a light in this dark world.

We have survived this wave of trials, pressing on towards the goal of serving the Most High.  I ask that you keep my family and God’s ministry in your prayer.  Here is how you can pray for us more specifically:

  • Family’s Health
    • Jack’s burn to continue to heal quickly
    • Jack is teething…did I mention that? J
    • All to recover from our stay at the Hospital quickly
  • Ministry
    • For more volunteers to come to Poland, both to Poznan and Krakow
    • For God to bless our time with our staff before they head home this summer
    • For our local church to grow in number
    • For all the volunteers and missionaries on the field to be strengthened and protected during times of spiritual attack
  • Funding
    • For $8,000 to become fully funded and be able to complete our contract
    • For our current and future volunteer’s as they fundraise to travel to, and return to, Poland.
  • Future Guidance
    • Knowing our future direction, to return or the next step, to understand how better to prepare and how best to spend our time remaining

 

I pray that God would bless you richly.  You all have been a very important part of our lives.  Without your prayer and support, we would not be where we are today.  You have encouraged us, prayed for us, financially provided for us.  You are a vital piece of our foundation, and we are humbled.

We will continue to serve Poland till God’s direction and call to our next journey.  Our contract ends in November of 2013, but our financials will have us leaving end of July if we do not raise additional funds.  We know God as our provider and trust in Him.   Know that when we return, whenever that may be, our current plan is to re-fundraise and return to the field, wherever that may be!

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