What have we been up to?
We arrived back in the states this past August, we have been enjoying being able to spend time with family and our home church. We have been able to enjoy many visits with family and friends over this holiday season although some had to be avoided due to being sick including being closed up in the house for weeks because of Covid. The kids have seemed to have adapted well going through all of the transitions over the past several months. Joshua still asks about our “home” with great confusion, and to be honest I (Eric) have felt pretty confused about all of this too.
What are we doing now?
We have been really blessed to stay at our home church’s mission home. Our current plans will be to stay in Michigan for the next couple months and then in February-March we will be going on an extended road trip visiting some family and several more churches. We will attempt to go to Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, and possibly Maryland. Following that trip we will return to Michigan and make all the necessary preparations for returning to the field this coming May.
When we return to the field our plans are to continue to live in town for about 6-12 months. During that time we will be doing more survey trips and hopefully determining which people group location the Lord will move us to. We will also be deciding who we will be our coworkers during this time. At this point that is still quite unknown as one of the families we had hoped to partner with is no longer on the field. We also have several missionaries native to the country who would like to join our team. Even after we have decided on a location and a team of co-workers there will be a number of details to work out and understand including which village among a people group we should permanently move into. This coming term on the field will certainly be an eventful and trying time.
What have we been learning?
As our home church has been going through a transition of leadership we have all been called to evaluate people being called to the role of Elder according to the Bible. This has been a challenging and rewarding experience for us as well. In a nutshell we believe the Lord is leading us to a ministry among a people group in Asia Pacific where we will be involved in Bible teaching, Bible translation, and discipleship to the point of being able to elect elders among the indigenous church there. We are currently feeling very far from able to do any of that. During our time here so far it feels as if we are being prepared for something. In our hopes that will be us being used by God to plant a church among an unreached people group. The main thing that I have learned through all of this is that it is mandatory that we submit ourselves to the Lord if He is going to use us.
“But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6
If we are to understand our salvation from sin, God has given the punishment we deserve to another, to someone worthy of being called God and who had done no wrong. It is impossible to be proud and accept that. And so James calls us to be humble, and to submit ourselves to God.
7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.James 4:7
And so even beyond our initial understanding of our salvation, how will God use us if we continue to be proudful and think of ourselves worthy of our ministry. I believe this is the heart of the whole book of James: that we submit ourselves to God and not to the devil who is also offering us a direction, there is no middle ground here. The way I have come to understand it is that if we are to be successful in our ministry it will be because we did not get in the way of what God is doing.
- Unity for our family, in our marriage and as we parent our kids.
- Understanding our future direction from God
- Future Co-workers
RICK CLIFTON says
Those kids are beautiful and it is good to hear from you we will continue to pray for you all. This has been a crazy year with this covid, Lorie and I had it back in August we made it without any hospital stay it lasted about three weeks. Have you got to visit Bill and Bev we got a Christmas card from them with their picture on it we sure miss them. We are looking forward to seeing you guys. I hope spring comes early we haven’t had any snow until Sunday night we got around 5″. Hope you can get by without getting sick stay safe and God Bless love you guys.