"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, April 30, 2007

So you'd be doing what?

Not exactly sure. Kidding-well, kind of anyway. The main jest of it is to head up the agriculture side of the Bible College. Part of the idea of the school is for the students to come FREE. How do you make it free? By having them work during their schooling years. The college needs to feed the students as well, so they are working on growing and raising their own food. Not only will they be fed during their time a the school, they will have learned some practical skills to take with them as they go out and preach and plant churches in villages across the country, and even continent. There is an immense resource of fertile land over there that no one seems to be able to, or maybe willing, or know enough how to use. While Brian will have some equipment over there, the national pastors that will be going out won’t, so there needs to be just a lot of basic skills taught.
Then when the students (now pasters) go out to share the Bread of Life with people, they will also be sharing how to grow bread.
Brian would pioneer the whole process over there. Out of the comfort zone? OH YEAH!! You ask, is he qualified? He may not be the most qualified guy out there to do it, but he is APPROVED by God, and he is WILLING. Will he fail sometimes? Sure, it will be a learning process for all as they figure out what will grow, what won’t, how to irrigate, how to do whatever in a most basic way.
There are other people connected with Gospelink who have talked about building a fishery for getting some type of fish for protein, there are banana and orange groves in the plans, lots of basic garden vegetables, corn (which is a main stable for them), and who knows what else. There will be some livestock, maybe starting with chickens and guinea hens and seeing where it goes after that. They’d love to have cattle. We’ll just be waiting to see what God has in mind.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gospelink, Inc.


In November 2006, right after Joseph came, we watched a video from Gospelink, Inc. on an agriculture project they were starting in Malawi. Dean, the director of the project is very good friends with our friends Al and Helen. We watched the video, thought it was cool, and that was that. Well, what do I think of as soon as we start looking into missions? We got the DVD, watched it again, then sent an email to Dean to see if he still needed an American family to help the project get off the ground. He already had a family, but was excited about the possibility of us going as well, to maybe further the project again in a 2nd location. From what we understand, Dean sent our email on to Lewis, the director of the project in Zambia. Lewis had specifically been praying for someone to get the agriculture going at the International Bible College in Zambia they were building. And here we were, plopped into his lap.
God is amazing in so many ways. When He calls you, He doesn’t call you to do something you aren’t skilled for. He matches you with your skills, and then He equips you to use them. We weren’t just looking for a place that goes out to plant churches. We were looking for a place where we could serve, where we could teach others, and evangelism would take place through our actions. We’re equipped for lifestyle evangelism.

Each time Brian spends time talking to Lewis or Dean, he just gets more and more excited. As we share with others, they get excited with us as well. We are praying that our church family and friends will really catch the vision of this project and support us and this organization.

Check out their website-it explains what they do. There main focus is support national pastors. On their home page it explains what that is and why. Our going over there as full-time missionaries is out of the norm for them. So we are all out of the boat!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Beginning Point

Since every great story needs a beginning point, here is ours: PRAYER. Prayer is where our journey starts, and it’s where we ask you to start with us. If you aren’t too sure about this thing (the thing meaning moving to Zambia to serve God), then just pray GOD’S WILL for us; not yours, not ours. If you can’t do that, then please don’t pray just yet. Just read and follow our journey with us-and see what God may do in your own life too.
We know this is a big step, a big leap a big “walk the talk” of our faith; but believe me, this is not some whim of a decision. We didn’t just look at a map and pick some arbitrary country. We aren’t gonna just pack up and drive around and see where we wind up. This is God working in our lives.

So how far do we back up? We could go back to 2003, shortly after Hailey was born. I asked Brian to pray about having more kids or being done. He said he would; but did he? NO! He had decided he knew better than God and wasn’t going to pray about it because he wanted a son. At the end of December we found out he was going to get his wish, or so we thought. In February of 2004 I got a diarrhea bug that wiped me out and landed me in the hospital for 5 days. About 3 weeks later I delivered a perfectly developed little boy named Nathaniel Dale.
We were both crushed, but Brian even more so. He knew exactly what happened the minute I called him from the ultrasound. He had decided to play God, and God quickly put an end to that. In Brian’s mind, it was the same as knowing what Mom & Dad wanted you to do, allowed you to do-but not caring. It was just like teenage rebellion (did some of that in high school too!). This miscarriage was the result of a loving God disciplining his son to get him back in relationship with Him. I’m not here to argue theology with you, just telling you our story, and no one can argue your own story with you. This is what we know happened to us. This brought Brian to his knees, it brought an about-face in his faith. Jesus was his Savior; now He was becoming his Lord. During a prayer meeting at church one night he prayed “Lord, whatever you want, wherever you want me to go-the answer is yes.”
That prayer was quickly put in the back of his mind. Until the last Sunday in May when God spoke to Brian and told him he didn’t want us to have anymore kids, we were to adopt. That’s a whole other story that I wouldn’t go into now-maybe another time. But, as most of you know, we went ahead with that. And in the process of our obedience, God blessed us with 2 sons-Joseph our adopted son, and Myron, our 5th born.

Since all that, we have continued to pray, seek God’s will, and say yes. We were involved with a group at our church to plant a new church in a nearby town. That plant didn’t end the way we thought it would, but some amazing relationships, and huge growth took place.

So how does this get around to Missions in Zambia, Africa? Well, it came at a time when both of us were feeling a restlessness, a longing to have to trust God, to have more to this life. Basically I mentioned going to Sierra Leone for something else, and Brian didn’t say no. Neither one of us knew the other was having the same type of feelings, so I was expecting a laughing “yeah, right”. But no, Brian actually thought about it. Before bed that night, talking, Brian asked if we were serious enough about this to pray about it. There was/is no point in praying about it if we aren’t willing to say yes. We both agreed we were willing to do it if God called, so we began praying about it.
Don’t get me wrong; there was a lot of emotion/excitement to the idea right away. But that quickly wore off. Even just a few days later, I felt the emotion gone, just felt the reality that we could do this. Oh, I could say let’s forget it, but I just knew that wouldn’t be right. I felt God calling us to continue checking it out. We knew it would have to be God’s hand working the puzzle pieces into place, because there was just too much for us to do it ourselves. That’s one of the reasons we know this is from God: we know we can’t do it on our own. If we could, why would we need God?

So we’ve got this great news, a great calling…now what? I wouldn’t exactly say we were thrilled to tell our parents. We told a few close friends whom we knew would pray for us and could offer support and guidance as we checked into missions organizations and listened for God’s direction. There were little things along the way that were confirmations to us of being on the right path. But still, it was difficult.
Brian’s dream has always been to take over the family farm. Here was God asking him to sacrifice his own dream, to do what God wanted him to do. Later as I thought more about this, I thought again of how great God is! Brian’s dream was always to farm, God was still going to let him have that dream, just in a way we never dreamed of before.

Well, first the “easy” one. I told my folks just sitting out front of the house that the reason Brian was going on a mission trip in June was to see if this was the place we should move to and work. I took the easy way-I didn’t explain it all to them. Just threw it out there and left. A few days later Mom wanted to know how serious Brian was about this thing because it was stupid. I asked why it was stupid? Because you’re taking my grandkids away. I really need to talk more about the whys with her! She knows she is being selfish about wanting us around, but says she is getting better.
Telling Brian’s dad was a whole other story! If just came out one night. Inside Brian was telling himself to just be quiet, but the whole story spilled out. He literally felt like there was something inside of him dying that night-- “Plan B” (just in case God couldn’t come through) was finally dead. The next night, after a long night of wrestling with God, his dad came down to the barn and told Brian that he wasn’t going to stand in the way of him being in God’s will. What an answer to prayer!
So how does that get us to Zambia?