God’s Been Good

“Lately I’ve been looking back along this winding road
To the old familiar markers of the mercies I have known
I know it may sound simple but it’s more than a cliche
No other words to tell you than to say…
God’s been good…in my life…”

I’ve always loved that song! Not only does it have an appealing melody, but it soothingly shouts the testimony of God’s goodness. At times I have needed to remind myself of the goodness I have received at the hand of God. At other times, I bask in the satisfaction of enjoying His goodness for the moment. Today, I look back at the last 5 1/2 months of traveling on pre-field ministry and rejoice as I recount the undeserving mercies I have known.

We began our travels in June by going to Chattanooga, TN to finish up Candidate School at BIMI. We ended this segment of deputation in LaGrange, GA for a missions conference…three hours away from BIMI. But in between these two end points we have packed much distance and many destinations. Our little van was loaded down with every cubic inch at capacity as we logged mile after mile. A typical oil change lasts us about a month, if we are not trying to stretch it. We could not even guess at how many gas station restrooms our family has seen! Following our emissions trail will take you to Memphis, Las Vegas, the Navajo Reservation, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Lancaster, Flagstaff, and Atlanta. Those are just the highlight locations we have visited in our mini van. That does not include our first excursion with a rental to Detroit, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Chicago followed by our second excursion to Louisville, KY and West Columbia, SC. Throw in a quick plane trip to Omaha, NE and you have quite the time zone roller coaster. In all of those miles, we have had very minimal mechanical issues with our vehicle and complete safety on the road! Truly, safety is of the Lord!

We are extremely grateful for all the wonderful churches that have hosted us for missions conferences and meetings. (Each church is special to us, but I only have room for one new picture;-) The generosity and kindness that has been shown to our family was most undeserved. People have opened their homes and their hearts to us. Our lives have been enriched by the new relationships we have formed with saints across the country. Paul had the church at Philippi, but we have such relationships with churches all over the US and Canada! Truly we are blessed to have such an amazing support team partnering with us for the furtherance of the Gospel.

How can we possibly describe the scene from Humphrey’s Peak, the highest summit in Arizona? Or perhaps the cool evening breeze at Oceanside Pier? The sounds of street performers across the street from the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC entertained us all evening. Our kids find happiness as they play with pebbles at Slide Rock State Park near Sedona, AZ (photo to right). The view from the sky deck of Chicago’s Willis Tower was frighteningly fabulous! We felt puny standing beside the giants of Sequoia National Forest. No…deputation is not a sight-seeing tour, but we can’t complain about the opportunity stops along the way either! Our children are getting an interactive education that’s next to none. We just cannot fully express our gratitude to God for the family memories we have made during deputation!

We’ve asked God to supply laborers for the harvest and He has allowed us to have some small part in calling several young people to give their lives to missions. In 5 1/2 months, we have never run out of gas unexpectedly nor skipped a meal unwillingly. We’ve prayed about equipment needs for ministry and God has supplied them through the generous giving of churches. God has not only met our needs, but He has graciously granted some of our wants, too! We have seen God increase the faith of His people to move forward with Faith Promise Commitments with the confidence of His faithful supply. And in our country’s economic situation, we have seen God prove He is unaffected by the word recession. Currently, we are at the threshold of crossing 70% of our needed support for the mission field. God has provided all of that in a little over a year! When God said He would supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, He meant it!

We have not lacked for meetings. In fact, I have had to do the unthinkable (for a missionary) and turn down invitations to conferences because of a full schedule. God has opened doors for us that we would have never imagined! For the first time, Kristine and I will see Honduras as we travel to preach and present our ministry at a BIMI mission work. For the first time, our family will visit Hawaii thanks to an invitation to preach a Singles Conference. Don’t think for a moment that I mention these because they are vacation destinations. I am simply amazed by where following the Savior has taken us and will take us! Eventually, this amazing journey of serving the Savior will take us to Indonesia. There is nothing that even compares to serving God in the ministry!

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