8 suitcases, 2 backpacking packs, 2 carry-ons, and 2 personal items are packed. All that is left on the outside is a husband & wife who realize just how out of control they are. And a God Who remains faithfully in control and sovereign over all things. 

The last 3 months have been a time of renewal, refinement, and replenishing. We have learned about so many things at orientation in a classroom and outside of the classroom. We met people who became like family to us, built relationships with folks who are going to serve around the world, and said see you later to them after 2 short months.

I have never lived overseas long-term. This will be my first time and the longest time I have ever spent outside of the South ever. I don’t know how to do it. Uncertainty is ahead. There isn’t a manual for this. At orientation, they didn’t hand us a document with each step for us to succeed. But what they did teach us was this: 

  • Scripture is more in tune with reality than we are.
  • God knew this day and this event would occur before you did. He is not surprised.
  • He has given you everything you need for life and godliness.
  • Prayer and time in the Word are first and foremost how you need to begin and end each day. And if you aren’t sure what to do during the day, go back to these.
  • Do not be afraid—He has conquered death.
  • We do not fight against flesh and blood.
  • If He rose from the dead, it changes everything.
  • Suffering makes you more like Him; be obedient in the midst of suffering.
  • Trust Him.
  • He is with You.

There are so many lessons we learned during this time away; but now we have returned to the South to say our “see you laters” to our friends and family. These are more difficult than you can imagine. More on that to come. And although we have had some sweet times making some lasting memories; we also look forward to what is ahead.

5 more days. I am not in control. Thank God. I find it fitting that we are leaving right after Advent season—after an entire season when we remember He came to be with us. “They shall call His Name Immanuel.”

My prayer is that the people who have long lived in darkness without knowledge of their Savior will be able to recognize and see clearly the God Who came to be with them. That after years of feeling and being separated from their God, they will at last call His Name “God with us.” 

If that can only happen through my being out of control and His being in control, then may it be so. May we remain weak so He is made strong. May we continue to decrease and He continue to increase.