It’s been a while since I’ve been able to share what’s going on and I feel as if we’ve been sucked up into a tornado that just refuses to let us down. This isn’t actually a bad thing though. In fact, the reason we are feeling this way is because God is so incredible and is continuing to do great things, miraculous things even, in order to prepare the way for us to leave for Bulgaria. Last week we closed on our home in Ellisville, Mo., moved over to a campus apartment at Missouri Baptist University, and now I am once again packing for our move (hopefully in about two weeks) to Sofia, Bulgaria where our new home already awaits. Needless to say we have been on an emotional roller coaster. My boys, being boys, handle this much better than me. Wherever their calm and cool comes from, I wish I could bottle it up and rub it on like a lotion. Unfortunately though it just doesn’t work that way.
I will however say that this has been a really great time to push myself to stay focused on God. We are not blind to the fact that there is spiritual warfare going on all around. We do not think that walking into this mission field will be easy nor do we think we will always be welcomed with open arms. In fact, this whole journey has already been filled with its challenges, its pain, and many scary moments that have threatened to take my eyes off of the one and only Mighty God. But, and this is a big BUT, God has continues to show us that He alone is so much bigger than anything satan or the world could possibly throw at us. In fact, He has already overcome all of these things and there is no fear what-so-ever to be found in Him.
This past Sunday we had the blessing of sharing our hearts at Highland Avenue Baptist Church in Robinson, Illinois. As always it was exciting to share about the work that God has called us to specifically in Bulgaria. You really cannot grasp how excited I am for that day our feet finally hit the ground in our new home. Imagine dropping your 7 year old off at the worlds largest candy store and saying, “Whelp, the day is yours! Eat anything you want, as much as you want!” When they are done consuming all the world’s sugar their behavior would probably be comparable to the Tasmanian Devil on crack. Well, that’s how I feel inside right now. I am so passionately in love with the Mighty God we serve, I believe without a single doubt that God will save and transform lives, and I am filled with a joy that I know is only His AND…. I can barely contain myself as each of these things consume me!
Have you ever just stepped back to think about the love of Christ? I mean really, really think about it. I remember many many years ago when my all-consuming sin slapped me in the face like the tail of a tuna fish trying desperately to escape the grip of the one who caught it. It was painful having that sin thrust out there for all to see. But that sin, that deeply ingrained sin is what I thought would bring me happiness. Have you ever seen a dog chasing its tail? It brings a good laugh right? The dog keeps going around and around and around and in all that effort the dog never gets his tail. Well, that was me. Always chasing something that I was never going to get. For me I was chasing after the love and acceptance of the world. Yes, maybe here and there I would briefly touch the tip of that tail but it wasn’t long until I’d start circling again. Never was anything in this world going to satisfy.
But oh that love, that love that only comes through Christ. In what seemed like moments but realistically has taken years to realize I know that I can breath, that I can walk, and that I can love and that in all of these things there is a greater purpose. That purpose was satisfied and given to us through Christ on the cross. What an absolutely beautiful thing to know that not just someone but God himself took the full weight of not just my sin but the WORLD’S sin, and in those moments on the cross what was painful, unsatisfying, consuming, and deadly for us Jesus took. JESUS TOOK! Imagine how painful it was or is for you. That is was He gladly suffered on the cross and put to death FOREVER!
Now breathe! Because death no longer consumes and we do have a purpose in Christ, we don’t have to chase after our tails any longer. I am satisfied and I want the world to hear. I will not be ashamed, or scared, lazy, or quite because this is just too important. Daily I see God’s precious children, the ones He created just like you and me, dying in their own sin. I love them because of His love and it is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to step back and think that someone else will tell them the truth and love them where they are at. Christ died, saved me, changed my life in His love alone so that He would be glorified! And glory is what I seek to bring Him. That must come through pure obedience to Him. As Christians we often say, “Thank you Lord for what you’ve done for us.” Words will never be enough for me. But giving up my life in obedience and serving God in whatever capacity He chooses I pray would would bring glory and worship to Him alone. I want my life to be my “Thank you”. What about you?
Please continue to pray for us and join us on this journey. We have joyfully reached a little over 50% of our fundraising goal (we have 220 of our 400 $10/month slots filled) which allows us to hit the ground next month. We still need people who are willing to be a part of our prayer team and our financial support team. Please pray about this sacrifice for the work God is doing. Also, check out our website at: www.missionaymeans.us if you want more info.
In Christ’s love – Nat