You know when you have that feeling that change is in the air but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is? That’s what the past couple of years have been like for us, and even more so this year. You know Gods got something new planned & has you in some sort of transition stage, but He only reveals a little to you at a time – sort of keeping you in suspense! (I suspect He doesn’t want to show us what we’re not quite ready to handle!) Over the past few years God has enlarged our heart for bringing family and restoration to the orphan heart, both locally & globally. He’s also given us a real heart for Africa – now being the listmaker & life plan sorted out type that I am, I had a picture in my head of how it would/should all go. At some stage we’d have our own business which would of course do very well so it could fund regular mission trips – maybe for a few months each year. I still think it sounds like a sensible plan, but God doesn’t think the way we think, and the way we work isn't the way He works. I don’t even think he does sensible! So the plan that we thought was soooo perfect was soon to be blasted…
About two years ago when praying about whether to take on two permanent foster children, I asked God for a scripture, something of His in writing that I couldn’t argue with – what was in his heart for us to do. Straight away, he clearly gave me a scripture reference as his word on his plan for us. I didn’t recognize it at the time but quickly learned it by heart. Isaiah 58v12 “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
When I looked back a few verses to get the verse in context I was blown away that God would so intimately know my hearts desires and every concern I had in regards to my ability to live out what He’d called us to do.
v5b-12 “Is not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your rightousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
When Pete was made redundant in Feb, we thought maybe that was the push we needed to start our own business – thus the start of urban patch. (By the way, if you want a really cool raised vege garden, give us a call!!).
Somewhere about this time a verse really caught my attention & I couldn’t get it out of my head. In fact, the whole family memorized it (except for Lily) because I felt it was to be a key verse for us this year. Hab 1v5 …"Look and be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told". The kids would often & still do say it at random times throughout the day & each time I heard it I’d get a renewed sense of anticipation that ‘yes – God is going to do something’. At the same time not having a clue what it would be.
Now, I know this is getting a bit lengthy & you’re probably onto your third coffee, but I can’t stop now, I just can’t!! Soooo I might just skip a bunch of stuff that while being very cool probably isn’t crucial to give you the gist of the story. There’s all the words we’ve had given to us as individuals and as a family over the years, there’s the variety of work Pete’s had the opportunity to do that make him handier than Handy Manny, & there’s more, but maybe that’s another post.
Particulary over the past six or so months we’ve been feeling really challenged about the course God has for us & after getting our heads around God wanting us overseas for longer than a few months each year (that was one of those niggling thoughts I’d always had but tried to rationalize away!), and more recently, getting our heads around selling our home & possibly going with only our suitcases if that’s what God wants. At the same time, He’s been speaking to the kids & some of the stuff they’ve come out with is nothing short of amazing. Our heads are now in the process of catching up with Gods heart. In short, God has interrupted the season we thought we’d be in for a while longer, and given us a new one we didn’t dare dream would happen just yet; so now we’ve done the only thing left to do: we’ve admitted to God & to ourselves it’s a call we can’t deny, a love we can’t shake, and a journey we can’t help but take. We’ve said ‘YES!’ We don’t want to live a life of complacency. We want to take bold steps that are filled with complete trust in His grace, His courage and His power. We want to take the road less traveled… What is our YES going to look like? We’re not exactly sure! (That’s the exciting part – see I told you it was coming!). We just know that He wants us in Uganda to love on his kids that don’t have anyone feeding them, clothing them, educating them, mending their wounds - loving on them. Being Jesus hands to a country in so much need.
So is it crazy? – you betcha! Is it sensible? – probably not! Have we sought God and had continual confirmations that He wants us to go? Absolutely! How will it all go? – watch this space!
We’d love for you to journey with us (I’m not kidding, we’d really love for you to pack up and come with us!) and what we’d love even more is for you to consider whatever it is Gods calling you to do, to step out and begin walking the road less traveled…
p.s – for all you sensible folks lurking out there that never let your i’s go undotted, you know you can ask questions aye?!