On Hold, Holding On

It’s not easy to raise a half a million dollars in our spare time.

That’s been our goal.

We have been pursuing mission work in Ghana for a year now. In the process, we have spent thousands of dollars, transferred Ken’s credentials back to the Wesleyans, spoken at more than a dozen churches, shared our story with thousands of people, attended two national conferences and three district conferences in two countries, and traveled over 7000 miles to do all of that. We have changed jobs, turned down other jobs, started less than ideal jobs because of their flexibility, and worked very long hours to save up money to continue the partnership process. We’ve spent all of our savings. We’ve done six weeks of training in partnership development, community health evangelism, tropical medicine. Ken has spent countless hours with Rosetta Stone in French. I’ve been approved for a grant to pay my PA school loans while on the field. God has healed my lungs. We have flown to Africa, heard their needs personally, developed a plan to address both spiritual and physical needs, and borne witness to the amazing things that God is doing there. We’ve built a lot of wonderful partnerships. We’ve faced misunderstanding, challenges, and rejection.

While we have made plenty of mistakes along the way, our heart has been clear: When it comes to Ghana, we are 100% willing to go.

We, however, cannot do it alone. A flock of partners has to be willing to join with us with financial and prayer support. Unfortunately, we are at 24% support after an exhausting year. We are spent financially, physically, and emotionally. Our target date of leaving by January 1st is drawing nearer, yet our financial total is not moving.

We are stuck.

We have come up short in the amount of money we need to raise in a timely manner. It seems like God’s answer for us is “not now.” We are humbled and thankful for those of you who have stepped forward to partner with us. We wish we had a thousand more like you. Literally.

It’s not easy to raise a half million dollars in our spare time.

My motto for years has been, “I would rather do something perilous for the sake of love than nothing for the sake of fear.”  I would rather take huge risks for the sake of God’s kingdom and come up short than live a life afraid to try. I want to stand before the throne of God someday and have a track record of 100% obedience, even if I don’t have a track record for 100% success.

After all, God does not call us to “success,” He calls us to obedience.

So, we are humiliated, tearful, and exhausted as we find ourselves needing to put our call to Africa on hold. We still feel drawn to the needs in Africa. They are very real. We still feel drawn to God’s awesome movement in Africa. It is also very real. If we could snap our fingers and make it happen, we would.

But we are not God.

And He is not snapping any fingers right now.

These words of Oswald Chambers resonate with me,

“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.”

So with breathless expectation, we wait. We wait for God to show us what our next chapter will be, how to move forward, how to let go, how to hold on.

Our faith in God and the story He is writing in our lives is unshaken.