We have been enduring a number of hardships and struggles over the past few months. Financial stress, real estate headaches, major transitions, emotional stress and spiritual warfare. Within the span of a few days, Heather became very sick, was unable to travel with me to Colorado for training, I became sick and finally, our car was broken into.
Amid all of this, we see God working and providing for us in amazing ways. In Joshua 4:4-7,we read:
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.
I feel a connection to the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. The Israelites were leaving the familiar and entering unknown territory led by God. We feel we are crossing the Jordan (Atlantic Ocean) to enter very unfamiliar territory. We don’t know why yet, but we hear His voice and we follow.
Heather & I have what we call a God shelf. It has items that remind us of times and ways that we experienced God working and providing in our life. I would like to share some of our recent stone memorials.
STONE ONE: Without a buyer or renter for our Colorado townhouse and with only about 3/4 funding for our budget, we committed to a lease of a house in Uganda. About two weeks after committing to the Uganda house, a renter was provided.
STONE TWO: Two supporters have purchased laptop computers for Heather and myself. These supply tools for us to provide drawings and renderings for ministries we serve and connect us with family and supporters.
STONE THREE: Heather and I had been talking that we needed to have a will done before we leave. An attorney who does wills and estate planning for clergy and missionaries fell into our lap and provided these services pro-bono.
STONE FOUR: This website was established and is being hosted by a brother from a men’s breakfast I was involved with in Fort Collins, CO.
STONE FIVE: Only two major international airlines service Uganda, one of whom I had 89,000 frequent flyer miles with. A round trip flight to sub-Saharan Africa is 80,000 miles, so we ended up spending just over $2,700 for our three round trips tickets rather than $5K as budgeted. This has helped tremendously on start up costs and with our lack of full funding.
I encourage each of you to be quiet, observant and notice ways that God has provided, answered prayers and parted the Jordan Rivers of your life. I also encourage you to build stone memorials so that in the dark valley times of your life you may remember the times that God did amazing things.