Shortly after Jonathan and I got married, we starting making plans to form a mission team and head overseas with the Parker family. Early on, we decided to plan for a month-long survey trip to Northern Mozambique in the Summer of 2014. Well, it’s summertime.
With very much sadness, I am writing to say that we will not be going on the survey trip this summer.
From the beginning, Jonathan and I prayed that God would provide financially if He were blessing this survey trip. Even with our incomes combined, we could not afford the $500+ we would need to save every month up until the trip to make it possible. With that in mind, we decided to ask God to provide through the Church if He was in favor of us going in the Summer of 2014. Well, a couple of months ago, we started to wonder if He indeed wanted us to go at this time, because the bank was still about $6,000 short of what we needed for plane tickets and food/accommodations/transportation while we would be in Africa. Although we knew God didn’t need any help, we were getting antsy and decided to try to raise support via an online donation-accepting website. Still short of our goal, we tossed around the idea of borrowing money for the trip which we would be responsible to pay back when we returned to the states.
Meanwhile, Tylee’s birth certificate was printed with a typo on Jonathan’s birthdate, making him 5 years older than he actually is. This meant we had to get the birth certificate corrected before we could apply for a passport. It wasn’t until Tylee was already about 3 weeks old when the birth certificate was corrected and another several weeks before her social security card was sent to us–this even after God had made it clear He wanted us to wait. So obviously, in addition to the funds not coming in how we imagined they would if the Lord was willing, everything was going wrong with Tylee’s passport situation. Every day we got closer to buying tickets, my heart grew with weight. I had no peace.
As I talked to Jonathan, I said, “I feel like we’re not giving God the opportunity to say ‘No’.” We had been looking for ways to take matters into our own hands instead of surrendering to God’s will. On May 8th, we had a team meeting at the Parker’s house, and that evening we prayed that God would give one or all of us a dream telling us “No” if we were to stop pursuing the survey trip. That night, Lori was the only one to have this kind of dream. She didn’t get a clear “No”, but the words that stuck with her were “Let it go.” The tricky thing about it was that the word “go” really stood out to her and she remembers feeling happy. We are inclined to believe that God did not intend to deceive us, so we prayed further for clarity. Did God mean we should go? Should we let go of our original plans and only the Parkers go on the trip? Or should we simply let it all go?
Friday evening, the Parkers were settling into bed and Adam was bringing all of this before the Father. While Adam prayed, Lori got the answer we’d all been waiting for. She said she did not hear an audible voice, but in her being she felt the word “no.” Lori had no question that this was the Holy Spirit saying no. She was on edge after that–excited from her undeniable experience with the Holy Spirit, but also sad because she knew that our summer plans were officially changing.
We had another team meeting on Monday, May 12th. At this time, Lori told us about her experience and we were all in agreement that our trip would not be taking place this summer. I was filled with joy when Lori was telling her story and I remain so thankful that we serve a living and active God. Although our hearts are filled with sorrow and the desire and urgency to share Christ with the unreached people of Mozambique is still great, we must submit to God’s will in God’s time. That trip would have been meaningless if God wasn’t leading the way.
Jonathan and I believe that this “no” will not last forever; our hope is that God is simply telling us to wait. He may be saying wait for a few months or many many years, the choice is not ours. The Parkers are already feeling the call to serve in another capacity and as our immediate paths go different directions, we remain part of the same Body that walks the Narrow Path leading us all along the suffering road that will take us Home. If you believe that faith moves mountains, please join us in asking God to give us boldness to declare His goodness everywhere we go, as we should–not waiting to be “on the mission field” in some poor and foreign country.
God has restored my peace and in His will I find my comfort!
If You say go, we will go
If You say wait, we will wait
If You say step out on the water
And they say it can’t be done
We’ll fix our eyes on You and we will come
Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid
Are good and true
If You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
We’ll gaze into the flames and look for You