Happy New Year! As we have reflected on the past 12 months, we are overwhelmed with the goodness of our Father and the amazing changes that occurred! Here are just a few of the highlights:
January—Praying for guidance and studying—should we go overseas as missionaries?
February—Continual prayers and a growing conviction that the Lord truly was calling us into full-time overseas mission work. We began the AFM application process.
March—Completed the interview process and participated in a week-long orientation at AFM. March 13, we accepted the call to the Pendjari Project in Benin, West Africa.
April-July—The very busy summer-camp months ensued. We shared here and there about our mission call, but, due to the situation with our foster son, we had been advised not to share publicly. In mid-April what we thought was the last hurdle to adopting our foster son was removed, and we rejoiced with eager anticipation of a lifetime with him in our home.
August—We felt strongly convicted to begin sharing publicly about the way the Lord was leading us, and so we did. What a blessing we have received from the many of you we have had the privilege of getting to know since that time!
September-December—We had our first opportunity to share with a church family about the need for the Great Commission to go into ALL the world. We shared in classrooms and at churches in four States. Two churches adopted us as their missionaries to Benin.
Individuals began giving one-time contributions and monthly pledges for the financial needs of the Pendjari Project. In mid-September we learned our foster son’s biological father had been found, which meant that instead of adopting him we would have to let him go.
There have been so many joys in this journey but also the ongoing agony of knowing that very soon the child we have loved as our own for almost three years will be leaving our home. We have a much deeper appreciation for the loss our Father willingly accepted because of His sacrificial love for us! Learning how to trust our Father’s will as good when His way hurts and makes no sense to our finite minds has been one of the most challenging lessons we have ever had to learn. Yet, the peace and closeness that we now have with Him through submitting and accepting His will has been a source of joy like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. We know that He is holding us and “our son” safe and close to His heart, and there is no more secure place to be than that!
It has been an amazing 12 months as we have embraced the Lord’s call to “Go” and have had confirmation after confirmation that this is the way the Lord is leading us! We continue to press forward in developing our team of partners, praying that we will be able to attend this year’s AFM summer training program. Our hope is to be able to launch to Benin by the end of this year. We will see what the Lord has in store!
We cannot even begin to imagine how the past year’s blessings and sorrows will continue to impact us and our growing Pendjari family. Truly, “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Co. 2:9).
Thank you for joining our team. Together we are co-missionaries, sharing Jesus in ALL the world!