April has been an exciting and eventful month in our journey to South Africa. We’ve had a mix of both local meetings here at home in Tallahassee and travels across the Southeast. We are praising the Lord, watching His provision, amazed at all that He has done. He has provided multiple connections and impromptu opportunities to share His vision for our work in Knysna with groups of people that we never planned. And through an unexpected side income stream, Terrah has had the opportunity to share the vision with dozens of ladies while at the same time earning extra funds for our family on the side. God is so good! We are thrilled that He has continued to increase our monthly financial partners; we now stand at one third of our monthly budget!
We anticipate a busy May, planning to be on the road about half the month, spending most of our time across Florida and the Carolinas.
God has used this fluid and transitory process of support-raising to continually teach us more about Himself. As we make phone calls, travel, and share the vision for Knysna, we are constantly reminded that it is God who is sovereign, and He is always at work. Through the prayers of many faithful prayer warriors, He is going before us, guiding us to the right places, connecting us with the right people. What a comfort to serve a God who is sovereign! Psalm 135:6 says “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” Nothing escapes His notice; nothing occurs apart from His choosing. Indeed, He owns everything in existence and all that occurs in heaven and earth is under His direction. “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it” (Deut 10:14). In Him, “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). And yet, He is also sovereign over the smallest of details, over the seemingly mundane and “normal” aspects of our lives (i.e. another phone call, packing the suitcases again, driving through the endless of expanse of pine trees in the Florida panhandle…again). He knows even the number of hairs on our head and notices when a sparrow falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29-30). The Creator God, Alpha and Omega, the Eternal One, is intimately involved in the nitty-gritty of our lives and is in control of each detail. It is indeed a humbling thought.
God has the ability and the prerogative to accomplish His ends in whatever method and manner He deems will bring the most glory to Himself. He doesn’t need us, doesn’t need to explain Himself, doesn’t need to let us in the loop. And yet…God is also gracious (Psalm 116:5), choosing in His sovereign plan to use feeble and feckless people to accomplish His glorious ends. Even when we know all this, we still ask why. “Why did this happen? Why didn’t that happen? Why can’t we just get on a plane to Knysna tomorrow? Why, why why?” Sometimes He doesn’t let us know why (for example, Job). But sometimes, in his graciousness, He gives us a glimpse of why. Just a taste as if to say, “Calm down guys, I’ve got this. Here, let Me show you.” We have story after story of these glimpses from God about why He has ordained our support-raising journey, why He has us here at this specific time. This month was no different. God sovereignly put us in connection with another family that we had never met before who has also surrendered to God’s call and are preparing to head to…wait for it…Knysna, South Africa! We immediately had such a connection, a bond, and spent several hours together. What a refreshing, encouraging time it was! A time of learning from our shared experiences, of rejoicing in God’s grace and direction, and challenging each other in our faith. Instant friends! What a gracious God we serve! We certainly didn’t deserve such a friendship, but He knew we needed it and, in His sovereign graciousness, He ordained it.
We cannot help but be reminded of both God’s sovereignty and His graciousness in the Great Commission. It is only because both are present that we can go to the nations.
"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus Christ, Son of God, has all authority, all control, all power, complete sovereignty. Therefore, we go! And we go with fearless confidence, because in His graciousness, He will be with us!