Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Moving in

Whew! We made it.
David, his dad, and I (Allison) drove a moving truck, our SUV, and a utility trailer carrying a motorcycle across the MidWest in two and a half days. We managed to stop only as necessary (with a few extra attempts to resecure the motorcycle). God was so good to provide clear weather, especially no rain. We stayed with a friend the first night and decided not to drive the extra four hours the second night. Still, the Ohio state line was on the horizon the minute we got on the highway the third morning of our trip. We dropped Dad off at the bus station in Columbus with a quick hug. Then, we were headed for Coshocton. We arrived yesterday afternoon and unloaded the most necessary items for camping out the first couple of nights. MMS Aviation will send a work crew tomorrow to help us unload the moving truck with the furniture. We are excited to settle in to our new home! Do you like it?
Praise God for his countless blessings. We are thankful for everyone who helped us pack and who will help us unload, clean, etc. This has been a bittersweet but wonderful adventure full of sweet memories and hard goodbyes. Thank God that Jesus Christ makes it possible for a goodbye to be temporary. We'll see y'all later!

Friday, August 21, 2015

We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

Have you ever read the children's book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt!"? It is a great reminder that you need to be prepared for whatever you may find out on an adventure, like ... a bear!
The children in this story set out with their father looking for a bear. They face many challenges and obstacles, but they persevere through the snowstorms, rivers, and other scenarios. No obstacle can turn them back from their pursuit; it becomes part of the adventure. Finally, they accomplish the goal of entering a bear den when, to their surprise, it actually contains the bear they were looking for! Suddenly, they are faced with object of their adventure only to find they are not prepared for the consequences of their pursuit.
This story reminds me of a statement Jesus made to his followers, committed and uncommitted alike. He told them in Luke 14,
26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own."

Jesus said that it is foolish to begin a project without first counting the cost. Or, another way to put it is that you need to make your plan before you begin your project.

Last Saturday, we received the official mail stating we have received $4,815 in monthly pledges. That is $115 more than the amount we were required to raise to begin serving at MMS Aviation in Ohio. God is amazing! Somehow, I feel I should not be surprised that God provided above and beyond the amount we thought we needed to serve him in ministry. It's almost like the children's story in which they run home terrified that they came across the bear they were hunting. Did I set out on this adventure truly expectant that God would provide our needs? I've heard the quote from William Carey many times, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God."

Tomorrow (also a Saturday), we are loading our belongings on a moving truck. We are almost packed, and the reality of moving to Ohio is sinking in. We hope to be in Ohio by Monday or Tuesday evening. What an adventure! We only received the phone call from MMS Aviation headquarters, authorizing our move, two and a half weeks ago. Praise God for providing all our support in such a short time. We are blessed to have been able to spend the last eight months sharing about the ministry of MMS Aviation with friends, family, and churches across the US. We have seen God completely surpass our expectations of him. Why did I think God was so much smaller than this?

I am excited that our adventure is not over; it is beginning a new phase of the journey. My favorite part of the story is when we get to the end of this journey and, much to our surprise (or delight in this case), we find exactly what we have been searching for: Jesus. I can't wait to discover more of what he is like. If our God is this amazing when we only know a small part of who he is, who can handle what he is like in full glory and real experience? I might find myself feeling a little of the emotion the children in the storybook felt, but I think instead of running home, I will run right to Jesus. Don't you?