Most of my life when God called me to a certain ministry, I knew what the next steps would look like. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know the details, but I understood the big picture. Not this time.
What Emily and I did know, is that we were being called to Spain. And that’s about as far as it went. The signs leading us here were so clear that we stepped out in faith and got rid of most of the possessions we accumulated in 20 years of marriage. I remember both of us looking at each other and saying, “No wonder God hasn’t given us a clear vision for the next phase of our lives, we are to burdened with these possessions to go anywhere. How did we get so much garbage?!”
There was never any ill intent on our part. We were just caught up in living our lives, raising our kids, running a ministry and doing the best we could. That’s what most of us are doing, aren’t we?
But for us, our comforts lulled us to sleep. Call it getting older, settling, being overwhelmed, overworked, burned out, tired – what have you. I was all of those things and quite a few others.
I think sometimes, God just wants us to slow down. We live in an era of ‘more’ and ‘faster.’ They say knowledge is doubling every month and the rate of change has passed the human being’s ability to absorb it. When life gets too fast, it’s hard to hear what God is saying. We get on this treadmill and it feels normal. But it’s not normal. It’s what our culture has told us is normal. We needed a change of pace, to shed some baggage, and get in a place where we could hear again.
So we’ve been doing a lot praying over these last 5 months in Spain and trying to learn Spanish. I’ve read my Bible more than I have in years. I’m finishing my Doctorate in Leadership at George Fox University. We’re fasting and in a place of dependency. None of this has been easy, I assure you. This has been one of the most difficult things my family has ever done. Sure, you see the smiles on all of our faces in a picture on Facebook next to some beautiful fountain, but that’s just a picture. It masks the pain behind everyone leaving everything – their friends, their schools, their sports teams. We’ve lived in Colorado for 14 years – most of their growing up years.
If you asked them what they struggle most with there would be a laundry list: the language (specifically learning Catalan and Spanish at the same time because that’s what is required in the schools), the culture, the city, our old apartment like house, having no car, etc., but the biggest thing they would say is loneliness.
What are we doing here? In short, we are building the finest Leadership Training School you’ve ever seen to serve this generation and help them make an incredible impact in the world for the Kingdom. And, I’ll get to reproduce myself by training teaching each of them about God’s heart for the widow, the orphan and the stranger and how to build sustainable programs around the world that serve the poor.
More on that to come. If you’re interested in learning more or joining our team of friends and family, please either send me a personal email at: [email protected] or you can simply join our prayer team by subscribing to this blog. We believe a team will help build this, not individuals and we know God will put the right people around us.
Happy 2016!! Many blessings to you! Exciting days are ahead!!!