The last few weeks many of you have been watching the leaves of autumn change color as they are in a season of transition. Although the leaves do not change colors where I live, the pictures that many of you have posted have reminded me of the upcoming transitions that my family is about to experience as we enter into a new season of life and ministry. Two years ago our family was sent out to S. Asia to see churches planted and after two years of faithful ministry we sense that Jesus is calling us out of our current role and on to something new.
Throughout Scripture God calls different people to different areas of ministry and service at different points in their life. The call to go and make disciples is a life-long call on all people that are in Christ, but that does not necessarily mean that it will always be in the same place or necessarily in a cross-cultural setting. At this time in our life we sense that the best way to continue to invest in and serve S. Asia is to leave it because we believe we can do more for it from the United States.
This is one of the most difficult decisions that I/we have ever made, much more difficult than the decision to go in the first place. Amongst all of the trials, hardships, and success in this crazy life of ours, it has become in many ways our new "normal." As I sensed the Lord moving us back to the American context I was as shocked as anyone, but I have a peace that can only come from walking in obedience to Him.
Although we are returning in one month, we still plan on playing an active role as non-residential missionaries. As time allows I will likely travel back and forth to different areas of S. Asia on a semi-regular basis to continue the work. One thing I am very excited about is the opportunity to help mobilize individuals and churches in the US to partner with nationals on the field to see the Great Commission fulfilled through the planting of churches in areas where there are few to none.
The past two years have not been a trip, but they have been our life. After much prayer we were given a peace at the decision, but I must be transparent in that there is a sense of sadness that also enters into our lives. Once you call a place home and have a child there then it will always hold a special place in your heart. All of the details of what is to come are not figured out, but I am excited to see what God has in store for us as we wrap up life in S. Asia.
We want to thank you all for your continued prayer, support, and encouragement during these past two years. It has been an adventure and it is not over yet. I am looking forward to connecting with as many of you as possible in 2014 and really wish we could bring you all a tiny piece of our lives back to you.