Almost 2 years ago, God took us on a journey that would change everything we new. After experiencing great tragedy, going on mission to South Korea and Malaysia provided me with an unexplainable closeness to the Lord that has allowed me to be sensitive to His gentle and consistent calling on our lives. Upon returning home, I didn’t know when or how we would return as a family but I did know without a doubt that we would. Through their own story some friends of ours were reassured that, “God doesn’t play jokes!” and I believe that to be true when I consider the feeling of home I experienced on the other side of the globe and the burden I feel in my heart for the unreached people of South East Asia.
In the last few weeks I can’t help but feel as if God is rekindling this once burning flame for the people of Malaysia. Almost 2 years after visiting and “luck” would have it, right after I graduate, a position at Dalat International School (DIS) teaching art has become available. As I wade through the endless paperwork associated with a position in international teaching/ministry my good friend Jonathan Smalley texts and wonders if I’m anywhere close to Plano, Texas. After some research we find that I am only 4 hours away. I immediately offer to drive half way so we can meet for coffee when he’s there. To this he says, “why don’t you drive the whole way and attend a conference with me?”
The first three days of this conference dive into everything associated with international church planting and the last three days are pointed specifically at ministering to Muslim people. (Are you connecting the dots?) After thoughtful consideration and many prayers that sounded similar to, “What the heck are You doing?” (with the you being of course God) I agreed to attend.
At this point receiving an offer to teach art at DIS is really rather moot when considering the work that Christ is still completing. Would I love the opportunity to teach there? Yes! Would it make sense? Yes! But really what I’m seeing here, is God continuing the work He started and guiding us down a path that helps makes sense of what is brewing in our hearts.
Unfortunately I either have a ridiculous amount of faith or I’m historically and possibly even genetically irresponsible because the conference, including transportation costs, food and accommodations for the week will be about $600. I know that God will provide but I ask that you would pray for my family as we venture to seek Christ and step out in faith. I know that many who read this do not necessarily agree with the steps we are taking as we move forward; but know that we are seeking Christ with our whole being and no matter where that leads it is better than anywhere we would take ourselves.
As we believe Christ will equip us for the task we have ahead, we also believe He will equip our loved ones with the comfort and peace that passes understanding if we all continue to seek His perfect plan. I pray you will thoughtfully consider joining us not only in prayer but also financially as we seek to cover costs for this ongoing mission. May God bless you as often and as richly as he blesses us.
In Christ, Joel