Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wherever you are...

So, we are going to stay here in the US to have our fourth baby. (Who is a boy named Elijah in case you didn't see our newsletter) Some people have asked if I am disappointed and, to be honest, part of me is. I want to get back to Africa. But as I have been learning, part of trusting, is knowing that God knows better than me. 

In the meantime, what are we doing? Fundraising. We have almost 55% of our monthly pledges and 25% of our cash need. We have loved the churches we have been with recently and are looking for more churches to connect with. Either new churches, or churches we have been connected to already. We are also always looking for small groups to share what God is doing. Email us if you have a group who we could share with!

And then there is normal life. Homeschooling preschool and kindergarten. Trying to raise little men to know and love Jesus. This is where we are at in life.  Physically, we are in the States for the next few months. 

"Wherever you are, be all there." -Jim Elliot

We are being ALL here as much as we are able. The good news is that there are lots of great things to enjoy while we are here. Like Rita's water ice. Like swimming pools. Like friends and family. So we will focus on what we have and be ALL here, so that when we go back we can be ALL there.

Friday, February 28, 2014

What does it REALLY mean for us to Trust

What does it mean to REALLY trust God? I am learning a whole new level of trust right now. We are expecting our fourth baby at the end of July. We are excited about this new life but we (and everyone else) are wondering what this does to our timeline of returning to Africa. 

My first response was that if we prayed enough and really believed that God could, we would be funded to return in May before the baby came. We would love to go back before baby because if we stay it will be September or October before we could return because of the paperwork and passport for the baby. Our hearts are ready to be back in Africa serving Jesus in the role we are called to. So we prayed. I asked others to pray. And I know God COULD bring in the needed 50% of our support. He did it last time. In less than 3 months, God provided the money we needed to get to Uganda the first time. So I thought that it was a matter of trusting Him to provide.

Then, as I was praying about the gender of our baby, my heart was crying out for a girl. I love my boys, but I would love to have a girl as well. To make dresses for her, to do her hair, to play dolls with. So again, I prayed and thought that if I asked, and had faith and would just trust enough, then God would move mountains. Isn't that what Matthew 17:20 says? If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

It was during this time that Jesus spoke to my heart. He gently asked, "Do you trust me?" And I replied, "I'm trying my best to trust you." He smiled, (I could hear it in His voice), "Meg, are you trying to trust that I will give you what you want, or do you trust me that I will take care of you and that I know what is best?" 

I was stopped in my tracks. Trust is not about believing that my faith will give me what I want. Trust is knowing that God loves me, and has a great plan for me. Trust is letting Him lead, provide and take care of me. It is believing that God has got my back and has my best interest in mind. I can depend on Him.

I asked Scott what trust means to him. So he looked it up in the dictionary. Did you know comes from the word 'strong'? It is something you can depend on. Something you believe is strong enough. It's not some superhero power that Christians are supposed to have. It is knowing God is bigger and stronger.

So, we are having a baby! If it's a girl, I get to praise God. If it's a boy, I get to praise God. If we leave in May or if we leave in the fall, we know that God has a plan for us. There is so much freedom knowing that we are doing all we can do to serve Him and that His timing is best. We are trusting that God knows better than us. We just keep praying for His will. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Congo?

We did a post over on the WGM Uganda prayer blog trying to answer the question, "Why Congo?"

You can check it out here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

14 things we're praying for/looking forward to in 2014

We've been thinking a bit over the past few days about how faithful God has been to us over the years and specifically over the last year. Going hand and hand with that has been some thinking about what we're looking forward to in this coming year. We know because of how He has lead us in the past we can trust that He will continue to lead us.

Here are some things we're either  looking forward to or praying to see happen this year.

14. Our family returning to Africa
We can't wait to get back to Africa. Don't get us wrong, we've loved our time in America and with our families, but God has called us to Africa and that is where our hearts are.

13. People to join our team in prayer and support
We're excited to see who God is going to bring onto the team. If God is leading you to be a part of what He is doing in Congo, you can click here.

12. Continued safety and reliability as we travel in the States
Pretty self-explanatory, but we've been blessed with safety in our travels and don't take that for granted.

11. Moving into Congo
Our prayer is that after we return to Africa, that God would open the right doors and we'd be able to move to Beni and begin ministry there.

10. Improved facility with our Swahili and French
We've been working on our French and Swahili in preparation for our ministry and we're praying that we'll see some improvement there.

9. Some time, as a couple and as indivuals, for renewal and formation
Not sure exactly what that needs to or will look like, but we feel like this is an important part of what God wants to do in us this year.

8. Some more baseball
If you know Scott, you know he loves sports. He has a dream of visiting every MLB stadium for a game. Even more than that, it has become an opportunity for some father-son bonding as he takes one of the boys each time. The boys are already asking when baseball season starts.

7. A full schedule of churches and individual meetings in which we can share more of what God is doing

6. Peace in Congo, especially in the East
Peace has eluded eastern Congo for so long. They've tried military solutions, political solutions, international solutions. True peace will only come as Jesus transforms that country.

WGM Uganda team Sept. 2012
5. Our Uganda teammates who are currently on HMA to be released to return to Uganda
We're excited that God is raising up more people to continue the work in Uganda and we're praying that they will be released to return to (Burkes, Hallahans, Leisures, Hopsons) or begin (Metzs, Williams) their ministries.

4. Seeing how God chooses to provide all we need
We don't know who God will use to provide the funding our ministry requires, but we do know He has called us to it and He will provide all we need to do it.

3. Getting to see Grandma and Grandpa's new house in FL
Meg's parents moved this summer and we're thankful we got to visit their old house before they moved and that we'll get to see their new house all during one homeland ministry assignment.

2. Teammates to join us in Congo
God has given us a bigger vision for Congo than our family alone can accomplish. We're praying that God will raise up some people with hearts for university ministry, pastoral training, and community development. 

1. The healthy birth of our 4th child
Rambo baby #4 due July 28, 2014!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holy Interruptions

I was struck a few months ago by a sermon that talked about how God often interrupts our lives. We feel annoyed, angry, hurt, confused or bitter at the interruption. Might be the loss of a job. Might be a broken relationship. Might be a medical issue. Might be the death of a loved one. Might be a tragedy. 

Sometimes the interruption is good. Might the birth of a new baby. Might be a new job or promotion. Might be an unexpected gift. Whether the interruption is good or bad, easy or hard, it is often life changing. And God is always in the middle of it if we look for Him. 

This Christmas I was reading the Christmas story in the book of Luke. Zechariah's life was interrupted while he was in the temple serving The Lord. Mary's life was interrupted when an angel told her she would have a baby. The shepherds lives were interrupted when the angels came to them in the field to share the good news. These seem like good interruptions at first, but that is with the perspective of the whole story. In the moment of each I don't know that it felt that way.

Zechariah became mute. Talk about changing his lifestyle. Mary was engaged and would need to break it off to save Joseph from embarrassment as well as her family. The shepherds had sheep in the field that they were responsible for, they were in the middle of working, not a convenient time for an announcement. 

Yet with each interruption, God was there.  And He helped with the transition into the new normal. These interruptions did not catch Him by surprise. And neither will anything that has happened or will happen in our lives. He can see the big picture and we each need to trust that He will walk through it with us, just like He did for Zechariah, Mary and the shepherds. 

God wants our response to be like these three stories. Zechariah gave God glory and praise as soon as he was able with his tongue. Mary said, "May it be as you have said" even before she could understand the good. And the shepherds left their work and went to tell everyone the good news they had heard. So what is our response? Do we get angry at God? Do we take it out on our family and friends? Or do we praise the One who is in the middle of it with us? Do we say, "let Your will be done, not mine?" Do we go and tell everyone the good news that Christ has come and has changed our lives? Who knows what the next year will hold, only God does. But we are praying that as interruptions come, we will seek His face and His plan for 2014.

We are wishing you a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Proclaim His Greatness

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.

Ps 105:1-2 NLT 
3 pp

We are so thankful for each of YOU! Those of you who faithfully pray for us. Those of you who support us financially. Those of you who encourage us. Those of you who open your homes to us. Wherever you fit in, we are thankful! 

This verse talks about letting the whole world know what God has done. We can't do that alone. But if each of us does our part to share what God has done, where He puts us, we will reach the world. God wants the Rambos in Congo declaring His good works there. And we will be there because you are playing a part. You will be helping reach the people of Beni, DRCongo!

This holiday season, we want to challenge you to proclaim God's greatness. Not just around the Thanksgiving table today. Not just in a thank you note for your Christmas presents. But each day, proclaim what God has done and is doing. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds. His hand is at work. You might have to look for it. With all the busyness in life, it is hard to see. But He loves you and is at work in your life and those around you. Proclaim His greatness! Sing His praises!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Use What You Have

As we have been on the road we have learned to use what we have. We have been blessed with a house to use for about 6 weeks while we are visiting a church in MS. The house is unfurnished though. So some people from church helped with some things, but what we couldn't get, we just used what we had.

We didn't have a couch yet, but we made a sitting area for the first day.

We didn't have a mixing bowl, so we used a sauce pan to mix pancake batter.

We didn't have silverware, but plastic works just fine for a few weeks.

We didn't have a tv, but we can watch movies on our computer. 

As you look at your life, maybe you see the "we don't haves" more than what you do have. I want to challenge you to get creative. Jesus took spit to make mud to heal a blind man. Jesus took some fish and loaves and fed thousands. Peter and John didn't have money to give a beggar, but they healed his lameness. When God created the world, He started with nothing. 

So what do you have to use, and how will you use it to advance God's kingdom on earth?