Yesterday marked 10 yrs that we have been on the mission field in Europe! It's hard to imagine that 10 yrs ago we left all we knew and loved behind to embark on a journey-one that we had no idea how long it would last or what to expect along the way. We only knew that God had called and Jim answered the call.
In remembrance of this, I thought to write a few different blog posts about the last 10 yrs. Not sure if it will get written in a week, a month, or what-I do however want to write down about the past years. What God has done, the high points, low points, what was learned, the heartaches and the blessings, the trials and the triumphs. If you know me, you know I will share from the heart.
Today I will share with you about the call.
Have you ever noticed in reading your bible the settings in which certain things take place. Samuel went to annoint David to be the future king while David was out taking care of the sheep. The disciples were fishing like any other day when Jesus called and told them to put down their nets and follow Him. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably cleaning house or preparing things for her wedding to be when the angel Gabriel came to speak to her. Often times we find it is in the ordinary business of our day that the Lord will speak to us too. Perhaps doing dishes, driving, taking care of our children-God will use those moments to teach us something or to speak something to our hearts.
Feb. 11, 2001 was one such day for Jim and me. We always took our separate cars to church because he would either be helping in worship or at the Senior Center doing worship and I would be teaching Sunday School to the 4 & 5 yr old class. We would meet up at 3rd service. This particular Sunday, the children were learning about God's call to Abram-to leave his land and go to a place that God would show him. One of the great things about living in So. Cal was the weather. Here it was Feb and we were able to go outside to act out our lesson. I lined the children up and we we walked around the church building pretending that we were going on a journey. We walked slowly, pulling our cows and carrying all our luggage with us. It was quite fun. The memory verse for the day was from Deuteronomy 31:6. Nothing to it right-just another fun time with the 4 and 5 yr olds.
After class, I ran into Pastor Rob and he asked me if Jim was around-I told him he would be here shortly (he was at the Sr Center that morning) Pastor Rob asked me to have Jim talk to him after 3rd service. I thought nothing of it-it was quite normal for Jim and Rob to chat. Jim owned a Sheet Metal company at the time and also helped out with the Drug and Alcohol Ministry at church. Often he would hire some of these guys who were out on their luck or Rob would hear about a guy needing a job and ask Jim if he had any openings. To me, it was just about another guy needing a job.
I told Jim and after 3rd service, Marla and I went home. My phone rang and it was my friend Irene. She had heard Pastor Rob ask to speak to Jim and wanted to know what it was about-I had no clue, but she made me promise to call her as soon as I knew. To me, I just didn't see the big deal in the two of them talking.
Well, Jim came home about an hour later. I didn't even ask him what it was about-because again, I thought nothing of it. He looked at me and said- "well, you will never believe what Rob asked me" I don't remember my exact response but knowing me it was probably something like "Who needs a job now?" He told me how they talked about his business and how it seemed to be taking a weird turn at the moment. He then told me that Rob talked to him about this church in Baja, Hungary that was in need of a Pastor and would Jim pray about moving over and pastoring the church. Again, me being the wonderfully sweet and supportive wife said something to the effect of "yeah right, quit lying." I must have glanced at his face and saw the seriousness of it and realized....whoa....this is for real!! What in the world is he talking about? Where in the world is Hungary and why would anyone even think we would consider moving there!! We chatted a bit and he filled me in on the details of their conversations (well, details as far as a guy is concerned!!!!) and that he agreed to pray about it.
Being the scholar that I am (insert laughter) I went to the computer and looked up on a map where Hungary was. I had only heard about it-but never knew where it was or anything much about the place. To my dismay, I looked on the map-now mind you, I am not good at map skills either but I did know that if there was an ocean or body of water there would be blue on the edge.....NO BLUE!!! "nope, we are not moving, there is no ocean" I couldn't imagine being land-locked somewhere!!!!
Within an hour or so we drove over to Chris and Shelly's to share the news with them. I think we swore them to secrecy because we didn't want the news to get out. I called Irene later on and told her and swore her to secrecy too. I think in all we told about 5-10 people we knew we could trust to keep it private and more importantly be praying for us.
So, there you have it. An ordinary Sunday, doing our ordinary service when unexpectedly God shakes our world.
And isn't it just like the Lord...here I am teaching the children that Sunday morning about Abraham and how difficult it must have been to leave his country, to go some place that would be strange to him. The memory verse from Deuteronomy never ceases to amaze me. Who would have thought that I would be afraid of anybody-especially Christians!!! Oh the things that God would teach me over the next 10 yrs. The many times that verse was a joy and comfort to me. I marked it in my bible that Sunday after Jim told me the news. Honestly, I felt it a bit strange to read the verse at the time and to even date it, but praise the Lord that He gave me that verse not only that day, but so many days in the future!!! He always knows what we will need in our lives!
In the next post I will share about our visit to Hungary, what was going on business wise and whatever else the Lord will bring to my memory.
Be encouraged....it's often in the ordinary-in the simplest of things that we do that God will bring about something that will change our lives. As Christians, we are to pray, to meditate upon His Word, and we are also to be occupied til He comes. Doing whatever He has put in front of us to do. Nothing is ordinary to Him. And just think, as we are going about our everyday routine, God knows when He is going to shake things up a bit.