“When it gets hard, what part of the gospel will keep you going?”
Through different seasons of life, different glimpses of the gospel have come to the forefront of our minds:
Sometimes it’s resting in a finished work, and sometimes it’s striving for the prize in the unfinished work.
Sometimes it’s seeing His bigness, and sometimes it’s seeing our smallness.
Sometimes it’s His humility, or His power, or His grace, or His love.
At times it’s looking back, and at times it’s looking forward.
Through these first months in Konomala it’s been a lot of looking forward.
Let’s just say, we cannot wait for heaven!
When stuff is hard, it can have a way of simplifying things … Jesus matters, and the people around us matter.
If it wasn’t for the excitement that we have to be with Jesus in new bodies on a new earth; and if it wasn’t for the hope of experiencing that perfect eternal life with our friends in Konomala, we would be buying tickets home … tonight.
But, “this momentary, light suffering is producing an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”
So many of you are fighting this battle with us as you pray, and many of you are sacrificially giving so that we can be here.
We’ll never be able to properly thank you or recognize you for everything you do. But we’re excited to stand next to you someday as God overwhelms you with reward and recognition for everything you did that no one else saw.
Right now we’re finishing up our first supply run / break after being in Konomala for three months. The whole “settling into a routine” thing hasn’t really taken effect yet. Every day is filled with challenges. Every day we’ve gotta choose to stay locked in and proactive. Learning an unwritten language and living in a totally foreign culture is as hard as we expected. In the details of life, it can be a struggle to feel positive and motivated. But, our always present Lord is constantly meeting us in those moments.
In our quest to master the Konomala language and understand their culture, there’s typically two feelings happening all the time.
The first feeling is:
“This is never going to happen. I’m never gonna get this language.”
That’s most of the time.
Then the second feeling is:
“We’ve only been working at this for a matter of weeks. We’re okay.”
That’s what we try to comfort ourselves with when the first feeling is happening.
But when the Holy Spirit gives us glimpses of His perspective, we remember the bigger story and what’s at stake every day. Most days it doesn’t really feel all that wonderful, but it’s the people around us that make it worth it.
We’ve quickly become good friends with a number of people, and we often see the real potential of how God could use a committed gathering of His disciples inside this community.
The family is doing great. Kaitlyn is typically getting a couple hours a day in language study. Then for the other 20 something hours she’s full time with the kids, cooking food, and fighting mold. She usually sleeps somewhere in that time too.
The girls, as always, love doing normal kid stuff … from playing dress up & house to getting filthy outside in the dirt. Natalie is getting smarter and more perceptive all the time. Lauren is getting more mobile, verbal, and opinionated all the time. As always, they’re tons of fun and tons of work.
This task in Konomala is absolutely the hardest thing that we’ve ever done. But it’s not always hard just because of the expected stuff. The battle each day is won or lost IN us not around us. We can’t change the hard circumstances, but we can control what our minds sit in and think about.
It’s an expectant hope that what God said is actually true:
… that He actually exists
… that He came and bought our eternal death
… that He is going to come back again
… that He sees the things that no one else sees
… that He will restore our bodies and this earth
… that He will make His home among us for eternity
That the things we think about would be from above. The things down here in this broken place can feel so huge and control our thoughts. But the gospel in all it’s facets can give hope and peace regardless of the other stuff.
That we would humbly serve each other in our family and in our team. It’s easy to be selfish (understatement of the day), and left unaddressed that selfishness will destroy us.
That God would give us wisdom and unity as a team as we navigate through so much unknown every day.
That God would give us the gift of instantly knowing the Konomala language … or at least that we would grow a lot through the not-instant daily plodding and struggle of the task at hand.
That God would protect each of the people here in Konomala until they’ve had a chance to accept or reject the truth. The reality of death and hell are so real. We’re taking every opportunity to insert truth into conversations through the trade language, but we so badly want to be able to do it in their heart language … that just takes time … unless God gives that gift of insta-language.
We’re still unable to send or receive emails in Konomala. It doesn’t look promising for the foreseeable future either. We’ll stay in touch as much as possible, but it may be infrequent until we can find a solution.
You can pray that Digicel keeps their cell towers running and that we’re able to get a strong enough signal to have email access.