Between Two Journeys

Today is the final day of a week long hiatal home-bound break between two journeys. In many ways, the week has seemed far too short. Just enough time to throw in a few loads of wash and get the house sufficiently dirty to require another fly through before locking the door behind us again tomorrow morning. Time enough just to reconnect, to screw our heads back on to face forward once again. 

The first trip was, what I would consider, a comfortable trip. We drove west until the road ended and found ourselves among old friends and believers. A Bible conference, a wedding. Normal, expected activities. People we know well, a comfortable environment of love and confidence. Encouraging conversations, uplifting hugs and handshakes. So many “good to see you”’s. Sure, two days of driving there and two days back again, but all good because you know exactly what you’re getting into. You know what to expect, who you’ll see, how you’ll respond to the environment. 

But tomorrow is sort of the opposite. 

There’s really nothing known about a first pioneering trip in the gospel except for maybe the city or town of destination and a name or two. 

It’s not comfortable. It’s exciting. 

It’s also scary and a little wild and nerve wracking and joyful and wonderful and unbelievable all at once. 

There will be roads and mountains we’ve never traveled over before. There will be culture and food we’ve never experienced. Most importantly, there will be people we’ve never seen before who may or may not be interested in the gospel, who may or may not be saved, who may or may not want you to come back. 

Our kids asked why we have to travel again so soon. Why did this trip come up so suddenly? Why can’t we stay home and ride our bikes for a few more days? 

It’s not always easy being the wife and family of a pioneer. 

As females, we love our homes. We love to nurture, to create, to craft a place of our own. We need that security, the constant place that is a home. We want our children to always, always feel safe and secure. 

And so sometimes we hold our husbands back. We say, “not this week,” or “I’ll just stay home,” or, “can’t someone else go?” And without a conscious thought, we hinder the spread of the gospel, the growth of believers and our own personal joy in the Lord. Leaving home and lands for the sake of the gospel doesn’t always just mean your house and country of origin. It’s a constant, perpetual, purposeful leaving of whatever is keeping you from chasing leads in the gospel. The word of God is like a mighty river that plows through virgin territory, making her own beautiful path. God keep me from ever becoming a dam builder; channeling His plans into whatever little streams and ponds are most convenient for me. Because, see, the absolute worst thing for a pioneer missionary family is to become too comfortable, to throw down their deepest roots, to establish themselves in one place. The moment we allow that, we completely lose our focus and true work for the rest of our lives. The believers cannot grow. New places are not opened. We relegate ourselves to the position of sitting pastor, upon whom depends every single movement of the local church.

We didn’t give excuses to our kids. We didn’t smooth things over with them. There’s no point in that. 

“A man from Oaxaca has been in touch with daddy. He heard the gospel when he was a little boy but he never accepted Christ. The other day, listening to a recording, he understood salvation and is now on his way to Heaven. The Lord Jesus told us to not only see people saved, but to make disciples of them, to teach them all the doctrine and to baptize them and see assemblies established. We don’t have a choice. God has given us this responsibility.” 

“Oh.”  The wisdom of all children. Acceptance. 

It was more for my own acceptance too. To remind myself again why we’re really here. 

So we humbly ask for your prayers. That God’s Word would be prospered. That hearts are being prepared in the capital city of Oaxaca to receive salvation, that doors would be flung wide open. That God’s will and plans would be honored and His name glorified for eternity.