Hello again from Davao. I have lived in this beautiful place for 23 months and can't believe that I only have 2 months more! These past few months have been those of great struggles and great victories. Let me share with you the goodness of the Lord in my life, that you too may share in the blessing of His faithfulness:
The challenging first: To be very transparent, it has been a very intense spiritual battle the past few months, for me personally yes, but also for the group of us here, too. There are good things, Kingdom-advancing things, in the works here, and I know that satan doesn't like that. He tries to pull us down, to send attacks, one after another after another. I think all of it, added with such stress from this being the end of our time here, has led to intense times. But God...But God doesn't change, He is always the same. He sees us, in need, and comes to us. He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. He delights in His children. He is a fortress--a strong tower. We can run to Him. And I think we all have been running a little faster and more intentionally towards Him as we have realized that we can't do this alone. This, coupled with hurting loved ones from home, really became overwhelming.
"Our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You."
-2 Chronicles 20:12
"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." --Isaiah 7:9
These verses are simple, maybe well-known. But they resonate over and over again in my heart. Thank you Lord for Your Word. Thank you Lord for others to confide in, to cry and to pray with. Continue to build in me a thankful and trusting heart.
Now to the encouraging:
I have been finishing up bits of paperwork and requirements these past two months. It has been good to finally put a cap on the end of all that hard work, to breathe a sigh of relief, and praise the Lord for the conclusion of such a wonderful chapter. On July 3rd, I finally was able to hand in the last little bit and have papers sent off. So crazy to think it was as easy as that. Praise God that not only I, but the whole original group of us girls, have persevered to the end and been able to finish. It hasn't been easy, but quite the opposite. But because of the Lord's great mercy towards us, we stand as a complete batch, ready to finish our time here--together. Another praise to go along with this is the blessing of the funds I need to take my board exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) when I return home! He is finishing what He began in me and I am thankful for those of you in the Body that He has used to show that to me! Thank you!
Jumping ahead to August 3--My batch and I, along with everyone partnered with our organization will come together and celebrate as a way to all be together one more time and give thanks for all that God has done in the past two years. I think about how much I have grown to love the people I serve alongside and what an honor it has been to become a family. I am excited to see how the Lord will use each person as we all partner to use maternity care to reach the lost.
And then just a month later, on September 3, I leave on a jet plane to move back to the United States. After not setting foot on U.S. soil for over 2 years, this will be an interesting transition. I'm not sure if I am quite ready, but I know that whereever I go, the King goes. And wherever the King goes, His Kingdom comes. So my prayer is to journey along where the King leads and partner with Him to see His Kingdom come, whether here in the Phils or at home in Memphis. Lots of a desicons need to be made, and Lord-willing, a wedding will need to be planned. All exciting things. Lord, prepare me for the season ahead!
So as I finish, I remember that the whole purpose is to know God and make Him known. I wrote this for a summary of a book I was reading on missions:
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” This is a quote by John Piper, in his book Let the Nations Be Glad. He stresses that the importance and focus of the church is not missions—it is worship. Sometimes as believers, myself included, we get so caught up in the going and doing that we ourselves aren’t worshiping the King. Missions aids in the worship God deserves, but as partners in this mission, we have to remember that our goal is worship, too. It doesn't mean that we don't go or we don't share--we surely do these things and make them an utmost priority. BUT, we are made to worship the Lord, just as all the millions of people in the world are too. So may we continue to pray and seek and love our Maker first, and serve Him from the ourpouring of His love.
Thank you for following me in this journey. It is a deep joy to serve and know that there are loved ones who pray and support. Can't wait to see you in a short, short time.