The Journey Begins… step at a time!

We hope this message finds each of you well as you read along.  It is a busy time of life for the Hovey’s as we are in full swing with school and numerous projects going.  The weather here in Chile is beginning to change, the leaves are falling and the cooler weather is slowly moving in.  As we make the shift into a new season, we are doing that on multiple fronts as we are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first addition to the family.  The official due date is April 22, but that is only an educated guess and it is approaching rapidly….

We want to take some time to also inform you of yet another change that has been brought to the front of our minds.  There is no doubt that God’s timing is perfect and it is often interesting to see how little it actually aligns with “our timing”.  At this time in our lives, God has brought us to the conclusion that we are to pursue full time missions.  Phyllis will explain down a little farther how we were brought to this conclusion, but I would like to tell you what this means practically.  Our desire is to serve Jesus Christ--however, wherever, and doing whatever He desires us to.  As we take this next step by entering missions as our primary vocation it drastically changes our future projection.   What started as a desire to serve God in a short term capacity in a foreign country has turned into a passion to follow Christ wherever He leads our family. 

Lord willing we will be returning to the States in July of this year to begin the process of asking our home church, First Baptist Church of Waterville, to consider becoming our sending church as vocational missionaries rather than short term servants through the mission agency ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism).  First we need to attend the candidate classes and go through doctrinal examinations.  Then, Lord willing, we will be appointed missionaries through ABWE.  At that point we would begin taking a few different Bible classes and fulfilling other requirement as outlined by the mission agency.  As we would enter the pre-field time our goal is not solely to raise money.  Yes, that is something we will have to do, but our purpose is to bring honor and glory to God by serving Him in every way we can.  We would remain Stateside until we are fully supported and all of our prerequisites have been achieved.  At that point we would attend a language school, based on where God directs.  While we have greatly enjoyed serving God in the capacities we have in Santiago, Chile, we are unsure at this time where God will lead us to serve Him and we are choosing to set aside our desires and seek to follow His leading. 

The Call to Missions…….

Brian and I have continued to pray for future direction and vision.  We had settled on the idea of year three in Chile as our next step, but then?  Easter came.......and God changed things.......literally and figuratively!......allow me to explain......

The Saturday before Easter, Brian and I were reading in Numbers 32 during our regular Bible reading time.  The Reubenites and a couple other clans of the twelve tribes of Israel were about to reach the Promised Land along with Moses and those he had led out of Egypt.  Shockingly to us, these couple of clans approached Moses and requested to stay East of the Jordan River BEFORE entering the Promised Land.  Moses gave them permission to do this AS LONG AS they first crossed the Jordan River with all the Israelites and led the way in fighting for the Israelites to inhabit the Promised Land.  Then, after the new land was conquered, the Reubenites and the other clans requesting would be permitted to return East of the Jordan and that would be their inheritance.

Now, after we had read all this, Brian and I sat discussing it.  I never saw this coming, but he posed the question to me, "Are we like the Reubenites?  Are we settling for security in a place we can see rather than fully embracing all that God has prepared and planned for us in the 'Promised Land?'"  

I was speechless.  The thought had never even entered my mind.  So I wrote a prayer in my journal the next morning that said, "Lord, only YOU can truly know and answer the question.  Are we like the Reubenites?  Help us discern our hearts and our position!  Not ONLY that, but please help us to embrace, welcome, and accept all that You have prepared and planned for us......WHEREVER that is."

Easter was a beautiful celebration here in Santiago.  We went to church, as normal, but the couple that normally attends and translates for us was out of town.  Brian and I have picked up enough Spanish that we can usually follow the Bible references in the sermon even when we can't understand the entirety of what the Preacher is saying.  At one point, there was a reference to 1Corinthians 15, so we opened up our NIV translation and read the chapter.  In a notebook, I recorded the verse that stuck out to me.  It was verse 58, which says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  Brian and I left church after the service was over and headed to another missionary's home for an Easter meal--American style.  We had ham, potatoes, and all sorts of other goodies.  We got back home sometime after 8:30 pm and started getting things ready for Monday.  As we were preparing for our evening Bible reading, Brian surprised me and said, "Hey, can we talk a minute?"

"Sure," I responded, and he proceeded to get out his Bible.  He opened to 1 Corinthians 15:58 and read the SAME verse that had stuck out to me during the morning's Easter message!  He went on to share, "The verse seems to spell things out pretty clearly.  It doesn't really seem negotiable to me.  It says, ‘Give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord…’"

"So you mean you're ready for full time missions?" I inquired (not realizing at the time that I was projecting my own interpretation onto the verse......)

"Ready?" Brian mused, "No, but compelled to pursue it?  Yes."  He continued saying, "I'm not convinced that Chile is 'it' but giving ourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord IS......what is your thought, Phyllis?"

My response was simply, "I am truly amazed at our God and how He works!  I have been praying about our future, and I was convicted by the very SAME verse!"

We ask that you would join us in prayer as we pursue this new direction and vision for our future!  We give God the glory for finally giving us peace, comfort, and assurance from His Word as to what we are to pursue in the future!  If you have questions or comments, PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact us at the email listed below.

To God be the Glory,
The Hoveys