Turning the Corner, but Still on the Path

Our dear boy outside our new church work...
For the past couple years, we have been involved in a church plant in a community called Makia.  Struggles over land ownership have arisen again, leaving us still without a permanent structure, more legal complications, as well as a season of waiting on the horizon. On the tail end of this turmoil, teammates with a giftedness and passion for reaching this area have also arrived back on the field after furlough.  After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to shift our focus from Makia and allow our teammates the privilege of regrouping and rebuilding the body of believers there.  God has given us a different wheel house.  We are excited to couple with the same national pastor at another congregation where we will focus on discipleship. 
Our sending church pastor once preached a message on discipleship, saying, “Salvation is a free gift, but discipleship will cost you your life.”  While we are refocusing our attention, we are choosing to rejoice in God’s handiwork and timing.  We wouldn’t have been ready for this shift a year ago.  However, the gifts of God and time have caused us to clarify our focus.  Our sweet spot is not pioneering or starting from scratch in church planting, and it has felt like freedom to realize that.  Our new roles are not lesser…..just different.  Our sweet spot is development.  We were able to develop at Makia, but God has gently reminded us that His design, plan and timing is absolutely perfect (Psalm 18:30).  Sometimes, that means "the plan" changes.  His intentional design for Makia and for us have diverged—the road has taken a turn, and we are choosing to follow our Savior down this path that is better suited for us for such a time as this.
I (Phyllis) have to confess, at first, I only felt a sense of failure.  I felt hurt and confused that the time, effort and investment there at Makia was seemingly futile.  What do we have to show for it?  However, God so gently reminded me that growth in God's economy is not always measured in numbers of souls saved.  The Bible clearly says in Isaiah 55:10-11,
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my [God’s] word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
We are seed planters.  In John 12:24, the Bible also records for us this profound truth:
Truly, truly I [Jesus] say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Planting seeds in Sunday School....

Inside the church building where the seeds of the Word of God are planted.

There is NO DOUBT in our minds that our good God is up to something.  What the end result will look like?  We are not fully sure tangibly, but we are confident that it WILL BE for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28)…what a promise to claim!
Gunner asked where we were going to church this morning and voluntarily went to go get dressed.  He came out of his bedroom decked out in dress pants, button up shirt, a vest and even a tie!  Wow!  Does that boy of ours ever look sharp! 
Our Moriah ran a fever for most of the night, so she stayed home with mom to get some rest and Lord willing, kick whatever bug she is fighting. 
While this transition will take a couple weeks to get accustomed to as timing of the services are different and there are many new faces that we have to learn and remember, I am choosing to think of it in light of heaven…what do I mean?  When I get to heaven, there will be a myriad of human souls who have been glorified by Christ, and I will get the honor of hearing the stories of our Great God interwoven in the lives and hearts of His people across the span of the globe, the span of time and into the realm of eternity!  I can’t wait!!!  Meeting up with souls and lives in this new church plant will be but a shadow of the glory of God that will be celebrated in the future!  We're fixing our eyes on HIM!!!