Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do You Really Think It's God's Will For You...

If you had asked me back in April how my summer was supposed to go it was something like this. "The house will be on the market by mid June. We will close on the house by the middle of August. Then Friday the 15 will be my last day at work. We will then go to the wedding in Texas and drive back to Georgia for training. The support that is not quite raised by that point we'll get while we're down there."

Instead, it is now the August fourteenth and my painter has not finished painting the house so the "For Sale" sign is not even planted into the ground. I checked my support account and I have $0 in committed monthly support from 0 supporters. All this would be OK except for the fact that I have now spoken and handed out support cards at our home church where we attend, the church I served on staff at for 4 years, the church I grew up at, and a couple others where I had friends. After tapping my family, my friends, and my connections the result has been a goose egg.

This is not a pity party! Instead it is a definitive answer to the question I hear most these days, "Do you really think it's God's will for you to go to Swaziland?" The answer is an affirmative "YES! We are going!" Although the sale of my house is not in sync with my time line, I still say, "Yes, we are going." Although my friends have decided so far not to be our monthly support, I still say, "Yes, we are going." Even though all my personal connections have come up nil, I still say, "Yes, we are going."

When I hear the question, "Do you really think it's God's will for you to go to Swaziland?" it feels like my friends have become my foes. As they are asking it I am hearing, "Why can't you just be good Americans, with good jobs, and a good retirement?" As they are asking it and I have no house contract to show them, and no monthly support commitment to defend my radical calling to uproot my wife and children to the take care of third world orphans, I feel their condescending victory over my refusal to "just be normal."
Psalm 13
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him,"
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
The Lord gave me this passage today as an assurance to His calling. Although the nay-sayers are more numerous than the supporters. Although the people who want us to "just be normal" are pleased by our seeming to fail in the time line we both felt God led us to. Although it seems to those looking with only physical eyes that God hidden his face, forgetting his commission to us in this endeavor we look with different eyes, we listen with different ears, we touch with different hands, and we trust with a different faith.

I trust in God's provisional love for our family, and for the Swazi orphans. I rejoice in God's saving us from the commodity of trudging forward as merely good employees. I sing because I have been filled with a bounty of more purpose and vision than I dreamed to be worthy of. I rely on the faith that caused Abraham to say, "WE will come back to you," as he departed in solidarity to the task of sacrificing his son.

Abraham walked his path in fraternity with God alone. We unlike him, walk this in fellowship with our friends, our family, and our church connections. Abraham did not hear the repeated jeers of his nay sayers, "Do you really think God meant kill Isaac? Maybe God was speaking figuratively." We walk seeking the unity of partnership between us who will go, and those being called by God to send.

We move forward with the same faith that caused Abraham to have "reasoned that God could raise the dead" and caused David to sing for the Lord's goodness. It is God's will for us to be ministering to the orphans in Nsoko Swaziland. As Paul said, "We live by faith, not by sight." We proceed by the promises of God knowing that we will be moving in Swaziland in January.


Anonymous said...

I am glad that I talked to you today before I read your blog! :)
I thought about this while I was mowing my lawn... and the thing is... would you want for the people that care most about you to AGREE with you all the time? Some of our best decisions come from being questioned and perhaps even annoyed by our friends. So don't be too hard on people. Also, you wouldn't want for people to be HAPPY that you are leaving, would you? I mean, I am happy that you are leaving because I am happy for you. But I am not happy that you are leaving because it is going to be a big loss. I think, "do you really think it's God's will for you?" is a fair question from people who have earned the right to question you because they love you. If they do NOT love you, then you can expect constant agreement from them. But now that you are on your way and you obviously know that it is God's will... let's all get behind you and pray for you and work towards helping to get you there. But understand now and then if I have to pout a little. Susie

Carris Family said...

For the record I gave up wondering if you guys would ever be normal a long time ago! I guess that is why we make such good friends! If you sense anything but complete support from us it is only because little things cause me to mourn for the loss of the Bowman family, today even when we drove by Goebberts I told Rob what a sad Halloween it will be!! I hope this ache in my heart doesn't overshadow the expression of our love and support for you! Molly

gerbmom said...

send me some info regarding your support.....

Anonymous said...

Kevin and Christi-
Shoot me an email through my web page. My family is pioneering the vision of a 42nd Generation just like your family is, and we are going to Spain to set up the G42 Leadership Academy.
I think we have a lot of shared struggles right now, because we also are in the midst of support raising and trying to open the eyes of friends and family to this new paradigm.

We are praying for you guys!