Ok, so maybe waiting for news on my blog is not exactly like waiting to hear the winners of - say - the Academy Awards, but many of you have been asking for a little "what's up?" info. So here it is. :)
God is good...all the time
I don't know when I'll learn that it's really only "faith" when I don't see what's ahead! ("So faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Hebrews 11:1) So the last few months have been an awesome journey of faith! :)
After determining about two months ago that my time in Prague was through, the next question was "what (or where?) next"? :) Although I have many options and invitations for ministry there in Prague and in other countries, including the US, the pastors and elders at my sending church in CA encouraged me to take some time to simply wait on the Lord and hear His voice. When they asked me where I thought was the best place for me to do this, I was a little embarassed to say anyplace other than with them, since they have been so very supportive ever since they first sent me out as a missionary 9 years ago.
But honestly, the first place that came to mind was Ukraine! Thankfully, they agreed and said they had actually "figured as much". :) When I met with Pastor Alosha and some of the leaders of the church in Kyiv, thankfully they said they were glad to have me for as long as the Lord would direct! When I said that I didn't want to make the mistake of rushing in and committing to anything long term until I was sure of God's leading, Alosha encouraged me with the example that if he were to "leave home and go somewhere and then when it was time to leave there, how could it be a mistake to simply come home, if only for awhile?" :) It was great to hear that they, too, saw Kyiv as my "home away from home".
It's weird being so far from family and native culture, etc., and to truly miss them so much, but to be blessed with a place that feels so much like home to me, too.
So What's Next?
Recently in my transition, I had the privilige of hearing Pam Markey share at a discussion on Practical Mission Life at the Bible College in Vajta, Hungary. She reminded us that sometimes we get so caught up in the What and How of ministry that we forget the Why. She encouraged us to keep the goal of loving God, loving one another, and seeking to glorify God and make Him known paramount and let the Whys, Whats and Hows fall into place accordingly.
I heartily agree! This simple "ministry plan" (love God, love others) :) has been leading me for many years.., first to Ukraine, then to Prague and back to Ukraine and now - surprisingly - a very interesting "What" has fallen into place! Unbeknownst to me, John Chubik and his family arrived in Hungary at the College just a day after myself. John and I went to Bible School eons ago (literally!) and he and his family served in Kyiv, and then in Zaporizha, Ukraine. John and Karen are dear friends that I'm priviliged to know. John is going to be working on a book about Pastor George's life and when he heard that I would be in Ukraine for a time, asked if I would help with some of the research for the book! What a privilige! I am blessed to be helping the church in Kyiv gather the stories of those whom George's life and ministry touched over the years. (George Markey was our dear pastor in Kyiv that passed away nearly a year ago).
So that's the latest. :) "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain they that try to do anything not according to His plan". I don't want to labor in vain, so although I have lots of other thoughts and options for the future, I am simply putting them before the Lord to see what will come of them. So as always, I appreciate your prayers!