It is hard to believe that it has been two years since we left the comforts and familiarity of our family and friends to be on mission in New Jersey. On one hand, it seems like it was just yesterday, but on the other hand it seems like an eternity. I can honestly say for all of our team that it wasn’t at all what we expected, but it has been absolutely life changing for all of us.
We have witnessed the power of God move in so many incredible ways among us. We have seen God for who He is and what He has done in many up close and personal ways. We have seen Him as:
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide.
It seems like every time we needed something, God has, and does, provide in ways we could never expect. God has entrusted to us prayer warriors, finances, resources, relationships, encouragement, help, vision, hope, wisdom, and even obstacles... and the list could go on. We have learned that God is our sole provider and there is nothing we need, because we have Him and in Him is all we need!
Jehovah Shammah – The Lord Is There.
We must be honest and say that leaving all we knew and were comfortable with was much harder than we ever expected. We, even today, miss the ‘everyday connection’ with those we love and got to do life with in Tampa. Yet, God has not and never does abandon His children. He has been and is there with us every step of the way. We have just learned the value of looking to Him and not others and other things to find that peace. This is a constant learning journey but God is there guiding us daily.
El Shaddai – Lord God Almighty.
God’s power has been on display in so many ways throughout this journey and we have the privilege of getting a front row seat to see God show up and show off. We are constantly reminded of the words of Jesus in the book of John where He said, “apart from Me you can do NOTHING.” Our best efforts aren’t enough to move the hearts of folks and build a church. Yet, if we lay our agendas down and seek God’s will, we see what only He can do.
We have seen lives both changed and transformed by the gospel, marriages strengthened and saved. We have seen a community that looks to other things to sustain it realize that life is fragile if built upon its present foundation. We constantly get the opportunity to BE GOOD NEWS to a people and a community that is desperately looking for hope.
God is good, right and perfect.
He is Holy and all His ways are right and trustworthy. The God who SEES and KNOWS. The God who POINTS us in the RIGHT DIRECTION. The God who is both MYSTERIOUS and RELATIONAL. He is GLORIOUS, HE is GRACIOUS, He has a PLAN, He is LOVING and GRACEFUL.
I could go on and on about God and the ways that we have come to know Him and see Him at work, but what I hope you know is that it has been transforming! So, as I write this I just want to stop and give God all the praise! He alone is worthy and we thank Him for His faithfulness!