One of my favorite lyrics comes from a song by Jeremy Camp.
I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares your will for me
Since Lori and I have returned home from Uganda we have been fairly quiet about future plans. Not because we don’t want to share them with everyone, rather, because we don’t even know them fully ourselves. Often in life we believe God is doing one thing simply to find out He is doing quite another. We believe that’s the case with our lives as well. It is a time where we can’t see the entire picture clearly. Rather, He is giving us snippets to keep us going and all the while encouraging and deepening our trust and faith in Him. It is a time of stretching, bending, pruning, and growing. I use the phrase, “we are in a time of nervous excitement.”
What God is doing these days in us I see happened nearly 2000 years ago with the apostle Paul. (Act 16:6-8) After revisiting the churches in Phrygia and Galatia, Paul and Silas had thought of going into the province of Asia, in western Asia Minor, but the Holy Spirit forbade them. We are not fully certain why the Holy Spirit stopped them, none-the-less, they were stopped. He then pointed them in a new direction… We know that the Lord cares for the souls of the men and women in this area, but as with our time spent in the small village of Ishunga, God appears to have a different plan.
As many of you know, our plan was to spend 5 weeks in Ishunga in May 2015 and then partner with Agents For Christ and return there in early 2016. Shortly after we returned home, it was apparent that the plan had changed.
“What are your plans now?” we are often asked.
This post is to help us, as well as our friends and family, navigate that question. Lori and I believe God is still currently calling us to missions work in Uganda. We have doors that are opening up there and are in the initial steps of walking through those doors. One of the exciting things that has developed in the recent month is we are now sponsoring a local pastor in Entebbe. His name is Patrick and he is married to a wonderful woman and has a 6 month old daughter. He is a young man who is on fire for Jesus and has made it his life passion to spread the Gospel to half the nations of the world… He writes, teaches, preaches, and is an international chef. He has big aspirations from such a humble beginning. We love his faith and trust in the Lord and know that the Lord is going to continue to do amazing things through him.
The need in Africa is endless. Poverty, poor health conditions, lack of education, and the need for Christ is everywhere. We are seeking your prayers as we navigate the newest path we are beginning down. Our heart is to come alongside an existing ministry and lend a hand. To offer the gifts God has given us in support of those who are in the field already doing the work of the Lord. Currently we are beginning to see doors open and new opportunities for us to share the Gospel message of hope in the country God has placed into our heart.
I wish this post had all sorts of answers with the plan all laid out with times and dates. But God doesn’t seem to work that way. He tells us to trust in Him with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding. To cast our burdens on Him and He will care for us. To walk by faith and not by sight. The growing and pruning process can be very challenging at times, but in the end we always see the benefit. I often think of our yard in our home we just moved from and the dozens of rose bushes we had there. Each spring we would prune them so far down it seemed as if they weren’t going to survive. Many times I really thought the pruning process was too much and was afraid several were gonners! But just like God in His faithfulness to us, they produced bouquet after bouquet of flowers. Often so many beautiful roses would spring up that we were unable to keep up with trimming.
God has simply had us in His loving and caring pruning process. He has removed some things that had to go from our hearts, our expectations, and our desires. It’s as if He has said to us, “it may seem like there is no hope for beauty from all of this, but just wait! I am producing in you bouquets in abundance.”
Please press on with prayer as we continue to walk by faith. If you know me (Keith) I like to have the answers in front of me. I like walking by sight because it makes planning a whole lot easier. Lori has been that gentle reminder to me to ease up, allow God to work in our heart and lives, and to move forward step by step in faith and hope expecting to see great and mighty things in the coming months.