I love March Madness and the thrill of the buzzer beater (see Maye’s shot against UK). But things are getting more intense for us as we work against the clock. We are now days away from leaving this country, our friends, and our family. It is an exciting time and a hard time. Our time of training in done and we are now focused on packing what’s left and saying good goodbyes. For us it seems fairly easy: we want to pour out our lives for those who desperately need life in Madagascar. But it isn’t just about us. We leave hurting family members behind. And I know from past experience that after a few days in another country you begin to feel the hole in your heart from the people you’ve left behind.
But God knows our pain. He sent his Son away to give us life. It was hard, but it was worth it–for everyone. The Bible reminds us to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame . . .” (Hebrews 12:2) We hate the hurt involved in this life decision, but we know there is joy ahead . . . because of Jesus. He promised us that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29) It’s hard to leave family and friends who are like family. But Jesus has promised and this way we’ll have even more family. We’ll have a new, larger family of Malagasy brothers and sisters because of what we’re all giving up now.
So please pray . . .
- for other friends who will be flying around the world in the coming days. Pray for kids as they fly, over details like making flights and bags making it. Pray for opportunities to share the good news even as they start their journey.
- for our families as we all get ready to say goodbye, that the God of all comfort would comfort us with peace and love that come from him.
- for Tessa and I to care for each other well through this transition; that we would grow closer instead of distant.
- for our time with friends and family that we would be able to speak words of blessing over them and have mutual encouragement in Jesus.
- for the Spirit to enable us to share the gospel clearly with some before we leave.