In Spring 2016, after living and serving in Ecuador since 2010, our family found ourselves unexpectedly planning a return to the States for an extended time. In the many months prior, the path we were on had rerouted in directions not anticipated, and as a result, we faced significant uncertainty about our future in life and ministry. Even so, a sovereign Father remained in control, and in His wisdom converged our US bound path with a handicapped teenager from Misahualli, and an invitation to provide training for firefighters. Completely different open doors, yet both had two things in common: the Gospel and Ecuador.
Looking back, it was an undeniable intersection of God’s providence. Yet in my drained flesh, I was struggling with wanting to ignore it all. Wanting to shut my eyes and plug my ears. Wanting to just get out of Dodge for a time and season, and nothing more. Just being real here. Thankfully, God patiently and graciously worked with me right where I was. And in the end, His sovereign will trumped mine.
Now here it is a little over two years later from those initial convergences. Through World Pediatric Project, Shriner’s Hospital surgically corrected Luida’s deformed legs, and the body of Christ showed her God’s love through a myriad of acts—small and large. And at the end of it all, she accepted Jesus as her personal Savior. Presently, she is back in Misahualli, living with straight legs and a clean heart. We have no doubt God is going to continue to use her transformed life for His glory!
And the other open door to train Ecuadorian firefighters? Well, one door led to another and then another, and over time the birth of Gear Up Ministry, giving Christian firefighters and EMS personnel an opportunity to use their professional training as a means to share the Gospel on foreign soil. As a result, souls are being saved and lives are being eternally impacted.
My intent in sharing these words is to spur on a fellow traveller—to encourage you to just rest in God’s sovereign rule over your circumstances, even when they throw you for a loop and knock the wind out of you. Life has a way of twisting and turning, detouring in directions not anticipated—many times in less than desired routes. Sometimes, down the most painful paths. (Let’s just be honest about that.) Yet when you’re a follower of Christ on mission with Him, even in the midst of the uncertainties that stretch out in front, there’s a settling reality that you can always be certain of: the sovereignty of an all-wise, loving, good God. You can take that to the bank. You really can.
Despite the happenings that are out of your control and the confusion that might be plaguing your perspective, just keep pulling in closer and closer to God, choosing to see His heart and His hand in the pages of Scripture. Choosing to believe that the God of the Bible is the same God that is watching over the events of your life—even overseeing the minutest of details. Choosing to trust that under His sovereign control, in His time and way, He can take what seems to be the most vulnerable season of your life and turn it into a victory that will point others to His grace and love.