It seems like an age ago that we arrived back from the UK with yet another feeling of now what? Our tenuous official link with the wider Christian community was severed once again (albeit not at the expense of relationships or integrity as has been the case in the past).
I found myself one night sitting in my study staring at the computer screen, blank…
What now? No people? No programmes? No sending church? No affiliations? No community? No one ahead of us? And yet somewhere in the midst of all that a deep rooted conviction that God has called us here to this place, to these people, at this time! Beyond that… not much really!
The offer on the table was to move to the UK and be a part of movement, a people, a community. A people we loved, we were inspired by, we were encouraged by, a people on mission, a people among whom I would be proud to have my sons grow up. And it was enticing… a year ago perhaps we would have taken it. Would have thrown it all in and left to be a part of another people in another place. Don’t get me wrong it would not have been sinful or unfaithful, the UK definitely needs gospel workers. But it would have been wrong! I know now that God has called us to this people, in this place at this time!
Without getting any funny super-spiritual kind of ideas it seems like God was waiting for that first step of obedience- that conviction to say no to a very good thing- to throw open not the one door we had prayed for but multiple doors… simultaneously! Never a dull moment with our God.
I remember clearly sitting on my couch getting ready to initiate a conversation with a couple with whom we had been working through Porterbrook material for the better part of the year. There has been no agenda to doing Porterbook, except a shared desire to work through some of the material. But as the year had gone on we had seen the lights slowly begin to go on in their heads and their hearts. As a result while we were overseas we had boldly decided to broach the subject of would you-perhaps-possibly-maybe-no pressure-if you like consider joining us here? Needless to say before the wheels of the plane had even smelt the African tarmac our reckless abandon to people’s approval of us had been… well… abandoned.
But (to crib from CS Lewis) God was once again on the move… “While you have been away we have been thinking” they said “And we want to talk to you about something…” And suddenly thanks to our brave endeavour and reckless abandon to the gospel (just go with it, ok!), a few months later our gospel community was 5 people.