We are now back in Trinidad, having returned from our little adventure in Santa Cruz and, while we don’t wish to go into any real detail, the main development has been that the Lord has answered with a clear and unequivocal “no” with regard to the issues we shared in this blog back in May.
While it would be nice to report that our response has been consistently along the lines of Job 1:21, that obviously hasn’t been the full picture. Tears have been shed, questions pointedly asked of God.
But, for the most part, we can again confirm that God’s grace has been sufficient for the day. Though the answer was not what we had sought, we were at least glad to return home with confirmation, nonetheless, of the Lord’s will for us in the immediate future, following months of uncertainty. And while such a situation has been known to destroy marriages, we rejoice in the knowledge that our relationship has never been stronger. Amanda and I each have the privilege of getting to wake up each day next to our best friend; coupled with our shared faith, we have firm foundations for moving forward.
Above all, I have learnt that children really are a gift from God, far moreso than I had previously comprehended. In our case, he has chosen to withhold this particular blessing, but we have no doubt that greater ends are in mind.
The other big development of the past weeks has been welcoming Amanda’s youngest sister, Joanne, to Bolivia. And it’s a good job she decided to come for just shy of three weeks, for due to our circumstances, she spent two of those in Santa Cruz with Amanda. We’ve done our best, therefore, to show her the Beni’s various cultural highlights in the space of just a few days, while giving her a flavour of our work here.
While Amanda has taken some time off to be with her sister, I was back in the classrooms this week, with the intermediate English class coming to an end. I am hoping to get the basic class started by mid-September. I also had the privilege of teaching some really lively R.E. classes, where we touched on the cross, coming, as we are, to the end of John’s gospel.
Meanwhile, several of us in the church are looking into ways we can help to take the ministry of the church forward, particularly when it comes to making disciples. To prepare ourselves for this process, we’re reading books on the subject. I’ve just started studying ‘Healthy Christians Make Healthy Churches’ by John H. Oak, a megachurch pastor in Seoul (30,000 members and counting). The ‘megachurch’ label tends to bring out fairly polarised responses from people, but the refreshing thing about Oak’s approach is that his focus has never been on numerical gains but intensive discipleship among his congregation – the numbers, then, are simply the fruit of having taken such a Great Commission-inspired approach. I’m only just getting into it (it’s a Spanish version, which certainly adds to the reading time), but I like what I’m reading so far.
|A view of our house from the front, taken earlier this week.|
Elsewhere, the puppies are growing quickly, though due to vaccinations etc., they probably have at least another two or three weeks in our care before we begin to allocate them to responsible owners. And round at our plot of land, the builders are putting in place the floor/ceiling in order to begin work on the upper floor. As we walk around the work as it currently stands, we can’t help but feel that God has so much more in store for us here in Trinidad, both as missionaries and as a family.
- For Joanne’s return to Canada. She leaves Trinidad tonight at 6pm, flying to Santa Cruz. From there, she has a flight to Panama leaving at 2am (!), and is scheduled to finally arrive in Toronto on Sunday evening.
- For our re-adjustment back to life in Trinidad.
- For God’s help in bringing us to an acceptance of His will in recent days.
- For the privilege of having family visit in the person of Joanne over the past few weeks.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda