Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Answered Prayer

Our God is so amazing! 
Carlos and I have been searching for a church home for a while now.  Unlike missionaries in many places in the world, here in Jarabacoa we have many good, Bible-centered churches.  I think of those who huddle in abandoned buildings to read a scrap of the Bible together, and am humbled by the privilege of singing out praises to God with loud instruments and clapping.
Our goal in joining a church was to find a place where we could grow and worship and serve God.  Both Carlos and I have experience and spiritual gifting in leadership, teaching and preaching.  We knew we wouldn’t be content showing up for a couple of hours on Sunday morning and then being done for the week. 

A few weeks ago, Carlos and I were very discouraged.  It seemed we simply could not find a church where we would be able to use the gifts we believe God has given us to strengthen His Body.  Even though we knew it was not God’s model for fellowship, we had even talked about worshiping at home, streaming sermons on the Internet. 
About that time, one morning at the SI Base, I saw our friend Daniel.  At a dinner with mutual friends last year, he had told us about a new church plant in the area called El Buen Samaritano (EBS).  He told us his family had joined and were really connecting.  To be honest, I listened but didn’t really think much about it. 

Now, seeing him again, I asked Daniel how things were going at the church, and when and where they worshiped.  He eagerly told me the place and time.
That Sunday morning we went and worshiped at EBS.  Before we went, we prayed, Please Father, if this is Your place for us, make it clear.  We went and were warmly greeted by Daniel who introduced us to lots of different people, including the pastors (a married couple). 

The worship was wonderful, including singing Revelation Song (in Spanish, of course!).  This song has been a part of every significant worship service I’ve attended in the past few years, including my Commissioning Service at First Pres in Harrisonburg, and my final service in Antigua, Guatemala. 

The next Sunday, there was an activity for men in the afternoon.  Carlos went, and came back practically floating.  He had talked with the pastor, who shared that they had been praying for someone to come and help with men’s ministry, and also teaching.  The pastor teared up as they talked, sharing their desire to see men and families grow in Christ.
The next evening Carlos and I went together and met with the pastors.  It was so wonderful to hear how God has been at work in their lives, and the life of this new church plant.  There is lots to do, and many ways in which our passions and giftings could connect there.    

We are rejoicing in God’s provision!  Just a month ago we were so discouraged, and now this! 
Please pray for us as we continue to explore how God is calling us to serve with EBS.  Both Carlos and I have personalities that go ‘all out’ and so please also pray that we will be wise, and not over-commit.  We’ve already got a full, full plate with Human Resources work for SI, plus our English class two nights a week. 

We know that especially in our first year of marriage, we need to set good boundaries and rhythms for work and relaxation.  As strange as it may seem, we don’t need to be pushed to work harder, but to relax harder!  We are thankful to have mentors and friends to help keep us accountable.
I hope that this is an encouragement to you.  Perhaps you, too, have hit a place of discouragement.  Our God is amazing, and He loves you very much.  Trust in Him to know the desires of your heart… and to fulfill them in ways far more amazing than you could ask or even imagine!

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