First, let me tell you about a few of the connections we have made already. It is so fun to connect with people in Florida, Hawaii, California, Indonesia, and Australia all that have heard about our trip and have a way for us to connect to people or ministries. So far, we have set up time serving in an orphanage, meeting with pastors of a church plant, joining YWAM doing an afterschool soccer and education program, and 3 various surfer ministries doing outreach and Bible studies with searching surfers. All of those connections have provided a reassurance that the Lord is at work and we want to join in that work.
“Man makes his plans, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 1:9
We also are very aware of the spiritual battle that we are stepping into. I cannot quite describe the unsettled feeling I get when I think about some of the places we will be visiting. I have a very clear sense of spiritual oppression. Not just a lost people, but a deceived and entrenched people that worship many gods hoping to find favor. The spiritual strongholds in that region are felt in a real way. I know that fear is not of God and that HE is stronger than any other, but honestly, it creeps me out a little when I think about going back into that. I feel like we have strapped on the Armor of God and are marching into battle. We need prayer. We cannot do this on our own strength.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Sometimes it is overwhelming to think God has called us to this…our simple family gearing up to go to a place that is quite hostile toward Christians, taking Bibles and spreading the Gospel in bold ways. But yet, it also seems quite normal. There is a sense of purpose and peace that prevails over the fear and sets our sight on His plan to bring hope to the nations. We are reminded to commit our plans to the Lord and allow Him to work through us. Our desire is for “all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of truth”. 1 Timothy 2:4
These verses have spoken clearly to me as we prepare to go: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but pray about everything with thanksgiving. Just present your requests to God. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus. Remember, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about those things. The God of peace is with you.” Philippians 4:4-8