What does it mean to be settled? Certainly for a missionary, it means something a little different. In 2014 “settled” hasn’t been on the menu in the Call family! Here is a picture of the place we are calling home right now. In the picture we are about to start breakfast here in the apartment that we have been at since mid-June, on the property of some dear friends in Florida. While we are super thankful to the Lord for the blessings of being here near friends as we finish our Home Ministry Assignment and prepare to leave for Uruguay, we are not quite settled, both because of the tight squeeze and because we know it is only temporary.
It was the summer of 2001 and we were in the beautiful resort town of Lake Tahoe, California. My wife Michele and our children and I had come to minister to about 60 or so college students who were there to participate in what in many circles is called a “beach project.” Going into it, I had an idea that God would use me in the lives of others, but I soon found out that aside from that privilege, I would also see the Lord at work dramatically in my own heart.
As we watch God at work we sense that our time in the U.S. is drawing to a close and we are getting closer to departing for Uruguay. We received some good news this last week while we were on our way to Florida. Our support has bumped up significantly. We are now at 91% of our support goal. All praise be to the Lord! What does this mean? Continue reading Getting Closer to the Big Move
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NAS)
Are you familiar with the expression, “when it rains it pours?” Or what about “Murphy’s Law?” Well, however you want to label it, we had quite an experience last week!
It had been a busy weekend of traveling and seeing a dear supporting church in Kansas. It was Monday morning, May 19 and we were looking ahead to a week that had a bit of margin (finally!) built in to it. We had five days to make it to Gatlinburg, TN, for a week long vacation in a cabin with my parents. Five whole days. I imagined getting settled into Gatlinburg a few days early with our trailer. I could do the laundry and go to the grocery store. We’d start our vacation well rested. Tuesday night we made it all the way to Knoxville. We parked in front of a Wal-mart, slept in a little, visited the Wal-Mart and the Trader Joe’s and were ready to go by noon, local time. Continue reading When it rains it pours
“So you’re fluent in Spanish, right?”
I can’t tell you the number of times we hear this as we visit churches, talking about our ministry. The word “fluent” is a strange thing. And as any adult who has set out to learn a second language can tell you, the road to the evasive “fluency” is slow and full of mistakes, misunderstandings and setbacks. Fluency comes in slow stages. There is no doubt that I consider myself fluent in English. And yet, put me in an unfamiliar context and I might find myself wondering how well I really do know this language. Continue reading “So You’re Fluent, Right?”
Most missionaries spend time back in their home country for a period of time every three or four years. This time period is known by various names, such as furlough, deputation or itineration. In our mission, it is called HMA, or Home Ministry Assignment. I like that description. We are doing ministry in the churches.
We see our support raising as relationship building. That is why we prefer to go as a family, when we are able to. We like to develop these relationships as deeply as we can in the very short time we usually have with any given church, family or individual. We see it as a ministry, to allow churches in the US to be enriched as their vision of what God is doing in the world expands. We long to see the church in America filled with a zeal and passion for the work of the Lord. We long to see religion that goes deep, transforming lives of believers. We long to see ordinary Christians willing to take risks to follow Christ in their day to day lives, as they stay at home. We hope that as we bring our message, it will help to breathe new life into the believers that we talk to. Continue reading Home Ministry Assignment
What does a typical day look like for our family? We left our home in San Diego and are living in our 29 foot travel trailer, with our family of nine. Believe me when I say there IS no typical day. Each day is different, and usually pretty unique, and always busy. Continue reading Life in a 29 Foot Travel Trailer
One of the things I enjoy about my life is the challenge of feeding a large family on a small budget. It is fun to shop the sales looking for healthy but inexpensive ingredients, and then turn them into tasty meals for the family. And having lived in quite a few different places, I have learned that for the best deals one needs to eat what the locals eat. That meant for instance, bratwurst and pork steaks in St. Louis, but carne asada and tortillas in Mexico. Continue reading What’s For Dinner?
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
We started 2014 by selling our belongings and moving out of our home in San Diego. As I write this, we have said our goodbyes, packed up our 29 foot trailer, drove east across this great nation and are staying in Alabama. Still to come are plans to visit Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, and wherever we have opportunities to share with churches and individuals about our ministry. We hope to be at 100% funding and ready to leave for Uruguay by July 2014.
No doubt about it, we have mixed feelings as we leave our home and family. And while we focus on the excitement and adventure that lies ahead, the truth is we wouldn’t be uprooting our large family if not for the call of the Gospel to preach the good news to all the World. We believe that God created this world, making man in His own image. Our first parents fell into sin, and we have inherited from them a world which is deeply marred by sin and evil. Indeed, we cannot escape the sin of this world, since we are ourselves sinners. Try as we might, we cannot keep the commandments that God gave to us. God is holy and our sin is offensive. But thanks be to Jesus Christ, who by his life, death and resurrection paid the penalty for our sin. He offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who repent and trust in Him for salvation.
It is this good news that makes selling all we have moving to a new continent worthwhile. We are taking a risk–we have no guarantee that this year will look like we expect; nor that we will be “successful” as missionaries once we arrive in Uruguay. But this Gospel is valuable enough to take risks as we seek to be Christian ambassadors. And we have many precious promises that Jesus himself is with us, caring for us now and will bring us to heaven when He ordains that our earthly lives are over. So in another sense, we are taking no risk at all.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
So we invite you to join with us on this journey. For those of you who share our Gospel vision, we covet your prayers. For those of you who want to follow our travels, we invite you in. We love to hear your comments and any questions.