This Chapter Wasn’t in my Book

As I stare at this blank page yet to be filled, I can’t help but hesitate.  How do I communicate what we’ve been going through these last two weeks?  How do I help you feel the emotions we’re feeling?  How do I help you feel the weight on our shoulders?  How do I convince you to try on our shoes?

I don’t.  I can’t.  It’s all still too raw.  It’s too soon.  My one consolation:  the Writer of MY story isn’t finished. 

In lieu of going too deep into the abyss that is my emotions/aspirations/concerns/doubts/dreams, etc.,  I’m gonna hit ya with the facts.  In times like these, comedy is one of my favorite remedies.  It sure beats crying, which we’ve both done our share of lately.  So bear with me, if you will.

Instead of moving back into our B* village…back into our home we only spent a week in before leaving on our last home assignment (that ended up lasting 6 months longer than we’d planned)…Sorry, I diverge.  Instead of moving forward with returning to the village (per the permission given to us by our leadership in West African), a new security report came out that put the brakes on everything.

By everything I mean, we are not allowed to move back into our village house as long as our village continues to be located in a red zone (a.k.a high risk area.) 

SMACK!  We felt like we got blindsided by this decision.  It was like having the rug pulled out from underneath our feet that had just found their footing.  (Facts, Stephanie. Just stick to the facts). 

Now, this decree has been sent down by Ceasar Augu…oops, wrong story…our US leadership in agreement with our mission’s security team.  We respect these Godly men and women who God has placed in authority over us.  We recognize that they want to see the B* reached just as much as we do.  They simply cannot support a decision that would have us reaching the B* from our village location. 

Unfortunately, there is no other option at this point.  Our supply town is 3 hours away and it would be nearly impossible to learn the B* language from there, even IF we found a suitable language helper. Besides, it’s not how we roll.  Learning language apart from culture, outside of the village context just isn’t the ideal.  The only immediate road back to the B* is leaving our mission and going back in independently. We don’t feel this an option either due to the fact that we believe that missions is the responsibility of the body.  How can we represent the church if we work outside of it?   

So, that brings us to the question:  So what do we do while we wait to see if God will reopen the B* work?  Good question.  The only answer we have at the moment is:  We have NO idea. 

This is where you come in.  We need your prayers.  Some of our West African leadership team are coming in next week to help us process this predicament we find ourselves in and to brainstorm some possible interim ministries.  One family is actually bringing their two sons who are Elijah and JJ’s age.  Needless to say, they’re all pretty excited! 

Folks, in all honesty, we have no PLAN B.  It’s always been the B* people or bust.  We’ve labored 10 years to this end.  God has opened so many doors to get us here.  We just told folks in the village we were ready to move back out NOW.  Sigh. 

Please be praying for God’s will to be CLEAR.  We have no desire to do anything else…even temporarily.  We also know that we want God to use this “yellow light” in our lives to increase our faith and to prepare even more for the ministry He has before us. Pray that we won’t move until He tells us to move.  Pray that HIS name will be glorified in our lives, regardless of our geographical location.  Pray for us as a family as we walk this disappointing road filled with many voices screaming out all sorts of discouraging things, contrary to the character of our loving Father.  Pray that we stand firm in His promises and listen only to our Shepherd’s voice. 

We would like to have some direction to share with you by the end of the month (Oct).  We realize that future decision not only impact us, our team, the B* people, but they also impact you…our senders.  Thank you all for your words of encouragement and financial support.

His Will Not Ours,

Stef for the Diases