Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not by me, but by Strong man.

I took this from Strong man's blog:

Haven Part 2

You can read Haven Part 1 here.

Haven is the name Shandy and I have given to the ministry we believe God has called us to. As we have traveled the journey He has been leading us on, the specifics of Haven have changed, but a few things have stayed the same.

1. People, in need will live under the same roof as our family.
2. We will share our lives and our faith with them
3. We will mentor them, spiritually, emotionally, practically...

My wife and I are both the type to try to 'make' things happen. We like to make a list, and have a plan, but not matter what we put on paper, something came up, and this mission has been hold, even seemed impossible for a long time, but as I said in Haven Part 1... Then the phone rang...

It was a couple from our church, who had also attend the church I grew up in. I've known them for the better part of 15 years. I helped them move into the house where they are living, enjoyed annual Christmas parties at their home, envied the way they can finish each other's sentences, and seen them be generous with all that God has given them. The wife was there when we first saw our babies via ultra sound. She has been there when my wife needed someone to bridge the gap between physician and friend during the battle with Bi-polar. I've watch the husband devote himself as both husband and father, modeling the self sacrificing love that Christ calls us to as men. We've worked together in ministry, and they even trusted us with their kids on occasion.

They called to tell us they were moving. She is taking a job in another state, but they love the home they designed together, and don't want to sell it. They want someone to take care of the place until they are ready to retire, or until God says it is time to let it go. 
We were speechless. The opportunity was too amazing to possibly be real. We had a hard time knowing what to say because we were overwhelmed by the size of the generosity and trust they were extending. It is humbling, and awesome, and exciting all at once. And that's when we thought they were asking us to do it for just a year. We littlerally couldn't talk when we found out that it might be as many as 10 years. (I will use James 4:13-16 as a disclaimer)

A week from today they will pull out of the driveway to start the next chapter of their adventure, and we will pull in to start the next chapter our ours.

I haven't told you the coolest part yet. The Haven part. The "Wow, God is Awesome" part.

They had one condition. Their condition was that we keep the house open to whomever needed a place to stay. Be it for a weekend, a week, a month, or a year. They know the house is a gift from God and they know that they should to use it to honor Him, and their one requirement of us is that we continue their ministry to those in need of a home. As the Apostle Paul once said, "The very thing we were eager to do".

We don't know who God will bring into our home, or how much time and energy this style of life will take, what the implications are for other jobs or ministries, but we do know that God has provided us with a home. God has taken away the biggest line item in our budget, provided years of the financial security that we thought was gone when we said no to the job with US Customs. He has shown us that nothing is to big for our God. He has shown us that He is the one who directs our path. The the same God who took care of Israel in the desert, who took care of Elijah in the wilderness, who feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the lillies, is our God, and is our provider.

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