Monday, March 23, 2009

Long Obedience In The Same Direction

A Long Obedience In The Same Direction

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary and our marriage is strong. At first our union was so fragile that many friends and family members advised us not to get married at all. Many predicted that we would not even celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Chris and I faced so many barriers: cultural barriers, language barriers, and racial barriers. I look back on our marriage, and I see God’s hand all over us. Without God in our marriage I know that I would not have seen today, a wonderful day when I am happily packing to go to New York to see my first grandchild.

The road to this point has not been smooth. I encountered big boulders crashing down on me that almost killed me. Big rocks blocked the road; gravel made the journey tiresome and difficult. Sometimes, I wanted to give up, and take the easy road out, but God was with me. He carried me when I was exhausted and lifted me up when big burdens fell on my shoulders. With his help, I was able to run the marathon, which requires a long obedience in the same direction.

Chris and I have been going to Africa for nine years, to the same place to the same people, year after year. One Rwandan pastor shared publicly this summer, “Many missionaries come and help, but they don’t come back. There are only two groups come back again and again to us. They are Foremans and Rick Warren”. I took this as a complement because we are running a race that requires a long obedience in the same direction. When God called me to go to Africa, I answered that call. The first few years were exciting. I appreciated meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing a new culture. However, establishing an on-going mission requires more than excitement. It requires commitment and perseverance – just like a marriage. God calls us to be faithful in all we do. Faithful means that our actions are worthy, dependable, and enduring.


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