This past month I’ve been working a lot more out of my home – yeah!!!! But wow, it’s exhausting!!!
Over the last month our ministry celebrated our 10th Anniversary. We started installing biosand water filters again and our tutoring program is helping our sponsor kids so they won’t lose their school year. Some of us have returned to the office a few days a week. It’s amazing how exhausting a full days work can be when you’ve been out of ‘routine’ for over 5 months.
We are still in Phase 1 of reopening. Our numbers continue to increase (although who knows if the reports are accurate) but you wouldn’t know it as the streets have started to get back to crazy normal. Buses and taxis just got permission to go back to work this week, as long as they follow the rules. Which won’t last long, I’m sure. It’s like everyone is just fed up and they want to get back to work and ‘normal’.
Life in Honduras has taught me that nothing is ever ‘normal’. Just when you think it is, you get thrown a curveball. We actually say ‘It’s Honduras’ and shrug our shoulders, because it happens all the time.
I will say though, my ‘normal’ this week wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Transportation strike blocking the roads. Spending 3 1/2 hours at the bank… to close accounts. Spanish presentation. At least the fun parts were good – celebrating Day of the Child and seeing our sponsor kids 🙂
It’s been awhile since I wrote. Mostly because I haven’t known what to write and because these last 50 or so days have been more difficult than the first 100. Early June, we went into Phase 1 of reopening and 2 weeks later, we were pushed back into Phase 0. The last week of July we finally reopened again and have remained in Phase 1. Every Sunday evening we wait to find out what the government will decide. Gradually more and more things continue to open, which is good and encouraging, but we continue to stay in Phase 1.
I’ll be honest, the last 50 or so days have been harder the longer this goes on. Emotionally, psychologically and physically. At one point, I had a bad few weeks and decided that I had to give myself permission to have some bad days, and be okay with it. But, I woke up one Monday and decided that time was done and it was time to move forward.
I started walking with a friend in my neighbourhood and that has helped a lot. There are a few of us who are messaging each other to keep ourselves accountable with eating and to keep moving. I realize that this lockdown has been a gift, in many ways, but so hard in other ways. I’ve done more ‘self-care’ than ever before. Some of it has been great, but some of it have been tough, heartbreaking tough. I can’t take back these last 5 months, none of us can, but I can be a better person coming out of it. So, that’s what I have decided to do.
As much of the world is getting back to the ‘new normal’, we continue to move forward slowly. Our ministry is gradually opening up and doing more, baby steps at a time. We’ve started installing water filters again and tutoring some of our ChildCARE Plus sponsor kids (in small groups) who are really struggling with doing homework. We’ve ensured we have proper biosecurity measures in place and will continue to monitor things as we move forward. We continue to give out food each month to families and we are doing what we can and lives are being impacted. Prayers appreciated as it appears we will be in this craziness for a lot longer.
Recently I’ve been following this blog called True Love Dates. The author, Debra Fileta, has some amazing articles not just for singles but for those dating and married. I most recently read an article that talked about how we often have ‘unknowns’ in our life. Things that God doesn’t usually reveal to us, but when we look back at those ‘unknowns’ we see exactly how God moved and provided.
Of course it’s easier to see things looking back, but it caused me think about some of those things that seemed impossible in my life at one point in time. So, I did some journaling and here are some of my thoughts.
I decided at the end of Grade 12 that I would go to bible college. Back then, it was normal to pursue Grade 13 if you were going to go to University but you could graduate from Grade 12 if you had the requirements. I think it freaked my parents out a bit, but I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to stick around for another year. I applied to bible college, got accepted and then started applying for government grants. I didn’t receive as much as I had thought I would, so it meant I worked hard every summer.
I remember one summer, between semesters at college, I worked 3 jobs. I would go to one job in the morning, walk across ‘the square’ (the downtown area in Goderich, my hometown) to my second job in the afternoon and then go to my third job at McDonald’s for the evening shift. At one point the managers at McDonald’s told me I couldn’t take any more shifts because I was working more than they were.
Looking back now I see how God provided in crazy ways for me during that time. Not only every summer with jobs but throughout the school year as well. I was able to graduate in 4 years and within a year or two my loans were completely paid in full. Truly amazing!!!
After college, I had plans to go with a roommate to teach ESL in Korea but I didn’t feel a peace about it, for various reasons. I wasn’t sure what to do and it sure looked like an ‘unknown’ to me at the time. During that time I received a phone call to consider a children’s pastor position in some town called Petrolia. Little did I know, a few months later I would start my career in ministry in that small oil town. I was there for 7 1/2 years and grew so much as a leader, which prepared me for my next big transition to start pastoring in Windsor.
It’s funny now, but that transition took about 6 months to happen. There was a battle between my head and heart during that time. Not to mention a 2 month trip to Ukraine, to spend the summer working with a missionary. Looking back now I see how God orchestrated the whole thing and was bringing me to new places with Him, that may never have happened if I hadn’t gone to Ukraine.
Actually crazy story, before I left on that trip I had this ‘dream’ or ‘vision’ that was similar to a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. There was this ‘treasure’ that could only be reached if I walked across this ‘invisible’ bridge. I could see the treasure but I wasn’t sure how to get to it. I just knew that I had to take a step of faith into the ‘unknown’ and once I did the path was right there in front me. I just had to take the first step and then one more step at a time.
Friends, that is what God wants for all of us. To take a step of faith and trust Him to lead us one step at a time.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken many steps of faith along this journey in life. I still have ‘unknowns’ right now in my life but I’ve decided to write them down in my journal and start asking God to lead me through those situations. I don’t know when He will answer, but His track record with me is pretty solid, so I know He will. I may not see the next step or know how or when God will answer, but I trust in him.
I encourage you today friends. The greatest way we can build our faith is to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness in our life. So I encourage you to write down 5 ‘unknowns’ that you have faced at different points in your life that are now ‘knowns’. Then, write out how God has been faithful in answering those things. Remind yourself of who He is to you.