Sometimes when my heart is overwhelmed I like to sit out on our porch and look across the ocean. I listen to the sounds of the waves and let the calmness wash over me. I like the order of things. The way the tide comes in and recedes just as it should. The way the water never fails to do what it should..to reach the sand. I find peace in the orderly, the expected, the typical. Somehow seeing how everything comes together to form this perfect picture calms me.
It seems so often we are living life with the unexpected, the uncertain. We wait for what we hope will happen, all the while knowing that it might not. We make our plans and wait for the Lord to direct our paths. Its a good place to be because it puts us in a position of dependence. A place where trusting Him is all we can do. I know this to be true from so many past experiences. Then why does my heart struggle with the uncertain?
This year is a big year for our family. Phil reaching efficiency in the Agutaynen language. Valerie-Anne’s SAT exam and high school graduation and hopefully the completion of the landing strip and the teaching lessons. So many milestones, but none guaranteed. The control freak in me wants certainty. To mark the completed boxes and know exactly what will happen next. My heart is always inclined to worry. What if she doesn’t pass? What if we don’t have the funds for college, what if no one gets saved? But, the only one who knows our future is Him who holds all our days. His plan is perfect. His timing: without error. His motive: His glory and my good. Even in the uncertain and the storms of life this remains truth.
When my heart is overwhelmed I need to focus on what IS certain. That He cares about the little details. That nothing will escape His attention. That He has put a plan in motion long before me. A plan that will reach perfect completion. He knows my anxieties and will answer my prayers even before I utter a word. Not always with a yes, but sometimes with a perfect no. It is in these things that I find peace amidst the uncertainty.
As I mentioned in a previous post, this year marks the 10th year our family has served the Lord in the Philippines. Immigration law says that after the 10th year, you are required to leave the country and return on a tourist visa. You then begin the whole process for a new missionary visa from the start again.
We were aware of this and planned to go to a cheap destination in Asia and return after a few days. But, we were made aware last week that we need to be gone for a month and must arrive from “the point of origin”. Meaning from South Africa. This has been shocking, to say the least. None of this was part of the plan and many things will have to fall in place for this to be possible. But it is immigration law and so we have no choice.
Next year is also the year Valerie-Anne will leave for college and that means that we will have the added expense of a trip to South Africa and her travels to college and all that that entails. It seems impossible. There is no way we can do this on our own. Only He can make this all work.
Will you please pray for us as we try work through the various possibilities and make plans accordingly? Please pray for wisdom from the Lord and His provision for all of these needs.
Much to our delight, Valerie-Anne did really well in her SAT test! Her results will be sufficient to apply at the various colleges and universities we have in mind. She has a few more weeks of school and then she will graduate! Thank you to all of you who prayed for her. It has long been her hope to first do a solid Bible College course, which she hopes to start next year and then move on to further her studies. She is not sure exactly what field, but is leaning strongly towards education.
Please pray for us as we apply to various colleges /universities next month. Pray that God will guide us according to His will.
What do you do when there is no word in the language for Trinity? Do you use the national language word, or rather explain the concept only and not give it a name? What about explaining , “in the beginning God created the earth”, to a culture that has no word for “beginning”? There is no word for Creation either, so every mention of “Creation” needs to detail every part of His creation (earth, stars, animals etc. ).
These are some of the challenges Phil is facing while translating the Creation to Christ lessons. Things that seem simple to us who have been speaking “Christianese” are completely foreign here and need detailed explanation. Most of the Scripture he use in the NT is foreign in the language and does not have any direct words to use. Therefore he ends up with more of an explanation that a translations. Here is a small example:
“And He when He comes will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”
Agutaynen no word for convict as it is not part of their culture. The word concerning as a link is not in their language either. No direct word for righteousness or judgment. So when the translation is done it ends up being more of an explanation and is much longer than the english vesre. Here it is in agutaynen:
“Mga komabot Tanandia, ipaita Naong ga taw ang kalibotan ang na nga mali tang aggisipen nira natetenged ong onopay enged tang kasalanan ig mga sinopay mato-lid ig mag monopay tang pagorosgaren tang Dios.
Please continue to pray for Phil and those involved in helping him to have godly wisdom as they seek to remain true to Gods Word. Please also continue to pray for hearts that will be receptive to truth. Thank you!
We have mentioned several times how God has blessed us with wonderful neighbours. This was even more evident when we shared a meal with all of them earlier this month. Their delight in a simple gathering challenges my heart about thankfulness. Their willingness to get up early and slaughter the animals and prepare the meal encourages me to serve. I am learning so much through them, and all of this is before they know our Lord. I long for the day that they will know Him! Its closer than ever now!
Please continue to keep us in prayer. We are closer than ever to bringing the gospel to Agutaya. Pray that the evil one will not hinder us but that we will stand strong in Him.
With love and appreciation for you, our partners in the Gospel,
The le Rouxs