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Day 16: How does God speak?

I brought my family across the country to Arizona because God told me to. Some people might think I am crazy for saying that, but I know for certain God led me here. The purpose wasn’t made clear to me so I have been praying that God open doors, make opportunities, and let me know what His will is for my life.

This particular adventure in missions has been a joy even in the mundane: Today we continued on our list of jobs that needed done to prepare for camp. I helped build a PLINKO board, put away the fully stocked first aid kits around campus, and helped finish cutting 840 circles for an art project.

But more has been happening as well… Tonight, there was an open house for a former missionary who is in town. Many people who know him and live nearby came and told stories. In this small world we met a couple who knew many people from Faith Memorial, our church in Lancaster, Ohio. We also met a man who helped with the youth group at Faith when Becky’s brother attended as a teen. I met two more children who were campers last year when I worked as a camp counselor. These coincidences just continue to reoccur as we spend time here in Arizona.

Later, Becky and I had a long talk with an older gentleman who had lots of great stories to tell about the work that has been done here on the Southwest Indian Ministry campus. When I told him that I was here for a week last year and back for a month this year he said, “yes, I came to visit once myself. A year later I was a candidate for full-time missionary.” I don’t know how long he served, but he still lives close by and joins us every Wednesday morning for prayer group. This man had the tone of voice and look on his face as if he knew where our lives were being lead. It’s the same look we get from a woman whom Becky and I adore at our church in Ohio. She uses the phrase, “when you are missionaries,” as if it is a certainty.

Romans 8:27-28

27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

{At this point in my writing, Becky and I had to leave our ‘home’ to go help clean the cafeteria where the party was held… but God kept on working…}

As we were getting ready to leave there is a knock on our door. It was a missionary we met on the Tohono O’odhan reservation. She is staying near us right now while attending a class and she stopped by for some conversation and to discuss our progress on this trip. I shared what I typed above.

After our visit, Becky and I walked to the cafeteria and I brought up a point. How would we expect God to speak to us and know if we were supposed to do missions full time? Wouldn’t He use people? Wouldn’t He open doors and set up situations that couldn’t be coincidence? When we walked into the cafeteria we met another couple. This couple also had a connection to Ohio, our church, and I already knew their son. The man was a Native American who went to school here. They shared many stories and in the midst of it all we were told in a not so subtle way that we too would be missionaries soon. It was as if God was holding up the neon sign doing exactly what I claimed He would do if He wanted to speak to us.

James 1:22-24

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

I am not stating that it is time for us to leave Ohio permanently, move to Arizona, and become full-time missionaries. But am encouraged and reaffirmed that it was the right thing to do to bring my family here and serve Him. I am also fairly certain that God has big plans for this place and somehow my family is to help in the way He calls us to.

We leave two weeks from tomorrow (July 1). Starting this Sunday (June 19) we begin camps. For the first camp, Becky & I will probably be camp counselors and staying in the dorms. This means there may not be any blog posts until Thursday.

Please pray for us. Pray the the Lord will continue to show us His will and direction for our lives. Pray that our children will also hear His voice and that they will enjoy camp and make many new friends. Pray for the Native American children who attend the camp and that God would work in their lives. The needs here are great. There is more work to do than there are people to do it. Pray that the Lord would have a hand in everything.

Matthew 9:37

37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.

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