After much prayer and deliberation, our coworkers the Dodds decided to bring their whole family back to the states for an early furlough. You can see the background for their decision here on their blog: Coming Home.
So, on Tuesday they said goodbye to many friends they have made here, and to us, and boarded the heli, beginning the 3-day trek back to America. They were not ready for furlough yet, but both our families thought it was the best decision for now. They will be in America until March – taking care of Susanna and Onesimus, visiting supporters, and seeing family.
What does that mean for us? This situation feels fairly significant for us – the Dodds are the only people we see on a regular basis that speak English, that know Jesus, and that share our culture. They are also the only other people who are doing this work, so they are the only people with whom we can discuss the various parts of our ministry – questions from the villagers, cultural observations, daily joys and hardships, etc… Therefore, we miss them tremendously already! I don’t exactly know how to describe to you, our family and friends, what it is like to be here in the village on our own (in that sense). So feel free to post questions!
That said, we look forward to this next season with determination and with the hope of the Lord. We KNOW that God will be with us here, though we may feel lonely at times. In some ways, I feel the same as when we were leaving the states – a “I don’t know what this season will be like entirely, but I know it is worth it.” (Side note: In God’s timing we have three separate sets of visitors while the Dodds are gone!)
I listened to a sermon from John Piper’s pastor’s conference by Michael Oh about how missions is fasting: “This much, oh God, this much I want to know you. And this much, oh God, this much I want to make you known.” We have been fasting from family, friends, fellowship, conveniences, etc… for a little while now, and God has asked us to deepen that fast for the next 6-7 months.
It IS worth it! We love the people here – we were determined to love them before we came and have only come to love them more. We see the need here – we saw it in surveys and almost daily see it more. Therefore we SO desire to understand nDo and preach the gospel clearly and effectively so that all can hear about a Rescuer from their sins. To Him be the glory!
Pictures from their last day:
© All Rights Reserved | Canns of Clay