We must believe that the Gospel is enough. It must be the answer. If we cannot reconcile the Gospel as being the answer for all “making right” in the world, the guilt will kill us. The needs of the world are absolutely overwhelming. This message keeps resonating back to us again and again. The story often goes like this, when faced with the needs of the world, the level of guilt we feel demands a response. Then, because this guilt is born more out of shame for our blessings rather than compassion regarding the consequences of sin, we respond in the flesh rather than the Spirit. Our response is our best effort to bring aid to the situation in a way that will provide comfort to our guilt. This will lead down the wrong road every time. The response of our flesh will always lead to problems and the response of our flesh to suffering will likewise lead to more problems. Therefore, we must believe that the Gospel is the answer. We must believe that our response must copy the response of Jesus. We must believe that the answer is in true “Com-passion,” the true “suffering- with” as Christ suffered with us. That is the Gospel, God’s story and plan of reconciliation of His wayward people back to Himself through the passion of the Cross. We must start here or our helping will only serve to hurt.
February has been a significant month. At the beginning of February, our teammates Chad and Pam Huber, announced that they were moving back to the states. This was profound for us in many ways. They have been great teammates for the past 4 years and it is hard to see them preparing to leave Jamaica. But, we trust God’s leading in their lives. The Hubers have done great work on behalf of Apostolic Christian World Relief and the Jamaica Deaf Village. Their love and sacrifice have been a testimony to our family. Not all has gone as envisioned for the Hubers, but their steadfast trust in His plan has refreshed our hearts. Our circumstances have been very similar to the Hubers and we are trying to learn all we can as they walk through this transition. Please pray for them as they transition to a new phase in life.
In early February, while newly processing the idea of the Huber’s leaving, our support team came for a visit. This was a 5 day extravaganza of meetings. We visited many ministries around Jamaica and we also spent a lot of time focusing on our vision for the future in Jamaica. It was a very blessed week of fellowship and planning. The remainder of February was spent living life, but not in any normal sense. The Lord challenged us and stretched us through another unique set of circumstances involving two friends in our lives. These situations reawakened us to the absolutely destructive power of sin. I don’t know how and why we forget, but our hearts become calloused. While not situations that we can specifically explain, we pray that the light of our Lord shined through us in these dark situations. And, we continue to pray for soft hearts that remain malleable in His hands.
The experiences alluded to above were good for our soul. We continue to seek Him in our ministry, marriage, relationships, and parenting. The understanding of our need for sustaining grace continues to grow. Drew is more than half way through his first grade year and continues to love learning. Truitt continues being Daisha’s worst nightmare and best friend. Daisha, when not fighting with her older brother, continues to wow us with her little “girly” personality. And,, Danae continues her bipolar approach to life which results in either adorable smiles or fussy crying. Keri and I continue to celebrate life together with a love that continues to grow deeper. Again, we walk by grace and give thanks for all of your love and support.