It’s been a week since our daughter, Kathryn, came home from Uganda. It’s amazing to me all that this past week has held. I’ve learned a great deal more about the love of God, the fellowship of the saints, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and faith — faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He says/said: That will He will do and that has He done.
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
As Kathryn shares the stories of her time in Africa, I cannot help but be mindful of God’s provision and protection – I cannot help but be mindful of His Truths and Promises. And, as with other steps of obedience, there are many times where God’s work comes into question. I think it’s just the enemy attempting to thwart the work of God – and so I am attempting on all points to resist the devil that he will flee. One of the darts of the enemy was to doubt God’s direction and provision for Kathryn to go to Uganda. I didn’t see it as a dart at first – I even entertained the doubts and even allowed them to colour my thinking a bit. But when I realized the doubts were not of the LORD but of the enemy, I began to see them for what they were. Another dart of the enemy was in the form of questioning the ministry and its way and purpose. Since I believe humanitarian aid* is akin to works-based faith, I’m generally opposed to that sort of aid to those in need. But if, in the course of ministry, humanitarian aid is directed by the LORD and aid is given, then I believe such a ministry to be needful, ordained and a genuine blessing – and such work will be blessed of the LORD. [*a believer giving aid and not first giving the Truth of the Gospel along with the aid]
When individuals questioned the propriety of a young woman traveling to Africa — even in the name of the LORD for the purpose of lending aid and support, I tended to bristle – for I knew in part that such travel is contrary to my long held and strong personal beliefs. However the LORD had a purpose — and when the Hand of the LORD is moving, I surely have seen that there will be times or events that seem to be a contradiction to even long held beliefs.
“…fear not, nor be dismayed…
for the LORD will be with you.”
So, occasionally, there will seem to be exceptions to the rule – but the exceptions must not become the rule. Kathryn knew that and knows it more completely now. We saw that as we spoke by phone a few times each week and by email when possible. I suppose for that young woman, in that instance, and for that time, there was a seeming exception as we wouldn’t say the same could or will happen with our other daughters or other young women. We trust the work of the LORD to continue and for the seeds planted to yield rich fruit. I’ve asked Kathryn to write of her experiences and share more photos in order to paint a better picture of the people, life and work in Africa. She brought home several things to show us — not so much like last year, but interesting things — gifts from others that one might discard if one didn’t know the story behind the gift. These gifts, her things, her journals and some things she brought back to share with our family are all the more precious to her as she had thought she’d perhaps never see them again. When she arrived in Seattle, she was to find that her luggage was ‘lost’ and so she had to get the the place where she would accept this as a gift of the LORD — and she did. Though we prayed and she would join us in praying for her luggage to be found, she came to the point that she knew everything was fine — that what she brought home in her heart and the work the LORD did, in and through her, was enough. She just needed to stand still and see the Hand of the LORD and recall His work, His provision and great goodness.
stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you.”
A few days after she returned home, Wes received a very early morning phone call from the airline and a bit later (unbeknown to the rest of us) her luggage was returned to our door. Our family gathered for breakfast and Bible study as we do every morning and following a time of prayer, Kathryn said she was just fine and glad for whatever the outcome, but had still hoped her luggage would be found — and Wes replied to her: O, you mean that luggage?? He was pointing to the suitcase behind him in our living room — something he’d not mentioned all through breakfast, Bible study and prayer. God is sure gracious to have allowed that blessing. And as she lifted out the contents of the different compartments, we all saw what was so important to her and we were all touched by the sincerity and generosity of the gifts and givers. It’s both gripping and heartrending the beauty, simplicity and creativity that comes of abject poverty — that all over the world God is at work creating beautiful things in and through people.
When she arrived home a week ago, though thoroughly tired, Kathryn was so very glad to have both gone and come home again. We believe she went to Africa for all the right reasons and returned home to the States for all the right reasons; and, in between, God surely affirmed both — to her and to us.