A Chapter of Our Life is Closing

Ngala, Mozambique 2011
Ngala, Mozambique 2011

A chapter of our life is closing filled with pages of joy and loss along with fruitfulness and pruning. When we came to South Africa three years ago we had a certain picture in our mind concerning missions. Surely, every missionary has one. A missions philosophy, perspective, conviction or whatever word we use. Sometimes our philosophy and our expectations are not compatible with the ministry we have joined.

This is where we have found ourselves. Maybe, missionary, you too find yourself there.

It’s okay. Don’t be discouraged. God is using this time in our  lives for HIS purposes. The harvest is still plentiful and the workers few.

Those words flow easily onto paper but are hard to keep in the mind. At least for today I am writing them without tears overflowing which has been my lot these past few days. I can be watching the dogs play outside or getting a Whatts app from a friend and then they appear clear droplets of bitter sweetness.

Satan, the accuser, comes to hurl thoughts of failure and the waste of three years (though we know it wasn’t a waste). Okay, I spoke to soon, here come the tears. Maybe as another missionary shared we should have had a shorter term goal of time spent on the field in our mind. But how does a family leave their jobs and sell their possessions with the thought of returning in just a few years?

Yes, we are returning to the states.

The action packers (plastic trunks) line the floor beginning to be filled. Flights are being looked at. Furniture and household items are being sold.

Our hearts ache because God in His wonderful grace and provision blessed us with beautiful lifetime friendships here we never thought we would have. Now we have to say goodbye.

So we will begin making special memories on this side of the ocean…

And still be telling of His wonderful deeds wherever  we may be.

Please pray for us during this transition.

13 thoughts on “A Chapter of Our Life is Closing”

  1. Currently in the mess of waiting on mediation and leaving our agency and searching for another. We have been burned and now I have lost my heart for what we are here to do. More days of tears than not.

  2. I understand your feelings today, truly I do! We, me and my Doug!, also sold everything, moved to Eastern Europe in 2011 for what we thought was permanent, it ended up being only one year! We are back in the States more than overseas, although we are here right now for furlough relief for eight weeks. God has taken us on an amazing journey since we have been in the U.S. the last two years. I am always surprised, yet I shouldn’t be, at what He has in store that we cannot see with our physical eyes.

    We just have to trust that He knows what is best and then let things unfold according to His plan. He is NOT finished with you, friend!!! The best is yet to come! Trust Him. ♥

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I love to hear from those who have had similar experiences. We trust also that He is not finished with us and pray He will continue to use us.

  3. I’m so sorry for the pain you must be feeling! Will be praying for you, friend, that you can keep your eyes on our ever-faithful Guide who will never lead you away from His side. Praying for peace, contentment, with His leading – and comfort from the pain of broken dreams.

  4. Oh, wow, what a heartbreak. (My husband and I had a shocking end to our ministry in Africa, too.) I pray for God’s comfort and new sense of direction for you and the family. I have a hunch that a couple of years from now, and ten years from now, and fifteen years from now, you can look back and see how God has been orchestrating and bringing GOOD out of this. There are many layers to peel back, but God is in each of them.

    The Lord bless you and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace,

    1. Yes, we are trusting that God had us here for a short time for HIS purpose and plan though it wasn’t what we thought it was. Thank you for your prayer.

  5. Praying for you. You never know..this may not mean you will never minister in Africa again. I know I have hopes of continuing there. We just may find a different route. I know you are really sad, but could you bring me some Ouma buttermilk rusks? Lol

  6. Prayers for blessings as you make this move. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. Know that God uses everything and that what you learned in South Africa will be put to good use in your next position. And always remember the lives you touched there!

  7. I’m so glad I found you here and I am praying now for your family in this transition. Bless you and your family for pouring out your lives so that others may know Him.

  8. Oh, bless your family in this transition. I can’t imagine the emotions involved in this for you all. I do know you have answered God’s call and are continuing to answer and that is how God uses His people. When we obey and allow Him to work in and through us. Surely He has great plans for you in this new chapter of your life. Praying peace and guidance as you navigate your way forward from here. Thank you for linking up today! Surely you know about grace in community in ways I never could. xoxo, Meredith

  9. I agree with Gloria-your time in Africa may be your ministry in the US. Who knows what He has in store for you and Doug! Each day is a journey in this world……off to a new journey! But treasure those travels and people you have met and ministered to along the way. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

  10. I imagine you can’t even comprehend the ways that God will use this time and ministry in South Africa here in the U.S. That will be to unfold. It takes faith and leading of the Spirit to go …and to leave, no matter what we are about doing. Love you both very much and I know this will be hard. glo

  11. Wow! This post is SUCH a blessing to me. I’m so glad I linked up after you at #TellHisStory. “Sometimes our philosophy and our expectations are not compatible with the ministry we have joined.” That’s exactly where I am! For me, it’s been 8 years of trying to run a God-given ministry in Kenya from the states. I feel I can’t do it anymore; my calling is to other things, and I’m feeling like a total failure. Thanks for the reminder that there are seasons. I’d love to have you come visit my blog as I’ve been recounting our trips to Kenya there. http://www.lisalewiskoster.com/2014/06/when-going-gets-tough.html

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