the great humbling

We all need a good humbling now and again.

Recently I’ve been walking through the life of Job (and man, if that doesn’t knock the wind out of you!). His friends were no help as he struggled to keep his head above water. He was isolated and alone.

I think we’ve all probably felt like that at one point or another. Living at the speed of life can be overwhelming. For Elise, the kids and I its been amazing and overwhelming to be back in Senegal, slowly catching our rhythm. At times it feels like we’re jumping onto a treadmill set to full-speed!

In the last few weeks since we’ve landed back in Senegal, we’ve moved into a new house, started reconstruction on the apartment to host short term teams, and even wrestled with the rain. We’ve also visited several pastors and friends, scheduled a few courses to teach at the Bible school, preached a few times, and come up for air once or twice too.

The other morning I sent an email to check on the status of getting our container out of the port and then received a surprising phone call two seconds later saying it was on its way to the house! Praise the Lord! The workmen at the guesthouse as well as a few co-workers helped us unload all 20 square feet of furniture, family books and belongings, as well as the amazing Africa’s Hope resources for the Bible school!

At times like these when life is rushing at me I like to slow down, to set my present into the continuum with the past and the future. To the humbling times of prayer and worship where the Father spent aligning our spirits with His.

Back in college, as Elise and I were studying for ministry, I loved to sit right behind an elder missionary who had lost his wife and children in Iran. What a humbling experience to worship with that brother who sacrificed all in pursuit of His calling. Every time we sang It is Well with My Soul his arms would slowly rise and I would have to stop singing. I couldn’t catch my breath.

Just before we left the states a few weeks ago, Elise and I worshiped with dear friends of ours from Northeastern Africa. Not long ago he spent a month in prison in our former hometown. We celebrated the goodness of God together! How do you classify experiences like that? How do you quantify the joy of embracing dear friends and extolling the name of the Lord together?

Last year, Elise, the kids and I, had the humbling privilege of worshiping with brothers and sisters across the United States! We lifted our hands and voices together with untold thousands walking through all kinds of experiences, good, bad and ugly. In all, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, we surrounded ourselves in that great cloud of witnesses and trusted in the love of the Father. What a privilege to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” together (Hebrew 12.1)!

If we had the opportunity to worship with you this year, thank you! Thank you for the privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with you before our great and awesome King! And now, we are back in Senegal, with our family here. We humbly rejoice that we are your personal link from the local church to the unreached. We celebrate that in the years to come we will see new men, women and children meet with Christ and join the chorus.