I have never seen so many colors. The oranges that fade into pink, offset by the many hues of blues splashing beneath our boat. There is no land in sight, only the deep and rich blue of the ocean surrounds us. I find myself looking over all that the Lord has created and begin reflecting on the journey that has been our lives this past year.
We started this journey as sailing missionaries not knowing where we would be led, what exactly we would be called to do, or who we would meet along the way. Although we thought we were waiting for our next step from God, in reality, we were already living out that next step. We were right where we needed to be. We were loving and encouraging the people that God had put in front of us. There was no special program that we were to follow, no great outreach planned…we just lived our lives simply, faithfully, and with love to those we encountered each day. We were just humbly following Christ, and that part was easy. At the time; however, this simplicity didn’t feel like enough. It took the passing of some time, and the hindsight that comes with it, to realize that this big journey we were waiting for as we sat tied to the marina in our sailboat had already begun, and we were missing it as we sat in despair of our own expectations, and our own certainties not being met.
As the days, turned into weeks, and the weeks into months the waiting became almost
unbearable. We had our own expectations of what this adventure would look like, and so far it wasn’t what we had planned. Looking back, it is clear that the waiting was part of our new journey with Christ; however, we became so focused at what we thought we should be doing, or going, that we lost focus of where God had us at the present moment. We didn’t recognize that the many people we encountered as a family living aboard a sailboat would spark so many questions. All questions that led back to our obedience to God’s calling. Who knows what impact these conversations had to those we encountered, but I do know that God’s work in our lives spoke to many about their own lives. The incredible beauty that exists in nature and in others has often brought me to tears, and to be able to be a part of these experiences has been nothing short of amazing. To see the beauty He has created in others and that each encounter is a wonderful gift from God is an amazing way to live.
It took months and months of living aboard a sailboat and a sailing trip to The Abacos and back for me to realize that just because I may be uncertain about what God is doing in my life and His ways, that does not mean that I am uncertain of who God is. I don’t have to be certain of God’s ways, I only need to be certain that He loves me and that He knows what is best. Oswald Chambers wisely said, “To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation.”
Breathless expectation…this is how we have chosen to live our lives. Each day we do not know what it is to come, when we had once despaired in that we now rejoice in it. We have a new day each morning as we wake up to see where God is taking us, and who He will have us encounter each day.
Our boat, our home, may not have led us to many faraway places, but it certainly filled the role God had for it in our lives and for those we met along the way. It was a stepping stone to the next adventure, one that God has shown us does not include our boat anymore.
Sailing back to the states and thinking all these things over, and realizing that we are sailing literally to the end of this particular adventure is bittersweet. Our boat is selling as soon as we return, our home will no longer be on the water and once again we wait with breathless expectation to what God has for us next.
It is truly unbelievable where God will take you when you truly trust in His leading, and you step out of the fear of leaving the comfortable and routine. To learn to hold things loosely, to not fear, or be discouraged in the ending of a season, but to rejoice in the coming of a new season is an awesome place to be.
Written: May 25, 2015
Read About Our Missions Update
It's the end of 2021, and we have a few announcements. We want to thank the supporters and prayer partners who have given their time, energy, and money for our family and the ministry here. We really appreciate it.
We thank you for your support, love, prayers, and encouragement. It continues to be a difficult, but growing season for us in Belém, Brazil. Each month that continues in the pandemic seems to bring a new lesson of patience. It has definitely been an intense ride navigating lockdowns, as well as the many new rules/mandates that have made ministry complicated. Our area of Belém just recently came out of its second lockdown this year.
What a year, right?!? This year has been a time of change, growth and adaptation for everyone around the world, and it is no different for us. The year 2020 has held monumental changes for our church, its ministries and our family. We certainly have been blessed by the Lord through our faithful supporting churches and individuals around the world that we are able to continue ministering and serving here in Belem, Brazil