So much of our life right now seems to be about waiting. Waiting for Baby Dois to make his appearance... waiting for spring to come and the weather to warm up... waiting on God to provide a sponsoring church and the funds we need to go to Angola. This last is probably the hardest right now. I mean, I know I'm eventually going to have this baby. He'll come when he is ready, and I won't be pregnant forever. (Right?) And I know spring is just around the corner. I guess that's the hard part about waiting for all the pieces to come together for Angola -- we don't know how much longer we will have to wait.
We continue to pray, prepare, present to churches, network with an ever-growing list of contacts, and pray some more. Most churches we send our materials to say they just can't commit to taking on a new missionary right now, often because their funds are already committed to other missionaries or ministries, or because of budget cutbacks, a building project, or the "current economic situation." Others agree to take up a one-time contribution for us, which is certainly appreciated and helpful, especially right now with all of our preparation expenses, but won't sustain us long-term on the field. And then, there are those few churches who are actually in a position to be either a sponsoring congregation or to give monthly towards our salary or work-fund for the next few years. So we make our pitch to the missions committee... and then we wait.
Waiting is... agonizing, discouraging, demoralizing, frustrating. It is also faith-building. Throughout this whole process, I am trying to remember that. I know there have been other missionaries who have looked for support a lot longer than we have been looking, and they eventually found what they needed and went. I know that when God calls, he also enables. I know that God's timing is perfect and that I don't always see the big picture or understand why things happen (or don't happen) the way I think they should. I hope that in years to come, I can look back on this time in my life and see it as a time when my faith in God's providence and in his timing was really strengthened.
A few weeks ago, I saw the movie "Fireproof," a wonderful movie on the importance of commitment in marriage, even (or especially) when times are tough. There was a song in the movie called "While I'm Waiting," that really touched my heart and encouraged my soul during my own season of waiting. I'm posting links to the music video on Youtube and to the lyrics below. If you haven't yet seen the movie, then I highly recommend that you go rent it and watch it with your spouse (if you have one) tonight!
"While I'm Waiting" music video
"While I'm Waiting" lyrics