International Ministries

The Only Thing Constant Is Change!

July 20, 2011 Journal
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It has been said, “the only thing constant in life is change,” and I must say I completely agree.  But before I get to that….

Our commissioning service was last Saturday (July 16) at our home church, South Parkersburg Baptist in Parkersburg, WV.  Friends and family from West Virginia and Ohio came to celebrate God’s calling with us and we had a wonderful time of fellowship at the reception before the service and an equally moving time of worship at the commissioning.  It was a great time of prayer, singing and powerful messages of calling and encouragement to follow the will of God.  In the end all of after we were officially commissioned as missionaries, we all gathered to pray.  Around us were our family, our Mission Partnership Team (MPT) and the Pastoral Staff of the church we have served at for 10 years.  Then surrounding them were supporters and friends.

As hands were laying on shoulders, the group prayed a powerful and humbling prayer for our family and the ministry were embarking on.  It was one of the most powerfully moving and intimate acts of friendship and family I have ever experienced.  I have not only never felt closer to God, but rarely have I stopped to realize how God has used each of these people to impact our lives and the lives of our children.  Thank you from the depths of our soul to all of the people that participated in the service as well as came to be a part of it.  As I said a minute ago, it was a very special day for our family that we will never forget.

Back to the subject of change….

Due to circumstances that are out of our family’s control, we were unable to obtain the visas necessary to enter Bolivia and apply for residency at this time. We had to make some hard decisions in the week before the commissioning service.  During that time we decided that we would take a detour and go to San José, Costa Rica to attend the Spanish Language Institute (ILE) for the next year before going to Bolivia.  While Rhonda and I will be going to ILE, our kids will be attending the Marian Baker School in San José.  Marian Baker is an international school that is taught on the American School Calendar and in English.  The only downfall is that at MBS, school starts on August 3, so summer is over for the kids a little earlier than they would like.

A wise missionary friend once told me, “Missions is flexibility.”  Although I knew that in my head, it became reality in the past 2 weeks.  Life is an adventure, and thankfully the God that has created the heavens and the earth not only is in control, but has been from before time began and will be long after time ends.  All praise to the Lord!
In my devotions yesterday as we left Parkersburg, my devotional led me to Isaiah 12.2, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”  May it always be so.

JD, Rhonda, Grace, Abie and Nathan

PS - If you would like to watch a video of our commissioning, click here!