Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waving the White Flag of Surrender

Christmas is a few days away and in more ways than one, we’ve received the most wonderful gift: a home to live in.  In our December prayer letter, we asked that you would join us in praying for a home in San Jose.  As a result of your prayers, we found a wonderful home three weeks after arriving. While we looked for a home and then waited for our new landlord to make the necessary repairs and improvements, we patiently stayed at a missionary housing unit that allowed us to meet other individuals and couples who were passing through or who were getting some rest from their field assignment. Although it was not easy to have the four of us live with our suitcases in a confined space, we at least met new friends and got to know our immediate area.
Since we arrived a month ago, we’ve begun to painstakingly wave the white flag of surrender.  It became apparent to us early in our arrival that things would not fall neatly into place. The home we are living in became ready to move into later than promised. The Internet provider came three days later than they said they would come. The electrician showed up a week later than scheduled and so it goes…..
We seemed to have been taking it all in stride until our daughters took notice of the kindness shown to us by fellow missionary families who came to our rescue with bedding, towels, pots, pans and even utensils when we moved into the barren house. Our personal belongings that had been packed inside the Rubbermaid Action Packers before we left Idaho have been sitting in a warehouse nearby waiting for Customs to sign off after its full inspection.  As of today, our personal goods have yet to be in our possession. The girls were so touched by the generosity of these families that they hoped one day our family would respond in the same unselfish manner as these families have responded to us.  

Needless to say, the four of us are learning to surrender to the cultural norms of the country as we become transformed by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.  We cannot expect to grow in patience if we are not put in situations where we are stretched to become more patient. Our patience quotient feels sky high these days but I also know our present situation has made us more humble as well. Bended knees have replaced the badge of self-reliance as we call upon God to grant us peace during difficult and challenging times. These days, Romans 12:12 comes to mind often, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

As we continue to wave the white flag of surrender, please pray that we may not only get our boxes before Christmas but that we may also be grateful in the midst of waiting.

Saturday at the local park
Our home for three weeks - AMCA House
Our mode of transportation while we wait for our vehicle to arrive
Patiently waiting as they sit in a nearby warehouse