I sometimes wonder if God doesn’t think I’m humble enough. Then I realize how terrible of a thought that is. If I think I don’t need to learn more about being humble, then that is exactly what I need. God wants us to be the humblest. What can be better to shape a person than to go and serve someone, and when you leave you realize they served you with everything they have.
To be honest, in the last 2 months I started to miss things and people. Especially not being able to be there for people when they need you. I started thinking “what am I doing?” and then I started feeling sorry for myself. Then I thought of the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt. God led them, parted the sea and provided for them and they still moaned and complained. I used to think how could people be in that position and experience what they did and want to go back because they actually thought it was easier in slavery? I’ve learned it’s not about convenience or ease of life, again being humbled. I know that God is leading us for greater good ahead, to the promise land so to speak. God showed the Israelites that he would provide, and He has shown us through you and the Peruvians in the mountains and the jungle that He will provide for us. He wants to humble us, so we can better serve.
As we said at the beginning of this newsletter, Daniel, Matthew and I traveled to the jungle to work with the Ashanika people. After three weeks, Matthew and I had to leave and head back home to Jennifer and Katherine, and we left Daniel behind. I have said before that I know and trust that my kids can take care of themselves, but this was very hard leaving my son in the jungles of Peru. As Matthew and I stood on the bank of the river waiting for a boat to pass by so we could ask for a ride, all I could think about was leaving Daniel behind. Then I looked at Matthew and I could see the faith and confidence that God had given him and again I was humbled and I knew God would take care of Daniel better than I could. We caught a ride on a boat and it took us about 9 hours. When we arrived at the end it was not where we thought we would be getting off. It was dark and there were not enough vehicles for us to get a ride. To be honest, I think deep down Matthew was happy because this was going to be an adventure. I can honestly say I wasn’t too upset either. So with our backpacks and flashlights we started walking on a dirt road in the Amazon trusting that the Lord would continue to lead us. We eventually came upon a parked pickup truck with Peruvian men in the front and back. We asked where they were headed and if they had room for us. It wasn’t the destination we had planned on, but they said we could hop in so we jumped in the back. Matthew had a blast and the Peruvian men in the back with us had a blast watching Matthew. At one point Matthew turned his light on us and started laughing because we were all white with dust and said “Now everyone is a gringo”. That brought about some laughter. Again I felt so very humbled. I knew God had provided once more, and I felt again that Daniel would be OK. After two hours in the back of the truck we arrived in the town and the men in the truck wanted to help us find a place, but we told them we were good and they drove on. Two days later we were on a bus heading eight hours into the mountains to Jennifer and Katherine. God did bring Daniel home safe and sound. My hope now is that I will never feel I’m humble enough.
I was the first in the family to celebrate a birthday here in Peru. Well, much to my surprise, on my birthday I received a phone call from Mary Alice Ivey, who we had been living with since we arrived, that some girls from Chilca were there to wish me a “Happy Birthday”. I got on the phone with them and they asked where we were now living. As best I could, I told them in Spanish where our new home was. Two hours later they arrived having walked from the Ivey’s home to our new home. They addressed me as “Mama Jennifer” and sang to me in Spanish and English and proceeded to tell me what a blessing I had been to them in 2009 and how excited they were that our family has returned to Peru. I can’t tell you what these girls mean to me. I fell in love with them in 2007 having met them only through the stories Tim and Daniel told. Then I finally met them in person in 2009 and knew that they would always have a special place in my heart. I have thought of them often and kept their picture displayed in my home since then. Now, I will be able to spend more personal time getting to know them and hopefully in the future invite them to a discipleship group in our home. I am so looking forward to sharing my time with these beautiful young ladies.
So many people have said to us “I could never do what your doing” & they look at us in awe, but honestly, God does not call everyone into international missions. He did call us, and the only thing we did was say “yes.” He has equipped us & strengthened us. But it has not all been easy, some days it’s a struggle. But God is faithful and good. He has put everything in place, providing for our needs through His followers, YOU. We are grateful you also said Yes.
In a way, it’s a privileged lifestyle we live because we get to experience first hand how God provides for us through the faithfulness of His followers saying yes to be “SENDERS” of international missionaries. And for that we are thankful. We are thankful that we have a place to lay our heads, vehicles to drive, free haircuts and hearing aid batteries, invitations to dinner, gift cards for groceries and gas and even a free repair on our computer from the Apple Store.
Our prayer is that you as “SENDERS” will clearly see how vital you are to furthering God’s kingdom. Eccl. 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” The central story of the scripture is that God desires an intimate relationship with each of us in which we depend on Him. Mainstream cultures promote independence & self–reliance. Satan’s lie is that we can make it on our own. But that attitude separates us from God. Independence is rooted in pride. Interdependence is rooted in humility. We have been humbled as we learn to trust the Lord to provide for our every need through the Body of Christ. It has been a big adjustment, we have had to change our way of thinking, and swallow our pride and accept the fact that we really do need your help.
To live fruitfully in The Body of Christ is to be interdependent on each other, with mutual love, and bearing one another’s burdens as we move toward a common goal, to spread the love of Christ. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
“Christ came to establish the principles of the Kingdom of God on Earth, principles designed to restore relationships broken by independence & pride. We therefore must consciously reject independence in our own lives & consciously cultivate interdependence with one another & with God. Only then can we, as missionaries (here & abroad) not only model interdependence but also teach it to others.” Friend Raising: Building a Missionary Support Team That Lasts By Betty Barnett
GOD WANTS TO USE ALL OF US, ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS LET HIM
Our lives were touched this year by many people, one person in particular was a woman at our church. I first met her early on a Saturday morning when we went to our church to help prepare the food for the kids’ feeding center. It was obvious that she was not happy that we were there. The kitchen was her space, and preparing food for the kids was her job. While we were preparing food, I would walk over and ask if she wanted me to wash the dishes, and she would always say “no”. I did this every Saturday for quite a while. As time went by, I think she began to realize that we were there because we truly wanted to help, not for photo opportunities. Then one Saturday, when I asked her again if she wanted me to wash the dishes, she just smiled and said yes. I later learned about her life. It was not too long ago that she had been living on the streets with absolutely nothing. I watched her a lot. I could see a person that was very proud & loved the Lord very much.
One Sunday, the church had about 40 baptisms take place. I was asked to help the people get in and out of the baptismal pool. I was so proud when I held her hand when she entered & exited the pool. She was so happy. Not only did she get baptized, but most of her family did also. There were plenty of tears to go around. It was so very hard for us to say goodbye on our last Sunday at church. She asked us to come back on Wednesday, but we said we couldn’t. She walked away, and some time later the pastor’s father came up and said she was going to cook us dinner on Wednesday. She got us to come back after all. She & her family cooked the entire dinner, and there was a lot of food. She fed everyone, but she would not eat; only wait on us. When it was time to leave, she cried & held onto each of us.
We may never see her again, but this woman that loves & serves the Lord has taken up a huge space in our hearts. We’ll be able to serve the Lord so much better knowing & learning from her. I learned that God continues to teach me & will continue. I love how He uses everyone that is willing to be used.
I don’t care who you are, how much education you have, or how knowledgeable of the Bible you are, God can and will use you to further His kingdom. Do not wait until you think you are ready. He wants to use you now!
Jesus told Paul and each of us “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”
Well the farm is sold, we are officially homeless. It is bittersweet. I have to admit that at first it was much more bitter than sweet, but I am adjusting to it. I know that we will never be out on the streets, but again we are relying on others for our daily needs. It’s unsettling to this recovering control freak all this depending on God and those He calls to support us, but I am getting used to it.
“Home” is such a strange word to me now; I’m just not sure what it means. I remember it was strange the first few times I went “home” to NY after I got married. It was no longer my home but it still felt like home until I got use to KY and we bought the farm and started raising our children. Then home was definitely KY.
But, what does home mean to us now? Where is home? When language school is over and it’s time to pack up and say goodbye, will it feel like we are leaving our home? Will KY ever feel like home again? Will we feel like strangers out of place? Like visitors or guests just passing through?
I think about the saying “home is where the heart is” but my heart is in several different places. Maybe home is simply where my husband and kids are, but that too will change soon. I now have a 19 year old talking of his future plans. I know he is ready to leave home. Well almost. The thought literally makes my heart ache. My intention in raising my children was to give them strong roots in the Lord and confidence to go where He leads them. I’ve tried not to be too possessive because I know that they are not mine, they are His. I was entrusted with three precious gifts! And one of them is extremely independent with desires to live in the Middle East and witness to Muslims. How proud I should be, yet it scares me to death. I am not ready for this. What will it be like when he returns to the States for college? How will I handle being on a different continent than my son? What will “home” be like then?
Nothing here in this world is forever. We get attached to things, jobs, people and places. We like the security of the familiar; we tend to retreat from change no matter how much better it is for us. But, when we choose to follow Christ, we simply cannot make plans or predictions, it’s all up to Him. When we choose to follow Christ, change is a part of life. It’s a little scary, it makes me anxious and restless, or should I say I allow it to make me anxious and restless. Yet at the same time, it’s liberating to just live day by day without a plan, not knowing where our next “home” will be and simply believing it will all be okay. It’s a constant struggle living in the bondage of “home”. We are human, and no matter how trusting and obedient we are, we desire a plan and a “home”.
But the truth is this earth is not our home. When our time here is done we will be in our true home with our God. The fear, anxiety and restlessness will no longer exist. I long for the day when I hear Him say “Welcome Home”. ahhh:)
Yea, it’s tough, but…
by Daniel Goshorn
• • •
I’ve wanted to move to Peru since I
was 12 years old. That’s what I
have been working towards, that’s
all I’ve really thought about for the
past 6 years. And now we’re so
close. But just because God has
called us, and just because I really
want to go, that doesn’t mean it’s
easy. As we’ve been preparing and
raising money these past 6 years,
I’ve watched my friends go
through their lives without me.
They all went through high school,
and I just watched them all go to
senior prom and graduate without
me, and it was tough. But then,
just when I start to feel bad for
myself and start to have this
pathetic self pity enter my heart,
God shows me what He’s doing in
MY life. A lot of people tell me how
I’m sacrificing so much and how
that’s so admirable, but really, God
is giving me so much more than
He hasn’t called me to have a
“normal” teenage life, and I’m
really glad He hasn’t. He’s given
me the chance to live in Costa Rica
and soon in Peru, to be bilingual, to
experience things that none of my
friends in the States will ever get
to experience, but most of all, He’s
given me a calling and direction,
and showed me His will in my life
at a very young age. So yeah,
leaving everything I knew and
watching the world I knew move
on without me is tough, but… God
has given me so much more than
all of that. The blessings outweigh
the losses astronomically.
STEP BY STEP
Reflections written December 29th. As
we prepared to leave our home this
morning, I opened the front door to see
nearly 4 inches of snow. I love the
winter and I love the snow. What a gift
to receive on such a bittersweet
morning. I stood silently on the porch
just looking at our pasture in a blanket
of white. For me it’s like watching a
baby sleep, you’re just drawn to the
peace and wonder of it, unable to take
your eyes from it, being simply in the
moment of God’s sovereignty. As
random flakes filled the air and fell to
the ground and on my face, the stillness
and quietness spoke loudly that God is
with us. He is with us through the
heartache, excitement, and anxiety. He
is with us as we face the many changes
ahead and as we leave many memories
behind. He is with us always. Thank
you Lord for such a beautiful quiet
morning filled with what I love most, to
look off my front porch at a snow filled
pasture, snow covered trees, snow
covered barn and snow covered tire
swing moving gently in the breeze.
April 16, 2013
It is Tim’s 52nd birthday and he is in the hospital for the eighth day in a row, for the fourteenth day in four weeks. It has been an exhausting month for all of us. Today several individuals from school gathered in Tim’s room to celebrate his birthday and more than that to show their love and support. These are people we have only known three months. I didn’t even know some of their names. Yet, they were here showing love, that’s the Body of Christ.
Why is it that we only become the Body of Christ during crisis and trials? We unite for a “moment” and then the “moment” is gone and we return to our lives. Why is it that it is only for a moment and not always, everyday, in everything we do? When we do respond in love to a crisis or trial, whether it is to a friend with a sick husband or a situation like 911, it feels good, we like the feeling, we expect nothing in return and give our all. But do we continue showing the love, the kindness, the grace after the crisis has passed? Really? Do we continue? Why don’t we behave that way every-day making it a point to share the burden, lighten the burden, remove the burden for just one person each day. What a different place the world would be if we shared God’s love everyday in every moment. Love is intentional, and it is a choice.
What a month this has been. Since we
returned from our training in Colorado we
have been on a roller-coaster of emotions.
The house is in disarray, there is chaos all
around me. Piles of clothes in our bedroom
because we sold our bedroom furniture 2
weeks ago, empty kitchen cabinets and boxes
piled in what used to be our dining room.
The suitcases and boxes are everywhere as
we try to figure out what to pack, what to
store, what to sell and what to give away. We
are not keeping as much as we planned
because we have an unexpected potential
buyer for our home. I knew that giving up
our belongings would be hard emotionally but
selling our home, the home that has been in
Tim’s family since the late 1800s and the
home that Tim remodeled, the only home my
children have ever known is very, very
difficult. And yet beneath all the grief there
is an underlining peace in it. As we strip our
house of what has made it our home I have
shed many tears over the loss of our family’s
safe place. But, I know that God has a better
place in mind for us right now. It may not be
a five bedroom house on twenty acres but it
will be His place for us. There is much
comfort in knowing that He is our provider.