“Rejoice! I will say it again: rejoice!”

by mendibpng

Ben planned to leave yesterday in order to do face to face invites for the Aitape Baibel Conference that we wrote about in our last post. He learned from others that this is the best way to make sure that people hear about the event. We have been praying about this event and planning for it for over a year now.

Last week, we pushed hard to finish projects that needed to be done before he left–some relating to the translation project and some for our family. One of these projects involved moving Ben’s office into our bedroom and his cubicle a short walk away.

However, on Sunday, the day before his trip, I leaned over to plug in my computer and felt my back go out. I have had this happen before–my back spasms for about a day and then freezes up for an unknown length of time. All of a sudden I became emotional because I knew this was going to incapacitate me for at least a few days. If you know me, you know that I don’t like to sit around doing nothing, particularly when there’s a village trip to plan for: buying food six weeks (done, but all over the dining room!) dehydrating fruit and veggies, homeschooling materials to go over with teachers and sorting out everybody’s clothes.

Ben spent literally days trying to organizing the three legs of the journey that he planned to take on Monday.

Through the course of the day, we realized that he wouldn’t be able to leave as planned. One of our bosses called later that afternoon about another issue, and Ben poured out the story to her. She advised him to consider staying home but left the decision up to him. When I woke up from a nap a little while later, Ben was already making plans to stay for four more days. He told me that he would trust God to bring the people to the workshop.

The first day that I couldn’t move, I thought “this isn’t my choice of the way this is supposed to happen.” And yet I KNEW that there would be some good from it. Only two days later, here are a couple of things I’ve already noticed God doing:

  • In the last three months, Ben has been involved in two workshops while he worked on notes for Acts and did Project manager reports and paperwork for typesetting.  He also took days off to do a ‘staycation’ with our family. This means that he hasn’t had much rest in many weeks. Maybe God wanted Ben to rest before the conference!
  • We have arranged time to meet with some people who might be interested in joining our multilanguage project. As the team leader, Ben needed to be at these meetings.
  • We found out that three churches have already committed to coming to the conference. Last week all of our translators began calling us on their cell phones because a tower went up in our region….they are also helping us get the word out! Talk about GREAT timing for a cell phone tower to go up, yes?
  • The last couple of days friends have encouraged us. Often when we leave for a village trip, we are depleted and discouraged…and sometimes we wonder if we can do the task ahead of us. We have had friends bring meals, stop by to talk and numerous encouraging emails and messages. We praise God for fellowship, both near and far!

I could go on but these are the main things that come to mind. Here are the verses that I’m holding onto today:

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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