Yesterday I spent a few hours compiling pictures and video for the ministry presentation during my furlough. This was an exciting experience because it reminded me of how much the Lord has done, and helped me realize how He has worked in my life since coming here. While going through files I found pictures which were taken in February 2004 during my first visit to Melbourne and immediately memories of that three-week period flooded my mind.
They say every Missionary should have an experience that they can point to as the moment God called them to that particular mission field. This is important because you won’t always feel called to that area, in fact there will be times when a plane ticket back home would be gladly accepted. My calling moment came at the close of a three-week missions trip to Melbourne in early 2004, but I can remember the experience as if it was yesterday.
A new Missionary family was coming to the field so I decided to wait at the airport and welcome them to Melbourne. I was shocked to see a large group of about twenty Australians standing outside the doors separating customs from the main terminal, every time someone walked through the large double doors they would check to see if it was the new Missionaries. When they finally did come through the entire group jumped over the bar you are supposed to walk around and embraced each one welcoming them back to Melbourne.
I stood at the back of the crowd and felt a lump in my throat watching those Aussie Believers greet their new pastor and his family with a huge bear hug. With all my heart I wanted to be that man who walked through those massive double doors with his family and be welcomed by a group of Australian friends. A few hours later I stared out at The Southern Cross (a prominent star constellation in Australia) and whispered quietly the words that God had placed in my heart while watching the new Missionaries…”this is home now.” The next day with tears in my eyes I wrote an email to my parents telling them that I didn’t want to come home.
Of course less than a week later the Lord did lead me back to the States where for almost three years that dream of returning to Melbourne was left unfulfilled, then on January 10, 2007, at approximately 10:30 PM God allowed me to come back home. That’s not to say the last five and a half years have been perfect, but in each situation the hand of God can clearly seen guiding my life.
Spending some time with some very old (and some embarrassing) pictures was a blessing because each one had a story behind it, and every story pointed towards the faithfulness of God. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with a video editor who is going to help me create a ministry presentation that is professional and shares Melbourne’s need. Yet more important than my ministry, story, or burden is the fact that God has always been faithful…which I will make sure comes through loud and clear.