I am not much for New Years Resolutions because they usually only last a few weeks before being set aside till January 1st the next year. However 2013 is very different because it has a goal that has consumed my heart for the last six months…that’s to return home.
Now some of you may think this is weird since North Carolina is the place where I was born and raised. But in a deeper sense my heart today, and always will be left in Melbourne Australia the city God has called me to.
The idea of Melbourne being my home actually began during a short-term missions trip in February 2004. About four days before leaving I witnessed a new Missionary family arriving on the field for the first time; a moment after waking through the large double doors separating customs from the airport they were embraced by a large group of Australian believers welcoming them home to Australia.
The Lord took that one word “home” and impressed it on my mind so with all my heart I wanted to be that family. Later that night while staring out at the Southern Cross a prominent constellation of stars with tears streaming down my face I whispered, “this is home now.” Three years later on January 10, 2007 God brought me back home as a Missionary to the people of Australia.
Furlough is a wonderful time of ministry, particularly during Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, but that desire to return home never truly leaves. That’s why the Lord has led me to begin praying and moving towards the goal of returning in January 2014 a year from now. To be honest this is a huge challenge and the possibility of my achieving my goal isn’t very high, yet I know the Lord is able to accomplish His Will in the darkest situations.
Below is a list of things which must be accomplished before returning home to Melbourne, please pray that the Lord would give me the strength and wisdom to tackle these massive goals in His strength instead of my own. And also ask God to give me grace as the desire to return home becomes stronger.
1. Gain twenty-five individuals willing to support my ministry for $20 a month
2. Gain $300 additional support from Churches ($800 support total)
3. Apply for a Permanent Residency Visa in Australia (this can’t be done till I am above the minimum gross annual income which is why at $500 to $800 must be raised)
4. Go through a six-month application process so my Permanent Visa would be accepted (necessary since they aren’t renewing the Two-Year Religious Workers Visa I currently use)
5. Raise between $7,000 and $9,000 for solicitors (lawyers) fees since a solicitor must complete the application
6. Gain a rental property in Melbourne that will meet my needs and can be used for ministry
7. Fill twenty Sundays or Wednesdays in the 2013 year with meetings at Churches