To 2013…the Year That Was Both Awesome and Frustrating

Dearest Friends,

It’s amazing to think that in a little less than two weeks it will be 2014, the last twelve months seem to have absolutely flown by. 2013 has been a very interesting year in my life that was filled with incredible blessings from God, but at the same time painful frustration. As it comes to a close however I can only thank the Lord for the things that made this year both awesome and frustrating.

Looking back I’m tempted to only think of the awesome days and act as if the frustrating experiences never really happened at all. Yet the failures of life should be embraced (and yes even celebrated) along with the victories because of the personal growth we bring. With that in mind I would like to share with you what made this year so awesome and frustrating.

What made 2013 Awesome

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  1. Being able to raise over $1,000 of new financial support through the giving of Churches and individuals. Words cannot express how overwhelmed I am at the generosity and sacrificial giving of Christian brethren
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  1. Being able to spend more time with family and friends, I particularly enjoyed embracing the role of “Silly Uncle John” for my niece and nephew

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  1. Added Support and being on furlough allowed me to set aside extra money for a new laptop and other technology tools that can be used to reach the unsaved of Australia with the Gospel

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  1. The opportunity to work in an after-school Bible Program with Kindergarteners and First Graders in the Public School system

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  1. Being able to start tutoring three students twice a week in English, which gives practical experience for a future Conversational English Outreach ministry in Australia

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Sharing with many Churches my Vision for ministry in Australia

What Made 2013 Frustrating

Technically there was only one thing that truly made this year frustrating….but it’s a big one

My application for a Permanent Residency Visa to Melbourne Australia.

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There are many reasons this situation frustrates me. It began in the summer when I wasn’t able to get things moving along with the initial application process as quickly as I wanted (I take full responsibility for the delay). Since things weren’t finished on time it meant my co-worker at the Church was leaving Australia for furlough at the exact time my Immigration Lawyer was requiring us (the Church) to go through a complex process to become an officially recognized Australian business.

Of course without the lead Pastor or myself in Australia they couldn’t be expected to go through such a difficult situation so there was nothing I could do to move my application through the process (the Church had to be accepted first).

Most of us have gone through the experience of wanting to deal with a problem, but not being able to meet that need in any way, it’s one of the most frustrating situations imaginable. Thats what 2013 has been for me since around June…and the level of frustration built as January (my planned departure date) got closer.

The weird thing about this year is my Visa struggle’s the only serious problem I was faced with. Granted it’s a massive problem, but only one compared to all of the different blessings given by God (many not listed here). Satan wants to take the one thing that really didn’t work out this year and put my focus on that (ignoring all God has done) which will inevitably lead to discouragement or depression. Thankfully the Lord has helped me remember what made my life awesome in 2013, and keep a proper outlook on things.

Sadly there are Awesome and Frustrating experience for all of us in life. The important thing is to remember our Awesome days far outweigh the Frustrating ones.

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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