Over the past year, our faith family has been studying the book of Deuteronomy. In this book, we see the Israelites were in the middle of a massive transition, as they were on the verge of the Promised Land, and then faced another huge transition, when leadership passed from Moses to Joshua.
We all go through transition. From birth, we are transitioning from our mother’s womb into the world and our mother is transitioning into the next chapter of life of raising children. In school, we transition from grade to grade and, for adults, transition happens within the workplace and family life.
Moving overseas increases the amount of transition that workers face on a regular basis. For many people who are working to see the Gospel go forth among the Hui, transition is a big part of life. For starters, many of us are transitioning to a completely new culture, a new language, new food, sights and smells.
In the midst of all the changes and looming transitions, we stand firm in the truth that our God remains the same. So too, does His calling on our lives, to “go and make disciples.” Although our lives may be practically different as we are faced with various transitions, our God and purpose remain constant.
Recently, my team and I have faced much transition. I want to give you some insights on the transitions workers go through and how to pray for us and the work among the Hui during these times.
Team Member Transitions: Our team has had many short-term and mid-term people come and go, and a few long-term teammates transition into different locations. We love having friends and family come out to visit our city on short-term trips! They are vital to our work here. When they come, we take a break from our usual routine and use our time with them to dive into ministry opportunities that we could not do without them. Hosting many short-term groups means that we often have varying schedules and must say many hellos and goodbyes.
Mid-termers, like short termers, are crucial to the work happening among the Hui. These people typically come for several months, or over the summer. It is amazing how close relationships form during their time here. We experience transition as we welcome them into our team and bring them alongside of us as we do life here and transition all too soon again when they depart.
The core of long-term teammates the Father has placed here has been a great blessing to my wife and me. These people are our family and it is a privilege to labor alongside of these gifted brothers and sisters. Recently, we have had several team members move to new locations. We have felt the weight of this transition, both in the sadness in our hearts and the void of their giftings, abilities, and overall presence on our team.
Pray for teams that are working among the Hui. Pray that they would rely on God as they receive and send out teams and team members. Pray that they would grow stronger and more unified during times of transition.
Identity Transitions: Several teammates, including myself, have transitioned onto new visas and into new roles. For many of us, this transition is not a simple process. Most of the time this transition entails stacks of paperwork that must be filled out just perfectly, large amounts of money, and travel to an embassy. For me, my visa change was followed by taking on new roles and responsibilities as well as acquiring a new identity within the community that I live in. My schedule as I knew it changed completely and my peers and friend group shifted as well. Now, I face the challenge of figuring out how to faithfully abide in Christ, love and lead my wife, make disciples among the Hui, and keep my head above water working and doing business in a second language.
Pray for workers as they experience transitions in identity. Pray that they will rely on God s their strength and wisdom as they figure out their new roles and responsibilities. Pray that they would remain faithful to the Lord and focused on their calling.
Family Transitions: To add to the changes that the Father has allowed my wife and I to experience over the last few months, our family will soon be growing from two to three! We began the adoption process last year with the expectation of not meeting our child for at least eighteen months, maybe even three years. It seems that God’s timing is a bit different than we originally thought, and we could be traveling sooner than we anticipated to meet our child! This will bring us into yet another transition where life will be turned upside down and we will have to relearn what it practically looks like to be faithful to our Father and His calling in our lives.
Pray for families that are experiencing transition. Pray that family units would remain strong and unified as they undergo changes. Pray that God will help families be faithful to make disciples together, no matter what their life stage.