Thank you for checking out our new blog. I’m not a writer by nature and therefore never had a desire to have my own blog; however, it has been something that God has been speaking to me about doing. Being the faithful servant that I am, I checked and double checked for the past month to see if this is something He really wanted me to do because I know there must surely be those who are more qualified than I. God reminded me however, that He often calls those who do not consider themselves worthy in order that His name may be glorified. It’s easy to walk in our own path and desires but when He calls us to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone, we must rely completely on Him.
In that same way, God has called Denver and I to go to South Sudan this February. Last summer, God had placed it on my heart to go to the orphanage in Yei, South Sudan, but I tried to explain to Him that there was just no way Denver was ever going to go to Africa. I reminded Him how much Denver dislikes snakes and heat, and that of course Denver would never let me go without him. God continued to speak to my heart about going and so again, I explained that if He wanted Denver go to, He would need to tell him because I wasn’t telling him. Thank you Father for being so patient and understand with me.
Last December, Denver had a heart attack and although God did not cause him to have a heart attack, He did bring him through it a change man. The doctors put a stent in his heart, but God gave him a new heart that day; a heart for His people. Together we began to study His word more intently and He began to speak to us about loving people. His word directs us over and over again to love our neighbor and yet we so easily dismiss it. One day when we were watching a Christian gospel program, as they sang of Gods majesty, they showed beautiful scenes from Alaska and then they went to the crowd instead. Denver thought, show me some more of the majesty, but God spoke to him and said: I am.
Over the months that followed we felt God was calling us for a greater purpose; to love His majesty. On May 14th, I walked to the mailbox to find a single envelope in the box and words can not really describe what I felt and how I knew but I carried that envelope back with a joy of knowing there was something special in there; somehow knowing this was Gods answer. I placed the envelope on Denver’s chair where I always leave the mail, and I waited. Denver explained to me later that he was going to throw the letter away because he thought it was the monthly newsletter that we get from Harvesters Reaching the Nations and he already gets that online so he didn’t think he needed to open it but because I distracted him with some sort of conversation, he opened the envelope before he even realized that he did. Inside were three very special letters from the three children that we sponsor at the orphanage. Denver read them out loud in order to share with me; the first two were wonderful letters from the children but it was the third that melted our hearts. This letter was from Oliver Duku. It started out Dear Denver and Stacey (we were surprised that Oliver had addressed us by name); it continued; I pray for you. Wow, we knew there was genuineness in that statement. This precious boy in an orphanage from the other side of the world was praying for us. Oliver went on to tell us a little bit about himself and then stated: I love you. I don’t think those three words every hit me the same as they did that day. This little boy, who knew me by name, loves me and prays for me. Then there were the words that completely and total transformed our world: I hope you will come visit me, and in that moment Denver and I both said “We Will”. James tells us in chapter 2:5 “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” Oliver had so much love and faith that we could not imagine anything but going to him and saying, here we are and we love you too. It is amazing how God worked through a child to ask Denver to do what I was unwilling to ask him. We quickly began making arrangements to visit in February and March 2013.
Since that day in May that will forever remain significant in my mind, Denver and I have been asked by God and Harvesters to consider a mission for long term involvement there.
We are honored to have you follow our journey, Oliver’s journey, and the journey of Harvesters Reaching the Nations (www.hrtn.org)