Hello all! Happiest of falls! I am enjoying being able to see and experience it all again after 7 years, and it is just delightful! The colors of the leaves are astounding, the crisp, cool days are lovely, and the pumpkin and spiced everything are all lovely!!
I have been quite busy the last handful of months, making my rounds to different churches and having the opportunity to catch up with many loved family and friends. This has included celebrating the 4th of July with my family! We had an enjoyable time together at my parents cabin, playing in the lake for hours, going on “auntie dates” and eating endless amounts of American goodness. I was able to make a trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula in September, which has been a highlight of my time home, too. If I were living in Michigan and didn’t have family here in central Michigan, I would pack up and make a life there. 🙂 If you haven’t been, please check it out and plan to go. It’s the best.
I have enjoyed doing “normal” things too, like babysitting my nieces and nephews, fishing, and camping. That has been a big blessing, and something I have missed quite a bit. I was able to go to my cousin’s marching festival for band (which made the inner band nerd in me SO STOKED!), hit up some new and interesting coffee joints, and learning to change the running and break lights in my car.
In the midst of all of this, I have been praying that the Lord would give rest and restore lost energy and even joy, as this past term in Paraguay working with the Enlhet was a rough one. Just as I was finishing speaking at my last church, the Lord really prompted me to pray not just for those things, but to pray seeking Him, to see if it still be His plan for me to return to work with the Enlhet next term. And what was revealed through those prayers is that I did indeed need to step away from that work that the Lord had let me to 2 years ago. The loneliness in ministry and life serving the Enlhet in Filadelfia just doesn’t seem to be what the Lord has for me right now, which honestly I’m so thankful for. It has been beyond the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my whole life. But it hasn’t made this decision easier, by any means. I am thankful to have my church, and maaaany trusted family members and friends’ support and backing in this decision, as well as their help in figuring out what comes next!
For those who are wondering, this was never the plan. I am a pretty stubborn gal. 🙂 I came back for my home assignment determined to go back, convinced that it was what the Lord had for me. I was more and more convinced of the Enlhet’s need to have clear, Biblical teaching after having spent that year with them. But, just as God asked me to trust and follow Him stepping into ministering among them without a team, He has now asked me to trust Him in stepping out of that ministry – which seems to be much harder.
Romans 10:14 has often gone through my mind as I have considered this, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
The Lord has been correcting some thinking. I was never the answer to the Enlhet’s spiritual state. Jesus is. I could never study enough or eventually preach the Truth clearly enough to save them. But Jesus can. I could never love them enough to help them see just how much He loves them. BUT JESUS CANNN! And He WILL! He will always stay true to who He is and what He does. He will not leave them without Himself, and He will ALWAYS be pursuing them and their hearts, desiring for them to KNOW Him, and making a way for them to spend eternity with Himself.
PLEASE continue to pray for them! They, like us, are sinners, lost in a horrible state of separation from the Lord. They need to know Jesus and the saving grace and power He offers through the life He gave up for them and then rising again 3 days later.
So, you might be wondering, “so now what, Katie?” … Good question. 🙂 I am convinced that the Lord would still have me pursue serving and ministering in a way that benefits the least reached people of the world, so it would be a privilege to be able to continue on with Ethnos360. I also would love to be a part of what God is doing in Paraguay, as I have learned to LOVE that country and it has become my home. I believe I am not, however, healthy enough to serve with another indigenous group at this time. So, I have asked my leadership in Paraguay if there is a possibility of me returning to Paraguay in a support role and they have responded favorably, offering me a position in the Mobilization Department. I am taking some time to prayerfully consider this, and am looking expectantly to see how the Lord would answer!
What would working in Mobilizing entail? Also a good question. 🙂 I have never done it before, and so I don’t know exactly what it would include. BUT, at the heart of it is sharing with and encouraging the local church in Paraguay to be a part of what God is doing among the nations!! We have been given the task and privilege of making disciples of those we come into contact with, and so the job would be encouraging and helping others to get excited to be a part! It could include meeting one on one with people interested in missions, discipling and encouraging them personally, holding modules teaching about missions or tribal ministry, sharing about tribal ministry at a missions conference, or setting up visits to some of our tribal locations where we already have missionaries working.
God has been SO good and faithful. Though you all may not have heard my story of my time working among the Enlhet, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it has been one of heartache and frustration. But neither should it be surprising that it is also one filled with great hope, comfort, and goodness! God has led and cared for me in EACH path He has led me down. He has provided people to listen and help, and to love and carry me when I felt that I could not continue on. But more importantly, He has never left me without Himself. He has taken me to new depths of knowing that He will NEVER leave me, He will ALWAYS defend me, and His love is ever deeper than I could ever hope to imagine.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angles nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:31-32 and 37-39
So. Would you be praying with me? I still have things to sort through before making the decision on whether to return to serve in Paraguay or not, but I am hopeful about this prospect. I am also still dealing in my heart with this change of direction, and so am looking to the Lord to help me continue to follow Him, trusting that His ways are good and best. He is so good and faithful, so it’s frustrating to see how sometimes I try to still go my own way in my mind and heart. But, I desire what He desires. I desire to grow in my knowledge and love of the Lord, and walking and resting in what He has done and who He is. I also really desire to be involved and love those He has placed around me right now, making the best use of my time.
If you have questions, please feel free to ask. I may not have the answer, but I will do my best! Thank you for being along on this journey with me, for being patient as I have been working through so many things, and for continuing to love on me through prayers, encouraging, and financial support!! I am well aware that I would not be able to continue on doing what I do without lovely people like you. So thank you!!!