I wanted to get a quick one in here. This is an encouragement/thank you message to those who have been praying and supporting us as we've been over here.
Being removed from the US I get most of my news from my iGoogle page. If you don't have one I strongly recommend you look into it. Especially if you're in a position like ours and don't have regular access to news. It enables you to fill your own personal Google homepage with little boxes filled with the day's main headlines from all of your favorite news organizations. I have the headlines from CNN, NY Times, NPR, BBC, and a few others. It helps keep me up to date on news and also helps see through some of the spin most publications put on their stories. All this to say, I do my best to stay up to date with what's going on across the pond.
During the past few weeks and months my iGoogle page has been dominated by news of the recession plaguing the US and now impacting the rest of the world. It’s been difficult to watch. What's even harder to process is many friends from our hometown in New Jersey are being directly impacted by this devastating financial crisis. Many of these guys work in New York City where all of the turbulence first started and where it has been most intense. I often get emails giving us a taste of the hardship being endured everyday. Going to work with the knowledge it’s going to be an uphill battle with no real end in sight is tremendously difficult. I can feel the weariness in their writing. Despite these difficult times I have never received an email from one of my Christian brothers complaining about the situation. I've only heard amazing examples of God's grace and his provision. It’s inspiring.
It would make sense these difficult times would directly impact our support base. In some cases it has. I'd be lying if it didn't make me nervous a little bit. Even with the strong dollar there has not been a lot of wiggle room in the monthly budget. A few issues with our car and some medical bills have only challenged our situation more. God has been faithful, however. We have not gone without anything in the four months we've been here and it is an amazing testament to his provision.
We get monthly financial updates from our missions organizations. This week I opened ours for December with a little bit of anxiety and dread in my heart. It would not have surprised me to have seen a shortfall reflecting what's happening in the economy. What I saw amazed me. Those being most impacted are the ones who have stepped up. Those who are in positions where it would be reasonable if not understandable to take a step back are the ones who have increased their generosity. I couldn't believe it. We were reduced to tears as we looked at the computer screen.
Now, we haven't arrived. Our financial status isn't secure forever. God gave us a rest we needed. Like he often does, he understand our needs more then we do. He knows when we need to be lifted up and to more clearly see his provision. We still need to work and we still need to depend on him, but for this Christmas season God has blessed us with peace of mind.
I guess the message here is the world does not determine whether we survive or not. It is God's sovereignty and provision in control. God used this update to not only show his provision for us but also to warm our hearts and show us the work he is doing in others. These are difficult times, but God's love is being felt in the midst of them.
I want to thank those who have helped us so much during this season of challenge. Both those from the East and those from the West. We're tired and ready for a break, but we feel your prayers and are energized by our commitment. Thank you so much.