Monday, March 31, 2014

Establish our hearts!

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8

Oh the process of raising support! It is a roller coaster for the heart.  Days are made good or bad based on the response from people about support. Some days are made good just by getting any response!

As I read in James yesterday the verses above stuck out. “Be patient” and “establish your hearts” in particular were (are) convicting. My patience grows weak as we wait on responses from people. My heart so often wavers from the truth as it is established in my external circumstances, which are so often changing. 

But hope is coming. God will bring the “early and late rains”. He will provide.

My hope often stops here, in the coming. I hope God will come and intervene in the physical circumstances of my life and provide for the things I need (do I convince myself I ‘need’ things I really just want? Yes.). It’s as if hope is something further down the road I’m waiting to arrive at which magically coincides with the provision I’m not so patiently waiting for.

However, Hope is here. My heart can be established in the truth of what God has done through his death and resurrection. My patience can be renewed by the hope of a savior who was and is and is coming again. Hope isn’t something down the road, it’s here waiting with me. The real hope isn’t just in provision for the things I need. The real hope is in “the coming of the Lord.”

May our hearts not waver in the circumstances of our day, which are so often changing. Rather, may our hearts be established in the truth that we have a Savior who is here with us now offering hope for today and reminding us “the coming of the Lord is at hand.” 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


It’s been a busy few weeks for Theresa and I as we continue to work, meet with people and take care of all the other responsibilities that come with life in the US as you prepare to move to Africa. Here are a few updates we wanted to pass along!

I, Will, have registered for a tropical agriculture training in Ft. Myers, FL April 6-11 with ECHO ( I’m very excited to gain this new knowledge that can be applied in South Sudan. Several months ago Theresa and I spent time praying about how my time should/could be used to prepare for Africa. We both sensed God saying He would bring opportunities my way that would be practical “hard” skills. This training is one of those things. One of our team members has already been applying the teaching from ECHO in South Sudan and I look forward to joining her in that work.

One of my best friends from Nigeria, Daniel, came to the US for a work trip and we were able to spend a few hours with him here in Bloomington. We showed him Indiana University campus, went on a quick hike and had dinner together. Daniel introduced me to development and was patient with me when I failed. We were able to have great conversations during his visit about the difficulty of development. In particular, we talked about development being about people not programs/projects, the need for long term commitment and patience/vulnerability from both the community and development workers. As development workers we don’t go with answers to problems or programs that won’t fail. We go offering relationship and a willingness to work and suffer alongside a people to bring the change they want to see in their community and the hope of Jesus (who has been there long before we arrived and will continue to be there long after we leave). Our conversations reminded me of these things.

The conversations we were able to share with him also reminded Theresa and I once again of how much we love this work. It’s people like Daniel who inspire us to push through the difficulty of the work (whether that is here, raising support, or once we get to South Sudan) and pursue wholeheartedly the people God puts in front of us. We’ve both learned so much from him and are so grateful we had the time to simply be together.

Finally, please continue to pray for South Sudan. The ceasefire that was signed at the end of January is no longer in place and fighting is continuing. Please pray for peace. Pray for the leaders of both the rebels and government to be humble and seek what is best for the people. Pray for the people to be peace loving and seek what is best for their neighbor (regardless of tribe) over themselves. We recognize we don’t understand the difficulty of these tasks but put our hope in the One who can make all things right. Come, Lord Jesus!