The FedEx including our visa denial letter with explanation and directions for an appeal were not received today. We don’t know where it is and why it’s not here…just posting something since we told some of you today we’d post when we got the FedEx tonight.
The four of us are heading to Phoenix tomorrow to visit my family for a week and to drop in on the Mesa, AZ LifeChurch.tv campus. Can’t wait!
After 15 months of running and 50 pounds lost, Chris ran the OKC Memorial Marathon today in 2 hours 22 minutes! I’m so proud of you Chris…you inspire me.
Many thanks to all of you praying for our continued peace despite having been denied a visa to live in the UK yesterday (see previous post below). We are certain God is at work on our behalf in ways we cannot yet see.
I know some of you were praying along with us last night as I felt the results of those prayers and had a hard time going to sleep with the Holy Spirit bringing to mind worship songs and thoughts of joy that blessed me deeply. I thank Him in advance for the way He’ll answer our prayers.
This morning while we were still in bed Blake brought in a printed sheet of paper and said, “This is a message from God.” (sent via my father-in-law) It was the lyrics of the hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. The last verse is so sweet to read and an encouragement to me in what we are called to do:
“His Word shall not fail you – He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!”
We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.
We are deeply discouraged and surprised to learn tonight that Chris’s missionary visa application was denied by the UK. We crossed all the t’s, dotted all the i’s, had it reviewed by a lawyer – and cannot imagine what (other than our enemy) created this blockade in our return to England.
We will not know until Monday evening why the visa was denied or IF we will even be allowed to re-apply. There is NO DOUBT in our minds God called us to go to England, so I trust we’ll be allowed to re-apply. The ripple effect of damages is on our minds, though. We’re down a few thousand dollars in the visa process, will not have a visa in hand by May 1 to apply for Blake to attend school, and are due to pay rent on our next home in Wimbledon this week. We have money in the bank to provide for the house but no understanding as to how long we’ll be renting it without being able to occupy it…since appeals and re-application could take months.
Please pray for our peace not to crumble. We know God allowed this to happen and is not surprised by this difficult news. Our hands are tied and we have no recourse at all at this point. Only His intervention will allow us to return to England. We’re on our knees tonight and so grateful He’s hearing every word. Join us in prayer, and get ready to see God work!!
Last Sunday Chris, the kids, and I visited H2O Church in Ada, Oklahoma. It’s a network church just like Hillside, meaning it’s not a LC.tv campus but uses LC.tv video teaching in its services. We liked experiencing a fun and different environment that felt like LC.tv but had its own unique taste. We were so warmly welcomed by people I assumed some of them were on staff but later learned they are just dedicated volunteers and partners in that great congregation. You can see the church’s website here.
I’m wondering how I can be so tired and yet so energized at the same time. We had a few quiet days after arriving in the US but we now find ourselves coming up for air around 5pm every day only to eek out what energy we have left to spend time at home before the kids go to bed. Once they’re in bed, we typically return to working on our fundraising campaign.
All of these things are great, and I’m certain they’re what God wants us doing right now. Yet I am fairly dismayed to discover after 2 week of being in the US that some of the ‘good things’ I’d planned to do must be put aside. Six weeks seems like such a long time to visit – but we’re finding our schedule openings are dwindling already.
God is sternly reminding me I cannot function without my morning quiet time. I already know this, but I’ve tried juggling this priority and it’s not working. (I’m such a morning-oriented person that were I even to open my Bible for serious reading in the evening I’d immediately begin drooling in sleep.) He’s reminding me to look Chris in the eye every evening to discuss the ideas we’re gaining through our training so no plans are forgotten by the time we’re back in London. God’s calling my bluff as I think twice before exercising these days. He’s also encouraging me to protect what time I have with the kids right now so their little hearts don’t suffer as a result of my busyness.
Maybe you’re like me these days. You’re in a different environment or schedule. Time’s habit of pressing on when we’re asking for a break dampens our effectiveness as servants of Christ and members of our families. Things have to be left behind as you revisit those parts of your life you cannot forfeit. Let’s raise our chins and say ‘no’ so that we may say ‘yes’ to God’s best.
You may recall that Al Gore invented the Internet. But do you know he’s developed a rather cool television network?
I contributed to video comments on the benefits of the anonymity of the web. See what I have to say here.
I had the fun opportunity to contribute to our friends’ blog – Brandon and Christi Donaldson of the LC.tv Internet Campus – today. Visit their site here.
I can’t really express how challenging and helpful the meetings we’re having this week with leaders at LifeChurch.tv are. We’re gaining momemtum and direction in grand ways. It’s a real privilege to be sharpened by such great leaders.
I am currently scanning a list of churches in the UK who have accessed LifeChurch.tv’s Open website. Open is an INCREDIBLE program launched over a year ago that puts all LifeChurch.tv’s resources on the Internet for FREE download. Churches and people around the world are using video, sermon transcripts, etc. to expand their ministries. With my mouth open wide, I’m reviewing (and reviewing and reviewing) a list of more than 170 churches in the UK making use of this great program. There are even a few churches near where we live who have accessed LifeChurch.tv resources. I can’t tell you what this does in the way of motivating Chris and me to meet these folks when we’re back in London to see how we can help them or learn from them.
In other news, I’d forgotten the average wind speed in OK could be classified as ‘gale force wind’.
We had a fun weekend visiting the OKC LifeChurch.tv campus on Saturday evening, running into old friends to share hugs and encouragement.
Our family attended Skyline church in downtown OKC Sunday morning, a church around 6 months old that was formed in part by fellow Anderson University alumni. This service provided us some ideas and inspiration.