Second Week of Advent – Bumps in the Road

Eric is doing well.  He is working with a group of five guys from Hawaii, our friend George, and even a local junior high boy he has been hanging out with.  Awhile ago, Eric and Chad helped to move Y., his mom, and sister out of the school temporary shelter to one of the temporary units built outside of the town.  It was a hard move for Y.; Eric could hear his disappointment and bitterness at their situation and towards their dad who had left them.  We have been praying for Y. since that time.

Eric went to visit Y’s family, this past week, and then Y. called him on Sunday morning and said he needed a ride to visit some friends.  Eric felt it was worth it to continue the friendship, and during the drive had a great talk, and challenged Y. to come and help with some of the relief efforts this week.  Much to Eric’s surprise, he agreed! Today he has been helping and spending time with this great group of Christian guys.  I love this!

Last Thursday Eric sent photos of one home that he and Chad went to see that is for sale in the area where Be One has been ministering.  You can’t beat $100,000 for a 3-bedroom home, even one that’s had a tsunami come through it… but I saw the photo and realized that I really have to reset my expectations.  It is just one home of various options that will probably come up,  but it’s not the kind of home I imagined us moving into.  I realized how I need to surrender – or reset – my expectations…. and was rather caught by surprise at my own reaction.

On Sunday morning at house church we were looking at the passages where an angel comes to Joseph and tells him of Mary’s pregnancy, as well as the angel who comes and tells Mary what is about to happen to her body and her life.  I had left my Bible in the car, and so was using my iPhone Bible- set to the Message translation.  When I got to the angel’s words to Mary, I felt like the angel was speaking them to me:  “Don’t be afraid, [Sue]! God has surprises for you that you can’t imagine.”  And I read on at how Mary responded to God – she declared her willingness to follow God down this unknown path, and to trust Him in the process.

God wasn’t promising Mary that there wouldn’t be some big bumps in her journey.  I can imagine the ridicule and scorn that followed as her tummy grew larger and the rumors started.  Perhaps wondering what her betrothed really thought of her.  Needing to make that crazy journey when she was 9 months pregnant.  It wasn’t an easy process.  But God’s promise was for surprises along the way- that following God doesn’t necessarily make the path easy but it does bring along surprises – and joy — we can’t imagine.

I really believe this – and have continued to see this played out in my own walk with Jesus.  God surprises us along the way.  I don’t know what our home, or our community, or our life will be like in Ishinomaki, but I am determined with God’s help to follow the likes of Abraham, Mary and many others who set their hearts in obedience to God’s will.  (And really appreciate  prayers for this kind of faith and obedience).  Bumps and all, I look forward to sharing with you the surprises that He brings along the way.

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