So when the Spring of 2014 finally arrived, we were ready to get on with life and ministry. But nothing seemed to develop. We were basically doing the same thing we had done before, just on a much smaller scale. So it seemed that we were back where we were 2 years ago awaiting news of the change in our lives and ministry.
We did a three week tour of Texas in May that helped us see some things in a whole new light, and yet wasn't sufficient to see a discernible pattern that could be applied to a new season of either life or ministry. On that trip we received invitation to the Philippines and to Mozambique. We reluctantly said we'd pray about it because we'd kinda given up on our ability to comfortable sit on an airplane for 10 to 20 hours at a stretch. Then in early July we began to experience major issues with our vehicles. Our 2006 Blue Chevy hit 208,000 miles, which is a bunch for an all-wheel-drive transmission. It finally decided to take a vacation and we have yet to receive a forwarding address. The 2001 Ford F-150 had major front-end issues that simply put, created major "alignment" problems.
Prophetically speaking personal transportation tends to reflect the status of personal ministry, and our issues appeared to forecast nothing good. (Our personal income had also taken a similar nose dive.) So we began to inquire of the Lord, "What have we done to move out of a place of grace? Where had we gotten off track?"
The answer came fairly quickly. Pat one day heard the Lord say, "So when did you take your life back? When did you decide to retire? I didn't say you were done!" God always uses expensive stuff to get our attention, then He always addresses the heart of the problem.
Our difficulty had become one of a subtle change in attitude. Because of our age and lack of physical conditioning we had decided that we'd just as soon forgo the rigors of extensive traveling that we've experienced in the past. In essence, without realizing it, we had adopted a semi-retired attitude that accommodated our desire for comfort and made room for a continued decline in our physical abilities. The semi-retired attitude had also stolen all our vision and much of our personal motivation. The resulting self-inventory also showed us that we had left behind most of the simple self-disciplines that had made us who we are; choosing instead to focus primarily on inner healing related information and insight, rather than the broader viewpoint and exercise of life with God.
A major repentance exercise was required immediately.
As part of the process, we began to fulfill the declaration made earlier to pray about Mozambique and the Philippines. The result was an agreement to become Long Term Coaches for AIM (Adventures in Missions) for the staff they have in Manila, Philippines. These ladies are pulling girls out of the sex trade in Manila, calling them to Christ and providing the aftercare that causes them to become disciples. So we will begin traveling there four or five times a year, teaching, training, discipling and caring for the staff through personal visits, Skype and email. We'll also minister to the rescued girls when we are there; just exactly what we did in Hawaii 5 years ago and yet this time with the ability to be part of a total support system that promises both longevity and increasing fruit.
To top it all off we have also begun a process to become more physically fit for this Next Season of life and ministry.