Living on the Graduate Institute for Applied Linguistics (GIAL) campus in Dallas has been an awesome blessing for a number of reasons. We are surrounded by missionaries who have been through, or are going through the same transitions and stresses we are in. We have the incredible blessing of being only a half-mile from our teammates Eric & Melissa Davis and have grown very close to them in the past few months. We are on the same campus as the organization we work for (Pioneer Bible Translators) and thus have easy access to our friends and colleagues. PBT has a team counselor who spends time weekly with our team helping us prepare for all the stresses and challenges that another country will bring our way. We wouldn’t have this awesome opportunity if we lived further away.
This brings up a new blessing. Bart and I have also been able to receive counseling….after 7 houses in 5 years; we need a helper to lead us through a perspective change. We would be naïve and arrogant to say that our marriage hasn’t suffered from some serious battles, especially this last 6 months. Bart and I have no doubts about the mutual commitment to our marriage. We knew from the beginning that it would be hard. We even had people tell us we were crazy for getting married so young after so little time dating. I often wonder who called Jesus crazy. Marriage is a powerful symbol. In Ephesians 6:
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.
Do you think that people called Jesus crazy? He claimed He was God. He spoke to rejects & outcasts. Yet He was irresistible. People flocked to Him, because He healed them. Because He was overflowing with love. Not “I love you’s”, not empty promises, not a dead love. A living love.
So yes, Bart and I might be crazy to the love-lost world. A world where love leaves the morning after, a love that doesn’t recognize commitment, vows and covenants, a world that is separated from the all consuming love of God. I think that over the years, the enemy has begun an all out war on love. He has attempted to cheapen it, weaken it and rob it of value. Marriage is the powerful secret weapon of hope. Bart and I, and the rest of the Christian world must teach love. That is why we are attending counseling. Bart and I are stuck to each other like super-glue. It’s not always pleasant, or fun. It hurts sometimes. Our commitment isn’t a dead commitment. I will continue to strive to submit to my husband, honoring God by faithfulness to Bart.
When I met Bart, my world was unchangeably shaken. He had been raised by a man who not only loved the Lord, but loved his wife. His mom submitted to her husband…not to let him walk on her, but to honor him as the God-given head of the house. His family raised him to cherish his some-day wife. Though my parents tried to instill these same things in me, the men who came and went in my life did not honor God. To marry me, would have seemed crazy to some. Thank God for crazy.
In the last blog I posted I mentioned our upcoming move. We are still searching for free or very inexpensive housing. Between April & Mid-September we hope to be raising the rest of our needed support. Bart is currently taking an Area Studies class that focuses on Muslim based countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Bart is taking 2 classes that begin May 14th and will require us to be settled in somewhere. One class we will be taking together. It is a class that involves us learning a language over a 7 week period by regularly meeting with an everyday person from a different country. I will spare the details. We hope to be living relatively close to family so that we can count on them to help with the kids during these more time-consuming classes.
We are moving, we hope, on April 16th. Our theoretical plan is that Lucas, Hosanna and I will fly out of Texas after the house has been completely packed and the trailer loaded. Bart will then drive from Texas to our unspecified home in Indiana. Immediately, this terrifies me, because driving alone over such a distance leaves a million risks. Then I think….”Come on Andi, your moving to Africa….to unpaved roads and poisonous snakes. Deal with it”. It will be much simpler if Bart drives, and we fly. He will have the opportunity to sleep at some point during the trip, whereas with both children, there’s no chance of us pulling over and sleeping. Every time we pull over….their little eyes pop open. Trust us, we tried it. So here is where YOU come in. Do you know of a place in Indiana that has missionary housing, ministry housing or something similar that would be available from April 17th through the beginning of October? Please contact us through our emails below.
Thank you friends, for following this journey God has given us. Thank you for your support and your prayers which have already changed our lives!