About four months ago I thought, “Michelle and I are going through some changes, and I really need to post something about it on Life Untangled.” But it was a hard subject to tackle, so I put it off.
At three, two, and one months ago, it wasn’t any easier, and I still found a way to delay. Over the past few weeks, I guess I was hoping that Jesus would come back, because I just didn’t make myself do it and now my back is up against the wall.
My reason for procrastination is, I don’t mind telling stories of things that I have seen and have learned, but I haven’t wanted to make Life Untangled a blog about my life. In this posting, though, I guess I have to do it anyway.
Here is the deal. Michelle and I went overseas in 1995 and, for the most part, have been in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, since that time. Almost all of our married life has been overseas, our children were raised overseas, and it is the life that we know and understand.
Right now we are in the Arabian Peninsula but, prior to that, we were in Ethiopia for two years. We had a lot of sickness there and I got an intestinal bug that can’t be treated because of where it is in the small intestines.
Over the past six years, since leaving Ethiopia, I have been to about seven gastroenterologists, I have read everything written about the disease online, I have tried thirty or more different treatments, but I have still been sick and have worsened over the past two years. It has become so bad that I’m not able to adequately do my job.
So, we are going to retire from overseas work, go back to the US, and see what God wants us to do from there. We fly out of here in just a few days and will route through Los Angeles to go to a clinic that is supposed to be the world’s smartest when it comes to my condition; although it is still very unlikely that the doctor there will be able to cure me.
Today Michelle went to the Blue Souk (marketplace) to buy some local tablecloths and after she got back we drove to a mangrove swamp area near the city to see a flock of flamingos. We arrived right at feeding time.
I guess we won’t be doing things like shopping in a Middle Eastern market, or going to see flamingos, when we are in the US. We won’t see camels, or parrots, or enormous sand dunes anymore.
We aren’t particularly sad, though. And we aren’t particularly excited about moving to America; although it is also a lovely country. I guess God has moved us so many times, that this is just another one to take in stride.
There is a lot of stuff that we could talk about related to the things I’ve brought up in this post–living with chronic disease, persevering through difficulty at some times and knowing when to change your circumstances at other times, the satisfaction and joy of serving God overseas as a career–but the point that I want to make in this post is that, the context that God puts us in, and the way our emotions feel about the change, are not important. Almost everybody, and almost every thought, will tell you that they are, but they simply are not.
The main point, is always the main point, regardless of where you are or how you feel. The hell switch is in the on position and Satan is the ruler of this world. We can never be okay with that.
I don’t yet have a job in the US, although they aren’t too tough for Family Doctors to find, and we don’t know for sure where we will live, but we are sure that we will continue to focus on this main thing.
Thanks so much for letting us know where you are on this crazy, unexpected journey called life. Moves and uncertainty are never a piece of cake, so we’ll be thinking about what’s ahead for you in the immediate future. We know you’ll end up in the right place, though selfishly we wish it would be somewhere that we could see you more than once every few years. Love to you both!
Praying for you all as you make this transition. Blessings in Him!
Prayers for you in your transitions! We have been there, and really, transitions always continue, some just bigger than others. Thank you for your thoughts. So true, we can never be OK with the reality of spiritual conditions around us!
Thank you for your transparency. The GI stuff sounds bad.
We came back in 2014 with plans to return to China. Then the ‘voluntary retirement offer’ happened so we stayed. We’ve almost adjusted to being back 😬
Please update us as you can.
I heard a whisper of this from someone at Via Christi. I can say I wouldn’t be excited to be moving back to the States, but God does have plans in it and I know you know that. I will pray for your condition, you and your wife’s re-entry, and whatever else may go along with that. Since you’re coming back so soon, hopefully I will see you at some of the conferences! God Bless.
Deo Volente, CSR
My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family in your transition home. It saddens me to know you won’t be out there making the world a better place. I know where your heart lies, but quite frankly the United States could use a few more people like you. The field is just as fertile on the home front. I will pray specifically for healing for you. I would love to know where you settle in the US. Hopefully its close enough for a cup of coffee one day.
Your friend from Feina,
We will be happy to welcome you guys home! And you’re right, your journey is not done, it’s just another location change. Can’t wait to see what He’s up to next!
Your posts and your walk with the Lord are always so encouraging to our family. Thank you for the bright light that you are for His Kingdom. We are lifting you and your life up during this transition.
I pray you are led smoothly and fantastically into the more that God has for you and your family. And pray that the seeds sown all over will root and grow into oaks of righteousness :)) Love how God includes us in his cross fertilisation of the nations. I pray you continue to live impossibly, like the humble bee!