2/23/2014 04:38:00 PM sendtheroths 1 Comments

We were blessed to go with a young adults ministry to
Steamboat Springs, Col. during our time in the U.S. 
It’s easy to say that 2013 was the best year Global Outreach Foundation’s Congo chapter has ever had on paper. We doubled in nearly every capacity: finances, personnel, logistics and of course overall ministry outreach.

But, boy oh boy did it take a toll on us.

We were thankful for the amazing people we worked with (both foreign and national) and the amazing work that God did. But somewhere around November, we felt tired. It wasn’t normal exhaustion. The days got longer. The nights got shorter. The to-do list got longer and our time spent together got even shorter. It was tough to be together and to talk or do something that was unrelated to Congo.

This usually isn’t a problem, because we usually LOVE visioneering, we LOVE talking about the people who we disciple, we LOVE planning and problem solving together. But when we started to REALLY need a break, none could be found. Even when we went on dates with each other there was no break: somehow we would end up talking about ministry related things.

What happens when the very thing you LOVE the most is the very thing you need to get away from the most?

Andrew at the the southernmost tip of Africa.
It became draining and began to really affect our marriage. It was pretty lonely for both of us: seeing things that we dreamed about coming to pass, seeing the vision move forward more than ever before, but feeling empty inside at the same time while also being pulled twenty different directions by staff, government, supporters, short-term teams, vehicle repairs, project management, traumatized teenagers, hungry disciples and all the random other things that are asked of one working in a country with so much need.

We reached out to our spiritual advisors and counselors at the end of the year. We were honest and transparent about the fact that we were on empty. They immediately surrounded us with the support that EVERY marriage and ministry needs. We went on a short vacation to South Africa and than went back to the US for a month.

Amethyst at the southern most tip of Africa.
The purpose? Rest, fellowship, and to glean wisdom from leadership at Global Outreach Foundation international. Nothing else, no support raising, no speaking engagements, just a time to gain insight and wisdom from God.

What an amazing time it was. We gained fresh direction and vision for ourselves, for each other and for the awesome people that we serve here in the Congo (DRC). 

Leadership is a heavy thing, but its not meant to be. The Bible says in Matthew 11:30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When we fail to give that load to Jesus on a daily basis, we take it upon ourselves. Our human nature cannot sustain God’s standard of leadership, if we fail to keep giving our load to Jesus, we will eventually lose our shalom—the wholeness between ourselves, God, other people and the world as a whole.

I’m learning that obscurity is something that we should embrace and cherish for its time, because when times of ‘increase’ come, things get weighty. Keep the burdens on Him!

 In closing, our sabbatical time was good for everyone. We are SO proud that all the projects in Congo did not stop in our absence, the Goma Training Center was just as active as ever and our disciples continued working tirelessly (and with EXCELLENCE) while we were gone.
Us posing at the place where the Indian and Atlantic
oceans converge.

“I have to admit that we were all really nervous, when you delegated all the responsibilities to us when you left,” said Alain, one of our full-time staff. “But we all worked together and everything went well. We see that this can go forward, even without you being there.”

Putting into action this discipline of retreat has been so beneficial to us. I hope that this can explain our silence of late.

We are excited, refreshed and in LOVE with the leadership of our organization, our prayer and financial support partners and our amazing colleagues and disciples in Congo for standing behind us and BLESSING us during our sabbatical time.

 Onward and upward!

1 comment :

  1. That's awesome! Love you guys! May God continue to guide and bless you!