I recently removed a post I wrote. If you read it, you can probably figure out which post it is. If you didn't read it, consider it better. I regret that post in that I wrote it from a place of hurt, and sometimes we do and say things when we're hurt that we later regret. While some understood, I angered and offended others, and I feel really bad about that. It is true that people have said some very hurtful things to us about wanting to do missions in Argentina, but I think I communicated that all wrong. That doesn't excuse what people have said to us, but it doesn't make it right that I do the same. So, my apologies to anyone that was offended. I hope you could extend the grace we have very much been trying to extend to people (Christians like us), over this past year when they have said things that hurt or discouraged, whether knowingly or not. For those of you that understand, thank you. For those that don't, if you could find it in your heart to pray for us, please do.
So there you have it. Chris isn't perfect (and I could tell you Tony isn't either). And no one at church is either. That's why we need Jesus. We're all wretched without him.
It's been a rough year. And we are only a couple of passports closer to going than we were a year ago. That's it. We never imagined it would be so hard and so complicated just getting there.
In the meantime God is teaching us to trust in Him, and in Him alone. It's not good to have expectations of man, because man will eventually disappoint. We need to learn to listen to His voice and follow Him only.
In the end, I think Tony and I can say we are honestly thankful for the disappointment, for the discouraging words, for the lack of support (whether perceived or real). We are glad we are going through this now and not later. We are glad God is teaching us now to trust only and fully in Him. We know that if our focus is anywhere but on Christ, it's in the wrong place. We hope that other's are focused on Christ and Christ alone as well. We hope and pray that if anyone feels led to be a part of this mission through prayer or finances that it's not because they ultimately want to support "Tony & Chris in Argentina," but that they want to be a part of what God is doing in Argentina. This is the Lord's work (I know, a cliché phrase), not ours - we're just the vessels. This wasn't our idea, believe me. We never thought we would return to Argentina, and sometimes we even have doubts about the wisdom of that decision. Honestly, sometimes I look around at our beautiful house filled with all the comforts of the first world; I look at our kids and think how they have everything; I look at our wonderful life and I think of the people who are literally dying, crossing the border illegally, to get into my wonderful country - and we're leaving??? What are we nuts?!? Why are we doing this? It's just not normal. Or natural. Or who knows, even sane. But God is asking us to. He's not forcing us to go, He won't make us. He is asking, "Will you go?". We do hear His voice, and it just gets louder. We are compelled to go. We can't help ourselves. We really can't. We know we would make a lot of people happy if we just forgot about the whole thing and just stayed. Forgive us - but we can't. We. just. can't. To stay would be to disobey the Lord.
So, in short - someday, when we are in the wilds of Patagonia ministering to the Mapuche (or wherever the Lord sends us), and the funds run out, and we don't know where our next meal is coming from, and the car breaks down, and the baby is sick and it's 100 miles to the nearest town or third world doctor, I hope that at that moment, in part because of these trials, one day we can say (and really mean), "Lord, we trust You. We trust that You will take care of us. That what is impossible with man is not impossible with You." That we could pray, "Lord, send us funds, send us food, fix our car, and help our baby," and He will. It will be in times like that that we will be thankful for these trials - that God cared enough to teach us not to trust in man, but to trust in Him alone.
I love this song. It ministers to me every time. I hope it ministers to you.