Monday, May 18, 2009

When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

I was reminded of this line from the Sound of Music a couple of weeks ago. Last month I was sick with strep throat (it hung on for six weeks) and God used that down time to really think about our involvement in the university ministry in Dakar. The trans-missional team is planning on using an approach called the Insider Movement. I felt that there were certain elements to this approach that were not healthy for the church. We saw this then as a definite closed door, yet our hearts still long to be in Senegal reaching the Wolof with the Gospel. What is God doing here?

That was the subject of prayer for me during my time of sickness. One morning in my quiet time, I feel the Lord gave me the thought that He has been delaying us and then closed this door in order to open a door that He has wanted to open for us all along, yet we were not ready to walk through it. That door is rural ministry in Senegal.

I remember the simple days as church planters in Khombole years ago during our first term. There were days, of course, when we wanted to buy a plane ticket home, but over-all, we really found our niche there among the simple rural folk. I can remember coming home from a village thankful that I could live and feed my family doing what I was doing. Loving folks who have never heard of Jesus and seeing the lights come on in their hearts and minds is better than anything I can imagine doing, including riding motorcycles!

So, God has opened the door for us to go work in Kaffrine, Senegal where we already have a team of missionaries. So, we will enjoy fellowship. Also, they are using a method that I’ve wanted to do since I did an internship in Ghana, W. Africa in 1991. The SIM/Southern Baptist team in Kaffrine has been using mostly Chronological Storying for many years now. I’ve wanted to do a similar ministry since I observed Mark and Amy Hagerup using it in Tamale, Ghana.

It gets better. The best way to go out to the villages in the Kaffrine area is via motorcycle. ( -: But wait there’s more. Andy wants to help me out when we first get there by possibly putting the stories to dramatic presentations. So, the Lord willing, he will be with us in Kaffrine the first little while and we’ll hopefully get him a small motorcycle to ride with me out there. He’ll do home school in the mornings and write any skits for the stories, then in the afternoon, he can go with me each day to the villages to preach.

Andy hopes to attend Dakar Academy, an M(issionary) K(id) school in Dakar. So, we are trusting the Lord to provide for him if God wants him to attend DA.

But wait, there’s more. This new change of ministry focus takes us out of expensive Dakar and puts us in the bush. On our new budget, we are 58% in our monthly support. That is only about $2500 more a month to raise before we get to go home! We’ll also need a four wheel drive vehicle for when Esther and the littlies come along for some ministry. God is so good!

I guess one could say after all this that when God closes a window, it is because there is a huge door that He wants you to walk through. Is God doing something similar in your life? Does it seem that the doors are never going to open? Does is seem the He has disappointed you for some reason. Know that He will accomplish His purpose in your life. Know that you cannot “fall through the cracks” of His fingers. You are in His hands. His hand is so vast that you will never find the edge of it.

1 comment:

  1. This is really exciting to read about, Steve and Esther! I also really like the storying approach, and I think it's wonderful that Andy is interested in helping to dramatize some of the stories.

    I really like what you said about not being able to fall between the cracks of God's fingers. That is a concept I've had to remind myself of more than once in the past few years, only I didn't have such a poetic word picture to go with the reminder. Love to you all.