Abby and I went into marriage knowing that God had called us to the missions field. We got married June 26,2009 and two months later started our senior year of college. Moving to the missions field is often a long process, so it was at this point that we started making plans and contacting the necessary people.
Through prayer we decided that we did not want to leave earlier than August 2010, but wanted to try to get overseas before the end of the year.
It is interesting how after praying about something and getting an answer from God on it, it is easy to start making your own plans.
As our final school semester began, Abby and I started to think through our timeline for departure more. Conflicts with our departure timeframe started to arise, most notably my best friend’s wedding planned for February 2011. He asked me to be his best man.
As graduation neared, so did our potential August departure date. It was a lot and it was approaching quickly. Through many discussions, Abby and I came up with a new plan. First we decided to wait until the wedding. We would then be able to spend the holidays with family. Next, we reasoned that if we were pushing things back till after February, Abby might as well teach. For her to teach, we decided that maybe we should leave summer of 2011.
It really all fit together well. It seemed like the perfect plan… That is until God graciously started challenging us. No matter how much going in 2011 made sense, Abby and I both started feeling unsettled about it.
I began asking, “If God really does want us in Kenya sooner, what is not going to get done because of our failure to follow His will?”
Then we started getting phone calls from people. We had not really announced to most people any details about us even going to Kenya, but people were approaching me about supporting us. People who knew my heart for missions were saying, “Hey Andrew, I know you want to go to the missions field and you are graduating soon. If that is still the plan, let me know. I want to support you and Abby.”
People I rarely talked to on the phone were going out of their way to contact me about supporting us.
I got a call from a good friend from college. He called me out of the blue and asked about how our plans for Africa were coming. He had no clue when we were planning on leaving, but he had been praying and God spoke to him that he was suppose to start supporting us now. Abby and I had not even talked to anyone about support and God brought us our first supporter.
After so many clues, we finally got the hint that maybe God was trying to get our attention. Abby and I decided to take some time to fast and pray specifically about when we needed to go to Kenya. As we sat together on the floor of our apartment, God confirmed in both our hearts that we needed to go before the end of the year.
Abby was not able to teach. I am going to miss my best friend’s wedding. I want so badly to be at his wedding that I have cried over the thought of missing it, but I know that God has called us to something greater.
I have gained a stronger understanding of Luke 14:26-27:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”