“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
King James Version (KJV)
The Lord our God describes man’s life as a vapour. I wonder then what he would consider one year to be. Uphill is the battle before us and heavy is the workload at hand. Yet twelve months is not a lot of time, especially with so much to accomplish. Yet we are determined to be ambassadors of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ in Uganda. It is the daily routine that will produce the building blocks to achieve this goal.
Being fruitful in every good work, including the secular work necessary for a Christian man to provide for his own, requires a steady hand and an end goal. While working is a biblical requirement, it can be difficult spending a goodly portion of my day rendering some service for this world. Especially when my heart and mind are captivated by the mission field. I just learned in a rather abrupt way that I will be spending another 6 months on third shift. Since May 2017 I have been working from 10:30 pm at night until 09:00 am in the morning. There are positives and negatives to working such a shift. The positive is that I am given a twelve percent increase in pay and I have three day weekends. The negative is that I have a wonderful wife that I love and greatly enjoy spending time with, this new schedule greatly hinders that. This could present itself as an opportunity to complain, but I will not do so. Working in this manner will further assist Kristin and me in accomplishing our financial goals on the way to Uganda. While I had a somewhat bitter taste for the way the news was sprung on me, my supervisors and management have been very good to me at work. The good hand of my God has been upon me, therefore we will press on with the understanding that this job is a means to a wonderful end: the mission field. While I do miss spending time with the love of my life, and daylight, we thank the Lord for his goodness toward us. The idea is that I will work here for one more year and soon after Kristin and I will set out on full-time deputation.
Second, on the matter of routines is that of the ministry routine. One of the wonderful blessings of our church is that so many ministries have been established, all we need to do is get plugged into them. For one year and a half now I have been preaching at Tamoka Prison in Daytona Beach, Fl. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of men that come each week that I am scheduled to preach. These men respond well to the preaching and have been a joy to fellowship with. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to teach regularly in our bus church. In July I preached for them twice, these children never cease to amaze me with their ability to grasp the truth presented them. Kristin continues each Wednesday to put on a Good News Club at a boys and girls club in Deland. Kristin and I have been heavily involved in many ministries with fellow laborers at our church, I only intend to name a few that have been most active recently. We now add to these visiting churches and missions conferences when the opportunity presents itself.
Whether it be work, bible school, ministries, or life responsibilities; Kristin and I intend to maintain a routine that will keep us on track for the mission field. Duty is realized daily as we see one another off in our different directions to accomplish the common goal. Divide and conquer, if you will. The potential here is to allow the affairs of this world entangle us, causing us to lose sight of where we intend to be one year from now. To live in Africa as God’s missionaries is a high calling and we intend to steadfastly press toward that mark. Not seeing my wife so much is one of the hardest sacrifices I have had to make, yet we are convinced it is a necessary sacrifice now so that we can be together in Uganda. We will not become weary in well doing, not with a refuge such as ours. “Offer the sacrifice of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.”
In the spirit of routines, a new one that Kristin and I have been getting adjusted to is that of the udertakings of a new missionary. Poster boards, prayer cards, picture books, videos etc. This is all new to us, it even seems we have a new missionary language to learn. Another aspect of this that is difficult to get used to is that of allowing people to be very generous to us. God’s people really take good care of their missionaries. Kristin and I were in a Missions Conference in July at Eastland Baptist Church in Orlando. In August we will be headed to Great Hope Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. While there I get to spend time with my friend Pastor Chris MacDonald. In September we are headed back to Alabama to spend some time with Ridge Road Baptist Church. We are greatly humbled when we consider the incredible opportunities that we have been given. I also recently learned that my good friend David Gates is back in the U.S. on furlough. Brother David and his family are missionaries in Cairo, Egypt. He is also the first man to ever put me in a pulpit and allow me to preach. We were in Egypt together 2010 – 2011, brother David did not tell me what it was to be a missionary, he showed me. Kristin and I intend to spend time with brother David and his family early next year.
The future routine will find Kristin and I side by side, inseparable again, in continuous service to our God. I am still in bible school, I graduate August 2018, brother James and his faithfulness to teach us God’s word has greatly enhanced our lives in the Lord. Our friends, family and fellow churches have been so supportive of us in this endeavor. Their wisdom and encouragement have been a tremendous blessing. We have made some great friends along the way and we have greatly enjoyed the fellowship of God’s people. With all of this love and support in our corner, we will stay with the work, for the night is coming.
The routines of life properly established will produce the overall success thereof. Furthermore, a life of routines with set goals in mind leads to the attainment sought for. Therefore two lives joined together with the common yoke of serving God will establish the daily routines necessary to make proper use of that yoke for his pleasure. In the end, it will be found that a life of service to Christ is not routine at all. Kristin and I will put this thesis to the test as missionaries to the Ssese Island, Uganda Africa.