Life here is good. It is way more simple and open than Bogotá. It’s funny to think of a gringo living on the Colombian coast because the difference in culture is huge. In my three months here, it hasn’t always been comfortable, but it’s been what I’ve needed. I am really enjoying teaching Sunday school with another teacher in the 9-12 year old class (25-30 kids). I am working in three schools. They are just getting started in their year. I am teaching physical education and Christian education classes and giving devotionals at all three schools. It’s been great being immersed in Spanish and being pushed to pray more and get into the Word more.
Venturing Into the Unknown
My life in the past nine months has been pretty crazy with all the twists and turns that God has allowed me to experience. I haven’t really heard God speak very clearly as to His will for me as far as direction, but He’s been challenging me to delight in His presence, make decisions, continue walking forward in faith, and trusting Him. I really don’t know what my next step is at this point as my visa expires in June. I know that I am being strengthened for my work right now and for what lies ahead.
Me and María are now officially engaged as I proposed on January 17! We will be getting married April 13 here in Santa Marta. We are in the planning and preparing stage for the wedding and many things. We are seeking God’s will for us as a couple. Thinking about marriage is both awesome and a bit scary. I believe that we will be a huge asset for each other in ministry and other things. She is a blessing from the Lord! Throughout the past six months of our relationship, we have realized that He has called us to be together as He continues to confirm and affirm again and again even when things don’t always make much sense. It’s His story that He’s free to write as He wants for His purposes.
Stretched and Purified
God has certainly been stretching me and allowing me to be really uncomfortable at times with a few situations. Many different emotions, anxieties, and feelings are coming to the surface that I have to deal with and surrender to Him every day. There are times that I feel like fleeing or giving up, but I made the decision to not back down or run away and to continue to walk through these things. Learning more and more to discern what is and isn’t of God.
I have realized that I have many molds of thinking that need to be broken and changed. God continues to challenge me to delight and rest in Him in the midst of hard situations and an unknown future. I am being strengthened often without realizing it. I am also trying to practice pleasing God and not people and resting in the truth that God knows my heart. God continues to humble me and is doing a lot of work in my heart that I can’t often see.
I am excited for what God is doing! I realize He wants my heart, not my works. When I love, everything flows and is significant. I have to trust the process. Often when I am praying I see mental pictures of the neighborhoods in the hills of Santa Marta praising God. I can rest in God’s love for me and know that He is proud of me and is fighting for me! God is always good and faithful and full of patience, love, and mercy. I am thankful for the life He has given me.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18