Wow friends, it has been a wild month for us all, hasn’t it? On our journey the past 10 weeks we have had the opportunity to visit our Connecticut partners in ministry. While we were there on March 22 and 23 I got a chance to share a bit about a life-changing thing that happened to us 8 years ago on March 22, 2012. Let me share with you what happened that day that has shaped our outlook on life since then.
In March of 2012 we visited Gembu, Nigeria for the first time to see if Dan and I were good canidates to continue the ministry of GECHAAN after Art and Dorothy retired. March 22, 2012 we left Gembu, Nigeria to head back to MN. We had just decided that we were going to raise support, sell our house, quit our jobs and return to Gembu to continue the ministry Art and Dorothy Helwig had founded at GECHAAN. 4 hours down the road Dan and I were talking about dreams of what God might do when we moved to Nigeria. We came to a place in the road that we thought was a checkpoint but was in fact, robbers. They started shooting at our vehicle as we tried to escape, I got a bullet from an AK-47 through my upper thigh. About 2 miles down the road the vehicle over-heated because a bullet went through the radiator hose and our vehicle stopped right there on the side of the road. I remember looking out the window praying. I was as close to panic as I have ever been in my life. I was afraid – there was no place to hide, we had 2 people bleeding profusely, my leg was shot, and our vehicle was not operational. I was looking out the window saying to God, “God, they were really trying to stop us, please stop them from trying to come and find us. Please don’t let them find us.” AT THAT MOMENT – I felt God say to me, “Tina, this is where I want you and I will take care of you.”
I am not exaggerating when I say I have never experienced peace like I did at that moment. It was a peace that did not depend on my current circumstances, it depended on who God IS.
This past year has not gone as planned, I know that is the case for ALL of us with recent developments. During Dan’s stroke, recovery, second stroke, visiting supporters and not being able to get back to Nigeria when we planned we have experienced peace. Of course we need to get back to Nigeria, but we know God has it all under control and we will get back when the time is right. We will be working from our MN home for the time being. Asking God the best things to do and focus on and then doing them.
Friends, I want you to remember this one thing as we go through these uncertain times. This is what God designed the church for. During plagues in the dark ages who were the people caring for the sick and diseased while everyone else was leaving? THE CHURCH. Not the building, Jesus-followers. Friends it is time for us to SHINE AGAIN and show the world the reason for our hope. We don’t know what the future days will bring, but we do know who holds our tomorrows, we know who gives us a peace that defies this world. Friends, let’s be the church Jesus called us to be. I love you friends, lets do this!