April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims, and that is what we are. Our journey continues as we seek the Lord, and his leading in our lives. Yesterday it rained all day giving a much needed drink to all the trees and flowers that have brought Kalocsa to life this last month. The weather has been beautiful on the plains of Hungary, and we will miss it as we prepare to move to the tropical mountains of the Philippines. With one month of school left, our family has hit the wall of exhaustion. The past couple of months have been full with visitors and friends, and now we are looking ahead to another big move for our family. But we also know that while we move in and out of countries and cities, we never leave God’s guiding purposes. So we take our next step with confidence that God has opened this door, and he will provide the strength and help we need as we move forward.
In our devotions as a family, we began reading the book of Ruth a couple nights ago. It was at the bequest of Muriel who can’t help but love a book devoted to a woman of faith. And we found again the story of a foreigner following God into a strange land, and living a life of faith. Heidi also read to me a passage of a book called Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. In it he encouraged us that our lives are really about raising our families and being devoted to Christ and then dying and moving on. It reminded me that Ruth’s life was not about settling in and living the Moabite dream. She had a calling on her life: to go, and she went. And her heritage is that God used her offspring to bring about the redemption of the world. Our prayer as we continue on our journey is that God would continue to strip away those places we would settle in, on building a small kingdom for ourselves. We also know that God uses trials to strip those things away that would keep us from a life devoted to Him.
When we came to Hungary we tried to limit ourselves to two bags each, now we are on a quest to move to our new home in Baguio City, Philippines with one bag a person. This would be a much easier task without half our weight allowance being taken in Lego weight. But we know that God will be our provider, and we are excited to arrive at our new home and new school. Our desire is to serve Christ at Union School and be an encouragement to the youth and the other teachers there. We want to serve Christ, and we know that what we bring in our suitcases is less important than what we carry in our hearts.
Both Heidi and I feel the sorrow of leaving our family and friends behind, and knowing that life continues back home and we are missing it. We also have not had a chance to place roots here (although we've made many friends) and are now moving again. This leaves us feeling a bit in no-mans-land and with a lot of different stresses regarding moving and finishing school this year for the kids and I. Please pray for us in this transition time, that God would be with us and give us patience with the kids and with each other. We know that this will be a challenging transition and that the next month will probably not be easy for our family. We also are reminded that the Apostle Peter exhorted the church that whatever suffering they would endure God would use it to burn up their earthly and selfish desires, and purify their faith. So we continue on our pilgrimage with Christ in us and before, knowing He is not only the one who calls us but also the one who has died for us and given us all we need to be his as he perfects our faith.
The Barnes Family