Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I'm Not Going to America This Year

(This is somewhat off the normal topic of this blog—writing—but for those of you who want to read this post can. It's mostly about missions and writing conferences and stuff.)

Many of you might know of the ambition I had for this year—to go to the 2012 OYAN Summer Workshop in Kansas. That was partially what set the gears in motion to self-publish The War Horn. All throughout this year, I've been waiting and hoping that I could go.

By the time The War Horn was available to buy, I knew that making a plane ticket's worth of sales would take a miracle. And I was hoping that God would come through with a miracle. After all, He had risen people from the dead—it would be easy enough for Him to get me enough money for a plane ticket.

But it didn't happen. It's late April now, about two months until the Workshop. I haven't gotten enough money to pay for a tenth of the ticket. So my "Workshop or Bust!!" slogan has pretty much...busted.

There was a brief hope that I might be able to go if the entire family went to a family reunion in the late summer, but that, more or less, didn't turn out either.

So to summarize...I'm not going to the Workshop.

Strangely enough, I'm not really that sad about it.

Thing is, God has better plans than I do.

As a result of this ambition, I've gotten The War Horn published. And maybe that's why God gave me the idea of going to the Workshop in the first place. However, there's another reason why God, in His infinite wisdom, didn't let me go.

It's a complicated problem. Suffice it to say that going back to America this year might very well be dangerous.

Dangerous? How could going to America be dangerous?

One book we own on missions has a section about going back to the home country. According to that book, the eight-month line is the worst time to go back, because the first eight months are usually the hardest. And there's a temptation to go back, and stay there. Eight months is where you're almost finished adjusting, but you're still missing home.

And the eight month period is right where the Workshop 2012 falls.

I think the author is right on, too. Up until this point, I had been thinking like this:

"Maybe I can go back HOME this year."
"I can't wait until next Sunday, when I can eat AMERICAN food."
"I kind of miss AMERICA. I miss AMERICAN seasons."
"I miss my friends and family in AMERICA."
"I'm holding out until I can GO BACK."

Do you see the trend?

"Dangerous" is the right word for it. Because going back to America had, in a way, become an "escape" instead of a "visit".

Good thing that God is a lot wiser than I am.

Because, in His own way, He's kept me from going. He's kept me on the track. God's will for our family is here, in Liberia, in West Africa. And he's led me not into temptation—the temptation to go "home" and stay there, and thus thwart His will.

I'm adjusting now. The days have progressively gotten better. Culture shock gives me trouble still, but for the most part I'm meeting it head-on.

I need to stop thinking of home and make THIS home. This is where God has called us, and wherever He calls us to is home.

So that's why I'm not going into America this year. God has called us here, and He means to keep us here. We'll be visiting America, yes, but it'll be a visit, not an escape.

And one last thing...


Just sayin'. ^_^


Anonymous said...

Hey Jake! I'm proud of you, man. :-) It takes a lot of wisdom to recognize something like that. Have patience, and God will give you the strength to not only survive the next months, but to really experience them as well. :-)

Star-Dreamer said...

You're a very brave young man, Jake, and I'm proud of you too. :) It's sometimes hard to follow what God has in store for you, and it can be extremely difficult... I know I've found myself being impatient over things which I know I should just wait for because God has a plan in store and everything will work out in HIS time. I think the hardest part for us humans is the fact that we can't see past a day at a time... we don't know what he has in store for us, and being able to only count on one day and not what comes after that day can be extremely frustrating. But thank God for His ultimate wisdom! We just have to learn to rely on his sight instead of our own, and once we are able to do that, perhaps then we will be a little closer to being satisfied to totally rely on him.

Michelle said...

I am SO proud of you Jake! As much as I wish you could be here for a visit, may it be in HIS time, and until then may He hold you in the palm of His hand. May you continue to live as you are, coram Deo*

"This phrase literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God." R.C. Sproul

Isaac Permann said...

Wow, Jake, you are very mature! Not many people your age (or even older than you) would have that perspective on the situation! Nice going.


Hannah Joy said...

Awesome Jake! This is really inspirational. I mean, I'm not in a different country or anything, but it is inspiring me to watch out for God's plan and let it work around me. Thanks! And...well, keep on, my friend! Keep doing what you do best. :-)

Clair~ said...

Oh, that is so very true. I'm sad for you that you didn't get to go to the workshop, but I'm also happy that you are at peace with that.

I've been in Africa my whole life, but I still struggle with that mentality of "when can I next go HOME?" Truth be told, my home is right here, and I think I'm going to find that out next year when I go to the States for college.

You're displaying a wonderful attitude about everything life throws at you, however. Stay strong in God :0

Elizabeth L.W. said...

Wow Jake, your attitude is so cool! Keep it up! God's got some great plans for you!

Ninja Tim said...

Well said, Jake. Much respect for your clear perspective and drive to live according to God's design.

And hey, technically Liberia is also only a visit, or a temporary home, for you. A heavenly city awaits, does it not?