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Vision and Reality

A few days ago, I sent out my newsletter which spoke about how God directed my path to Donetsk instead of a couple of other places.  One place that my supervisor and I talked about would have been in a country where I believe life would have been a little easier.  Also, there would have been many more “creature comforts.”

Being a human that has spent 10 years of my life in the former Soviet Union and the difficulties that we face here, I must admit that I was quickly drawn to that country.  I did a lot of research on the state of the church there, read lots of information about the country and liked what I read.  However, my heart kept pulling me back to consider Ukraine.

Ukraine was not my first choice.  Matter of fact, I really didn’t want to return to Ukraine.  But, yet God continued to speak to my heart.  This past Tuesday, in my quiet time, I read these words in My Utmost… “God gives us a vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way.  Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.”

Those who know me know I struggle with patience.  I always have.  “I want patience and I want it know!” is my battle cry!

During those couple of months when I was struggling with a decision, I felt just like what Chambers wrote.  “..He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision…”  It was a difficult decision to return to Ukraine and move to Donetsk.  I wanted to serve on a team and really didn’t want to live in a city where I was the only IMB person.  Yet, the Lord gently and lovingly, kept tugging on my heart.

Eventually, I knew it wasn’t the Lord’s will for me to move to the other country.  So, I began focusing on Ukraine and the two possibilities I was presented with.  One possibility was to move to Crimea and live in Simferopol.  Beach reach danced in my head and tugged at my heart.  Yet, my attention was turned to Donetsk and the more than 1 million people in the city and it being the most populated, least reached area of the country.

Ultimately, I knew it was the only decision to make and the right one.

Chambers continues “Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision.”  Well, that remains to be seen in my case, but I do hope that as I prepare to move next week to Donetsk, that my heart and head will listen to the voice of God and that He will direct my steps.  That is when His vision will become my reality.

Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    Life is a journey and I fear you have yet to reach the other side of this valley. You are not alone pilgrim…

  2. Don and Diane says:

    May your way be blessed as you launch out in His service in the Donbass region. For such a time as this God has called you to this part of the world to make an eternal difference in the lives of others, one heart at a time.

  3. Isn’t it interesting that His vision has returned you to the area of the country of Ukraine where your journey as a m_ssion_ry began years ago! I’m looking forward to seeing Him continue to mold and shape you into His vision, believing it won’t take Him nearly as long to shape you as it is taking Him to shape me! Blessings, my brother!

  4. Shannon… not sure that your comment brings comfort… but I understand what you mean.
    Don and Diane… sorry I missed your call. Don, bass are biting! Come join me!
    Linda: It is very interesting indeed. Chambers has really been speaking to me this week as has the Word!

  5. Joe: Thanks for sharing your process of discovery and your heart. I know God will bless you and use you no matter where you land because you are seeking Him in all things. Praying!

  6. praying for you traveler. praying that He takes you from spring to spring. love ya!

  7. Thank you Scott! Come see me and practice your Russian!!! 🙂

  8. Claressa Rustin from MS says:

    Our whole life is learning and preparing to answer God’s call to contribute to his plan, not ours. Sometimes that means re-visiting a place or person that is not to our liking; God loves the lost and saved, rich and poor, ugly and beautiful and so he sends people like YOU, Joe to tell others of his loving Grace and HOPE they too can have. Thank God, YOU answered HIS call.

  9. Rebecca Juarez says:

    Joe,

    Thank you for your help in contacting some very loving people. Hope for great things to come.

    Again, Thank you so much. Like my grandmother would say – Que Dios te lo pague (May the Lord repay you:)

  10. What an example of a faithful follower you are Joe! Making such a major decision about something when you’re torn is so hard but God will be blessing you so much for being faithful and true. I can’t wait to hear all about it over the coming year. He had such big plans for you! Thanks for sharing your heart, as always you are an inspiration and a joy.

  11. Thank you for your words Ginny. We are on a journey…

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