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Pondering Thoughts

Today, this morning actually, we had a scheduled meeting online with concerned leaders within TeachBeyond about the business plan for the new opening Sanctuary in England. In thinking back when we were starting our long term vision for a Hospitality and Member Care Centre and doing much of it on our own, there were times when we felt the weight of the decisions we were making. This time we have many of the same feeling and experiences and some of the weight is being shared by our mission leadership. It is true, that when we were starting Sanctuary we had the support of a key colleague who went to bat for us as needed and worked to get what we needed in order to move the concept to Hospitality and Member Care Center to gain traction.

In the here and now we still have our key colleague who works to help us make the new location of Sanctuary to become a reality. In addition, this time we have two other key colleagues who are working and thinking about the details of ‘Business Plan’ in order to help assure that the work that we feel so good about doing will work in a successful way. It is good and very helpful to have other minds, those that are analytical and good with crunching numbers to weigh the ‘what if’ and the ‘how things should be’ ideas in order to think through the inner working in a new place before things really get going. Because we have colleagues who are working to think thoroughly about the reality of how things should look to ensure that the start of Sanctuary makes sense not only in concept but in financial reality.

These realities sometimes like today when we discussed them, can get in the ‘face’ of the faith that we have been confidently putting forward as the way the Lord has been leading us. What place does judicial planning have in the world of faith in believing God knows the way forward and will work the details out. It is true that many times we can have a lot of optimism about what we see, what we feel, what we think the Lord is planning to do through our willingness to do the work which we are convinced that He has given our ability for. This kind of discussion with colleagues who want to see Sanctuary succeed is refreshing on the one hand and on the other tends to be stressful. It is stressful because there are then others who are sharing the vision and therefore others with ideas on how to pave the road to success.

This paving the road to success is a good way to move forward. It is also reassuring to Mary and I as we work with colleagues who are listening to our Lord in the discussions and plans that we are having and making. In my devotions this past week I was reminded of the verse in Proverbs 19:21 where I have been reading from the Message which states the verse as follows: “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but GOD’S purpose prevails.” We are fortunate to have colleagues who brainstorm and make plans AND who want to include GOD in the discussion and to listen to hear what HE wants and how HE wants Sanctuary to get started in England.

Again in my reading in Proverbs 20:18 (Message) the wisdom is: “Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.” When we think about it, this is exactly what we have been dong with the thoughtful counsel of our leadership colleagues as they all pour their expertise and knowledge and ideas into Sanctuary in order that what is planned will work in a way that – as far a planning goes >> will help ensure that success in the start of Sanctuary in England will start and continue on the ‘right foot’. Proverbs 21:5a (Message) goes further by saying “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run,”. It has been these verses and time to think while walking in the snow here in Kelowna and up small hills that have given time to reflect on the realities of wise counsel and the thoughts that they are trying to help Sanctuary achieve a success from the start – that this is the message that we need to take from these discussions.

Sometimes it is difficult for Mary and I to hear the realities of detail and careful planning as it confronts the optimistic faith that we have towards the start of Sanctuary in England. This is the reality of pioneering, again, to help make a real need in missions today a reality in the location that we all sense the Lord is leading us to make it happen. In a real way today, we have been fortunate to have the care and help of colleagues who want the best for us and to see Sanctuary succeed because they know how it helps missionaries and Christians who need a place of refuge, refreshment, in order to be revitalized to get back to what God wants them to do. Mary and I are excited that we continue to sense that the LORD wants us to continue in the direction of getting Sanctuary established in the new location of Horsham, England. We are grateful that concerned colleagues are working with us to crunch the numbers and help us to make the plan as real and useful as possible to insure a better foundation for success in the future. We all need to take to heart what Proverbs 21:31 (Message) says, “Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust GOD to bring victory.”

This reminds me of the Psalm that the Lord has encouraged us with when we first were reacquainted with the Psalm in starting Sanctuary in our last location. Psalm 100 (Message)

“On your feet how – applaud GOD!

Bring a gift of laughter,

Sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this, GOD is God, and God, GOD.

He made us, we didn’t make him.

We’re his people, his well tended sheep.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”

Make yourselves at home, talking praise.

Thank him, Worship him.

For GOD is sheer beauty,

all generous in love,

loyal always and ever.”

We invite you to pray with us and our leadership colleagues as we venture to plan to succeed in bringing a success beginning to a new chapter in Sanctuary being a blessing to missionaries in Horsham, England.

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