Wherever You Go

Here in Iowa, August and September are full of beginnings. In the past few weeks, everyone in our family has had some activity start up or re-start, including things like soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, dance, kids’ midweek groups at church, our family’s small group from church, and of course, school.

School for all of us is all home-based this year, from the 5 year old to the 15 year old, (okay, even the 1 year old will not be left out!) and we have the boxes to prove it! This is not even all of the boxes … 

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We’ve spent just over a week “in the books” now, and it feels like we’re getting some rhythms figured out together, but oh boy; we have a lot going on, and it’s bigger than those boxes of books. When I first opened the Instructor’s Guide that includes our Bible readings and memorization assignments, and saw the verses planned for Week One, I could hardly keep back the tears. It truly felt like Jesus Himself was there in the room, speaking right to my anxious heart – and I know of course He was and always is, but knowing and believing aren’t always the same, are they?

“This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9)

So where are we going? Well, maybe the people who put this curriculum together were thinking about how the beginning of a school year can feel daunting and even frightening; maybe they wanted to encourage us that as we travel through our studies together, our God is with us, even when we feel inadequate as teachers or students. All of that is certainly applicable for us, this year and every year. But maybe the Holy Spirit prompted those verses for other reasons, too. It is constantly amazing to me how Scripture, written thousands of years ago, to vastly different people in vastly different circumstances, also speaks right into the here and now of my own life.

Our family is beginning something besides the usual school and activities this fall: we are beginning a transition out of this small town Iowa life, where we have lived and grown for almost 14 years, as Ryan has pastored at Faith CRC in Pella … and into a life that so far still feels like more questions than answers, more vague ideas, map dots, and emailed pictures than anything else. We have been working with Resonate Global Mission towards Ryan’s appointment as a missionary in Jos, Nigeria, where he will be teaching at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, and it is now official! (Click on images to enlarge brochure)

It’s been a long and sometimes complicated and confusing process, but also one that keeps leading us to Jesus, as we continue to intentionally (and sometimes desperately) seek God, quietly listen for His voice, watch for His hand, and trust His timing to be more perfect than ours. We are, and will be, leaning hard into the promise that He will be with us, and in fact, even goes before us (Deuteronomy 31:8), wherever we go.

Before we do actually go, and over the next few months, our transition primarily means preparation, as we gather a network of prayer partners, build a team of financial support, and continue to ask the millions of questions that arise when considering moving a family of 9 across the ocean.

At this time, we are asking for prayer partners, maybe even as many as 200. Will you come with us in this way? Email Ryan at rfaber@crcna.org to receive our prayer letters to your inbox, and to share your own requests, so we can come to our Father for each other, together, no matter where we may be, or may go.

You can also message us with your contact information through the “Drop Us a Note” tab at the top of the blog. We’d love to hear from you!

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word.” (Colossians 4:2-3)