(written by Ben)
Hello again friends.
While all the challenges are real, those of you who know us well understand the irony of my statement about what lies ahead. Mary and I absolutely love adventure and are eager to jump into the great plan laid out for us with the Yamano people. So I state simply: the time has come.
We are finalizing our budget with Word Made Flesh well below what we originally planned for two reasons: First and foremost, our prayer for an answer about when to leave was answered overnight in not one but THREE conversations: I've given you what you need, Go! Each talk was with Christians who didn’t know one another and whose faith we trusted. Needless to say, we heard a message loud and clear. In talking with our team, we have encountered no good reasons to pause. This is great news. It means that our understanding of what we were told is clear, that we have enough, that God is commanding us to trust Him for the unknown quantities, and that we have the support of our community and our leaders. It is with a sense of great relief I can say “We are certain of our path”.
The details look like this: We will be going to PNG for about a year. After this first term we will revisit the 5 year project manager contract with Word Made Flesh. Our actual expenses are quite small and we will be performing the due diligence to fit what we need into about $1000 a month. There will be little room for extras, as has been our template in all things from Him. We plan on adding things like a retirement, life insurance, and project costs as secondary expenses later when we have better established what we will be doing in Baku village with the Yamano people. Our leave date hinges on a few hurdles: first, our work permits must be approved, visas will be issued contingent upon the work permits, and then we have to line up plane tickets. Given past experience, God has made a track record of rushing so I expect nothing less than a miraculous turnaround on our applications.
Allow me to encourage you as you read this: your prayers have been heard and answered in intricate detail beyond even what my prying and study have found. It is a great thing that we all serve the same God who is capable of coordinating fractious people like us.
In other news, I (Benjamin) have discovered a hernia and been scheduled for surgery on the 7th of April. This has been a terrifying moment for me and constitutes my greatest fear. I was wracked with tear-wrenching doubt about my ability to provide for Mary and Joya on that discovery. I was able to control my thoughts, yet I was still afraid. I made sure to declare my surrender to God’s will, whether He would heal me or no. And though I did my best to let go this last part of me that I held sacred, I was still afraid.
But God was there too: Mary was able to seamlessly transition with me to switch roles. Orders at the farm were strong the last few weeks which allowed her to work as much as she wanted. In fact, between feeding Joya at night and working during the day she got more than she expected. Not only that, but we both found a new appreciation for what the other person does all day. I also do not feel so useless since now I can keep busy and do something meaningful. God also allowed me to get seen, diagnosed, scanned and scheduled for surgery in very short order. This was a relief from potential weeks of dead wait time.
Moving forward, I will have several months of recovery time, some of which I will be doing in PNG. Please keep me in your prayers for a speedy recovery, not because I hold sacred the wholeness of my body or even because I doubt my ability to serve God with less than a complete body. Pray because I want to show the world that God can work in this too. Pray because He knows our fears and comforts us with His plans.
May God bless and keep you, may He make His presence felt to you in dark places, may His sword stand ready over you and His shield protect you. Do all He commands you and do not fear; the God who made the earth and heaven delights in you.
In His Grace,
The Grimm Clan