Monday, December 16, 2013

Living By Faith

"Now Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see"  Heb. 11:1

As we begin to take some concrete steps to begin our journey to South Sudan faith has taken on a whole new depth.  There are so many things that seemed to be insurmountable tasks that now seem completely workable.

We have begun working a Rosetta Stone course for Arabic and I can actually see myself beginning to get it.  It is going to take time and patience, but it is not as hard as once believed.

I have been meeting with pastors and there is a real interest in small churches here in northeast Missouri for what the Lord is doing a half a world away.

I believe we are going to make our September departure date, if not sooner. We are seeing the Lord give us a peace and encouragement that can only come from Him.  Ruth is telling everyone that we are retiring to South Sudan.

Living believing something that seems so out of the norm can be hard sometimes.  There are those that discourage you by words or deeds. Sometimes it comes from the most unexpected sources, but people are people.

Prayer has become very important to our effort.  It is only by the power of the Lord that this is going to happen.  Thanks to all of those praying for us, please continue.

There has been a passage rolling through my mind for a while now.  In Esther Mordecai says to Esther "Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this".  To be involved in a plan that has been in the works since the foundation of the earth, and now is your time.  It is hard to comprehend the love that the Father has for each one of us to allow us to have that kind of impact on the world.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Change is a constant part of life.

Change is something that we all deal with on a regular basis.  Some change brings get joy other times it can bring great fear.  There are times however when it can bring both.  As of the 25th of last month I am no longer employed by the American Red Cross.  It was a mutual decision and I will still be volunteering for the Red Cross because they are an organization that is doing great work in times of great suffering.  However the Lord has shown me that it is time to set my face toward South Sudan.

It is our goal be be leaving our home in Missouri and moving to Malakal in the Republic of South Sudan next September.  In order to accomplish this there is much to be done.  We need a prayer team to support us with prayer while we are there.  I said before this change has brought get joy and fear, I must admit, there is great fear that could be derived from this change.  But the Lord is in control and I cannot see what is coming but I must trust in Him.  Fear is not something we are supposed to put a lot of time into, but at times it can work it's way into your mind and dig in.  We need a really strong prayer team.

We also need to raise the needed financial support.  Partnering with us to minister to the Sudanese people is honoring to God and to one another.  Jesus when told his brothers and mother were outside said " Who are are mother and my brothers?  Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother. Mark 3: 34, 35

If we really believe the words of Jesus Christ, then those Sudanese are our brothers and sisters and they are asking for our help.  Partnering with us financially is not just supporting two people to go overseas.  SIM is doing water projects, clinics, schools and many other things and while they are all necessary, they are also spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pray for us, join with us financially and to God be the glory.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greetings one and all!

Things are finally beginning to come together.  We have houseparents hired for Genesis House of NE Missouri, Eric is off to college and we can now begin to focus on getting the support raised in order for us to get to South Sudan. \

Ruth and I just took a two and a half week road trip to do two things; first we were visiting a whole group of old friends and was able to share the calling that the Lord has placed on our lives of going to South Sudan.  Second we were able to haul the rest of our daughter Stacy's things to Seattle after a year of hoping to get it out to her.

We had an outstanding time and the Lord reaffirmed at every stop that we need to go so here we go.  Our final stop was a the church in Athol Id that both Ruth and I came to know the Lord in.  This was a very special time that I had been looking forward to for a very long time.  The Bible tells us that one plants, another waters and yet it is God who gives the growth.  I wanted the folks that had shown so much love to us in the very beginning to see the harvest that their planting had yielded.

We were also able to stop and visit some of the young women that had lived with us in Genesis House in WI.  It never fails to amaze me that the babies we saw born there are now young adults.  God is so great.  We will be heading back to WI in Oct. to speak at Faith Chapel were we attending church while I was attending Moody.  Again it is going to be a time of great fellowship with some old friends.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ok, I really need update this more often.  It has been a really busy time.  My mother was hospitalized in the middle of January with  a kidney infection and ended up going home to be with the Lord on January 22.  It  was a  bittersweet time. She was almost 87 and wanted to go home.  We were all able to be there with her before she went and she was more than ready.

We also got our video finished. You can see it here.  We would love to come and talk with you about all the great things the Lord is doing in South Sudan through SIM and the many partners that are working to rebuild a nation.

We just got back from our first road trip to Wisconsin.  It was a great time reconnecting with some old friends and we were able to share our heart for the people of South Sudan.  Lord willing, we will be setting up some group presentations in the coming months as a result of these meetings.

Please pray that we will find the time to get the many things done that we need to in order to be ready in the Lord's time.

Deane and Ruth Valkenaar