We are so thrilled to be on this fund raising journey for Mercy Branch, and it has been awesome to see all the ways God has provided in the midst of this journey. It has been humbling to see the ways that God has moved people to come alongside us on this journey. Having said all that, our lives here continue to plod on. Still 15 hour shifts, still soccer games, plenty of school, lots of paperwork, etcetera, etcetera.

One of the things I have been struck by as we move ever closer to our adventure in Ethiopia is that God also has a plan for my life right here and now. So while most of my focus has been on then and there, I have also begun to reengage the here and now. In that, this is what I have discovered:

  1. I am infectiously and probably obnoxiously excited about what God has called our family to do. I have been engaging the people I work with about their story, asking them what is going on with their life, etc. In the process I have learned fascinating things, but have to fight the desire to say…. My turn, my turn… check out what God is calling me to!
  2. Living in a new culture will be awesome and probably more challenging than I am giving it credit. Several of my coworkers are from other countries and have talked me through the hurdles of coming here. I could write for days about their stories, they are fascinating, but they are their stories and I will leave them at that.
  3. People everywhere are bearing huge burdens. Some of the individuals I am working with have children or relatives with special needs. One person is going to college to study congenital disorders to try and find a cure for the many people in her life that are impacted by these disorders.
  4. Following Jesus and going to church is as confusing a venture as ever. I talked with several people who are culturally Christian, attend church, are seen as success stories, but simply do not follow Jesus, or see any need to. (This is not me saying this judgmentally, but rather what they were saying.) It is very challenging to help them understand the distinction between “Christianity” that goes to church and decides what is good for their situation and “Following Jesus” that says I submit to whatever God calls me to, even if it doesn’t make sense to me.

It has been really healthy for me to see all this, and especially as I look to Mercy Branch, it is important that we do not become blind to our objectives and lose sight of what is right before us. People whom God has put in our path for us to impact RIGHT NOW.

Will you pray with me that God will use me in my current role? Will you pray that I would be focused both on here and now and then and there? I will be praying for your here and nows.


  1. Comment by Bethany

    Bethany October 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Well written, Jim. I too lose focus of the here and now and look to the future. It is hard for me to remember to be intentional today at this moment. The truth is we aren’t promised tomorrow so we have to live for the here and now. I am with you on this, praying for you. :)

    • Comment by Jim

      Jim October 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you Bethany, We love you guys!

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