Sunday, July 29, 2012

Packing Up and Moving Out

We are officially in the last days of our current assignment with the Nazarene Border Initiative and Youth In Mission.  A rush of varied emotions sweeps over us as we prepare for this new road that the Lord is taking us down.  From finding a new home for our dogs to handing over our responsibilities in our current ministry and from saying goodbye to dear friends to carefully sorting and packing our house, we have experienced it all.  We will miss our lives here in El Paso, but will cling to the stories of God's faithfulness that we could never forget.  At the same time, we look forward to new challenges and the opportunity to prove the faithfulness of the Lord a thousand times over.

No, I couldn't lift them all at the same time!
I (Gavin) had the amazing opportunity of spending three weeks in Africa this July.  After a short weekend visit with some missionaries in Rwanda, I was able to participate in the Church of the Nazarene's Mission Immersion event in Nairobi Kenya.  On the campus of Africa Nazarene University, a crew of 40+ high school students with a passion for ministry assembled with a team of sponsors and missionaries to guide them through an amazing experience.  As the students walked the streets of some of the largest slums in the world, they saw that the Church was alive and well in even those places.  As they served in a variety of ministries, they learned what it meant to love and have solidarity with those who they have never met.  And as they reflected on the experiences of those who have gone before them, they discovered power of God's narrative present in their lives and visible in the of the world.  It was an amazing blessing to be a part of this amazing event.

As I stepped off the plane onto the ground in Kenya, and again in Rwanda the next morning, two questions came to my mind.  First, "Are they still using stairs instead of a jetway here?" And second, "Has it really been nine years since I last stepped foot on African soil?"  Indeed both were true.  Over the next three weeks, I would experience a flood of emotions and a burden for the amazing, loving, and diverse people who fill the continent.  One thing is for sure, I am certain that Africa is where the Lord wants us.

Shortly after arriving home in El Paso, TX our Youth In Mission teams began to return from their two month assignments in England, Madagascar, and India.  As we suffered jet lag together, they began to tell the stories of their experiences and give testimony to what God is doing throughout the world.  It is a privilege to serve a God who is all powerful and who is present throughout the entire face of the earth, and yet chooses to use us to accomplish his purposes.  In just a few short hours, our YIM students will depart from our re-entry camp and head home, reinvigorated with the stories of God's faithfulness and empowered to continue on serving their creator.  As they go, they will mark the closing of the door on our 10 year history with YIM.  We owe so much to this program and we have learned a vast wealth from our time as participants and leaders of this ministry.

A month from now, we will be settling in to our transitional home in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.  Macy will be starting kindergarten and find herself immersed in the world of French.  Jill and I will be preparing to begin language study; returning to communication as children, babies learning their first words and frustrated by their inability to communicate.  It will probably take Connor more than a week to realize that his baby sitter is speaking French in place of the English.  But we know that learning French will be vital if we hope to communicate with our brothers and sisters on the Africa Middle Field and that the Lord with guide us.  Please continue to pray for us during this amazing time.


  1. Gavin and Jill,
    Anthony and I fervently take your names to God for protection, endurance, blessing and passion for the Call. Thank you for serving.

    The Moore Family

  2. Well, it wouldn't be bad if you went back to El Paso every once in a while, I guess. :) My grandmother is also a pilgrim, Gavin. I accompany her sometimes, whenever she wants me to. I haven't been to Kenya, but I might consider it as one of our destinations on our next RV trip.

    Dominic Ly