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Changing Times. Changing Plans. Unchanging God.

“The immutability of God is the unchangeableness of his essence, attributes, purposes and consciousness.”

“God’s immutability is his freedom from change and his being the same at all times past, present, and future. His creatures experience Him as unchanging in his relations to human beings and therefore perfectly worthy of trust.”

These two statements from theology books, highlight a quality of God that is always comforting, but especially right now. Have you ever seen our country change as much as it has over the past few months? Have your church’s plans, your own plans, your family’s plans ever been more uncertain than they are right now? We are truly creatures of habit. We love things to be consistent. We love to plan. There is nothing wrong with being diligent and preparing for the future, but let’s face it – planning in 2020 has become a really funny idea. It is so easy for me to become frustrated and anxious when plans change or when planning is completely futile because of all that is unknown. The temptation to despair when our country is changing is a real struggle.

However, the Bible has answers. Doesn’t it always? The craziness of 2020 is no surprise to the unchanging sovereign ruler of the universe. “For I am the Lord, I change not;” (Malachi 3:6) is about as clear as it gets. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Other attributes linked to God’s immutability would be that He is faithful, trustworthy, and steadfast.

Since October, we had been making plans to move in June. Once the virus hit, that was postponed. We received our work visas and made a new plan for Jonathan and me to move on 8/15 and Tiffany and Annie to come on 9/3 once they helped Abbie to get settled into college. Last week, that plan changed. Ha! Hong Kong recently placed the US on its list of high-risk nations relating to the coronavirus. Practically that means two things. 1) we all must be tested for COVID 72 hours prior to our departure for Hong Kong. We must have paperwork to prove that we’ve tested negative and paperwork to prove that where we were tested is an approved testing facility. 2) Once we arrive in Hong Kong, we can no longer quarantine with our Pastor and his family (our previous plan). We now have to quarantine at a hotel that is approved by the government. With all of the new requirements, it didn’t seem wise for us to travel separately. I just didn’t feel comfortable having Tiffany and Annie trying to navigate all of that on their own. So . . . DEPARTURE PLAN #3!

We are now scheduled to all leave together from Greenville on Thursday, September 3. Our tickets have been purchased (including the ticket for Jonathan’s cello) and our plans are set. But guess what? Those plans may change. Stay tuned. None of this surprises our unchanging God. He is never late. He is always on time. What an encouragement to leave our plans in His care and rest in His wisdom.

Joyfully Serving Him,

Recent Blessings

  • Crate packed and shipped: This 4x4x4 crate allowed us to send all the Majesty hymnals, Wilds songbooks, and several other boxes of music over to Hong Kong. With the amount of space that was leftover, I was able to send several boxes of my own personal books, some of Tiffany’s kitchen supplies, and many more things that we weren’t sure if we’d be able to pack. I also included a couple of items commemorating the Chiefs Super Bowl.  
  • Crate paid for: Just a few days ago I received word that our sending church – Berean Baptist, Lilburn, GA; Pastor Todd Sivnksty – had decided to pay for the cost of shipping the crate to Hong Kong. Praise the Lord! This was about an $800 cost that they covered out of their mission’s budget. A huge help for sure! 
  • Camp Supply Fund continuing to grow: We have now raised over $12,000 to help with the needs for running camps in Hong Kong. This will be used for outdoor sound equipment, devotional booklets, basketballs, soccer balls, travel expenses for staff, rental of facilities, other game equipment, portable basketball goals, portable soccer goals, and many other needs for running camp (coolers, tables, chairs, music stands, etc.). We are so excited to see this fund continuing to grow. Follow the link (at the bottom of the email) to our website if you would like to make a donation to help see this fund continue to grow. 
  • Successful total hip replacement surgery: 2 weeks ago today I came home from the hospital after having my left hip replaced. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and I have been given “two thumbs up” for the progress. I’m so thankful that the timing worked out for this to get done. Recovery is going better than I could have ever expected. Pray for Tiffany as she tries to keep me from doing too much too soon. Ha! 
  • New cello for Jonathan: Renting a cello in Hong Kong could have been fairly expensive so we started checking to see if we could get Jonathan his own cello before we moved to HK. As we have done with all of our children, Jonathan paid for part of it and we paid for part of it. Thankfully, we had quite a bit of rental credit built up that was also applied to the bill. This instrument (along with Annie’s viola) will be a wonderful help with the music at Island Baptist Church in Hong Kong.

Prayer Requests

  • Packing for our 9/3 departure 
  • Getting Abbie settled in at college at Maranatha. We will take her up there at the end of August. 
  • Raise the remaining needed monthly support. We are very close to being 100% supported. 
  • Island Baptist Church (Pastor Johnson) in Hong Kong. The church is back to having online services. 
  • Prayers for the camp in November – we are expecting close to 500 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. 
  • Sarah and Nathan starting back into school at BJU – Sarah has only 1 semester of student teaching left and Nathan has two semesters to complete his Bible degree.