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Changing Times, Changing Plans, Unchanging God – Part 2

Many of you have been praying with us regarding our travel plans. After getting counsel from my pastor in Hong Kong (Pastor Johnson) and the rest of the board of Hope Ministries International, we have decided to remain in the US until after Nathan’s wedding in June. Our original plan was to head back on January 13, but I tested positive for covid. We then tried to fly out this past Monday, but our paperwork was denied. In speaking with airline personnel, we believe there is a real possibility we could be denied multiple times. This was a really gut-wrenching decision because our desire is to be back in Hong Kong to serve where God has called us, but we feel this to be the best way to wisely steward our time and resources (cost of more covid tests, flights, 3-week hotel stay, etc.) in these uncertain times. Island Baptist Church is still not able to meet in person so we will continue to be involved with our Sunday online services, Wednesday night zoom Bible study, and Friday night zoom youth Bible study.

Here in the US, we are hoping to be able to minister and visit with several of our supporting churches and several other churches that have expressed interest in partnering with us. I’m sure there will be other opportunities to consider as well.

Thank you for your continued prayers. We are not alone in having to make tough ministry calls during this time. Almost every missionary, pastor, church, and camp is going through the same thing. It is a privilege to be able to rejoice in a sovereign God Who has it all in His control. “What God Ordains is Always Good!”

I originally wrote the above title and the words below for an email update on July 2020. These truths are still every bit as applicable on February 2021.

“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 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 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 changing. The temptation to despair is a real struggle.