Friday, October 16, 2009

MAJOR changes for us...

Wow. I hardly know where to begin. Life has taken a very dramatic and interesting turn in the last few days so I'll do my best to fill you in. But first, I'll give you some quick background information, just to get you up to speed, so that this all makes a little more sense. :)

Jon and I have been in deep discussion for quite some time now, regarding where we should go with our lives, and trying to get a sense of where/what God is calling us to do. Jon has personally felt a strong call to Missions for a long time, but I, on the other hand, have not. And because of this impasse, we've both been feeling quite discouraged. Its not easy when you don't have the same vision as your spouse. I will admit that I've actually been extremely 'close-minded' to missions work, and adding Callie to the mix, had made me even more stuck in my ways in relation to this topic. The thought of being away from family & friends just didn't appeal to me.

But on Tuesday morning, I got a call from a man by the name of Sam Dick @ MBMS International. I knew of him, because he had spoken at our church a few months back, but I was certain that neither Jon or I had met him personally. So obviously, this phone call came as a surprise to me. He quickly explained that he had been given our names by Ricky & Karen Sanchez (full-time missionaries, whom Jon worked with on a missions trip with Bethany College years ago). They were asking Jon and I to join a small team of people on a 'vision' trip to Thailand, along with 2-3 other couples, to see what God is doing in Thailand, and to explore their vision for the next 10 years of missions there.

Now here is the interesting part. As soon as Sam explained what the call was about, I had an instant sense that this was, #1) NOT a coincidence, and #2) something we should definitely do. The fact that his call was so 'out of the blue' and, dealt with something so dear to Jon's heart, made it clear to me that God was trying to get a message across.

After speaking with Sam, I lay down on our bed and smiled at how surprisingly willing I felt to jump at this opportunity. It surprised me, and made it obvious that God has been slowly working away at my hardened heart, maybe even without me realizing it. :)

Just as I suspected, Jon was elated about the opportunity to go to Thailand and was even moved to tears at how timely this felt. He said it was exactly what he had needed to hear right now.

So here's where the REALLY amazing part comes in, in regards to God's hand moving in this situation. On Tuesday night, we received the official invitation email from Sam, listing the goals of the trip, the financial cost of it and the deadlines for all of these things. Because the trip is scheduled for Dec. 8-19 (a mere 7 weeks away!), we had to have our decision in to him no later than Tuesday, Oct. 20 and with that, a deposit of $500 in order to secure our spot.

Secondly, and definitely the biggest 'hurdle,' was the financial side to this trip. All our funds would need to be in by Nov 1 in order for them to secure plane tickets, etc., which meant we only had 2.5 weeks to come up with the money. Not a lot of time, even if we DID have the money, but because we DON'T, it felt far more daunting! So... 2.5 weeks to come up with just shy of $5,000. Yikes.

As soon as I told Jon what the trip was going to cost, he instantly looked defeated. But something inside of me felt fully confident that if this was indeed meant to be (which it felt like it was), then God would supply the funds. I pointed out to Jon that, yes... $5,000 was absolutely impossible for us, but to God... that was no big deal.

So we immediately started praying and decided that the funds would be our "fleece." If God wanted us to go on this trip, then we would need him to work a miracle for us, and come up with the money in time. Both Jon and I sent out an email to our closest friends, explaining the situation, and asking them to pray for us.

Well, within 1 hour of sending out the email, some of our closest friends sent an email back, saying that they wanted to bless us & provide the full deposit we needed! Both Jon and I started to cry. Wow! God was already at work.

So now we had a big decision to make. Should we wait until the rest of the funds came in and then commit to the trip? Or should we take a huge leap of faith (only having the deposit side of the funds) and say yes to the trip, trusting that somehow, God would take care of the rest? After a quick discussion, we agreed that God was calling us out of our comfort zone and wanting us to just FULLY trust him.

Wednesday morning came, and I quickly emailed Sam to let him know that we would commit to the trip. And as scary as it was to take this leap of faith, both Jon and I felt truly honoured to get to be a part of this kind of faith-stretching experience, even if nothing ever came of it.

To make a long story short... God provided the rest of the money by the end of Wednesday night! No joke. Just like that... God worked a miracle and blessed us by the generosity of some incredible people. Proving, as he always does, that when He wants something to happen, NOTHING can stand in His way!

So, with that being said, we feel extremely excited at this opportunity, as well as completely terrified. :) Its definitely scary to think of taking a 5 month old on the 2nd longest plane ride in the world, and trying to be involved over there with a little one in tow. But we're excited at the thought & feeling of being right in the pocket of God's will.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for us as we step out on this adventure! If you'd like to know more about our trip, or hear of specific things we could use prayer for, please feel free to email us or send us a message on Facebook! We truly do covet your prayers and know that none of this can be done without God's guidance & leading. Thank-you for your support! We'll do our best to keep you updated. :)


Anonymous said...

Wow Bonnie!! That is an amazing story!! God is so good!! My prayers will be with you guys as you dive headfirst into a strange and exciting new world! I'm sure you will be a blessing to so many people who have never heard the Word of God!!

Denita said...

Wow that's amazing Bonnie! Good for a fleece skeptic such as myself to read. Love you!

Erich, Naomi, Konrad, Ava and Calvin said...

You know we are always praying for you guys and ready to support you in any way you need and we are totally pumped for you!

Jen Glen said...

When Craig told me as I was blown away by the generosity of your friends. You obviously have people surrounding you that not only believe in missions, but in you two as well. Can't wait to see where the journey leads you.

Anonymous said...

SO EXCITING! This is incredible huh? I bet you guys are so super pumped. Can't wait to hear the stories and see the pics! xx

Nini said...

SO pleased for you guys! What an amazing testimony to being open and available to what God is calling you guys to do! Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back!!

Sally said...

Very cool Bonnie B. Very, very cool. It's exciting when God gets all up in things isn't it?

Kristy said...

We are so excited for you guys. Please add us to your email so that we can pray for you guys and get updates on how to do so!


Kristy said...
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Lisa said...

Well this is pretty awesome all around. I am not surprised that Ricky was the one to recommend/inquire about Jon. That makes me smile. Many blessings to you from the Brauns,