Who We Are. Why We Go.

val-yoder-familyval-yoder-familyWithin six months after our family’s visit to Asia in 2000; a missionary, a missionary’s mother, a mission board member, and a mission director all inquired whether we would be willing to move to Asia. Our enjoyment of administrating and teaching at the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute and the dilemma of Krystal’s health made the inquiries seem implausible, but it did strike a chord within us.

At first, our family had quite an assortment of feelings about this potential ranging from enthusiastic excitement to “I hope this will blow over” reluctance. God confirmed to me as a father that if we were called to go, the timing would be confirmed by all family members being ready and willing to go. Krystal encouraged me to seek the will of the Lord through the Scriptures. The following morning, as I read in my daily devotional time, the words of Genesis 12:1 leapt out to me. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee . . .” This became a confirming “word” from the Lord.

Then came Krystal’s first heart episode in January of 2004. This brought new questions. Had we heard right? Was God testing us by hearing what we thought was a call or by this medical trauma? Which was more directive? Krystal’s recuperation and seemingly good health in the year that followed gave us confidence that we could again plan for going to Asia with IGo though the departure date was pushed back a year.

Only God fully understands all the implications of that delay. It provided the time in which Krystal and all our family members became foundationally convinced that God was calling us to Thailand. It also gave us time to prepare, which we would have felt the sore lack of, had we gone according to the previous schedule.

Then came the biggest blow to our calling. Krystal was taken to her eternal home. Questions and more questions tested the peace we had previously felt in going. In family discussion immediately after her funeral, I asked the children if they still felt that we should go. Their immediate response was summarized by one who said, “God wanted us to go, Mom wanted us to go, and Satan seems to be against us going, so let’s go.”

We feel weak but He is strong. We feel dubious but He is certain. We go in His strength, not our own. We covet your prayers as we anxiously anticipate our coming departure.

By Val Yoder, IGo Administrator (I Witness News/Fall 2006)

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