Sunday, November 13, 2016

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Kerrville, Texas
Howdy Ya'll!

After almost seven years of work here in Indonesia, we have decided to take a year furlough from June 2017- July 2018.  
This decision did not come easy - it was covered in quite a bit of prayer.  We knew coming back to America sounded great but the logistics seemed too hard.  So we started praying and waiting for His answer.  We sold everything to come - we have very few keepsakes left - no house, no furniture, no car, etc.  The idea of purchasing things for just one year did not seem to be a feasible plan.  So we waited and prayed, prayed and waited.  Along the way some other opportunities arose that seemed like a good alternative plan - but we continued to wait and pray.
We started contacting different places and asking questions, sending emails, waiting, and praying.
During August we received an email from a missionary resource that said, "We may have a house for you."  We gathered the required paperwork, mailed it in, waited, and you guessed it...prayed.  
Over the summer we had contacted a few missionary organizations about a car - waited..prayed.
In October we heard from a church in Kerrville, TX.  They invited us to use their missionary home for the year.  It is furnished, with essentials and ready for us in June.  PRAISE GOD!  One prayer answered.  We still waited to make a final decision - there were a few things stirring and we were just not sure yet where things would end up.  So we prayed, "God, show us the way."  A few weeks later a missionary organization contacted us and said, "We have a car for you for the year you are back."  PRAISE GOD!  
It was all seeming pretty clear when we then received an email from a private Christian school in Kerrville that said, "We would love to have your son join us next year."  How can we not PRAISE GOD!
We made our decision, turned in our paperwork to the school, and now just need to work towards preparing ourselves and our home here for us to come and be Texan again for a year.
Kerrville is a small, quaint town in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.  Similar to Bandung here, it is a bit cooler and beautiful.  The Guadalupe river runs right through the town and it is surrounded by parks and woods.  



We are truly blessed by those who provide for missionaries on furlough.  What a beautiful ministry.  We, in a fun twist of events, will be right in the same area where we met, fell in love, and were married.


A little back to our roots.  A chance to show the kids where we started and some of our favorite places.  A chance to renew and refresh.  A church that will feed us spiritually in a way we have not been able to experience in our time here.  A chance to eat cheese... :)
This is also a chance to be back on the same side of the world with ALL of our children.  An opportunity for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - all together again hopefully.  
We are so grateful for this opportunity.  We are grateful for the prayers that have sustained us over the last seven years.  Thank you to all of you who have been faithful prayer warriors on our behalf.  


https://www.nics.org/donate/form/

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

God is Always Faithful to Answer Prayer - Even When I Became Discouraged

Dear Friends & Family,


It is with great joy and jubilation that we are able to share with you some wonderful news.  After almost six years of prayer - God has answered our prayer of making our home church legal.  

It's official...the International Church in Kota Baru has its government paperwork! Now for phase two: A church board, governance, finances, full time pastor (s), building, etc, etc, etc...He is building this flock through so many here now and over the last 5-6 years here...thank you for worshiping with us and building "The CommUNITY"!

As we sat in the service at a church in Jakarta, Paula kept fighting back tears. As we walked out we looked at each other in sheer amazement of how big our God is! All legal channels were blocked in this community - but the love and care of an Indonesian church hours away has enabled us to be a legal English speaking church in Bandung.

Let us say that again - An INDONESIAN church in Indonesia has now legally planted an ENGLISH church for expats. It is ironic how it works. We came all of this way to be missionaries - and the local church is ministering and serving us.

Join us in prayers and songs of thanksgiving!

Blessings in Christ!





Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now.....

Welcome to November!

I remember the days of a chill in the air.  Getting out my sweaters.  Gathering with family.  Cooking turkey ad other comfort food.  Being thankful.  Hunting season.

Now...decision month.

Each year around November 1 all of the staff here receive their invitation to return letters.  We all then have until December 1 to let our administration know if we intend to return for the following school year.  This date does not come as a surprise - we all know it is coming - but the month of November is no less intense and emotional.  Everything gets in the way - emotions, stress, exhaustion, friendships, family, students.  All good things - but they can cloud the real issue:

What is God calling me to?  Where does He want me to serve Him?

Please pray for our entire staff as we all begin this month.



Monday, September 19, 2016

CommUnity

Dear Friends,

We often speak about our personal lives and our spiritual journeys.  Today, however, we wanted to ask your prayer as we highlight a ministry.
Six years ago we started seeing the need for an English speaking church in our area.  After a few attempts at the school, we started meeting in our garage.  The core group shifted and changed but steadily continued and started to grow.
Today as we sat in a large circle in our backyard we felt a tremendous joy of the work that God has done with our home fellowship.  There are some weeks of 20 people but now many of about 40.  Today as we sat and joined each other in praises to our King - we could only smile.
We are still in the back yard.  No license and no building.  But we ARE here.  Praising God in this land.  Seeing seeds sewn here in this fertile earth.
Those of you who have supported us financially and through prayer - this is your seeds of faith.
Thank you for your love and faithfulness.






Friday, August 12, 2016

The Beginning of Year 7

It is hard to think that we have been here going into 7 years now.  When we came we were a family of six, after two graduations - Reba is now headed into her senior year.  I wasn't ready for Andrew to graduate and now he is 23, I wasn't ready for Tori to graduate and she is entering her sophomore year, and I am certainly not ready for Reba to graduate.
The college applications have begun anyway - whether I am ready or not.  Parents often say that raising toddlers is difficult - but now that we are parents of adult children - we realize this is a tough time to be a parent.  The illusions of control or gone.  We cannot check on them each night, tucking them in, and giving them a kiss.  They are under a different roof, in a different city - 10+ thousand miles away.

This was our group seven years ago.  We met in Southaven, MS as we prepared for our journeys to Indonesia.  So much has changed since then - our families have grown and changed.  As followers of Christ we have been molded differently - with new perspectives and a different and deeper understanding of who God is and what He calls us to.     
The amount of growth and changes our family has experienced has been life altering and stretching.  What an absolute reminder to praise our Father who loves us so deeply - who moves us around the world to grow us so deeply - who continually pricks our hearts to desire Him more deeply.
Here is to year 7.  Praising Him for what has been and what is to come!

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Summer Rest




I realized today our last blog was from the summer of August 2015. I guess you could say we are a bit behind on our updates.  :)

After five years in the field it was awesome to go home last summer.  But exhausting.  Emotionally draining.  Hard on us introverts.

You see, we need quiet, alone time to renew and rejuvenate.  As I sit here - three days into this year's summer break - I realize we have not had that for any sustained period of time since the summer of 2014.  So far I have been busy doing things I have neglected in my house, but we have no plans, no itinerary, no expectations until July 29th.  And that my friends brings me great joy and relief.  

God's word speaks to us in ways that sometimes are hard to understand - we need the work of the Holy Spirit and prayer to help lead us down the path we have been called to journey - but, my friends Matthew 11:28 speaks crystal clear to us right now.  There is much needed rest to come and there is no shame in saying we need it.

In Psalms 127 there is a verse that we pass over frequently.  Verse 1 is well-known as it talks about doing all you do for the Lord or you do it in vain - verse 3 tells us how children are blessings from God - but verse 2 is often just smushed in between.  



Psalms 127:2
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves.

I could look at this verse from 100 different angles. But the idea I would like to focus on here is the fact that in rest we can trust in the Lord.  The fact that those whom He loves are granted sleep shows us that sleep or rest is a blessing directly from the Lord.  The Bible is clear about the sin of laziness - we are not looking at this as an either-or.  However, we see that because of Adam's sin man must toil for provisions - but God still wants to bless up with sleep/rest.  If we look at Matthew 6:26-32, we see that we need not want for anything - the Lord provides for us all we need.  So it is ok to rest - we are blessed with rest - and, "the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12

This summer we pray that in His rest we are refilled to pour out again.  It is vital that we continually return to the well of Christ so that we can be full of Him as we journey through this world.  Our prayer is that we are pouring out Christ to those we love around us - but we cannot do that empty and dried up.  

As we embark on several weeks of rest, we are grateful for the blessing of rest that God has given us. We can trust that we rest in Him and He will supply all of our needs.  And in that rest we wait in great anticipation for the work to come.  

I encourage you to find your peace and rest in Christ as well.  Allow him to bless you in this way - make room for Him in your downtime so that you may be full of Him in your work.  

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Time is Running Out

Dear friends & family,

As we enter August we are starting the inevitable countdown to our return to Indonesia.  So many things we want to do - but time is short.  This summer has been precious to us as we visit, fellowship, and pray with so many.
A quick update:  All visas have been received!  Praise God!!  Thank you to everyone who has been praying faithfully for our family.  Each of us have a valid one year visa to return to Indonesia.  The horror stories we had been told will not be our story to tell and we are so glad.  The number of people who have asked and prayed has been overwhelming and sweet.  We cannot thank you all enough for your love, prayers, and support.
So what does this mean?  The most popular question that we have been asked all summer is, "When are you coming home?"  While we would love to give you each an answer, the truth is we do not yet know.  What we do know is that God has called us to Indonesia for this season and we will wait and see what He leads us to next.  All in His time.  Our options are varied; we are eligible for a year furlough after next year.  That furlough is not guaranteed and we are not placing all our eggs in that basket again!  We can stay, furlough, leave and come home, leave and go elsewhere, etc.  Praise God that missions is not just in one place - we can all be missionaries in our very own communities.  So knowing that there is work to do all over the world - we wait on Him and will stay or go where He leads.  We know that being in His will is where we want to be.  So we are sorry that we cannot give specifics - but God hasn't given them to us yet either!!!

As we start to look at returning, we have spoken about things we miss.  Funny how you always miss somewhere!  We thought we would share a few of those with you today!

1.  Traffic patterns.  Crazy, right?  But driving in America is so predictable and boring!  We kind of miss the dance of Indonesian traffic - motorbikes, cars, baso carts, becaks, beggars, random people-sized potholes...
2. RICE!  America just cannot get rice right.  We realize we have to learn why there is a difference so we can recreate Indonesian rice better when we do come back to America.
3.  Delivery.  In Indonesia we can call practically anywhere and have anything delivered.  Out of eggs?  Call the Ibu out front and her helper will run them out to me.  Only need 2 eggs?  No worries - they can bring two.
4.  Relationships.  Although we miss specific relationships back in Indonesia, we really miss the Indonesian idea of relationships.  Poor Americans just don't realize the blessings they are missing by not slowing down and enjoying the present.  A lesson we would never have learned until we spent time in Indonesia.
5.  Maddie - our sweet Golden Retriever - cannot wait to cuddle that girl.  We are so grateful that a dog-lovin' family has stayed in our home and loved on her this summer!
6.  Last but certainly not least, people.  We miss our students and their craziness.  We miss dear friends who share porch time with us.  In the last five years we have fallen in love - with a country, it's people, and dear friends and students.  Our hearts will never be the same and for that we are forever grateful.

Prayer requests?

Please pray for our travels to Miami as we help Tori settle in for college.  Pray as well for our hearts as we say see ya later.

Please pray for sweet goodbyes with family and patience as we finish our last weeks here in this very overcrowded house!

Please pray for safe flights and limited jet lag issues.  We get back and need to return immediately to work - we just don't have time for jet lag!!  :)

Thanks to you all.  Please keep in touch.  Our email is bcerga@yahoo.com.
If you would like to be added to our special newsletter and prayer email list - let us know by sending us an email to the above address.