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well, a lot has happened again. Here's my way of trying to summarize things.
First of all, we got out of the valley from last Monday. I realize that the last blog I wrote was quite emotional. And yes, we were quite emotional over what had happened. But somehow, God brought us out of it quite quickly.
Just to be clear: I don't have all the answers yet. On the contrary. I still don't know what happened last week. I still can't figure out why I was (and still am) soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sure that God spoke to me that we will get that place, just to be rejected nevertheless. I am still wondering whether I messed up or what's going on. And yes, I'm still struggling to move on. I felt God was speaking to me again over the last few days (more on that in a minute). And I realized I have become more hesitant: "Is it really God this time? What if something like last week happens again?" So yes, I'm struggling, and I haven't figured things out yet.
But one thing I'm very thankful for: God gave me supernatural peace and joy. Despite all the confusion, I was able to not question God. I still love Him, trust Him and follow Him. Even though I felt very disappointed, I never felt tempted to accuse God or question what He is doing. So despite all the questions and confusion, I can say that my Faith and trust in God has not been shattered. I'm questioning myself, my ability to hear from God, etc. But I'm not questioning God Himself.
Thank you for all your prayers. I know they have greatly contributed to my ability to turn back to God, despite the emotions we went through.
So after Monday, I obviously went back to Square 1, applying for places on the internet, etc. Thankfully, this time things became more fruitful. Throughout the week, we looked at 5 places that are all suitable. One is a bit expensive, but we could manage. Two are nice, but not great. The two we looked at today are awesome. We'd be happy with any of these 5. We could live in all of them for many years. And we're on the shortlist for all these places. So hopefully, one of them will come through. Plus, I'll be looking at at least 3 more places next week, probably a few more. So God is obviously opening doors for us again.
As for the timeframe: We can stay here until the 20th. That's less than 2 weeks from now. We don't have to necessarily move in to our new place by then (We want to visit my dad this month anyways, so not having a place for a week or two wouldn't be a problem, we could spend that time with my dad and/or taking a week or two off and travel somewhere as a family). But we do want to have something signed and secured by then. Otherwise we'll be in trouble.
So, now here's something that happened tonight, which is something I didn't expect. As you know, we're currently staying at our friends' place. It's a small place (1 bedroom) in a very nice compound. A lot of families live here, there are awesome playgrounds around. Many foreigners around here, Ryoko was able to make several mom friends here within the first few days (without having to speak German). When we saw the environment here, we immediately thought of the church and wondered, whether God wants us to be right here, reaching out to all these people here, which is really EXACTLY the kind of people that God put on our hearts: Foreigners and Families. We even asked the landlord of our friends whether we could take over the place, but he said "no" (not big enough for 5 people, which is true, long term). So we kind of gave up on the idea of "living here".
Now what now happened was that the last place we looked at today is 3min away from where we currently live. Basically, if we get that place, we could stay in the environment we're currently in. We love the idea and love the place. So when we visited the place this afternoon, we met the current tenant, and she will recommend us ahead of all the other applicants to the owner. That doesn't mean we'll get the place (we were recommended like this twice before). But it's a good sign.
That was this afternoon. Now tonight, after the family was already in bed, I went out again, just to pray. Didn't have an agenda or anything, just wanted to change the environment, so I can have a more focused prayer time. So I went out, asking God what to pray. The first thing I felt was Him telling me: "Go back to that place that you applied for and pray over it." So I did. Then I went back to our compound, and I did the most foolish thing (worldly speaking): I just sat in the middle of a pretty big field that is right in the middle of the compound. It was dark already, so I felt a bit more safe. And then I simply started having my own personal worship service right there in the middle of the field: Singing, praying, praising,... I don't know what people thought who saw me. But I'm sure they thought I wasn't in my right mind. I loved it, because it's something I had never done before. And as I was worshipping, I felt God started speaking to me again.
I know I'm walking on very thin ice here, after what happened last week. One week ago, I was 100% sure that God was telling me that He'll give us "Place A", and it didn't happen. But even if I risk messing things up again, I do want to continue walking by Faith.
So tonight, sitting on that grass, I felt God was asking me to look at all the houses I could see. I could see several dozens of windows, and that's only a small fraction of all the apartments that exist in this compound. And I felt God was asking me: "How many people do you think have eternal life right now?" It was obvious that that's only a very, very small fraction. So I told God: "If you give us the place opposite the street, I'll give you this compound back." Meaning: I'll make a commitment to prayerwalking this compound, sharing the love of Jesus with people, etc. And so I started walking around the compound. To be honest: I was shocked how big it actually is. There are way more houses than I saw before, which means way more people than I expected. Families, foreigners, young people, older people. Such a mix. And God started speaking to me about some of the needs in this community.
So that's where we are now: There is a place opposite of where we stay right now, and the current tenant will specifically recommend us to the owner. And my promise to God was that if He gives us that place, we'll return this whole compound to Him, by prayerwalking several times every week and sharing the love of God with the people we meet.
We don't know if God will give us the place. But we'll keep our promise if He does.
Thank you for praying with us.
In Christ's love,
Bernd and the Armbruster Family
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