In less than a month, WEFC will send the Doerksen Family (Jerry, Ang, David and Ezra) to begin a new chapter - serving with Teach Beyond at Okinawa Christian School International in Japan. Their mission is equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. Read on and be encouraged by their journey so far!
The Ongoing Struggle and Joy of Listening to God
What does it mean to listen to our Heavenly Father? As much as we desire to do this, we struggle. We do know that the Holy Spirit will direct and encourage us to do what is best and he speaks into our hearts and minds on a daily basis. The Word of God is the tester to the Spirit's leading, to verify that it is the Holy Spirit and not our own desires. And then there are God's people; God confirms his plan for us through them too. He can give them peace and confidence in the path he has laid out for us, even when we are blinded by fears and self focus.
We have been so blessed in the last year to have strong promptings from the Holy Spirit that were readily supported by reading God’s word. Sometimes we thought Our Daily Bread was written exactly for us! And people kept referencing Abraham's journey to us; I think we read the Abraham story in our son David's devotions five times in one month; unsure how the bookmark always got back there when we knew we'd read it the previous week. These were God's reminders that he really did want us to just follow him to a new land, knowing he was there already.
How does he provide for our needs? God has provided countless times - from giving us small moments of joy with our kids on hard days, to selling our house in a single phone call (only one cleaning and showing)! Our papers from the Japanese Government were issued in one month instead of the very possible three. On our visa trip to Calgary we enjoyed God’s majesty as we biked in Canmore with the mountains around us. And because the big stressors were taken care of (visas and house, to name a few), we got to spend some time enjoying WEFC friends at the church campout. Our Heavenly Father is so good and He meets all of our needs.
Will we be excited throughout the journey? I think there is a choice here. We can't say that we're always excited - there is grieving too. But as we grieve who and what we are leaving we do it in a spirit of thankfulness for the joyful experiences here. We have to look ahead to God's goodness, not knowing what is necessarily in store but knowing that God is good. We also love that God treasures our tears. So as we spend our last month in our home we grieve, we pack, we sometimes get upset at each other in the stress, but we are quick to ask forgiveness and forgive (there is no time to waste in foul mood).
We thank you, WEFC, for being our family and sending us to Japan to teach and love our students with Christ's love and grace. Please pray that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading in our teaching and then be able to watch how he draws students to be in saving, loving relationships with our Heavenly Father. We ask that you come with us on this journey and if you aren't on our newsletter list yet please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so we can stay in touch. We deeply appreciate every prayer and if God moves you to financially support us please go to give.teachbeyond.org/support/doerksens.
He is so faithful to give us peace and we know that he will take care of all of us as the local and extended body of WEFC during the year of transitions that we all are going to go through. We pray that you will experience that peace and know that God has a plan. The richest times in our lives are when we are fully dependent on him.
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The Doerksen Family (Jer, Ang, David and Ezra)