Sunday, July 21, 2013

Confessions: Our plan for 2013-14

This has not been a good year for Nigeria. Increasing terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and more, and it seemed to be coming closer and closer to Yola. We were rather frightened and had Joy start shopping only every other week. On top of all the other stresses of last semester, this was too much.

We started contemplating the idea of moving Joy and the kids to the US in early 2014. We would only be apart a couple months - we've had to do that before - and it would give Superstar a chance to start school in the US before first grade .... it sounded nice and safe.

As things got worse, we even started to consider the unthinkable. What if we moved them to the US in summer? We prayed to know if that was what we needed to do to keep them safe and protect them. The answer to our prayers was unexpected.

You're asking the wrong question.
Oh? What should we be asking?
You should be asking what will strengthen your family the most.

We pondered that and talked about it. The answer was still move Joy and the kids to the US, but the motivation was completely different.

Instead of running from Nigeria, we were looking forward in faith to something better. This week as we were preparing talks on the pioneers, I was struck by the fact that the Mormon pioneers were not going to Utah in order to flee mob violence, though that was certainly a factor in their decision-making. They were going forward to build Zion, in faith. That difference between living in faith and fear made all the difference for them; it opened the door to God's enabling grace, to give them the strength they needed to do what they believed He wanted them to do.

We told no one but a few family members, which is a top reason why the blog posts got fewer and further between around here. When you're packing a secret that big, you don't want to talk about anything else because it's all tied in to that one. I realized that we still hadn't let the cat out of the bag on the blog, though, so we're finally doing that today and posting a few other stories we wrote down at the time but saved until we had made things public.

Joy and the kids are settled in Utah now. I have another month before I'm back in Yola without them. It will take several more posts to work through all we think and feel about this, but overall we are both optimistic and dreading it. Much as I imagine it was for the pioneers. This won't be easy, but we have faith it will be worth it.

I'm cautiously hopeful this will also be good for the blog. Joy and I may be coaxed into telling a few more stories online just so we can share them with each other, and you'll get to listen in.