Our time at home
God is faithful and we are blessed. We had an amazing time while we were visiting in the States, and we had the privilege of seeing many friends, speaking in a number of churches, and making connections with people who have encouraged and supported us greatly. Even though we did not specifically go to raise funds, and even though the US is going through a financial crisis, we were amazed at how many people still gave generously to our work. Thank you all so much!
Since we didn’t do the greatest job of keeping in touch over e-mail while we were back, here is a brief synopsis of what we did:
– We got to see family and old and new friends in Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Texas.
– We lived with Carla’s parents whenever we weren’t travelling, which was a huge blessing to be able to spend lots of time with them AND not have many living expenses. They also let us borrow a car for the whole time we were back.
– Carla got her old job back, working full time for twice the pay she used to get, and doing what she loves, teaching English to international students and running programs to help them get connected to the community.
– Jon did a few odd jobs, but mostly he kept his schedule free to make our arrangements for coming back, connect with people, learn web design and programming (by the way, he created our new website: http://www.jonandcarla.com/)
However blessed we were financially, that was nothing compared to the blessing of seeing some of the American church in action. We were very encouraged to know God’s work was being done back home, too. Many of the people we got to see come to the Lord were going deeper with him, and we saw many people trusting in God even when it wasn’t easy. We saw years of prayers for our college campus get answered as the different Christian groups started meeting together for prayer. We were greatly encouraged as we were able to see for the first time the army of people who supported us in prayer, without which we could have done very little. We were touched as small congregations gave beyond their means for the chance of transforming lives they would never encounter this side of heaven, and we watched teenagers tearfully give all the money they had. We got to see our families as passionate as we are about Africa and the people we minister to. And no matter where we spoke or what that church believed doctrinally, we were accepted as a brother and sister in Christ.
Probably the most encouraging thing we saw when we were back was a church who gathered around Lisa, one of their members who had cancer. Believing God would heal her, they held countless prayer meetings and had corporate fasts. They also helped her five kids through school and gave them rides, fixed meals for the family, and stayed with Lisa through the darkest times. At one point, we went to visit Lisa in the hospital and over half of the church was there – truly, we have never seen a church who showed so much love for a single person. I write this in the past tense because we saw it when we were back in the States and the worst part is over, but the fight for Lisa is still going on.
I hope you can receive the same encouragement that we have. No matter what your local church is struggling with, how many family members are going through a spiritual crisis, what the price of gas is, or how many evangelists are having scandals, the kingdom of God is still advancing, people’s lives are being transformed, and the cross of Christ still has power! God bless!
-Jon and Carla Reinagel