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May 15th 2010
Published: May 18th 2010
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...with arms wide open......with arms wide open......with arms wide open...

We see this picture everyday on our laptop and still we sometimes forget...
We’ve been encouraged to use our blog to share more of the journey within our journey; our journey of faith. As some of you already know our current journey of faith is entwined with our search for a new home. We can’t tell the one side of the story without telling the other.

It’s important to note right from the beginning that this trip was not only about having fun. Our over-riding goal, our mission, has been to find new meaning in our lives, trusting God to lead us and teach us, and hopefully in the process find a new home to raise our future children in. We were hoping that NZ would be the “Promised Land”. For years we’ve yearned to be here because it seems to be the perfect place for us to settle. It’s got all the “out-doors” we could dream of; mountains to climb, slopes to snowboard, rivers to raft, hiking trails all over the place. And most of all, it’s safe. For us South Africans it is such a mind-blow to realize that you can be safe in your home. You can be safe in your car. You don’t have to worry, every moment of every day about your safety and that of your children.

So, we’ve had a lot of fun traveling NZ and met amazing and wonderful people, but in amongst all this we’ve been looking for a way to settle here. We’ve waited for the Lord to guide us toward the right place, that special place we believed He had prepared for us. It hasn’t happened yet. Instead we’ve had our hopes up, only to be disappointed. We’d say: “Oh well, then that wasn’t what God had intended for us” and we’d keep going, only to have the same thing happen again and again and again. How does one stay upbeat? How does one keep the faith when every door and every window are closed to you?

On pause, without a mission, someplace to go, something to do, we’ve lapsed into boredom. This, combined with our angst about our future, threatened to cause a crisis of faith. We’ve put everything on the line to be here, but things were falling apart, slipping through our fingers. It appeared as if we’d end up back at square one, not just the square we were at when we left SA, but the square we were at ten years ago. We believe that the Lord is leading us, and so he has, but we were starting to feel as if we’d been abandoned.

Even before the last setback we’d decided to give it our best go until the end of May. If by then we’d not heard from the Lord or found some way to start a new life here we’d give up our quest, enjoy the last month and a bit in NZ, then head home, even though the thought of going home fills us with a profound sense of failure.

That was last week…

How quickly we forget the blessing of the Lord. We’ve got each other. We’re healthy (most of the time) and able bodied. We’ve got a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, food to eat, and enough finances to last us a while longer. We’ve got people who love us, people who care, and friends who’ve take us in at the drop of a hat. Above all, we’ve got the Lord looking after us, day in and day out. We’ve been blessed more abundantly than we could ever have hoped for.

So why is it so easy to forget these amazing truths?

We believe it’s because the truth is stolen from us, ripped from our minds and cloaked behind the lies and the complications of this world. It’s embarrassing really, to have to admit to such weakness, such stupidity. And yet, we’re sure we’re not alone in this. We lament for ourselves while others suffer in the true sense of the word. We think only of ourselves while we should be thinking of others. We are blessed and yet we moan and groan because we don’t get what we want, that which we so deeply believe we deserve. And so the Lord had to take us to the “desert”, to limbo. He had to put us on pause, because only when we hurt do we run back to Him and seek His face and His truth. Fire cleanses and troubles mold us. It’s just that often we forget we are the clay and believe we are the master.

We praise the Lord for teaching us, for turning our eyes outward, and for once more revealing His truth to us.

We thank all of you who journey with us and pray for us and look after us. You are worth more than gold, more than all the riches this world has to offer.

And so our days will continue in relative mediocrity, as we continually move towards that which the Lord has destined for us.

God bless you all
Ferdi & Talita


18th May 2010

Your friend
Thank you for sharing your journey of faith with those who don't share your faith and especially those who do. Your journey has been an inspiration to me, and this blog that summarizes the lessons you have learned along the way was uplifting even though it comes at the end of what those without faith could see as unanswered prayer and failure. Our journey is not about getting everything we ask for, but about putting our trust in Him every step of the way until the final destination. May God continue to bless you and keep you.
18th May 2010

Hello daar, Hierdie blog is seker die mooiste een van almal! Ek is sooo bly dat jul by die gemeente uitgekom het ... dit is waar julle geestelik versterk sal word!! Julle geestelike reis is van baie meer waarde as die NZ reis ... dis onverganklik! Ons bid dat julle twee skapies jul Herder getrou sal volg en lekker saam met die ander skapies sal kuier. Baaaaaaaaaaaie liefde, Moeder Mariana xxxxx0000000

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