This is my news. First part written on March 18th.
Many times I’ve asked God to speak to me. I’ve done so with excitement, anticipation, and genuine longing to know His heart more clearly. But sometimes He speaks to me and I don’t want to hear it. Like last week when I met with Mia, an American woman who moved here thirteen years ago. She is married to an Australian, has a bit of an Australian accent that only other Americans pick up on, and her daughters have her eyes. Mia’s story is a beautiful one and even more so because it is still being written.
(That’s something I feel in so many people here: the precipice. People tell me their stories and I feel that on-the-cusp-of-adventure prompt. I wonder if they feel it too?)
While she was talking I had an inkling. You know, one of those supernatural inklings where it could only be the Holy Spirit. I tucked it into my mind’s deepest crease to think it over later. I left Urban and went directly to the OMS prayer meeting. As we prayed together my inkling grew and wouldn’t fit into that crease anymore. That evening I drove to Wandin (it’s beyond beautiful up there) and had supper with our prayer meeting’s leader & her family. It was dusk as I returned home and the gum trees looked even taller in the end-of-day light. I knew then that my inkling wasn’t just an inkling, and it wouldn’t be tucked away no matter how hard I tried. In my caravan I talked with God about it. I cried. I was OK. I cried. I was content. I am content.
The plan was to be in Ireland by the end of the year and especially in mid-October. I believe God is calling me to Ireland, period. And He is. He said it again as I remembered the vision He gave me back in February 2012. It was the night I found out I couldn’t go to Ireland because I didn’t have a teammate. When it happened I fought the temptation to be angry at God. By His grace, I overcame it. Then God gave me a vision of Ireland and the spiritual warfare happening at that exact moment. He’d also said, “I will use HOPE61 in Ireland — in my time.”
Last week God spoke and I didn’t want to hear it. I know now that I’m going to Ireland later than I expected or would prefer. God said it and I didn’t want to hear it, but I am content. My tears were both sadness, at the long-time burden in my heart to be working in Europe, and happiness, because as He spoke God promised that His yoke IS light and carrying His cross is always an adventure. There is joy in store.
I don’t really know what all of this means so I’m just taking things one step at a time. Please pray that God will continue to speak to me…and thank you so much for your encouragement. You are a blessing and God is using you to share HOPE61’s vision with Australia right now. And one day? Ireland.
Back to today, April 19th.
That’s right. I’m not going to Ireland in October. In fact, I’ve just been approved by OMS World headquarters to stay in Australia through the year, which is the length of my visa. You’ve been with me through all the craziness and I want you to know a few things.
for showing me love and community, even when I’m far away. Thank you for blessing me.
I’M IN IT FOR GOOD
this missions thing, I mean. Unless God asks me otherwise, I am committed to serving Him as a missionary.
IRELAND and EUROPE
are still my heart. God has never taken the burden away. For reasons I don’t know, though, He’s said, “Wait a little while.”
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
are ready for HOPE61. God’s hand is moving, and your prayer & support is a part of this.
God has me here for such a time as this. HOPE61 is one of newest OMS ministries, and since we’re still growing, we are sometimes misunderstood. This has hindered our growth in the past. During the time I have spent in Australia so far, I’ve been able to advocate for HOPE61 to OMS Australia staff. I’ve gained support from the OMS Australia prayer team, talked with the board, and other long time OMS supporters. In New Zealand I spoke with OMS NZ directors as well as long-time supporters. While talking with people who are interested in serving overseas with OMS & HOPE61, I’ve also shared our passion with current OMS missionaries. Some are from fields HOPE61 considers high priority. They only know a little of HOPE61 or at times, nothing beyond our name. Oftentimes, missionaries who hear our passion explained begin to see how we can work together.
Do you want to know something amazing? Every OMS Australia missionary is coming home this year. Their fields of service include Spain, Thailand, and Ukraine.
As I talked with Tom, HOPE61 director, we realized that creating relationships and understanding now could lead to better unity in the future – when HOPE61 trainers are ready to go on a field but they need support from the missionaries already in country. It’s incredible to imagine the long-term effects!
A new dream has also come to my mind: to see a HOPE61 prayer leader and a HOPE61 “field leader” in the office of every affiliate country. OMS affiliate countries are USA, Canada, England, South Africa, Australia, & New Zealand. Do I think it’s my job to rally a prayer leader & HOPE61 leader for each of those places? Not that I know of! But I am excited to be a part of it in Australia and New Zealand. I mentioned before that your prayers have been answered, and a committed prayer warrior has stepped up as HOPE61 prayer leader in Australia.
This is only the beginning of the adventure, my friend!
I’m grateful that you have never expressed frustration with the roller coaster of a life I seem to lead, but I do understand if you have any concerns or questions. Please feel free to post them in a comment or to email me via emily.rinehart11 @houghton.edu …I am praying for you! Please know you can always write to me to join you in prayer or praise, weeping or laughing.
Thank you all. Love to you.