This week marked six months of our new life as a semi-nomadic missionary family. This was supposed to be the post where I shared highlights from the last six months and told you about how God came through at the last moment and made a way for us to stay in Israel.
Except, He didn’t. I’m writing this from somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. A week after being assured we could stay in Israel indefinitely, our request for a visa extension was denied. We were told if we left and tried to come back without all our citizenship documents, we could face arrest.
We don’t want the Israeli authorities to have anything to hold against us when we return, so we decided to leave the country.
I’m disappointed in myself. Leaving feels like giving up. We didn’t get arrested, or deported, or fined. So does that mean we didn’t try hard enough?
But God is challenging me to see it as a victory. Here’s what I mean: Our life overseas required less faith than going back to the States. When I got honest with myself, I had to admit that I was afraid to return to the US, afraid we wouldn’t get another chance to pursue our calling to the Mediterranean.
But when we prayed about it, we sensed God asking us to go back. I knew God was asking me to yield this dream to Him again, and trust that He’ll bring us back home to the Mediterranean when the time is right.
This left us with just over 24 hours to plan and execute a major relocation. Finding plane tickets was a nightmare in itself. Fares were literally going up by the second. We were scrambling to contact family members, find winter clothing, pack, and hold it together for the kids.
Truth really is stranger than fiction. After months of being on the verge of homelessness at least a dozen times, we were offered a fully furnished farm house where we can go to “detox” before we even had time to ask. Friends anticipated all our needs and organized an effort to collect clothing and household items.
Thankfully, God is still writing this story.
What’s the craziest plot twist He’s written into your story so far?