How many times as a kid did I ask “are we there yet?” and my parents replied “we are almost there.” As a kid, I never really understood “almost there.” It seemed such a long time. Now as a father, I find myself saying the same thing to our kids “we are almost there.” They have the same glazed look as I probably had. They are now thinking what does ”almost there” really mean. I am able to see our end goal, but they have to trust me that we are really almost there.
In our walk as believers in Jesus, it seems our entire life we hear the Spirit telling us “you are almost there.” As a child of God, I often act a lot like my children. I stand with my eyes glazed over thinking “what does that really mean?”. Over the past few months since we were led back to Hong Kong, I have continued to hear the words “you are almost there.” It has encouraged me and provided comfort and assurance that He, Jesus, is walking with me like He promises in the great commission. I have been tested in my trust in Christ that He can really see the end goal. We have not shared exactly what has happened since May to everyone, but I believe to Glorify God in our lives it is important to illustrate His steadfast love for us. So here it goes:
Two weeks before I was scheduled to leave for Hong Kong, I was told the project with our main client in China was placed on hold for a few months. This project was the reason (at least in our minds) that God was using to take us back to Hong Kong. At that time, we had already paid for our plane tickets, put a security deposit on our apartment and were already moving out of our house in the U.S. So what do we do? After Anne and I prayed and discussed the issue, we both felt like God wanted us to trust Him and continue forward in our plans.
I was in Hong Kong for three weeks before Anne and the girls so I was working frantically to develop more business and to establish our home before they arrived. The week before they arrived our main client called and said the project was back on and all the paperwork was submitted (which is a big ordeal with large local companies) . The week after Anne and the girls arrived, the client called back and said there was an indefinite hold on the project due to the cut in budgets because of the earthquake that had just happened.
At this point, things started going down hill very fast. (You can refer back to my blogs to see my mood.) Nothing was going right in the business. We were struggling to pay our employees and bills. The one bright and wonderful moment was finding out we were having a third child. Then this even turned into the negative with Anne’s sickness. In July we saw that we could not make it to our church on Sunday due to the 3 hour round trip journey over two islands, and then when things could not feel more discouraging, I started feeling sharp pains in my side. By early August, I was struggling even to make it to work, and finally I had so many symptoms I needed to go to the doctor. As I received the CT scan, I was surprised that I not only had one large stone in my right kidney, but I also had another large stone in my left kidney. Both were over twice the size that were able to pass without intervention. We received the first estimate of how much it was going to cost for the treatment, and we were shocked. There was no way we could afford this so I went to the public hospital and they looked at my CT scan and called me the following day to book my appointment on March 9, 2009! At this time, my pain was increasing daily so we looked at plane tickets to fly back to the states and since it was during the Olympics they were more expensive than having the procedure done in the private hospital.
Financially, it was not getting better because a new project was delayed because the VP was on vacation so we would not be paid until the end of August. Anne and I were both down, physically and mentally. This was the middle of August and then I heard the voice say “almost there…”
Being my childish self, I was thinking almost there… to bankruptcy, to losing a kidney because I could not have the procedure needed to break up the stones, to my family collapsing because Anne could not function alone and the kids were not happy. (As I write this, I have to ask forgiveness again because of God’s great mercy.)
In actuality, Jesus was saying “almost there… to when I am Glorified in Your Life.”
So, as we are seeing this miracle unfold, here a few highlights of God being glorified in our lives.
A. As I called BCBS of Texas to see if they would cover the cost of my CT Scan, I tell them I am in Hong Kong and come to find out, I am covered here in an emergency under Blue Worldwide. In a matter of days, they sent a letter to my doctor and hospital guaranteeing most of the payment, so we were able to start the process.
B. While I was recovering from my procedure in the Hospital, our financial status changed very fast with an unexpected project – great work from my team and closing a deal with a new client.
A. Because we could not make it to church, we started watching John Piper sermons on Sunday as our “church” in our home. We found out another couple in our complex with a young son was having problems making the trip so they started joining us. Now we are starting to reach out in our community where over 20,000 people live and with 1 evangelical church so we feel there is great need.
B. Anne and I both feel that I am not called to be the “pastor” but we are to invest in discipling a local in starting this church. We both felt we needed to get connected to a seminary in Hong Kong. With August being a month of confinement for us that was hard to do, but yet last week while coming home from work I met a man sitting next to me on the train. He was reading a book on Connecting by Larry Crabb. (It was odd to see a local reading this type of book.) We started talking and guess what? He is a seminary professor and wants to help in developing a church in Tung Chung. He lives in the same apartment complex as us. I meet with him on Monday to discuss God’s guidance in this process and if any of his students feel led to come out to our community.
We know that the fruit of the Spirit is endurance/perseverance. The Spirit has given us this fruit in the midst of these trials. I must say a few weeks ago if I could have physically made it back to the U.S. I would have gone, but God has a way of keeping us on track. haha. The kids are learning this in a very difficult situation, but they are growing spiritually. We know that whatever we go through, God is there with us, so we continue to trust in our God of Hope.
We are almost there… On Wednesday, I return to the hospital for the procedure on my left kidney. Prayerfully in the next few days, I will be stone free. I can relax a little and not fear another painful attack. We saw the picture of the baby from the ultrasound, and that encouraged the entire family as we are excited about the upcoming months of anticipating the addition to our family.
In all of this, we have sung with David and said “HIS steadfast love endures forever and ever.”
Bless the Lord, O my soul,