As we compared the cities, we knew that both cities are “chief cities” and both we would love to work in. But there are a few considerations that I had to think through:
(1) In relation to our strategy to reach China.
Either city would work in the realm of our plan to reach the Northeast. If we stayed in City #1, this would help us build a stronger base to work from and train others coming to work in China.
If we go to City #2, this would let people know we are not focused on just one city and make sure we don’t get the “stuck in Jerusalem” syndrome.
Also, City #2 could give us another base of operation for training those coming to work in China.
(2) In relation to my family.
My family has made friends in City #1 and love the people. If we choose to move, it will be hard for them to say goodbye to their newly made friends and family!
On the other hand, the climate in City #1 was hard on my family emotionally. City #2’s weather seemed to be more favorable to what my family is use to.
These are genuine considerations in where we plan to live for a lifetime. I want my family to thrive in the place we are going to live in. That doesn’t mean that we are to avoid the hard places (otherwise we wouldn’t of come to China at all) but it does mean that different people are made for different places and situation.
I knew I needed to seriously consider my family when making life decisions, not as excuses, but honestly “counting the cost”. Neither city seemed to be a comfortable solution or “perfect fit”.
My family shared any concerns with me, we talked through them and they let me know that wherever we live, they are willing to follow. We all agree if the conditions are less than favorable that we will do our best to adapt. If we have to leave our friends, we will try to make due, try to have the best attitude we can and make the best of the situation that we find ourselves in.
(3) In relation to a surrendered life.
“We are called to a surrendered life, not a comfortable one.” I want myself and my family to constantly be surrendered to what the Lord has for our family and be willing to live where ever He might allow our family to serve Him (weather leaving friends & family or living in a hard climate).
I think the place the Lord has given me a desire to live and serve Him in is China. My family also surrendered their lives and willingly followed me here as I followed the Lord.
What I don’t think this phrase means is we are called to put ourselves in less-comfortable situations because there is some glory in being in that situation.
For example, we live in a nice apartment that is fairly comfortable. If I misinterpret the above statement, I should stop renting my apartment and look for the least-comfortable situation that my family could live in and choose that for our family. It is the same logic that thinks taking a vow of poverty makes one more holy. It is just ridiculous.
We should live sufficiently, which is going to be defined different for each person based on their situation and calling. It is relative. Much of what I do, shouldn’t just make our life’s more extravagant but more effective.
Certain comforts make us more effective. Certain hardship make us more effective. Some need a soft bed to rest well, while other need a hard bed. Thus, I need to consider this in the overall picture because I want myself, my family and my ministry to thrive. It will have the best dividends.
Now that we have looked at the road that got us here, joined a vision, narrowed down to two cities, gathered information and considered a few important areas, I, as the leader of my family, must make the decision.
Continued in… | 6 |