“Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.”
~Kermit the Frog
We’ve got a mess in the living room. Right here in the middle of the beach cottage, we’ve got a pile of boxes tilting this way and that, splayed all over the small space we call home. It’s controlled chaos of the best possible kind. Lists of to-do’s piled on the kitchen counters, on dresser tops, even in bathrooms. Lists piled up in our heads, chock-full of reminders: don’t-forgets, got-to-remembers, and very-importants. And they just keep growing.
We’re moving out of the country.
Yeah, that’s right. We are doing that thing, that somewhat fearful, often mysterious thing which many of us hear about during missionary week and think, “Crazy!”. Now we’re the ones packing our worldly goods into storage, throwing some stuff into suitcases, and heading for points south. We’ve been called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Costa Rica.
Somehow, however, when it’s YOU, a bold step of faith into the mission field can lose some of the wow factor.
It feels overwhelming. Unknown. A bit daunting. Kind of scary. And quite exciting.
We’ve always believed in the Great Commission. Those words which our Lord spoke about going to the ends of the earth just before He ascended have been lodged firm in our hearts from the time we were kids. We’ve also had a passion for the nations planted deep from our exposure to our parents’ and grandparents’ lives of faith. From their perspective, and from what they’ve taught their kids and grandkids, it’s just how a Jesus-disciple learns to roll. Going forth.
So from day one, we’ve been a family sold out to the idea of going and sending. We’ve gone out as a family to serve and share the Good News, and we’ve sent our teenaged and young adult kids all around the globe to do the same. We’ve been financial backers, intercessors, letter writers and home-front cheerleaders for many folks we know and love who have taken up the call and gone out to share the message of hope.
All the while, Jesus has taught us how to serve here at home. We’ve plugged in and plugged away, working and learning what it means to love on folks. While Chris has been juggling a full-time business with the joy of worship leading, training, and mentoring young men and dads and husbands, Tiffany has been teaching, blogging, discipling, nurturing. Together, we’ve led groups, taught groups, served on boards for groups and just in general made God’s people the focus of our lives. It’s been a delight. A challenge. It’s been our calling and purpose for the past twenty-six years.
But when we felt the shift – when we sat across the table from Steve and Judi Hertzog and shared visions and watched spiritual fireworks go off – and we knew that a change was coming down the pike, it just made sense. God’s on the move in Costa Rica. People are hungry for His presence, desperate to know Him. In addition, young people who love Jesus all around the globe are being stirred to dive deeper, to be trained to lead and to embrace maturity so that they too can be sent ones. So our creative and imaginative God puts together something we could not have fathomed before this. A school of ministry in Costa Rica. It’s a new thing springing straight from His heart for such a time as this. And we love it.
So now, it’s our turn. A few months back we picked up that Bible that sits next to the bed and scoured it’s well-worn pages for some wisdom on how to walk this out. We talked to folks who know, asking for their wisdom. We fasted and prayed and sought Jesus for how to do this thing right and well. The end result is, we’re stepping out in faith. No safety net, no looking back. And we know that’s the way He wants it.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he urged them to be generous. He had lavishly loved them and served them and taught them Jesus. Then he exhorted them to be generous in return. To meet the needs of the saints and to give freely to the laborer because he is worthy of his wages. Paul knew the secret: the Kingdom can never be outdone; God can never be out-given. When we sow generously, we always reap.
In three weeks we’ll close the door to this little house loaded with priceless memories and hand over the key. We’ll hop on that plane and soar into the adventure that’s been planned before the foundation of the world for us, the crazy Nesbitt clan. The truth is, we need the love, prayers, encouragement and support of the saints. We need you to be generous. Because we can’t do this without you.
There’s no way that we could ever express how much each of you means to us. Your friendship has marked us. Whether we are sharing the love of Christ in the steamy wilds of the jungle or serving folks in the grand USA, we are yours in heart and spirit. Thank you for loving us well. We’re so grateful to have you on our side!