Wednesday, March 10, 2010

October 09 (159 photos), by April Soberg

Here are the pics from our last days there and our first days here. As I uploaded them, my body filled with lead...and my heart feels really heavy. I miss my home, my community, our foreign family. But I know the Lord is near, has brought us here for a PURPOSE, and will continue to lead us.

Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the DESERT and streams in the wasteland. - Lord, help me to believe what I know is true!
Click here to view photos

Saturday, March 6, 2010

God's perfect timing

As we're here waiting on the Lord in so many ways, I HAVE to remember the way too obvious ways that the Lord vividly showed us that His timing is best just before we left. I still remember my dear soul sister Sara telling me, "April, you HAVE to write these things down so you never forget" - which is part of what prompted me to start the blog in the first place.

November of 2008, when we finally agreed to what we left the Lord had to us, moving to the US, we immediately had a plan of how that would go...and we were going to be back to the US sometime between April & June of 2009. We were going to have a great summer playing in the pool & doing all sorts of great stuff. :)

We came in October 2009...and only God knew why.

We had purchased 2 different properties over the previous years around Jarabacoa for investment purposes...and shortly thereafter wished we didn't have a loan to pay, and started trying to sell the properties. We tried everything, and prayed and prayed and prayed...for several years. We spent an intense week of really focusing on the Lord, what he had for us, and several big things going on around us during the last week of July. That Saturday we sold one of the properties...and sold the other one 3 weeks later. God's hand was all over it. Not only were we about to leave, but we REALLY needed some money!

In June, we had a retreat for the leadership of our church called Sendas Antiguas (Ancient Paths), which was absolutely completely life changing for me. I wouldn't trade that weekend for anything...and wouldn't have been there if we'd left on our own time.

March through May was probably the most intense time for Juan Pablo & I as a couple - really getting down, bare, raw, and real - working through some hard things....which would have potentially torn us apart in a move to a new country & culture. Only God knew that he wanted to work through that before we left.

I realy wanted to leave Jarabacoa when alot of my friends left in June, either permanently or for the summer - not have to go through hellos & goodbyes again in the fall - and not have to meet, invest in, love, get to know, and then leave the new community who would be arriving in August. THEY blessed my life!

In August I got to witness & translate for the first ever Young Life Latinamerica Area Directors School at Pico Escondido. It blessed me beyond imagination and filled my spirit in an amazing way. Not to mention seeing old friends!

I didn't really have anyone to pass the church finances to until June.

We got to be there when Judah was born & spend some great time with the Salmond family!

Because we were in the DR so long, my in-laws got to go visit us (from Colombia) one more time before leaving to come here to the US, where they are not able to visit us. Not only did we love that, but Amelia & Kali were in heaven!

Talk about God's timing - on September 3rd (same day my new nephew was born), Juan Pablo had his appendix taken out. My in-laws were there to take care of the girls while we were gone for 3 or 4 days. We had insurance. The DR has a great new hospital. There is NO WAY we would have been able to afford that in the US - espcially without insurance! And it would have been SO HARD if it hadn't happened when my in-laws were there! GOD IS GOOD and his timing is PERFECT!!

I could go on and on....I have to REMEMBER!

Monday, March 1, 2010


After being in Jarabacoa for 2 1/2 years, the Lord send me a breathe of fresh air. It came in many ways and one of those was Glad. I learned ALOT from her and we spent some crazy times together.

She lived out true trust and power of prayer. Glad is an LPN who came down to do the physicals for all the kids as the school year was beginning...and ended up staying for 4 months. She brought stuff for 4 weeks, but instead of having people ship her things, she decided to just pray. She prayed for clothes, shoes, financial support, where to live, what ministries to be a part of, even for toiletries.

We Americans are so self sufficient and individualistic that we often don't give others or God the chance to supply these everyday needs...because we don't live in a way that allows us to have these basic needs or we are not humble enough to receive what God sends through others, but would rather go out and get the right color or design or flavor...but that's a whole different entry...

I saw Lord's faithfulness in Glad's life. Glad ended up with more clothes, shoes, picture frames, and stuff than she could even use. THANKFULLY this ruthless trust and total dependence on prayer rubbed off on me.

There was a time when I was out of money for the month but I knew that I would be paid in 5 or 6 days. It was a Wednesday. I know what day it was because in the DR, our mail come every other Tuesday, so life was often measured by "maildays". I had received my mail on Tuesday night and, as always, had already opened and read through all of my mail. Oh beloved mailday!

Wednesday morning I ran out of toothpaste. I decided to trust God even for this and get on my knees and ask him for something as simple as toothpaste. I sort of giggled as I did it and felt like God was giggling too. I thought that it was silly to pray for toothpaste, but I also had learned alot about who my incredible, amazing, loving God was and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if he wanted to, he would provide - even toothpaste...and if he didn't want to...I was wiling to just wait on Him and see what other solution He came up with.

So I prayed. When I got home from work, there was a box at my house. It had come the day before with the other stuff, but had gotten mixed up with the mail from another ministry, so I didn't get it until Wednesday evening. It was a box from the women's ministry at my home church. The women's ministry had put together little odds & ends into boxes and sent them to each of the church's missionaries. Amidst a whole box of stuff that I don't even remember, there was big old tube of toothpaste!! It was the only toothpaste I ever received in the mail as well as the only box SBC ever sent me.

I left it in the Lord's hands and HE took care of my needs in His own way. What I LOVE about the story is that God knew my need ahead of time and had already provided the answer - long before I even realized my need or stopped to pray about it. It had been put in the mail about 3 weeks before I even prayed for the toothpaste...and had arrived in the country the day before...but it didn't make it to my hands until after I'd spent the day praying and truly trusting.

God always knows our needs. I think he is often trying to send us a tube of toothpaste, but we don't feel the need, or we see the tube but it's the wrong brand or wrong flavor, or because we usually have SOME alternative to our problems - some other way for US to resolve things, and so we miss out. We miss out on seeing the visible expressions of our invisible God. We miss out on seeing tangible answers to our prayers and we miss out on the incredible awe and pure joy of spinning and dancing with our savior, laughing like a child because we just KNEW that he was going to take care of our every need, one way or another, and it makes us a child.