Jacob and Jamie Sechrest, New Zealand — Sticking to It
What does the Bible teach us about time? Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Revelation 22:13 states that God is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” This teaches that God created time. It is His. Time began by Him, will be completed by Him, and it is He who allows all the time in between. Wise King Solomon said, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The Apostle Paul encourages in Ephesians 5:16 to “redeem the time…” (or make the most of it), “…because the days are evil.” We understand time to be the window of opportunity to get things accomplished. The result of the use of our time is based on what we invest our time in –eternal or temporal things. For this period of time in our earthly, temporal lives we cannot get back to New Zealand. The NZ Prime Minister announced in January that the borders would remain closed for the majority of this year and she gave no clear indication when they would reopen. We have three visa applications sitting in NZ immigration collecting dust and believe we have done all we physically can to get back into the country. We were also informed that our applications will not be processed until the border restrictions are lifted. This is heartbreaking for us, not just because our household belongings are stuck in storage and we cannot personally attend to them, but that there are people there we love and care about who need to be ministered to and told about the good news of Jesus Christ. Will we ever get back to New Zealand? God has given us peace to trust His plan. In the meantime, we are “sticking with it”. Let me explain. It would be easy for us to hit the pause button, settle in where we are, and maybe never return to a foreign mission field. But, at this point, that is not what we believe God has called us to do. Our burden is to plant churches on the foreign field, and we are sticking with it. We have been asking, seeking, and knocking for God’s direction and He is answering our prayers. An opportunity to be involved in new church plants has opened up for us in South Africa. We are planning to go on a two-week survey trip next week to step through this open door and see where we might fit. Please pray for safety, negative Covid tests, separation of our family (three oldest boys are staying with grandparents), and that we’d be sensitive to God’s direction. Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and financial support for us. May spiritual fruit abound to your account.