Jacob Sechrest, South Africa — The Path
The Path Clearly At Hand Proverbs 3:5,6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Since the onset of the pandemic the path forward for us has been uncertain. New Zealand’s borders are still restricted and will not fully open for some time. South Africa’s borders are open, but the “red tape” to get there is expensive and daunting. Covid mandates are still rampant and unpredictable around the world. Yet, through all this we have tried to be wise and follow God’s leading through the open doors He has provided. Most of the time our future has looked grim from our perspective and decisions have been difficult to balance. But, what has been clear are the needs of ministry right where we are living. Someone who has become a good friend, encourager, and prayer warrior, recently sent me a quote regarding this very thing. It states, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand” (Thomas Carlyle). South Africa, and any foreign mission field, seems dim and at a distance to us right now. But the ministry that we have been involved in here, lies clearly at hand. There are a few things that have been blatantly obvious. God could have gotten us back to NZ quickly. God could have not allowed the pandemic to happen. He could have also shortened it to where it would all be over by now. Also, because of the restrictions NZ has in place, the teammates we would have been working with (The Craven’s) are back in America to minister — and most likely, we would have been too. God also could have gotten us to South Africa last year. And, sadly, what new support we gained last year was balanced by lost support, therefore, we are not much closer than we were. Yet, in spite of our circumstances, we have continued to minister where God has placed us. He has proven Himself faithful in everything and our family has grown spiritually…and numerically :). For the past year and a half we have been living in the mission house of a supporting church in North Carolina and filling gaps and needs in ministry when we were not traveling. All along the way God has been opening a door of opportunity and knitting our hearts together. The church has recently voted to bring me on staff as a full-time assistant Pastor. I have accepted this offer and began fulfilling responsibilities as of March 1st. We have also resigned from International Gospel Missions as supported missionaries. It is a step of faith as we trust in the Lord with all our heart, distrust our own understanding, and acknowledge Him in all our ways. We cannot say thank you enough for all of your prayer support, thoughts, and love throughout the past 11 years we have been involved in foreign missions. As we make this decision by faith, this continues the life of faith we are called to live, and will further our dependence on God’s faithfulness and promises as Jehovah-Jireh. We ask for your continued faithful prayers through this transition and new ministry. We will send one last update with pictures and contact info to stay connected. If you have any questions, please contact us. We love you and are so grateful for your faithful partnership.