Leaving Everything but Possessing More than Everything

By Stacey

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1   
Well this is it.  9 years of preparation, hundreds of prayers answered, lots of goodbyes, and finally the mission field is here.  Our bags are packed and we are leaving for France tomorrow.  When people ask us how we feel about leaving, we often respond that we are apathetic and just so in the zone of all the logistics that surround moving a family overseas.  But here and there when the dust has settled a bit, and in the quiet of the night, I have felt great feelings of loss as I think about leaving everything. There are friends from my school at GIAL that are going out all across the globe and I know that I will never see them again on this earth.  Last Sunday was our last time to worship the Lord in an English worship service.  I had to give my wedding ring to my mom to store for me because I can’t wear it in Cameroon.  Most of the gifts that Dave has given me throughout the years have been given to a thrift store.  Our relationships will now be maintained through skype (and I hate skype). There are conversations that are cut short or will never be had.  There are friends that are in the midst of trials right now and I’m leaving them. There is such a joy in being around people who love Christ, who pray for me, and who know me.  And we are walking away from it all. 
What brings my heart comfort?  Heaven.  It’s the fact that I possess more than what I am leaving.  For instance, I am leaving America, but Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the entire earth.  So, I am temporarily leaving a familiar country, but I actually own it and the whole world for that matter.  I am leaving friendships, but God promises that all those who trust in Christ will be with him and one another forever.  There will be no mourning or crying or pain anymore.  I am leaving diamonds and jewelry, but I am moving into a city where the pavement is made up of gold.  I am leaving familiar houses, streets, and cities, but Jesus is custom preparing a house and a city for me.  We are pursuing a more difficult life then what we are leaving, and yet I am promised pleasures forevermore.  When I think about all the work that lies ahead of us in translating the Bible, I can see right past that to an eternity of rest.  An eternity where the days are no longer evil and there is no longer an end point called death that I have to get everything done before.  There are tears now and I assume in the days to come, but there is comfort coming.  There is much spiritual darkness where we are going, but soon there will never be night again and the gates of our new city will never close.  This city is my confidence and my true home and never have I longed for it more than I do now.
“Surely I am coming soon.
But sometimes I think, “Oh, Heaven is just so far away.” But, really, it is not. Jesus could return before I get done writing this blog post.  He could return before we hit the ground in Cameroon.  And I pray he’ll find me busy and useful in his Kingdom work when he does return.  In the words of Randy Alcorn, we are just at the edge of eternity, ready to fall over into it.  It is calling my name.  Jesus said “Surely I am coming soon.” Heaven and eternal joy is so soon.  So yeah, it’s hard and sad to leave everything, but our future is just so secure that we’d be fools to not go in an attempt to preserve what is passing away.  So bring on the mission field because…

I have a hope, I have a future
I have a destiny that is yet awaiting me
My life’s not over, a new beginning’s just begun
I have a hope, I have this hope

My God is for me, He’s not against me
So tell me whom then, tell me whom then shall I fear
He has prepared for me
Great works He’ll help me to complete
I have a hope, I have this hope

Goodness and mercy, they’re gonna follow me
And I’ll forever dwell in the house of my great King
No eye has ever seen all He’s preparing there for me
Though trials may come, I have this hope


Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.