“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce… seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you…”
– Jeremiah 29:7&9
When God carried the people of Judah into Exile, he didn’t tell them to sit and wait, or to focus only on spiritual practices. He told them to live life; to build, garden, cultivate relationships with those around them, and to contribute to the health and community atmosphere of their new neighbourhood – Babylon.
Back in 2016 when we talked to four-year-old Samuel about moving to El Paso to be missionaries, we told him it meant we were going to “tell people that God is real, and that He loves them.” Five and Six-year-old Samuel, has regularly asked, “When are we going to do that?”
Proclaiming the love of God is a balance of what I call “the talky stuff”; you know… like preaching, praying, meeting someone for coffee, writing newsletters etc.; and physical activities; like walking your Kindergartener 300m to school, shoveling truck-loads of pea-gravel into a courtyard, building and filling concrete forms, keeping a toddler alive, etc. In our coming and going and doing and being and speaking, we live out the love of God, with and near others.
This Spring is shaping up to be a fun object lesson for Samuel, and for us; and hopefully for our neighbours too. We Tarrants are in the midst of 8 weekends of deputation (speaking in church services about our ministry – in New Mexico, California, Arkansas & Indiana. The Monday-Fridays in between, have been full of various kinds of physical labour; Hayley has been leading the other 3 of us in a courtyard renovation at the Wenda House Ministry Center; Hayley helped our teammate Rhesa put in a new irrigation gate in the back canal; there are daily walks to and from school, connecting with the other families outside the school, and the daily chores of normal life.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, we try to remember, we are
“seek[ing] the peace and prosperity of the city to which [God has] carried [us]”!
- Please pray for our deputation events and travel in New Mexico, California, Arkansas & Indiana.
- Pray for the preparation for the Rendezvous Plus Missionary Kid event in Florida this Summer.
- Pray for Andrew’s continued improvement in speaking Spanish
- Pray that Samuel & Rees would see that the Kingdom is all around them, all the time; and that everything they do is an opportunity to proclaim it!
- Pray for deepening relationships with the families of Samuel’s classmates and our neighbours.