Tim certainly did not plan to tear his bicep tendon and need surgery weeks before both our daughters get married. I, Patty, certainly did not plan to write this blog, however this is the path set before us. So that being the case I have decided to share a few thoughts about the recent path Oceans Ministries has been on.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT
- The purchase of Wellwood, previously owned by Azusa Pacific University, is now officially Oceans Ministry Retreat Center. A heartfelt thank you to board members Steve, Ken, Steve and Danell, who displayed incredible patience, perseverance, and attention to detail to accomplish this feat! We praise God for each of their gifts and for God’s sovereignty.
- The step to obtain non-profit status came with many, many prayers, lots of paperwork, and the assistance of a South African lawyer. We heard many accounts of how difficult and time consuming this process can be! To God be the glory that this step is competed.
- The purchase of 2 vans and a 7-person vehicle are being finalized. This will be great for groups who come to serve in neighboring communities. This transportation will also allow for visits to Robben Island, where Nelson was in prison, as well trips to other beautiful and historical places nearby.
- Desiring to be good stewards of what God has given us, we are asking God to put on the hearts of others to provide for the repayment of the interest free loan for the property. We praise God for the individual who offered the financial backing without solicitation!
- We are so thankful that Ray & Sue Haakenson, our South African Ambassadors, live less than a mile from the Retreat Center. Kegan Haakonsen, who grew up in Africa, has agreed to live on the property and manage the the day-to-day details of the Retreat Center. We are grateful the commitment of these mission-minded individuals.
- Tim and I,Patty, are making plans to relocate to Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa at the beginning of the new year. In the next few months we will be celebrating the weddings of our two daughters and packing up our Colorado home. Anna and her husband will live in our Aurora home and we will therefore have a spot in the basement for return visits.
- Tim, who at the moment only has use of his left hand, has delegated many tasks -one of which is securing a VISA for our travels. This process is so unpredictable and we ask for the paperwork to get “pushed through” so that we can continue to make the Father’s love known to spiritual and physical orphans.
- So thankful that Mike Verkaik, the US Ambassador for Oceans Ministries, already has several trips planned for 2020 and carpenters from Haven Church who are willing to make necessary improvements on the property! The fact that God moves in the hearts of His people to give of themselves is truly a gift from the Holy Spirit!
- Both Mike, Tim and their families continue to partner in ministry with those living in hotels in Michigan and Colorado. Financial hardship hits many and offering food, friendship & prayer to the individuals and families in these situations is a small contribution of love.
- Tim’s book Stepping into The Lord’s Prayer is in editing mode. This book highlights the parallels between working the 12 steps of recovery and how they are linked to the Lord’s Prayer. We are thankful for gifted friends who have helped with this!
Steps. So these are just a few steps that we have been taking with Oceans Ministries. This retreat center is a BIG STEP for me, Tim has been wanting to move to Africa for at least the past 17 years, but if you look carefully at the logo, I am not in the boat. 🙂 My kids have promised that they will come to visit and are excited to join us as we continue to pursue the vision and mission of Oceans.
For each of us there have been countless steps to get us from place to place. These steps may be physical ones and/or spiritual ones. Sometimes in the midst of the journey we cannot see where we are headed, yet, glancing back we can see that the Lord has determined each and every step. In the words of Henry Blackaby, “Watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work.”