Last Sunday at 3:20am there was a 6.0 earthquake in the Napa Valley about 30 miles from where we live. The quake woke us up out of a sound sleep and the house rolled up and down for 15-20 seconds. The quake did a lot of damage in and around Napa but thankfully we only lost some sleep in it. Later that morning in church we were talking with a friend who studies earthquakes and he was telling us a bit about what happens geologically.
Chris explained to us that in this type of earthquake the two plates of the earth’s crust had been moving past each other at a rate of a couple of centimeters per year. Where the two plates move past each other is called a fault and sometimes the plates snag each other and can’t move. When a plate hits one of these snags, a lot of energy is built up until the snag releases and the plates can move again. That sudden jolt of movement off of the snag and the resulting release of energy is what we feel as an earthquake. Now, Chris was much more eloquent and scientific, (and I am sure that I got several things wrong) but I think that my simple explanation got the gist of what he was saying.
His explanation also got me thinking about our process in returning to Kenya and ministry at RVA. We had been moving along since early 2013 and even gaining momentum in support raising and preparing to leave, but eventually we hit a snag. That snag for us was not another tectonic plate but rather financial support. By the time we had to make a go/no go decision for this August we were only at 32% of our monthly support. This made the decision painfully easy. We could not go and had to re-assess what God was doing. We held a night of prayer, praise and thankfulness with many of you at the end of May and committed to slowing down over the summer to continue praying and seeking the Lord in this process, then re-starting our efforts in the fall.
We did just that. We spent time as a family praying and talking through our next steps. We enjoyed a much needed retreat at Mount Hermon and have been refreshed by our most recent series on Grace at our church. Now that Fall is upon us and the kids are back in school, we are ramping up our efforts at support raising. We are even more convinced that the Lord wants us to return to RVA, but are a bit unsure of the duration that He wants us there for. We continue to pray about that. We are committed to returning to RVA in August 2015 and will go for as long as we have funds to support us and there is a need for us at the school. If that ends up being a short term of months or long term of years; we are relying on God to tell us.
We are hoping and praying that the Lord unleashes the pent up energy that has been building by our support snag. We are currently looking for opportunities to speak and share about what God is doing in our lives and in the ministry at RVA. If you would like to have us share with your small group, bible study, bridge club, class, church or any other venue, please contact us and we would love to come and meet with you.
God has continued to work with His people and our support has continued to climb. We are currently at 41% of our monthly target and are 41 pledges of $100/ month short. If we can get 5 pledges of $100 a month over the next 8 months we will hit our goal. We ask that you please continue to pray with and for us.
Brian, Erin, Jakin, Keilah, Silas and Eli Richerson