We came back to the States Feb. 7…… I’d like to say that we hit the ground running, getting our Visas, connecting with friends and family, but in reality, we hit the ground and crumbled. The first 6 weeks back here were some the most challenging days we have ever experienced. Our personal health, family health, Beth’s preschool (and one of our major source of funding) was crumbling in front of her. Now we were under pressure not only to replace the funding the school has been providing, but also to raise funds for the projects that we had targeted in Africa. These projects just aren’t things to keep us busy, but they are a vehicle to share the Gospel and they are the sole income that supports our participant’s families. They rely on the income from these projects to feed their families. There is an added urgency for these projects to continue because of their reliance. Our goal is to have the project and the participants be self-sustaining and not relying us, but they are just not there yet.
After falling to our knees in surrender, knowing that we just didn’t have the strength to do this on our own, things started turning around. Through the encouragement of others, we picked ourselves up and began to walk forward and see God at work in all of our connections - giving us encouragement and wisdom through His word. Our passion is to encourage and bring out the potential in others. It now felt like we were in a role reversal and the recipient of encouragement. Others saw the potential in us and the work we are doing and were willing to stand behind us. That really feels both humbling and amazing. God was definitely moving in those we made contact with - allowing them to be the hands of Christ as they wrapped their arms around us.
After many wonderful lunches, dinners, church presentations and talks over coffee in 4 different states, we leave with some of our projects fully funded and our hearts encouraged.
Thank you to all of you who welcomed us and patiently listened to the vision that God has placed in front of us. Thank you to all who opened your homes, meetings and church doors to hear our presentation and our heart. Our connections with you all mean so very much!!
Dave will be back on African soil next Monday (May 7) but Beth will be staying behind in the States to complete the sale of the preschool and will follow a month later.
We may not be fully funded but our hearts are overflowing. We are at peace and know that God will provide. As we had to remind ourselves many times this trip, “God’s got this”. We are excited to get back to the wonderful people that we work with in Africa and push the projects to a new level.
Blessings to you all!
Dave & Beth Phillips
Forever believing Isaiah 40:11