I woke up early this morning to a sweet Facebook update from Tara and Wade, thrilled to see they have hit the 90% mark in raising their financial support. I smile every time I see their adorable children (Yes, I mean my grandkids) as they color in another red section of their giant thermometer. It’s really happening…they are so close! You can hear it in their voices and see it on their faces. The excitement is there but it is mixed with the realization that a lot of things are about to change. Life as they know it, will never be the same.
Fifteen years ago, that’s what Nancy and I were doing. With all four girls in tow, ranging in age from 7 to 17, we packed all our stuff and shipped a container to begin ministry life here in South Africa. Tara was 14 years old at the time, and now here she is, married with three children, organizing her family’s bags to leave for the mission field, while Wade thinks of building crates for their larger items. Things are about to change, but for the good.
Their children, Finnegan, Aislinn and Maeve, will not know or remember an American way of life but will be raised as “American-Africans.” How cool! They’ll live in a country that’s going through huge changes, where 80% of the people aren’t white and they will have days when they feel a bit like a misfits. They’ll learn vast cultural distinctions and hear multiple languages spoken all around them, everyday, and they will most likely learn to speak a couple of them. They’ll live with amazing natural beauty in every direction, and yet, they’ll see sobering poverty all around them. As they grow up, they will come to understand they can only touch the surface when helping people with physical needs…but will also learn that their greatest needs are spiritual. They’ll experience new tastes, smells, and really cool animals. Yes, things are about to change, but God will give them hearts to adapt to their new country and love His people.
They’ll live comfortably and become content with the security gates and bars on all their windows and doors (even to the point of missing them when they go home for the their first furlough). They’ll learn to move around the city with a fear of crime, but they will also feel secure in the knowledge that they are in the hands God and He simply will not forsake them. Their lives are about to change…but this will soon become home for them.
The most exciting thing about Team McComas being so close to 100% is that God is working out His will for their lives. Every missionary recalls their days of “pre-field” with all the pressure and stress that comes with raising support. Yet, even though the last two-years have been tough, God has confirmed His call, equipped them for their new ministry and further prepared them to be used cross-culturally in His Great Commission. I am excited to see how He is going to use them.
As Tara’s Dad (and now fellow missionary), I am really proud of them and genuinely excited to see what God is doing. I am thankful for Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville; they’ve been an amazing and supportive home church. I am honoured by all of Team McComas’ personal supporters who are making sacrifices to partner with them and will be contributing to God’s work here. I am grateful for Wade’s family, and our family, too, who will soon release them to go, forfeiting a lot of fun times during the years in-between furloughs, family holidays, and spontaneous chats. I am also appreciative for the team here anxiously awaiting their arrival and ready to help where needed. Selfishly, Nancy and I are as busy as we’ve ever been during all our years of ministry here in South Africa, and we seriously need their help. They are a family gifted in many ways that we are not. They will reach and minister to those we cannot. God’s hand is on them. Things are about to change, but for the good and His glory.
One last thought for all those reading this blog and thinking about being part of the last 10% — Go for it! It’s exciting to be part of what God is doing. Don’t hold back as you make an eternal investment.