He will Hold me Fast
It was the first of October, a beautiful and sunny day. My mom had the day off and suggested that we go to the beach. When you live in Michigan and have a warm sunny day in October, you need to take advantage of it. As we walked out onto the pier and I looked out across Lake Michigan, I was taken back to a scene from my time in Togo.
I was sitting under a palm tree on the edge of the beach, overlooking the ocean and listening to music on my phone. My time in Togo was almost done. Over the last several months I had been asking the questions, “God, are you calling me to full time missions? If so, are you calling me back to Togo?” I looked across the ocean waves as they came crashing down over the rocks. There had been challenges that I didn’t know I would face in Togo. Yet, at other times, there had been unbelievable joy! In my heart, I knew the answer to the questions, but fear would creep in. “But Lord, what if I fail? What if I can’t learn French?” Another wave crashed against the rocks. The song, “He will Hold me Fast” started playing on my phone.
“When I fear my faith will fail Christ will hold me fast When the tempter would prevail He will hold me fast”
I knew then how I needed to respond to the Lord’s call. I bowed my head, “Lord, the journey ahead will be difficult. I can’t do it on my own strength. You are calling me to come back to Togo full time. Today, I choose to say yes, I will follow you. I know the waves over the next few years may seem overwhelming, but I know you will hold me fast. I will trust and obey.”
I blinked, and I was back overlooking Lake Michigan. It seems almost unreal I am near the end of pre-field journey and preparing to go to language school. It has been a busy month as I get ready for this transition. I traveled back to ABWE to attend the 24-hour DEMO. I was excited to see 71 individuals come out to explore God’s calling in their life. Ariana, a friend from my home church, came too! What an encouraging weekend it was! I connected with familiar and new faces. Of course, Ariana, the Davises, and I needed to get a picture of the Hollanders/Calvary Baptist reunion! A special treat was that my friend and fellow Togo missionary, Hannah, was in town! I hadn’t seen her since I left Togo. It was great to have lunch and catch up with each other.
There are lots of little steps I need to take before I can leave for language school. I am working to obtain health clearance and financial clearance with ABWE. I am currently at 92% of my monthly support! So close! Please be praying for that need to be met. I also have several assignments that I am working on. I have completed 21/22 units for my “Methods of Bible Study” course. Thank you for praying for me on this assignment the last several months. The course takes a lot of time and focus. I am almost done! Praise the Lord! I have two trainings at ABWE coming up:
Personal Security: Nov 8th-9th
Departure Readiness Training (Formally called Field Prep): Nov 10th-12th
Please pray for safety as I drive to and from these events. Also pray for all the steps I need to finish to attend language school on January 10th. Canada is allowing applications for students visas. My school has given me the information I need to apply for the visa. Please pray that the process will go smoothly and quickly. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I am grateful for each of you. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.
● Pray that I will be diligent in my “Methods of Bible Study Course”. I have 21/22 units complete!
● Pray for wisdom and that things would go well as I begin applying for visas to study in Canada.
● Pray for health and safety as I travel to and from ABWE.
● Pray for wisdom as I prepare to move to Quebec in January.
● Pray for the new public deaf school starting near where I lived and that there would be opportunities for the Gospel.
● Pray for T that the Lord would open his eyes to the gospel as I lead him through the “Story of Hope”.
● Pray for my grandfather Ortiz who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
● Pray for an ASL interpreter for Togo – big opportunity for one!
● Pray for more opportunities for me to practice signing.
● Pray for additional partners for my ministry.
● Praise God for 92% of my monthly support!
● Praise God for the 71 individuals that came out to the 24-hour DEMO at ABWE
● Praise God that I was accepted into the language school in Quebec, Canada
● Praise God for the new public deaf school near where I lived!
● Praise God that Jonas has started another school year. He is doing well.