Marc and Denise Atchley - June 2017
with Marc & Denise Atchley
Last month we wrote about our preparations to move into a missionary house in our area. We're still making that transition ... slowly. This is largely due to the accumulation of stuff that comes with years of marriage and kids ... especially kids! We know we can't take much with us, and we only want to put in storage those few things we'll need in the future or just can't bear to part with. But we're making progress! And we've scheduled some of the necessary repairs to be made to our home. Our house was built around 1925 and has lots of "character". We've never been able to do the remodeling job that the home deserves, and we're not doing so now. But we want to make the repairs that are needed in order to sell (or possibly lease) the house before we leave for Greece. Would you please pray that God will give us wisdom in this matter?
For all it's challenges, this process of preparing to move has actually helped us to remember some spiritual truths. For instance, the missionary house into which we're moving is a bit smaller than our home and isn't necessarily furnished to accommodate a family of six. This in no way diminishes our gratitude to the church for allowing us to stay there ... the house is such a blessing! But it has helped us think in terms of "temporary". Whatever inconveniences we might experience are slight and momentary! In little less than a year (we hope), the missionary house will have served its purpose, and we will be able to establish a more lasting home in Greece! If we could only remember this when life's troubles seem to overwhelm us. It won't be long before we're relocated to a place that make the beauties of Tennessee and Greece pail by comparison ... and we'll be there forever!
This same dichotomy between short-term and long-term, temporal and eternal applies to our investments. We wouldn't expect to spend nearly the amount of money making improvements to the missionary house (as appreciative as we are to the church) as we would to our own home. The one is a temporary accommodation that doesn't belong to us, while the other is an asset that can provide value long after we've moved to Greece. It's a neat reminder that this present life is little more than "temporary accommodation" and that the most prudent investments are those that last for eternity.
And then there are all of our belongings that we're wading through. There's no room for them in the missionary house, storage is limited, and we certainly can't take them all to Greece. In all likelihood we will board the plane will several pieces of luggage for each person, and that will be it. We'll probably need to buy furnishings when we get there (arguably less expensive than shipping a container full of things by sea), but we'll be less encumbered than we are now. Will we stay that way? Things have a way of accumulating, no matter what. But instead of building bigger barns to store our stuff, we want to be increasingly rich toward God.
These are just a few of the things God seems to be teaching us through this process. So, in addition to praying for wisdom regarding repairs to our home, we would also ask that you pray that we would accept life's challenges as temporary, hold loosely to the gifts that God gives us, and be ready to share them with others for the sake of His name. Thank you!
We are so appreciative of your willingness to partner with us in prayer. Ultimately, we are engaged in spiritual battle -- as we seek to follow Christ more faithfully and as we seek to disciple others. And though we lean solely upon the Lord for everything, your partnership in prayer is a great encouragement because we know that He is pleased to answer when His children demonstrate their trust in Him through patient and persistent prayer. We can't thank you enough!