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2018 after the storm.

Normally one would say that after the storm, comes the calm, but I beg to differ. I believe most of you have heard our journey in the US and how the Lord dealt with us and sent us back to Singapore. The mistake we made was thinking that our move back to Singapore would bring us out of the fire. So naïve. So rather than “after the storm comes the calm” it turned out to be “out of the fire into the frying pan”

If I were to give 2018 a theme it would be either “waiting on the Lord” or more likely “learn to trust in the Lord”. Both of these flow of the tongue, so easy to say, but the reality is different and unless we are able to embrace the ideas we will struggle to enjoy the journey. During 2018 God was teaching us how to enjoy the journey.

We can so easily miss God’s goodness, His love for details, the way He restores us in all that we lose or threw away. “But wait a minute” I hear you say “you still don’t have a job, so where is your restoration?”. Good question.God restored what is most valuable to Him, and it’s up to us to “catch on” or miss out. Our greatest area of restoration during 2018 was family time. After years of long hours in the office and endless travel, I have spent every day of 2018 with my dear family. As homeschoolers I struggle to express how precious that is to my family and I.

I praise God for this time, it has value beyond measure. It’s so easy for us to loose sight of what is really important during our times of waiting. I think we started our time of waiting, supposing that the “waiting” was the purpose in and of itself. But that is so wrong, and I thank the Lord that we got to realise this early in this season. Waiting, we figured out, was a means to an end, and “time” was our gift from the Lord; is not a period of been abandoned but a time of joy and freedom, a restoration of time I lost when I idolised my work. We have learnt that we need to be aware of and embrace the journey that God is taking us and not despise these periods of waiting.

When we arrived back in Singapore back in Feb 2018 that we thought we wouldn’t be able to settle in a church here that aligned with our beliefs. Actually for the first few weeks we didn’t even try to find a church and worshiped only at home. But the desire to find a fellowship in which to worship grew strong in us and we followed my mother-in-law to JMK. God is good and it turns this was the church in which we could start to grow in our faith.

Amazingly, not long after attending JMK did the Order of Melchizedek series start with our dear Brother Sadhu. At any other time in the last 20 years would it have been even remotely possible for me to have the time available to attend every session. But by God’s grace it was perfectly timed and we could fully commit to attend. As we listened we came to realise that there is so much we have to learn about our walk in the Lord.

After this the possibility to attend the Israel conference was placed in our hearts, but not just for Tabby and I, but our entire family. Obviously it was out of the question as we had no income to cover the flights and conference costs. We handed it over to the Lord, praying that if it was His will for us to attend, we would need His provision. Not only did he provide for the flights and the conference but also enough for us to go early and take time let the children experience places referred to in the Bible and bring the Word to life for them.

This was our second visit to Israel but the first time we have taken the children with us. It seems that every time we mention travel to Israel our friends will ask, “is it safe?” And then, “you’re taking the children!?!?”. But for us it was a real faith builder. “The Lord told us go” we explained many times, therefore we are walking in the will of God, whatever happens in Israel it is His will. That gave us so much peace and amazingly we experienced so much favor, for example immigration that took hours previously, took 5 minutes, no queue no hassle. Just trusting in God is enough.

In late July I was told that my father was ill in the UK with a reoccurrence of a heart problem. The Holy Spirit led me to head over to the UK once again relying on His provision and not looking to worldly wisdom, I determined that I would fly to the UK and spend time with him. I planned to only take Sammy but a last minute prompt of the Lord asked my to take Matty also, and so it was that the two little ones and I packed our bags and headed to England.

We spent nearly six weeks staying with my parents, and the Lord allowed Matty and Sammy to speak into their life. I don’t believe it was the medical disease that was ailing my Dad’s heart I think it was his spiritual heart that needed medicine and what better medication than the pure hearts of little children? Dad allowed us to pray for him and explain more about our faith. There was a huge improvement in my Dad while we were with him and I thank God that His wisdom directed me to bring Matty along with Sam.

While in the UK the Lord also gave me the opportunity to fix broken relationships with my sisters and do a little bit of bible study with one of them. Only a few months earlier when we passed through the UK on the way to Singapore, one of my sisters refused to even meet up with us. God completely restored our family and I declare that He will lead each one of them to salvation. I thank the Lord for 2018!

By Bro Ashley and Sis Tabitha

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