Saturday, June 23, 2012

God Is Able to Turn a Woman's Heart

Hillsong cover image from Wikipedia
Having candidly aired the not-always-so-illustrious working out of my own faith, I was curious about how it was for another woman from middle-class America to pack up her family and consider a move to a foreign field.

Today, Kris Gnuse, the woman I mentioned in the previous post, is gracious enough to give us a glimpse into her heart as she and her family prepare for a move to Hogar de Vida (Home of Life) in Atenas, Costa Rica.
My Way or Your Way: Trusting God

Kris gave me a little back story which I think represents a huge issue for wives, regardless if it concerns the mission field or the finances: To trust God enough with your own well-being that you are able to support your husband’s conviction of God’s call—even if it terrifies you.

Back in 2006, all was well with the Gnuse family. Kris and her husband, Matt, loved God and believed they were following him, that is, until the Lord seemed to give Matt direction which had not first cleared Kris’s spiritual radar. When Matt announced he thought God would have them go on a team trip to Guatemala, Kris balked. What would they do with their two small children? And how would they raise the money?
One night, after weeks of holding onto her, “no,” and yet another “verbal tangle” with her husband, Kris heard the Lord ask, “"Do you want my way, or your way?" 

 The realization (that she wanted her way) sobered her and shocked her out of her disobedience. She prayed the prayer that is often the only one it takes—"Lord, help me to want your way."

She says, “I was in tears most of the first (team)meeting.  But the Lord came alongside us and blessed us. He provided such abundance that we not only covered our own costs, but those of another team member as well. The Lord had even provided for our children's hearts. Our four- year- old daughter came to us as we lingered over goodbyes at her grandparents’ house and said, "I want you to go now."  She was impatient to begin her special time with people she loved. 

You continued to go on mission trips and are now planning to spend time in Costa Rica this summer before moving there in 2013. What made you decide God was calling you to this time and place?

When we were in Costa Rica as a family in 2008, the Lord spoke to Matt about us living there someday.  Matt was ready to move as soon as the Lord gave us clearance for take-off, but my heart was rooted in a secure income, a nice house, comfortable routine.  Slowly, over the last few years, the Lord has been moving me to let go of these temporary things to take a greater hold on Him and His eternal treasures.  

Last summer, after Matt and I led a team to Hogar de Vida in Guatemala, we realized our hearts were in Costa Rica, and that was where the Lord was calling us.God continued to give confirmation, and when Connie, our global outreach pastor, suggested a two year launch period with us beginning language school in August of 2013, it resonated with what we were each hearing separately.

We are incredibly blessed to be part of a church that has a sending arm, Shelter of Light, to launch and support their global workers.  They are walking us through the process and will provide our spiritual and authority covering as we serve in Costa Rica.  

 How do your children feel about it?

They are all excited, but it can be hard to tell what is going on in their hearts, especially with the boys as they are young.  Our 10 year old daughter is the one who best understands what she is releasing for us to go.  Part of our prayer is that the Lord would make a special place for each member of our family in this new life He's calling us to.   

What fears or challenges are you facing now in anticipation of your move?

 Trusting the Lord for provision to this extent is new ground for us. Some of our biggest concerns are selling our house in a tough market and raising up a community of prayer warriors and financial supporters. Mastering the Spanish language is another hurdle that can feel pretty high. 

I certainly feel overwhelmed at times.  For instance, when I look around our house and see all the stuff that we have, I'm daunted.  Sometimes these four walls of our home feel much more real than our electronic tickets to fly and the still small voice calling us to go. 

 But we have seen how the Lord changes lives through global journeys, and we pray that He would give others a heart for that process and for our family as we step into a place of receiving teams at Hogar de Vida in Costa Rica.  We hope to be a blessing as we act as a bridge between the two cultures. 

What are some things that helped prepare your heart and courage?

The Lord has been kind to provide encouragement and inspiration through the mentoring and leadership of our church family, the testimonies of people who have been there (often through books like yours), and the faith walks of those around us. 

One verse in particular was prayed over me a while back and continues to speak peace to my heart, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6. 

Also, being a part of our church's worship choir has ministered to my heart more than anything else. One Hillsong song, "God is Able," seemed to appoint itself as the theme song for this part of our journey. The words of the chorus especially encourage me: 

                  "God is with us.  God is on our side.  He will make a way. 
                   Far above all we know.  
                  Far above all we hope. He has done great things."

Our prayers and blessings go with this family in their walk of faith.
If you'd like to keep in touch with news from the Gnuse family, please visit them at .

Financial support can be made out to Shelter of Light and mailed to: (Memo:Gnuse Family)
 Shelter of Light
15555 West Dodge Road
 Omaha, NE 68154

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