My husband and I trained as pastors at the same college before we married. After graduation in 1982, I was assigned a district in our conference. But because of his blindness, my fiance had a difficult time finding employment; the conference found it difficult to employ him because of his disability. However, hesoon found employment at the college where we had trained. He was as a part-time teacher for blind students. We married on October 23, 1983. We were unable to stay together for some months, Later, he was assigned to pastor at one of our mission schools, and I was the girls' dean.
We worked for 11 months at the mission and it was there that our first baby arrived. Then there arose some administrative problems, and my husband was transferred to another place to pastor an urban district. We were notified about the transfer and informed we would have to leave our home in less than 36 hours. The truck which was going to carry our goods was scheduled to come at 4 a.m. and there was no one to help us pack! The schools had closed and all the students and the majority of the staff members had gone to their homes. All of my acquaintances at the mission had left. Life was like the little book of Revelation that was sweet in the mouth and sour in the stomach.
The transfer left me with no job. My husband's salary was small so we could not afford to employ anyone to help us pack. I was not yet strong enough to do heavy manual work. The baby was still too young to be left alone for long hours. My husband could not do much to help me. I did not have enough containers and strings to pack and tie my goods. Some of the goods were too heavy for me to lift. We were in a bind. Though the situation seemed desperate, I do not remember praying asking for God's help at that unbearable moment. Neither did I shed a tear nor murmur. I accepted the situation as it was. Although I could not really understand why things had occurred the way they had, I felt comforted and had peace of mind. I was sure I would be somewhere by sunset.
God has promised that He will not leave us to suffer by ourselves. He is the Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent One. He loves each one of us and is always ready to help. He knows what we can and cannot handle. God had planned how to help me through this stressful period in our lives even before it occurred. Late in the afternoon, a day before leaving the mission, two ladies arrived at the school. They had received letters inviting them to a First Aid course that was going to be conducted at the campus. When they arrived, they found out there were no such plans. In fact, no one had written letters announcing a meeting of that nature. It was already too late to go the long distances back home. They came to my house and asked for boarding. Though I was busy, I welcomed them and prepared food for them. I did not tell them that we were going to leave the following morning. However, they noticed how busy I was and were inquisitive as to why I was busily packing. I explained my situation to them.
The ladies were sympathetic and offered to help. They relieved me from packing duties and asked me to care for the restless baby while they did the job. They went into the kitchen and nicely wrapped all the pots, cutlery, china and glassware. They cleared the dining room, the lounge and finally the bedrooms. They did a great job; in fact I had never seen human hands pack so efficiently. I had no doubt God sent me angels. The following morning, the truck arrived at 3:30 a.m. The good ladies helped me carry the goods out of the house and load them. in the truck. We bade each other farewell and we left.
Once we arrived at our new home, we met the pastor whose place my husband was taking. He was using the same truck to move his belongings. It was about to rain and the sky was dark. The truck driver quickly helped us unload our goods from the truck and load our colleagues goods back onto the truck. He then left. Our goods were scattered all over the yard. My husband and I felt helpless. The neighbors did not know us and showed no concern at our dilemma. I took our baby indoors, wrapped him in blankets and put him to sleep right on the floor. I began carrying the light boxes inside. Finally only the beds, a big wardrobe, a four-plate electric stove, a six-foot tall refrigerator, a three-door kitchen unit, and some other heavy goods stood outside the house. The dark clouds threatened heavy rain drops. Then the wind blew strongly from all directions and dispersed the clouds. Within minutes the sky was clear. But the problem was not all solved. Part of the luggage was still outside and I was tired and hungry.
I went into the house and thought deeply. Although I didn't grumble verbally, I questioned God's fairness. I did not understand how a loving God would let us go through such a hard time. Then suddenly, somebody knocked on the door. It was one of our members who had come to check if their outgoing pastor was still there. He helped me carry the goods into the house. It was not an easy task though. The struggle left me with a dislocated right leg joint. But I thanked God for another angel. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him" (Psalms 34:7, 8). It took me more than a month to put things in order.
After a few months, familiarized with my neighbors and discovered that they were good and caring people. Al though they were not Adventists, they were altogether understanding and helpful. They sometimes helped with baby sitting when I was pressed with work; they watered the garden, ironed the clothes, and did various other duties to help me. They were wonderful to me. We befriended most of them. Praise God two families are strong in the Lord today. We have left that district but the cords of fellowship between us and our former neighbors are still strong.
God has not promised us honey and milk perpetually. But God has put roses among the thorns. Transfers are a part of life of those in the ministry. We need to pay more attention to the roses and strive to find ways to pick them out of the thorns. Life is not yet over. Transfers will continue until Jesus comes. We all know that very soon we are going to be transferred from our comfortable houses to uncomfortable homes in the mountains and jungles during the time of trouble. Today I take the problems I encounter during our transfers as a challenge; I look for roses in the thorns.