a place called bradenton

The Powells have been on the road again. We’ve spent the last month in Bradenton, Florida. There, just south of Tampa, we met the extraordinary people of West Bradenton Baptist Church. They are a very mission minded church and God is at work there in mighty ways! The church has purchased several homes adjacent to their property and they use them for missionaries on stateside assignment, or in our case, waiting for their assignment to begin. Michael and their pastor, Allen James, forged a new friendship and our hope is that they will be able to bring a team of folks down to Brazil in a year or two.

We had an amazing month. We spent some precious time with God and enjoyed being “just the 5 of us again!” Something we haven’t had since this past May. I was truly missing the simplicity of grocery shopping and making dinner for my little family. We didn't have internet service while we were there, thus my lack of posts, but it ended up being a blessing as we had more time to just hang out together and not be preoccupied with checking emails. The house did have a huge orange tree in which we partook of every morning for breakfast.

Mike spent many days with the boys fishing and that allotted me some extensive time with DAD!

Over the past few months we have waited and waited and waited and waited for our visas. I know I serve a sovereign God that can and will accomplish all things that HE desires but I couldn’t understand how that didn’t involve taking the visas out of the consular’s hands and putting them in ours. I began to grapple with the fact that we had sold our home and left all our friends and everything we loved to go serve Him and yet He wasn’t coming through with these seemingly small pieces of paper. The real sadness of where my thoughts were leading me was that it revealed the state of my heart. I expected God to figure out what my schedule was and jump on board quickly so I could get busy with things as I had planned.

As I talked with friends and family, everyone encouraged me to remember that God’s timing doesn’t always look like our timing. That He sometimes slows things down for purposes we might never know, whether it be our safety, better ministry effectiveness, or just simply because He knows that by us waiting for His perfect timing He will be glorified all the more. I knew this in my heart and even agreed wholeheartedly with everyone who spoke encouragement to me. Truth was, I really didn’t care why. I just felt that we had lived in my parent’s house way too long and wanted to get my way!

All this to say God shared so much with me during my time on the sand in Bradenton. He reminded me of how big He is and how small I truly am. The insignificance of me and this little life of mine compared to the majesty of the One who has and always will move mountains is quite humbling. My heart began to shift from feeling as though I was waiting on God to, I have been given another day in which I get to run to the lap of my Savior. I began to pray for God to help me learn to love Him more. How could I love the Brazilians if I struggle loving Him like I should?!?

Our time in Florida was simply wonderful. We said our last goodbye to cousins. We made a relationship with some amazing people at WBBC, we all have tan lines in the middle of December, but most importantly, I got to know God on a deeper and more intimate level than ever before. AND~Last Friday, the online status for our visas showed that they were ready to be picked up. Yesterday we drove back to Kentucky and went straight to the post office to pick up our 5 passports with visas stamped inside!

I just want to say thank you to so many of you that prayed for this day to come. I promise to keep you updated on our flight and schedule! We are saying our final goodbyes to family so please pray for this precious time! I’m pretty sure Christmas will feel and be much different for us this year for more reasons than I could possibly explain but I also have a feeling it will be one of the best!


roger and courtney said...

woo hoo!!!!!
I am so happy for you guys and so glad those visas and passports are in your hands!
We actually just got ours back today, like 10 minutes ago.
Davis spent the past few days with us and we were talking about you guys with him, he's excited to be in language school with John Mark.
Tell your boys we said hi and let me know when you are leaving.

Kelly Summers said...

I am so encourage by your month of growing in the Lord and YEAHHHHH for Visa's!

Anonymous said...

Hey-Thanks for being so honest and transparent. So encouraging to hear what God is doing in your walk with Him. This was like a devotional and encouragement as we all struggle with the flesh and "I want it now, I want it MY way" so often I picture my own attitudes in my mind and see myself as a 2 year old! Thank God for His grace to change our hearts and always bring us closer to Him. We are praying for you as you say goodbyes and begin your new chapter. Love Angela

Jen said...

You are so inspiring Rebecca.....