Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ten Days Til China

(From Jay)

I hate to admit it, but I sit here staring at this screen tonight a little stressed.  Stressed about not having all the money we need.  Stressed at not having all of our paperwork sorted out yet.  Stressed about leaving my boys and Chloe for two weeks.  Stressed at the thought of the toll of the extensive hours of travel on my back.  I admit that I can often too easily pick up a glass that is 'half-empty', if you know what I mean.  Having rock-solid faith is tough!  Some days I
have it...usually the easy days...but days when you have  no idea how things are going to work out...those are the days that its tough to look at the and say, "I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that its gonna be okay, and God is going to show Himself faithful!"

I don't think its God I doubt in those moments...its me.  The balance, y'know...God's sovereignty vs. man's responsibility.  I know God is sovereign, but I hope I haven't dropped the ball somewhere.  As I retrace my steps, though, it seems like everything has been handled pretty well...the planning, the money, the paperwork...only a few minor glitches here and there...

Let me step back for a moment and catch everyone up....

We are on the way to China.  We leave a week from Saturday...the 19th.  We leave STL at 8 am CST, and get to China at 4pm (china time) the next day.  So we are walking down the final stretch.  Everything is starting to come to a close, including final costs, final paperwork, and preparing for travel to go bring home our new beautiful little girl, Lori.  What a blessing.

But instead of beaming with joy over the thought of getting my little attention is being diverted in many other directions.

First was the visas...and no, not credit cards, but entry visas to China.  Despite how meticulous I am about this paperwork, I mistakenly thought that our agency was handling our entry visas.  I was convinced.  Then this Monday (two days ago), I asked when we should expect them, to which I got a, 'we're get them."  I panicked!  My mind immediately assumed that visas were as tough or tougher to get than passports.  But after a few minutes of research, I quickly learned that there was time.  Not much, but there was some.   So, we put the packet of information together, and sent it off overnight Monday night.  God even caused the driver to be running late so we could have some extra time to get them out.  We should get them back by Tuesday of next week.  Close call.  Pray that UPS doesn't lose them!

Second was the costs.  We finally know the final tally.  That has been a difficult part of this process.  Because travel costs are fluid, we never really got a good solid estimate on the trip.  Everyone was very hestiant to tell us anything, in fear that they would give us a bad number.  We have now paid for the international flights.  Now we need to cover two things:  our in-country travel (hotels, in-country flight, trains, cars, interpreters, etc) and our additional cash on hand (for meals, vaccinations and photos for Lori, misc fees, etc.).  The total for the in-country travel and the cash on hand totals $8,600.  After the visas, and some other preparatory trip costs, our account sits with a balance of about $5,000.  This causes me to say two things:  (1) we were really optimistic that the costs would be lower; and (2) part of the higher costs is due to the fact that we are taking Madison & Annie with us.  We just felt that it was what we were supposed to do.  Not to be there when we get Lori (although that will be awesome).  No...we want them to go so that God can begin to open their eyes to the world outside of our neck-of-the-woods.  To see and experience an orphange for kids with special needs that were abandoned in cardboard boxes as babies.  To see a country desperately in need of the Gospel of Christ.  We wanted them to see, and we have and still feel strongly that taking them is the right choice.

Now, back to costs....of the $8,600, about $6,800 has to be paid by this coming Monday the 14th.  That prompts a question..."how are you going to pay everything you need in time?"  My answer.........

Honestly....I have no idea.

But with all that is within me...I am trying my hardest to look at this screen with a smile saying over and over...God is faithul...God will provide...Don't worry...Don't doubt...He started this, He will finish it.

And although I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried at all...I know He will be faithful.  Its going to be awesome to see how He handles it.  Please pray that I won't worry!

The last thing is just to pray for us regarding our paperwork.  There are a lot of papers, and reports, and documents...all important, and most that need to go with us to China.  I just want to be faithful and handle everything well, be prepared, and not forget anything!  I can't run across town, if I forget something.  Please pray that I have clarity as I finalize our documentation for this trip.

Ultimately, I know that spiritual warfare is at play here.  Attempts to cause me to doubt in God...and also simply distractions keeping me from focusing on my beautiful new daughter.  I must be aware of this truth!

Let me close by saying that my wife amazes me often.  She doesn't worry.  She has taught me a lot about faith by example.  Even tonight as my earthly mind was struggling with answering the obvious, "how are we going to pay for all this?" question, she simply trusts!  I pray that God blesses and protects our marriage in the potentially stressful days to come, and that He blesses us with ample amounts of faith!

I am often reminded of my verse, Jeremiah 32:27, which says "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?"...amen.


  1. Jay, I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. I am also fearful that when our day comes to go get Josiah that there will be a lack of money to pay for our trip as well. My wife, however, is the same way as yours, full of faith and trust that the Lord will provide. She constantly reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." As Christians, it is not our job to try to work out all the details, we need to fully trust that God has called us to do what we are doing and he will provide, even if it is at the last minute. I know that it is at these times that our faith is growing in leaps and bounds.

    In His service,

    Brian Beauchamp

  2. Brian,

    Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers!

    I admit that I have not been a solid person of faith through all of this. Fear and Worry like to infect me like a plague all too often.

    Staying in the Word, hanging out with positive, faithful people, being with our church family and being around my wife definitely help me stay focused on being positive.

    We truly appreciate the support and encouragement of people like you and your family that we have been so blessed to meet.

    Let me just encourage you to keep pressing on. When we started this, it seemed like an unclimbable mountain. But God helped us take it one step at a time. So far...every time we have had to make a payment, the money has been there. Every time! And God has obviously been at work even in our petty document submission over and over. (See blog post from 7/4/2010)

    Here nearing the summit, it feels great to turn around and look at how far God has brought us on this journey. I know it feels like the end will never get here at times, but be will.

    Thank you for all you do!

    Jay Lancaster

  3. Jay,
    Life is hard, trials will come, and it will constantly knock us down. Believe that! But also believe this: "If the L-RD has given you a vision to go into the depths of China and rescue Lori out of darkness and bring her into light... then He will provide a way for this to be done!!!
    I agree with what you said, the problem isn't with God but with your lack of faith. As the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness, (out of a burning bush mind you) he told him,
    "The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt, I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey... So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
    "But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be a sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."
    Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"
    God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Exodus 3:7-14
    The question isn't "how?" but "who?" The answer is simple, "I AM."
    Throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, the message is clear: "I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the hand of slavery. I did this so that you will know that I Am the Lord." In other words, God said he would do it and he did what he said he was going to do! Even though things aren't always clear, the one thing that we must do as Christians is to believe in him and have faith... "For without faith, it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6 Even Abraham, who is regarded as righteous b/c of his faith, didn't get to see all the things that the Lord said he would do... He was only told that the Lord was going to do them... yet he still had faith! Camille is an awesome woman, a wonderful mother and an excellent wife! She is perfect for you Jay. She has faith that the Lord will do what He said he will do, but you need to have that same faith brother. A mustard seed is all you need bro! ;-j

    This is my pep talk to you Jay.
    God is the coach, you’re the player, you just heard the game plan, now all that's left is for you to go out there and do it! Like Lecrae said, "Go Hard or Go Home." or "Till the day I see the grave I'm going hard in the paint. It's the only hope we got that's why I'll die for the faith."
    I'm praying for you!

    Joshua Bloyd