Whose Plans Are They Anyway?

November 18, 2016

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

This is a verse I know all too well. Time after time I’ve experienced its truth. Yet I continue to forget I’m not the one in charge, there is another; I have a great Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. On a day a little over 20 years ago, a kid about to turn 14 years old made the greatest life decision ever, and surrendered his life to the cause of Christ and chose who he would serve & follow.

… Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15 NKJV

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24 NKJV

After 20 years of choosing to surrender my plans, my purposes, & my causes, choosing to follow Jesus Christ, my decision remains, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. There has never been any second guessing, never any doubting, never any regret. Following Christ is the absolute best decision I’ve ever made.

Does that mean I’ve never been disappointed?  No, I face times of disappointment, when things don’t go my way. Does that mean I never fail?  For sure no, I fail all the time. One area I seem to fail in is surrendering my plans and letting “Jesus take the wheel” as the song says. I once had a pastor who used to say, “don’t just move into the passenger seat and let Jesus ‘drive’; get out of the car and get into the trunk.”  You see, if we only move into the “passenger seat”, we can still grab hold of the wheel, we can still try and navigate, we can try and influence the direction we are heading. Getting into the trunk means, I have no control, no influence, no decision on the direction I’m heading. As a prideful man, that is no easy task. But it is what we, as followers of Christ, are called to do.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16 NKJV

I’ve shared in times past my “Ugandan story”, how the Lord put the specific calling to serve in Uganda on my heart 10 years before He actually moved me here and all of the different times I made plans to fulfill His calling and failed many times over. Also I’ve shared how when I came here in January of this year, how I planned to have someone run my company in America for 10 months while I came to teach and how I’d return “home” after my time was up and continue with the life I had been living. But my plans failed in getting my “backups” to run my company. I finally came to the conclusion that I had to let it go, so I did.

But I still had it in my head that I’m only coming for 10 months. So I raised all of my support before I left to cover my full expenses while here, despite the suggestions from others that I should raise monthly support. Also I made plans that the money I was making from selling my company, car, and possessions would sit in a savings account, earn some small interest, and be there for me when I return so that I could restart my American life. Even those plans have failed.

The day I arrived in Uganda, everything changed. I soon realized, my plans are going to fail. I met the most amazing girl. We fell in love. We got engaged. My 10 month plan was doomed. My plans to sit on some money in the bank failed when it came time to buy land, begin building, and start planning a wedding. Soon I realized, my nest egg is gone.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” – Luke 14:28-30 NKJV

My plans to organize a wedding and build a house before the end of the year have failed. Our wedding will happen, but I’ve stopped building. I feel like the man Jesus spoke of above. Literally the foundation of the house is laid, and the building has stopped for the time.

I have nothing to fall back on. Now I must trust in the Lord. It’s not that I wasn’t trusting in Him before, I was, but I still had my plans to fall back on. My fiancé and I have sat down and discussed our dilemma. We both agree, we’re just trusting in the Lord. He will provide in the right timing. He always has, He always will.

Because my plan has failed, I feel like a failure. But God has re-assured me and shown me time and time again, He has a plan, and His plans are far greater than my own.

So what is His plan?  To help me better relate to those in my new community and also to show them that I’m like them. Most people in this community build their properties in phases. They get a little money and do some small construction. Then they work for more money, and do a little more. To build a house here, it can take many years.

So people in the community ask me about he building and I have the same answer for all of them, I’m waiting on God to provide so that we can do the next step. They all relate very well to this.

They know what it means to have to wait for money to come. Most people here are farmers. They dig, sow, plant, and care for their crops. Finally harvest comes and they sell it, and hey have money to do the next step in their building. When the money is gone, it’s back to planting and waiting for the next harvest.

I also have joined them in this planting venture. I have a very diverse garden and am planting all sorts of fruits and veggies that most locals have never seen or heard of before. They are quite interested in the different things I’m planting. Together we are teaching each other. They are teaching me local farming techniques. I’m teaching them some of the ways we do it in the US. Together we are expanding our knowledge and helping each other out.

My lack of building and progress in farming has given me new ways to reach out to the community and become part of it. I’m loving all that God is doing, according to His plans, and in His timing.

Ministry Update
We recently visited many of the high schools in the area to meet with the upcoming graduates and share our vision for the School of Ministry.  We had over 150 young men who showed interest in the school and gave us their information.  Each was given all of the information they’ll need for the school along with an application.  They have until November 30th to return the application to us and sit down for a small interview.  We’ve already had a good handful do this.  In the end we are going to narrow it down to the 12 students that we feel God is leading us to include in our program.  Each student will have a 2 person dorm room, meals provided and a great education. We are excited about what the Lord is going to do through these young men in the coming year.

I had the opportunity to start a weekly Bible study on Thursdays here at Calvary Chapel Ishunga.  The study is going great. We are working our way through the Book of James and just finished chapter 4.  There are on average 15-20 men each week that gather together as one body to learn more about Christ.  I’m really excited about where it’s heading.

Prayer Requests
Please pray for Joan and I as we are approaching our wedding parties. The first, and larger party, is on December 16th and the actual wedding, which is going to be very small, is January 6th.  As the time is nearing, there is a lot to finish paying for, which is concerning on a missionary budget, and many last minute decisions to make.  We covet your prayers for this new beginning as we become one.

Also I request your prayers for the student selection process for the School of Ministry.  As we meet with each candidate, we are praying that God shows us who He has chosen.  Also pray for the upcoming school year.

Financial Contributions
All financial contributions are tax deductible through the organization I’m working with, Agents For Christ/Uganda Kids Project. You can give online at UgandaKids.org or you can mail a check to:
Agents for Christ
PO Box 67276
Portland, OR 97268.

Be sure to include my name on the memo line. Or you can give directly to me (non tax-deductible):
Robb Pierce
1717 Vista Chino #A7-235
Palm Springs CA 92262.

Thank you in advance for your financial support. It’s people like you who make it possible for me to serve the people of Uganda.

Until next time, thank you for your prayers, and God bless you. Robb Pierce, out.

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