From Tesella Hicks
It was last February at the CotC Women’s retreat. I was sharing with a small group of women, tears running down my face as I opened up about my fears of the unknown entering into missionary life in the Solomon Islands. My soul was really struggling with the cost of following Jesus into a place of so much uncertainty, and especially of what kind of sacrifices even my children would have to make for the sake of the Gospel. In the time of quiet personal reflection that followed, the Holy Spirit gave me these very words of assurance: “For I am sure that neither death or life, nor angels or rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38,39). From that moment, I knew that God had me in the palm of his hand, that the pain of the past, the difficulties of the present and the unknown of the future can all be placed at the foot of the cross and be carried by our loving Savior.
That was a year ago, and since actually arriving in the Solomons, my preconceived fears have not materialized, but many other real distractions and obstacles have been placed in our path and tested our trust in God’s promises. Village unrest, community breakdown, spiritual oppression, third world bureaucracy and apathy are just some examples. This Lent our family faced our very own valley of the shadow of death, when my husband received news that his melanoma had come back after 2 years of quiet. In the 3 weeks of uncertainty, intercession and waiting, the words we recite in the communion liturgy “Your death we show forth, your resurrection we proclaim, your coming we await!” were made more real to me than ever before. Yes, in this life we will know pain, suffering, spiritual struggle and unknowns…. But, in the midst of it all, we proclaim a risen Lord who has declared the final victory over sin and death! Can anything separate us from the love of God? Can it? The answer must be and always will be, a resounding “NO”!
(I am so pleased to be able to say that Jon has again been given more time to serve our Risen Lord on this earth. The scare was not a recurrence of his original disease, but a new primary melanoma that we caught early enough not to be of concern. God is good!)
I am a missionary in the Solomon Islands with SAMS USA. I am the mother of 4, soon to be 5, children. My day jobs include homeschooling, cooking, treating tropical sores, swatting mosquitoes, learning Pidgin and Kwar’ae languages and just trying to make it through each day without being too hot and sweaty. I also sneak in some acrylic painting and card making when possible.