Nearly five years ago, we moved to the United Kingdom to work alongside evangelical churches in the valleys of South Wales. Wherever we find ourselves, we have always made it a point to settle into a place with a long-term commitment; and I have truly felt at home in the UK, hoping to gain permanent residency (for which we are eligible in May 2009) and dual citizenship a year later. But two critical issues have arisen over the past year that cannot be ignored any longer and they both center on our stateside family: one of our daughters and my father who just celebrated his seventy-seventh birthday.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8, ESV). This is not some obscure passage buried within an Old Testament prophecy. It is clear, precise, practical, and stated with apostolic authority, so I take these words seriously. We have often been challenged to reevaluate our priorities in the light of Scripture and this passage has come to mind again and again amidst the struggles of the past year.
Our daughter left her husband nine months ago and sheâ€™s finding it extremely difficult to make it alone with three precious children under the age of six. She separated herself from his abusive behavior twice before, but he always managed to convince her that he had changed and that things would be different. And things would be differentâ€¦for about six to nine months. Continue reading