CBF Field Personnel / Missions

God’s plan and being flexible

By Macarena Aldape

The Bible clearly tells us that our plans are not God’s plans and that God’s plans are better and of higher purpose. We are also reminded that God has a plan for us, to prosper us. 

So why do we fall so often into self-pity parties?

We returned to the U.S. for our Partnership Development Assignment (PDA) to raise our ministry support and to see our friends and relatives. 

This time involves a lot of work and is very exhausting especially since we take only part of the allowed time because it seems like too much time for us to be away from the field. During this time, the first thing we do when we wake up each day is try to figure out where we are. We make our plans before our return and fill in the blanks as we go along.

During our time in the States, we also make time to follow up with our doctors. I had been having excruciating headaches that lasted months. After seeking answers from several doctors, we narrowed it down to possible culprits, one being my cervical spine. 

While exploring this, I started having problems with my knee. At first, I thought it was due to being in the car for such long periods of time. We had begun our road trip driving from the DC area to the Rio Grande Valley. 

I was wrong. The pain kept getting worse and it turned out to be a torn meniscus. When I do something, I do it right, including tearing the meniscus. Needless to say, I had to have knee surgery.

While recovering from that, the orthopedic surgeon advised that I also have surgery on my cervical spine. Why not?! Any other surgeries? Maybe I can get the third one free!

One thing we (my husband, Eddie, more so than me) have learned is to be flexible. While in the U.S., We took advantage of every opportunity to meet with current and possible partners. 

While I was recovering from surgery, Eddie had to do everything by himself, including cooking Moroccan meals for church groups of up to 25 attendees. 

My neck surgery was postponed twice. Both times, I was able to move and had planned on tagging along with Eddie to share about our ministry in Spain. Days before we were going, the doctor would call me to let me know surgery was scheduled and I had to cancel going with Eddie. 

While he was away, the doctor would call again to let me know that the insurance had not approved the procedure. Then, because I was not fully vaccinated, it was suggested that I not attend church or group gatherings. 

What was I going to do? I was already feeling useless because of all the medical issues.

Twenty years ago, before heading to India, we would encourage people to give to missions, go do missions and, if nothing else, pray for missions. 

We quickly discovered how wrong we were. We had those in the wrong order. The most important thing one can do for us is pray. When people give, we are able to go; but prayers are what keep us there. 

This is especially true when we are facing challenges or difficulties. We have learned that when people pray for missions, they will come to love missions which will motivate them to give and that will lead to their wanting to do missions.

It seems I had forgotten that. While I was in the middle of my pity party, dealing with my health issues, I could have been lifting up many in prayer. 

There are some big changes on our horizon as I plan to retire early next year and Eddie plans to continue. I will still be doing pretty much what I am doing now except I will not have to do the dreaded paperwork. 

We have several partners who will no longer be able to support the ministry, and the needs seem to get bigger. I may not be able to participate in everything but praying for the ministry we have been given, might be the most important thing I can do.

Macarena Aldape and her husband, Eddie, serve as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel ministering to immigrants and students in Albacete, Spain. Learn more about their ministry at www.cbf.net/aldape

The CBF Offering for Global Missions makes possible the long-term presence of CBF field personnel like Cindy. Give online today at http://www.cbf.net/OGM.

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