When God Changes Your Direction
By Maverick & Amy Hoenig
Leaving our home in China was one of the hardest things Amy and I ever had to do. We had just settled into a home we loved, we were building more solid relationships, going to language school to learn Mandarin, and our ministry to college students was beginning to see more and more fruit.
At the same time though President Xi Jinping of China was cracking down on religious institutions that were not loyal to a communist ideology, and the underground church we were working with came under fire because of this and in what seemed like an instant so many things came to a halt. We were left in the midst of all the turmoil asking God for his wisdom on what we should do, because we wanted to stay. Through much prayer and wrestling with whether we should stay or not, we heard God was saying it was time to GO, and we made the difficult decision to leave the place we had come to love so much.
Even though we felt God’s peace in leaving China, when we got back to America it felt like we lost so many things. We lost our home we loved in China, we lost relationships, we lost supporters, and we lost an overall sense of identity and purpose. We were not in complete despair, because we never lost our hope in Jesus, but we were displaced. Amy’s parents were generous and kind in providing a safe place for our family to heal and pray for what was next.
Therefore that is what we did, we prayed, and waited, and prayed some more and several opportunities appeared before us. We prayed some more. Then, Amy and I took a three-month vision trip to Kitale, Kenya and God gave us confirmation that this was where we needed to be next, so we began taking the necessary steps to get all the documentation needed to move there full time. It all came together and we had big plans to launch out to Africa in March, 2020 and then lo’ and behold, the global pandemic hit and the whole world shut down, and our ability to leave was completely taken away. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails, and here we were again, waiting.
So, our family leaned into this time of waiting, and gave our plans to the Lord knowing he would make a way in His timing. And sure enough in September 2020 a way opened up, Kenya opened its borders, we are able to supernaturally, in the midst of this Global pandemic, journey thousands of miles to our new home in Africa.
I am reminded of the prophet Elijah during a season he felt alone, and was waiting.
The LORD Speaks to Elijah
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way…”
May we be encouraged by Elijah’s story, knowing that God is there in the midst of our cave and our waiting, and may we have ears to hear His tender whispers telling us when to BE STILL and when to GO.
– Maverick & Amy Hoenig