Thursday, November 3, 2011

Enjoy the Ride

You can tell I've been busy when I don't post for six months! Oh, how the time goes by! It has been a crazy ride since we left Indonesia on June 2 and headed for the States. We spent the first month moving our of our house and preparing it to rent. Praise the Lord we have a great tenant in there right now. Then we spent time in San Diego visiting family and friends, churches and supporters. On the way back from San Diego, we road tripped through Arizona to see my grandma and other family members before coming back to Idaho and preparing to go to the Mid-West and Philadelphia to visit out there. I guess you can see why I haven't blogged, huh? Below is a picture of our family with my Grandma Evelyn. She finally got to meet Ryan!
We have immensely enjoyed our time of visiting with everyone! But, like the conscientious first-borns that we are, Dave and I found ourselves really tired as we were driving back again to California in late September. We had been working so hard trying to raise our support for MAF and not seeing a lot of results, and on the drive, Dave looked over at me and said, "You know, I think we just need to relax and enjoy the ride." A little taken back, I said, "what do you mean?" He continued, "We need to let God bring in our support. Let's not kill ourselves trying. We need to keep working at it, but I think we have to truly trust that God will do it, and I think He wants us to enjoy the ride." Wow. Profound words. I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking through my husband. We both needed to hear that at that point. And, not long after, we got a phone call in the car from a gentleman whom we had never met asking if we needed support for our ministry. Wow. What a confirmation!
Now, it hasn't been easy to stay in that "enjoy the ride" mentality. We both find ourselves teetering on the see-saw of "doing it myself" versus "trust God and enjoy the ride." But, when we hit hard on the "doing it myself" side, God gently directs us back to trust in Him. Can anyone relate?
We are currently in San Diego and will be heading back to Nampa on November 15. While there we will pack our crates and then depart for Papua on December 8. Please pray for us as we prepare to say our good-byes to our family and friends stateside. It will be hard to leave them. But we carry on knowing that God has called us to go, and that He is good, and that He has a plan.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
Below are some other photos from our furlough thus far! I thought you might enjoy them. So, for all us Ringenbergs, relax and enjoy the ride!
Here's the boys at Tombstone:
And at Allison Ranch, Idaho:
Here's Ryan on our Aunt's horse in Illinois:
And here is a Pennsylvania version of the Wal-Mart parking lot, Amish style!:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trusting God

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your path."

Proverbs 3:5-6

Hi there, everyone! With us making plans for moving to Papua at the end of this year, my heart has been pondering what it means to"trust" the Lord. It takes a lot of trust for us to move from the known to the unknown. As I was exercising and praying one morning, I was asking God "What does it feel like to trust you?" These days when I exercise, it's usually walking up and down our driveway, which has a hill, as many times as I can, while the boys are playing outside in our yard. After walking, I went up to C.J., who was climbing the old "beringin" tree (at least that's what it's called in Indonesian). I believe it is a type of banyan tree. The funny thing about this tree is that it has roots that grow out of the branches and down toward the ground! If the roots hit the ground, they will form into another branch. It's the weirdest thing!

Anyway, C.J. was climbing up a bamboo pole that he had leaned against the trunk. "Come on, Mom, watch how I get down!" he shouted out cheerfully. Once he reached the top of his pole, he perched himself in the branches. Then, quick as lighting, he grabbed onto some roots from the tree and swung out from the security of its branches, promptly giving me a heart attack, and then lowered himself onto the bamboo pole again and shimmied down to the ground.

Suddenly it dawned on me that that's what trust looks like! Launching ourselves out from the security of where we've been; suspended, with all our weight hanging onto the "roots" of God, his Word and his promises; even enjoying the ride, and then lowering ourselves to the place He wants us to be. The whole time God was whispering this to me, Britt Nicole's song "Walk on the Water" was buzzing in my ears from my ipod, which talks about having the faith to step out and walk on the water. It happens to be playing now in the background as I write this post. Isn't God cool?

It still gives me butterflies in my stomach when I picture C.J. launching out from the tree, and sometimes I get butterflies when I think about living in a place like Papua. I am learning that even though I feel the fear, I can still choose to believe God. How about you? What are you learning from God lately?

We are planning on leaving Tarakan on June 1, and coming home to Nampa before we begin our furlough travels. We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Cloud

You know, I am reminded at how God used clouds in the Old Testament, particularly to lead the children of Israel through the wilderness. When the cloud picked up and went, they went. Well, we've had a similar experience with a cloud!
Almost two years ago when we really, diligently started praying about going back overseas, I was a bit nervous, shall we say! So I decided I needed to know for myself from God if He was wanting us to go. I began praying without telling Dave what I was praying, just so I would know in my own heart if God was saying "go". Maybe because it would take a lot of courage for me to say "yes". So, several days after I began to truly seek the Lord on this issue (even asking God to show us where He wanted us to go if that was the case), Dave came home from flying and said he'd seen something weird.

Of course my curiosity was picqued so I asked him what he'd seen. "A cloud," was all he said, "and it was so strange that I wasn't even going to tell you." Now he really had me going. "Well, what was so weird about it?" I queried. "It was in the exact shape of Papua, Indonesia." My mouth dropped open because I know my husband. He is so detailed that if he said it was in the exact shape of Papua, it undoubtedly was. "It was right there in front of me," he ended.

I went to bed shocked. I didn't tell Dave yet what I'd been praying, but instead asked a couple of my friends what they thought about it. "Well, I think that was God!" Both of them ended up saying. "Yeah," I had to muse. "I guess I do too!"

So, I told God "Yes," and then I told my husband. And then we waited to see what God would do next! He'd answered us SO obviously that we thought He'd just make it happen! But, nothing. Absolute silence. "Hmmm," we thought, "I guess God is saying to wait." So, we figured we'd better wait on God's timing, but both of us accepted that God had shown us He would send us to Papua, Indonesia.

Imagine our surprise when later that fall we got an invitation from our old friend David Holsten to come to Kalimantan, Indonesia, where we had served almost 10 years ago! My first thought was, "Kalimantan? We're not supposed to go to Kalimantan!" But then God gently whispered to my heart, "Linda, this is a step along the way." Then I got excited, and then I got sad because I realized God was taking us back to the place where we had left quite a few memories of our daughter Hannah, who had since passed away. Then God said, "I'm taking you full-circle." Woah.

Next morning at women's Bible Study, the Beth Moore video was all about coming "full-circle." I leaned over to my friend Amy and said, "I'm going to Indonesia!" And cried. Well, now that we've been here it has been SUCH a blessing! God truly is taking us full-circle in our healing with Hannah.

So....imagine our surprise when, while we are here in Kalimantan, God started opening the doors for us to go to - you guessed it - Papua! God truly works in mysterious ways, and I'm so glad He knows what He's doing! All that to say that as of last Wednesday we have officially accepted a new assignment with MAF to the island of Papua, Indonesia. We are excited and a bit nervous as it means going through all our things in America and truly saying good-bye to our life there. I know it won't be easy, but I can honestly say that I am thoroughly enjoying the excitement of living a life on the edge with God. There's never a dull moment! (Except today because Ryan was sick so it slows me down a bit...)It is not an easy life, but it is fulfilling.

I do miss you, my friends, and long for a time where we can sit down and share! We plan on coming home in early June and being ready to travel to Papua around the end of the year. I love you all, and hope you are all well! Linda.