Dan and Susan Steere - May 2019
The Spirit's Direction
Sometimes God Has a Different Plan
Recent events have reminded me of Paul’s experience in Acts when he and his fellow missionaries attempted to travel into Bithynia, “but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them.” (16:7) Since returning from Ghana in mid-February, I have been planning toward and eagerly anticipating my next trip in early June.
It was my intent to bring one more teacher with me, and together we would teach four MINTS courses at the seminary in Kumasi. However, I was unable to find another teacher, so I concluded the Lord wanted me to travel by myself – something I was willing to do.
But God was not finished altering my plans. He had a better plan.
In early April, Susan’s doctors told us that some symptoms she has been experiencing require corrective surgery. This physical trouble was not a result of disease nor was it life-threatening, but the surgery was necessary – sooner rather than later. Believing this was the Lord’s leading, we scheduled her surgery for the most convenient time: after Susan was finished teaching and ten days before I was to leave for Ghana.
But when I told Sam Oppong about this development, asking for his prayers, he was reluctant to see me leave Susan so soon after her surgery. Instead, he and Bishop Josh in Kumasi strongly urged me not to come in June and instead postpone the MINTS classes until September. Frankly, I was not inclined to accept their advice, because I was already fully committed to make this trip: the plan was in place, the tickets purchased, and the funds sent overseas. But through prayer and wise counsel, God began to change the direction of my thinking.
As you know, I have been teaching Biblical Marriage in Ghana for years now. My Ghanaian brethren have embraced that teaching and I realized that - based on that teaching - they were now counseling me to set aside my agenda to prioritize the needs of my bride! This is the Body of Christ at work: teaching and admonishing one another according to Scripture.
In submission to my brethren, I have concluded that the Lord is leading me to postpone my next trip to Ghana until September.
God has since confirmed this conclusion: our daughters – on whom I was counting to help Susan while I was in Ghana – have both found out they will be out of town for all or part of that time. Sam Oppong also observed that this decision will give the students more time to complete the written assignments from their February classes. And when I called Delta Airlines to ask about the ticket I had already purchased, they gladly cancelled the ticket and issued full credit for travel at a later date – without charging a change fee!
We eagerly anticipate the unfolding of God’s plan for this summer. As I prayerfully listen, I will be preparing and revising curricula, revisiting some long-neglected writing projects, and – most importantly – focusing on ministry to Susan.
I will write again soon with an update. In the meantime, please pray for Susan’s surgery on May 20th and for her full recovery. Also pray for me as I seek to follow the Spirit’s leading.
As always, we cannot do this work without your partnership. Thank you!
For Christ’s Kingdom,Dan.