Sunday, October 2, 2016

Free at Last! and a Trip down Sentimental Lane

In 19 days, we will leave to go to Orlando, where will we fly out at 6:00am the next morning to move to Honduras and then begin language school on October 24th.  We each  began packing our first suitcase yesterday.  As we work through the final to-do lists, I have been spending more time contemplating much of what this lifestyle change means for us and those that are close to us.  I have reflected on what we will miss and what I am looking forward to giving up.

Several years ago, Julie and I were prompted by God to begin getting out of debt.  We had been successful in eliminating all debt except for the mortgage on the house.  Thankfully, obedience in these steps gave us freedom to obey God in the other things He has called us to recently by having financial flexibility.  Sadly, the culture in our country teaches to get all you can, even if that means borrowing against your future to get it.  The Biblical worldview has a different perspective -- a perspective that warns against being a slave to a lender; a perspective that puts others first; a perspective that trusts God for your future.  Conventional wisdom tells us that we should be extremely stressed right now, but the sale of our house 3 months ago gave us a peace and a financial freedom that we have never experienced in our married lives.  Not having a loan on the vehicles allowed us to put the proceeds from the sale of those into a savings account that we can draw on when the unexpected happens in Honduras.  We just sold our last vehicle this morning and for the first time that I can ever remember, we are no longer owned by any of our possessions.  We no longer have anything of significant value that we have to sell before we move.  Most of what we have left is already promised out.  The American worldview says we should be concerned that we have nothing left, but the Biblical worldview says that now we are prepared to "go".  I want to encourage you if you have not already done so to make a plan to get out of debt.  This will give you the flexibility to be prepared financially for whatever God may call you to do in the future, but it will also prepare you to better weather the financial storms that are sure to come upon all of us.

Now that we have experienced this financial freedom and we are so close to actually going, I have recently been contemplating what I will and will not miss from here.  Here are just a few of the things that I won't miss:
  • I will not miss the pressures of owning a home and having to pay to water the grass to keep it green, cut the grass to keep it the right height, paying exterminators to kill the critters that eat the grass.
  • I will not miss the cultural pressures to have a "nice" house and a "nice" car.
  • As time conscience as I can be, I won't miss the pressures of maintaining a tight schedule.
  • As much as I enjoy TV, movies, and football games, I won't miss the temptation to waste so much time watching it.
  • As much of an adjustment it will be, I won't miss eating processed foods and foods pumped with hormones and pesticides.
There are some things however that I will miss greatly:
  • I will miss my children that will stay back in the US.  By the grace of God, I think we have raised some pretty good kids and the boys staying back are now adults and prepared to make their own way, but I will miss being there to help them figure out some of the firsts that they have to do in their adult lives.  Praise God that our great and Godly friends have volunteered to take care of Sara as she has chosen to stay behind and finishing High School this year, but I will miss being here to help her through the final months of her High School.
  • I will miss my parents and my brother (and his family).  Although we don't talk as much as I would like and we will still be able to talk from Honduras, I won't be able to just drive over and spend a weekend with them.  I will miss being able to play Rook with my dad and having coffee in the mornings with them.  When my parents reach the point to where they need someone around all the time, I will miss being able to be that son, even though I will certainly do my part in helping to take care of them just as they took care of me when I was a child.
  • God has blessed me with a great family of in-laws and I will miss seeing them.
  • I will miss the time that I will not get to spend with the future grandchildren that our children here in the U.S. will eventually have.
  • This is a contradiction from what I won't miss (processed foods), but I will miss being able to run to Chick-fil-A as a family to use our calendar card.
  • God has blessed me with a wonderful company and the best co-workers anybody could ask for and I will miss them.  Much of my success in my current job is due to a great group of people that work for me and with me and love their job and the people they work with.
  • I will miss air conditioning in the home.
  • I know God will provide another wonderful church family in Honduras, I will miss my church family back home as we have a wonderful, loving church family.
  • I will miss the many friendships that we have made here in the U.S. and I know that real friendships survive a separation of distance, but I will miss being able to spend time with my friends.  It is only a short flight to Honduras though so I expect some of my friends to come and drink coffee on the porch with us as we watch the sunrise over the mountains of Western Honduras together and share about how Great God is.
You see, as I contemplate on the things that will change, it is mostly the relationship changes that I will miss and mostly material stuff that I have reached the point to where I won't miss so much.  I know you can ask me in a couple of months and I will be desperately missing many of these material things as well, but I look forward to God helping me get past that and enjoying the simplicity of life without so much focus on the material.  Although I am an introvert, that doesn't mean that I don't like having relationships -- it just means that I don't enjoy the superficial large gatherings of people or the fake relationship games that people play.  One of the things that I look forward to about the Honduran culture is the great value they put on the role of relationships in everything -- people first!  I am so conditioned to be successful in our culture here that I know I will struggle with that for a while, but I look forward to coming out the other side with that same relationship oriented focus.


Austin and Taylor completed the first book of the Spanish course this past week and started the second book.  It took them 3 weeks to complete the book and their teachers told them that most people take about 4 weeks to complete the book, so classes are going well.


We thank you for your continued prayers!

To God be the Glory,

Ben Agee

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