Before I tell you, you need to understand a few things. First, Mr. F and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly referred to as the mormon church. We are, as the name of our church implies, Christians. Unlike many other Christian faiths, we do not have paid clergy. We all work as volunteers. I say we because as a member of the LDS church, it is understood that you will also serve. We all take turns as teachers, preachers, youth leaders, and so many other things it's rather mind boggling! The thing is, all of these callings, as we refer to them, are essential to the day to day function of the Church and to helping us grow spiritually. We also believe that these callings come from God through revelation. We whole heartedly believe that our Father in Heaven still communicates with not only prophets on the earth today but with each of us individually, providing guidance and insight for our day to day lives.
Lastly, you need to understand that we belong to a worldwide church. It is impeccably organized! So much so that I knew when we moved here what Sunday School lesson to anticipate since it would be from the same manuals and lesson plans used worldwide. Congregations are not decided by choice but by location. Geographic boundaries mark up the borders for wards (a large congregation) or branch (small congregation). Each of these congregations has their own bishop (for a ward) or branch president (for a branch), callings that are issued to worthy men within our church. These men will more often than not have full-time jobs outside of these callings, not to mention families, wives, and other responsibilities to beg for their attention. It is a huge responsibility.
About a month ago now, Mr. F and I got a call asking us to meet with a regional authority of the church. Mr. F spoke with him first while I awaited the news. When I was invited into the office I learned that my 27 year-old husband had been asked to serve as the branch president of our little congregation. Guys, I can't reiterate enough how big of a deal this is. Not because my husband has higher standing in the Church now, which he really doesn't, or that someone other than me thinks he's really special. No, it's major because our Father has entrusted the care of His children and His work in Nicosia to Mr. F. The spiritual, physical, emotional care of them all. Such trust and confidence is rather overwhelming. To put it in other words, he is now the minister of our branch.
Mr. F responded really well to the call, taking it on him and stepping into the role with grace, maturity, and faith. I really admire him for his. I have not been as gracious. I, at first, was scared. With Mr. F's work schedule, I see him very rarely as it is, compound this with his new responsibilities at church, and I might as well be a widow. Hence my response in my Thankful Thursday post showing deep, deep gratitude for the friends I have made here in Cyprus. I shared the news of Mr. F's call with them and they all instantly said, "Come on over!" There's no chance I'll ever be alone.
Though it has only been a few weeks, I can already see a change in our day to day lives We are being deeply blessed for the work Mr. F is so faithfully attending to. Our relationship has strengthened, our finances seem to be stretching a little bit further than they should, and opportunities for me to serve with my husband and to be with other people keep popping out of the woodwork. It has been a deep testament to me that if we are willing to do the work the Lord asks of us, we will never want for anything. He asks us to work hard, to do all that we can, and sometimes even a bit more, but when we do it, He makes up the rest and provides where we fall short. Friends, I am so incredibly grateful for my husband and his willingness to serve. I honestly don't know if I could do what He is doing so willingly. He's scared but stepping forth boldly with the confidence that the Lord has asked him to do this. So he is doing it!
I do ask for your prayers though. While things are coming together, Mr. F's calling is a huge burden that neither of us can handle without the love, support, and prayers of all of you.