When I (Erik) was in college I went backpacking with a friend at the Canyon Lands National Park in UT and the ‘Maze District’ to be more specific. The maze district is exactly as it sounds, an incredible labyrinth of rock that stretches for miles (at least that is how I remember it). We actually didn’t go into the maze for fear of getting lost, but we instead chose to stay in more open country; ‘Ernie’s Country. Ernie’s Country was a beautiful desert landscape and was said to be for ‘Experienced Hikers Only’ due to the lack of natural water sources. We were told at the ranger station that there were 2 springs from which we could refill our supply and were shown general locations on a map of their whereabouts. We brought 7 or 8 liters each (roughly 2 gallons each) which was enough for 2 days of conservative use for drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc. and off we went! One minor detail was over looked, the ranger failed to tell us that the ‘Springs’ were man made consisting of a tube set into the rock which then ran to a 50 gallon drum ON TOP of the plateaus. Since we thought them to be natural springs and guessed that the water would naturally pool at the lowest point we descended deeper and deeper into the canyon never finding the springs. After 2 days of hiking we found ourselves at the lowest point in the canyon (If I remember correctly about 20+ miles away from where we started) and out of water.
We were able to filter water from the Colorado river (a shallow, settled side pool actually) but the Colorado in these parts is known to be silty and a few cross bones shy of poisonous. We were able to get about 3 litters before clogging my filter and even after boiling the filtered water it stank so bad we threw iodine tablets and Gatorade powder into the mix to slam it down!
We were faced with a choice: Stay put in the cycle of diminishing returns ironically camping within 20 feet of roaring torrents of uselessness OR take what we had, PRAY FOR THE BEST, and shoot to make it back to my truck (20+ miles away) where I had left 2 gallons of water. If we were able to get out in 2 days we would be dehydrated but alive. The ending to the story is obvious as I sit here and type; we made it out alive.
In the same way that we were faced with the scary reality in UT; that the #1 essential to survival [ WATER ] was nearly gone with no means with which to secure enough for sustained survival, we now find ourselves in somewhat of the same place. Except that we are down to our final 3 liters of money, with no job to get more and by all appearances if we stay here we will perish… OK, not really perish (like what really could have happened in UT) but financially perish.
WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY. We are asking for your prayer and support. We have considered sending out support letters but struggle to ask for funds which will only perhaps delay what may end up being the inevitable. I mean, haven’t we all heard it and stated it a million times?! ” Where God guides, He __________.”
We thank you for your prayers and ask that you remember to pray for us this weekend. We debated on whether to write now at all, or to wait and see what happens, but we wanted to give everyone a chance to lift us up and to also witness in real time His plan for our lives unfolding. I have not secured employment that pays enough to even begin to cover our living expenses ( I started picking up hours in a restaurant that is owned by a great family from OneLove today but the earnings are unfortunately not enough to sustain us.) We are hoping and praying for a miracle as I still have a few jobs that I have applied to that I have yet to hear back about, but even still, it would be a stretch to start a job and get paid enough (quick enough) to pay our bills.
Although we have living arrangements secured for March 1st at an incredibly low rent, without a job, we cannot afford the rent there either and regardless, if the job situation does not change, we would not make enough to afford rent AND/OR all the other pesky essentials to survival like food, electricity, gas, health insurance, etc. AND there is that tiny matter of where to stay for the 3 weeks we would have after we move out of our rental by the 6th of Feb.
We maintain that even if our time in Hawaii is truly coming to an end that we have sought with all that we have to obey the Lord’s leading. As hard as it is to fight the emotions and the faint whispers mocking that we have failed in some way, we choose instead to be reminded of all the incredible things the Lord has done in bringing us to Hawaii. We have been changed. We are not the same people as we were when we began this journey. We are so much more appreciative for what we have. We have reprioritized what really matters this side of eternity. We have learned the incredible value of friends and family even from a distance. We have experienced the Lord’s ‘daily bread’ and His miraculous peace in spite of turbulent circumstances. We have learned our incredible need of Him and His spirit, His leading, His presence, His filling, His enabling, His sustaining, HIS EVERYTHING that can so easily be overlooked or put on the shelf in times of auto pilot.
We are not saying we have made up our minds. We are not saying we are moving back to the mainland simply because at this time too soon to make those decisions. We are simply asking for you to join with us and pray for His will to be done and for Him to open and shut doors. And we are asking for prayer that whatever His decision is, that we will accept it, have peace, and continue to trust Him with the next chapter of walking by faith.
SO – standby, we will update how we proceed when we know how to proceed. We love you all and cannot thank you all enough for your prayers and support!