Sunday, March 28, 2010
Shoes. Shoes. And more shoes!!! All these shoes pictured will be traveling with me and a team from Living Hope to Kenya this week! We will be leaving Thursday night and arriving on Saturday to love on the sweet children at The Haven and The Fresh Start Orphanages. This will be a time of encouraging the children and local pastors and reaching out to the surrounding families that live near the orphanage. But I have a feeling that we will be the most encouraged by these children who love the Lord and have so much love to give!
Just a few months ago, I was sitting in church when I saw a short video on upcoming mission opportunities. The one that pierced my heart was the opportunity to love and serve some Kenyan orphans. I could hear God whisper, "Go." But I thought, "No way! I can't leave the girls for 10 days. How would we pay for that? Could Andrew take off work for that long? If not, who would watch the girls? How would Andrew survive that long without me? :) And how would I survive that long without him and the girls? And again, how could we ever afford that?
But God whispered again, "Now is the time." And I couldn't stop thinking about those Kenyan children. So after a lot of prayer, I sent out letters for prayer and financial support. And God took care of everything beautifully. He reminded me that He is in control. Always. And that He cares for me. And once again, I was amazed at what He did. And God provided ALL the money through very generous donations from family and dear friends. And I am amazed and so excited that He would allow me to be a part of this.
So today the team from Living Hope packed suitcases full of coloring books, crayons, pens, Bibles, first aid kits, suits for the men, bubbles, and plenty of shoes! We will lovingly distribute these things among the kids and the adult workers at the orphanage. But most of all, I can't wait to hug and love these kids and remind them that they are loved so much by all of us here and by their Father in Heaven.
If you read this, please take a moment to pray for our trip: that we would have safe travels, that we would all stay healthy, that we would truly be an encouragement to the Kenyan pastors and all the children in the orphanage, that we would honor God in our thoughts and actions, that we would proclaim the Lord's name in everything we do there, and that we would reflect the Lord's love so these children would be refreshed and renewed in their relationships with Him. And that we might have a new understanding about being adopted by the King!
I am excited to go and can't wait to see how the Lord will be working in all of our lives over this trip. I'm looking forward to worshipping the Lord with our brothers and sisters in Kenya. And I am crying out to the Lord to continue to change me, to help me rest in Him, to help me adore Him over everything else in my life, and to continue this good work that He has started in me. Can't wait to love these kids...one shoe at a time!
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26
Monday, March 22, 2010
This has been the pressing question that has been lingering in my mind for the past several weeks. I apologize that it's been a while since I've written, but for the last month our family has dealt with fevers, pink eye, colds, and bad coughs. So, now that we are over all that, things are returning to normal around here....if there is such a thing as "normal" with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Jennifer and I want to express our thanks once again for all your prayers and support. We are still walking down this long path that God is leading us on and getting directions along the way.
One question I have always had about missionaries is, "How did you know you were called?". We have been wrestling with this issue for quite a while now. As I posted earlier, I always felt that missionaries were the super Christians or those with special powers or something. But, the more Scripture I read, the more I see that the missionaries in the New Testament like Paul and Timothy are just normal dudes with an amazing passion and devotion to God. They have been transformed by the Gospel and it is lived out in every area of their lives. So, having come to that conclusion I often wonder, "How did they get to that point?". I think for us it's been more of a slow calling. I compare our experience to Elijah. God has not been in the fire or the earthquake. For us it's been more of a gently whisper over time. It's been almost exactly a year from when we started feeling God was going to change something. It just happens to be that something is overseas missions...which sometimes when I think about it scares me. Satan has really been attacking me lately with many ungodly and self satisfying thoughts. He is constantly in my ear asking me if I'm sure we really want to go live in another country. If I want to leave my job and the success I could possibly have in the future. That more money awaits me if we stay here in the U.S. That I'm not good enough, strong enough, or spiritual enough to represent Christ among the lost. Even something as simple as being short tempered with my family. These are all things that are happening.
Having said that, I know that God will equip us because He is calling us. I know that we have an advocate in Jesus! I know that I'm not good enough, and I never will be. I may not have all the knowledge of a scholar or the discipline of a monk, but I want to be obedient. That's what God has shown me lately. He is telling me to be obedient and He will figure out the rest. So, no matter what satan throws at us, we know that the battle has already been won and we are striving daily to be obedient to His calling for our lives.
It's funny because I find myself still wavering everyday. I will wake up one morning with a desire to leave immediately to serve. But, then I'll wake up the next morning and while I'm praying ask God if He's sure this is what He wants for us. Again, satan will not leave us alone and I'm starting to figure out why. He is threatened! The last thing satan wants is for us to leave our comfort and security here and go share the Gospel with people who have never heard. So he will do everything he can to stop us. This is one spiritual battle that I am not used to. I have found myself more often having to quote Scripture throughout the day to drive satan away. I really am beginning to understand more what Paul says about how our battle is not against the flesh but against the powers of darkness.
We are all excited to see where God will lead us. Our long journey is still just beginning but we are enjoying the ride because we have never truly had to depend on God like we are now. Previously, God had been someone I could turn to when I needed help, wanted something, or was asking Him to heal someone. I have never experienced God before in the way I am experiencing Him now. When faced with the situation of quitting my job and leaning on Him to provide the needs of my family, for me, that's where the rubber meets the road. I'll be honest...I'm a little nervous sometimes about what the future holds. But, what trumps that fear is the faithfulness of a Savior who gave up EVERYTHING for me! If I truly believe what Jesus says about not worrying about tomorrow and how He will provide for his children, then what do I have to worry about? If God is for us who can be against us? I must take Jesus at His word!
For those that take the time to read my random meanderings, I hope that through our experience God will reveal something crazy He might want you to do as well. If you told me two years ago that we would feel the call to overseas missions I would have said you are crazy. But, God has led us to where we are now for His glory. My hope is that more will feel the call to go. Thank you for your prayers, they are needed so much. And as uncomfortable as I feel typing this, we are asking you and others to continue to partner with us in prayer and in the future financially. God is our true provider and we seek Him for our needs, but we also feel that God will use the community of faith to help provide. We could not do this without your faithful support and we ask that God will bless you as He leads you down a path you may not expect.